The Chopping Block You Can Save Lots of Money By Learning How to Butcher

Have you ever found yourself staring at the meat case in the supermarket with a blank look on your face? Are you wondering what’s the difference between prime, choice and select meat? Pondering which ribs should you get: baby back, country style or spare ribs? Aren’t all cows grassfed? And what exactly do terms like “natural” and “organic” really mean?

The meat case can be confusing. You may need the butcher’s help deciphering the labels and identifying various cuts of meat in order to know what you are buying. The butcher should be one of your best friends, but home cooks can also become confident with butchery at home. That’s where The Chopping Block can help!

Our new A Home Cook’s Guide to Butchery explores basic home butchery (so no, we won’t be covering how to break down a whole pig, but we do have a class for that!. In this free guide, you’ll learn how to go beyond the basic steaks and chops you are used to seeing shrink-wrapped in the meat case. You’ll get information on the different cuts and where they come from, as well as techniques for breaking down and cooking beef, pork, lamb, chicken and fish. We explain the government’s slightly complicated grading system, plus the necessary equipment you’ll need to butcher at home.

One reason we want you to become familiar with meat, fish and poultry is that you can save a lot of money by learning how to work with bigger cuts of protein (think whole fish, chicken and beef tenderloins). For instance, the cost of a whole chicken is a lot less per pound than convenience cuts. The U.S. Department of Labor reports the average price of a whole chicken was $1.50 per pound in July 2017. The price of boneless, skinless chicken breasts is $3.20 per pound. That’s more than double the price!

In our guide, you’ll learn how to break down a whole chicken as well as a technique called “spatchcock” which is as much fun to do as it is to say. Watch our Owner/Chef Shelley Young demonstrate how easy this is (and why you’d want to do it in the first place) in our video.

That’s just one of many videos in this guide to help you. We also have step-by-step pictorials of how to break down a primal cut of beef to get porterhouse, T-bones, New York Strip steaks and Filet Mignon, depending on how you cut it. You’ll get tips from our professional chefs to help you along the way, with plenty of recipes to practice your new skills.  

Download A Home Cook’s Guide to Butchery now.

And if you want some hands-on experience with a professional chef learning how to work with meat, chicken and seafood, our 101 cooking series is the place to start!

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