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Chilling pig carcases

09 Apr 2019
@ 06:48 pm (GMT)

Richard Butler

We have a chiller which runs at approx 1degC under the fan. Can someone tell me how long can I chill the pig carcases for to get the meat as tender as possible without losing them?
The pigs are skin on.


25 Apr 2019
@ 10:48 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Chilling pig carcases
I may be way off base here, as we don't have pigs here. With any of the game taken, the skin comes off as soon as possible. Hide will retain body heat for a very long time. Your chiller temp. is good, fan is good, and at that temp. you should be good for days (we will hang a big bull for 10 -14 days at those temps). Also, a long cut along the length of the big leg bones lets tremendous amounts of heat out, prevents "bone sour". Hope this helps.
26 Apr 2019
@ 05:59 pm (GMT)

Richard Butler

Re: Chilling pig carcases
Thanks Paul, I usually chill venison for at least 21 days. I leave the skin on until a couple of days before boning so the meat doesn't dry out. Its pretty tender by then and does not go off. Pigs though I don't know but I'm not sure they would hold for that long.
26 Apr 2019
@ 10:44 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Chilling pig carcases
Found this in an old publication:

"At a temperature of 35 to 38F, three to five days of storage between slaughter of a hog and consumption of the fresh pork is regarded by many as an optimum period."
30 Apr 2019
@ 05:31 am (GMT)

Richard Butler

Re: Chilling pig carcases
I'll have to use the trial and error method. The last 2 pigs after 5 days were a little tough.
30 Apr 2019
@ 07:21 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Chilling pig carcases
Hi Richard, only just noticed this post sorry. I hope you and your wife are well.

I can only speak from personal experience but I don't leave pigs too long, usually no longer than three days.

What Steph and I have found is that wild pork is the most difficult of all meats to work with regardless of age or condition.

Generally, Steph either slow roasts it or makes a Thai red curry. If roasting, Steph lays commercial smoky bacon over the joint. When she initially set about this, I felt that adding commercial bacon defeated the purpose (hunter providing food for the table) but soon found that the roast will last two or three meals so the cost balances out nicely.

My Buddy Kelvin roasts pork, then sets it in aspic to be re-used again. Maybe if Kelvin reads this, he can chime in. Hopefully Steph can also provide input as to how she keeps the meat tender.
01 May 2019
@ 07:48 pm (GMT)

Richard Butler

Re: Chilling pig carcases
Thanks Nathan, we are both fine. I read an article on the internet somewhere that said pork doesn't change in tenderness much between 10 and 14 days chilling compared with longer. Whatever longer is. If I get another pig this season(autumn to early winter) I will take a risk and age it 21 days. It does wonders for venison.
08 May 2019
@ 09:10 am (GMT)

Steph Foster

Re: Chilling pig carcases
Hi Richard, I would be a little wary of trying to chill pork for too long, especially wild pork. While domestic pork can have a heavy layer of fat the actual meat is very lean, you wont see the same marbling effect with pork that you will see with other red meats. With out that extra fat, pork is more inclined to go off than other animals. Like I said, this is especially in the case of wild pork which is leaner still. I used to work in commercial kitchens and pork and chicken were always treated with a great deal of respect re handling, storage and use.

When we get a wild porker it gets skinned and put in the freezer immediately. Sometimes a wild porker can begin to pick up a taint within hours of being shot, the time it can take to get the carcass home and skinned in warmer weather can be almost too long.

When I cook a wild pork roast I get it out of the freezer the day before and let it defrost completely in the refrigerator. Cooking it is easy peasy. I simply rub it with olive oil put a bundle of what ever herbs I am using on top of it for flavour, grind a shit load of black pepper over it and add a liberal amount of all purpose seasoning (which really is the perfect accompaniment for everything). I then cover the whole thing with strips of bacon, my favourite is Hellers manuka smoked bacon. I then add about an inch of milk to the roasting dish.

I preheat my oven to at least 200 degrees and once it is up to temp I put the roast in. I allow the meat to cook fast for about 30 minutes, the bacon crackles up and releases all its fat into the meat. I then drop the oven temp right down to somewhere between 130 - to 150 degrees (depending on how long I want it to cook for or what time of the day I get the roast into the oven). I leave the roast uncovered for the initial hot hard bake but then cover the roast for the long slow cook. So fast, hard and uncovered first off then low, slow and covered for the long haul.

By the time the roast is ready the meat is falling off the bone and the bacon has kept the outer moist and tender. It makes for a pretty good dinner if I may say so myself.
11 May 2019
@ 01:42 pm (GMT)

Richard Butler

Re: Chilling pig carcases
Thanks Steph, I will give that a try. I was also told that roasting with a layer of milk in the bottom of the roasting dish helps keep the meat tender. The milk having fat in it.


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