Monday, March 19, 2007

Finding a Reliable Butcher Shop

Since so many stores have gone to selling nothing but pre-cut meat, real butchers are becoming less and less common. Their services are less necessary now that machines at the slaughterhouses are able to take care of so much of the job. So if you have gone hunting and ended up with a nice catch that you would like to have professionally prepared, it can be hard to find a butcher that you can trust to handle your meat. So when you are looking for a butcher, there are certain things that you should keep an eye out for, and look into the services of the butcher that can provide these things for you.

First, you should look in the most obvious place to find a business: the phone book. There should be at least a few listings for butcher shops. Call in and find out about the services they offer, as well as the sort of prices they charge. Some butchers aren’t willing to take entire animals, or charge extra if they have to dispose of the excess material (bones, hide, and inedible organs) on their own. So before you start calling around, find out the exact weight of the animal you are dealing with. Then when you call, you can get an exact quote based on the size of the animal.

Once you get the final product back from the butchers, you can gauge its quality based on several things. First, each piece should be organized well based on the section that the meat came from, as well as how it is cut. If the meat is well-cut but just thrown into a cooler willy-nilly, it won’t be very useful when you are trying to pick the perfect piece of meat to cook. So judge the butcher based on this fact.

Also, you can gauge the performance of a butcher based on how clean and quick he provided his services. It is possible to butcher meat in a way that will work, but make it look absolutely disgusting in the process. The meat given back to you should look like something that you would buy at a grocery store, and it should generally come back within a few days of you bringing the animal to the butcher.

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