I'm going to update this to say: Since this was posted almost 8 years (!) ago, our eating styles have changed, I've gotten some kick-butt great recipes to use and I TOTALLY WOULD ORDER DIFFERENT CUTS TODAY!!
I look back on this post and think; "Wow, I would love to re-do this 'whole hog' purchase because my order would look incredibly different!" So please do NOT pay attention to my cuts; at the time we didn't really need the pork for the meat - but was ordering it to help my brother and his family out.
Use this post mostly for the 'cuts of pork' information image - not the cuts I ordered when our family didn't eat much pork. Because my husband refused to eat ribs or pork chops at the time (he loves them now as long as I grill them only) we had a weird order.
But the image below is a good reference for the different cuts of pork!
Original Post from July, 2010:
The first update I have to our 'whole hog' purchase is just some random thoughts in my mind after placing the cut order.
Ultimately I'm pretty sure this isn't going to save us any money. As a matter of fact, with processing fees and curing and making most into patties, I'm fairly certain we will be paying just as much if not more than we would in a grocery store because of the cuts we want; however, knowing the pig was raised by my brother and his family, knowing how it was treated, what it ate, and the flavor of buying straight from the farm verses what you get in the grocery store will make up for it! (I hope! Because money is tight right now!).
Yesterday I talked to the meat locker and in discussion with her as she filled out the cut sheet, this is what we decided on (which is very strange for someone buying a hog) - she was not a very friendly, helpful or kind person so when I asked her for help deciding what cuts to get, she was no help at all and I really didn't know what I was doing. :)
Porkchops: Yes. 1 inch cut and 2 to a package
Pork roast: None.
Pork loins? No.
Ham steaks: No thanks.
Hams: Only 1 and cut in half to make two normal sized to feed our family
Render fat? No, not this time.
Liver, heart, etc.? No thank you.
Ribs: Sigh. No. My husband doesn't like BBQ ribs.
Ham hocks? Just 2 of them. Trim the other two.
Bacon? Yes please. Lots of it. 1 pound packages.
Trimmings made into: 3/4 into Brats - patty style only, no links and the other quarter made into breakfast sausage, also in patty form.
Ultimately I'm buying the hog because it's from my brother.
My decisions on the cuts are based on the fact we only like ham about once a year. We never eat ham steaks and don't care for pork roast. I do buy pork roast about once a year to make a delicious Southern pulled BBQ but... I don't know. Pork loins we only recently started buying last Fall and found we only like one kind, one brand and it's pre-marinated.
My husband doesn't like pork products so we don't have it much. My husband hates pork chops but the kids and I like them so we'll probably end up with about 46 pork chops which is fine. I can make them on nights when he works. Another time I might have them render the fat for lard as it makes the best pie crusts, but with my work scheduled I have no time. It's only in the last 4 years that we've really started to like brats, but we found we like grilled patties more than links so we'll be happy with that.
Sausage is breakfast style although I'm second guessing myself and should have asked if they could do half spicy as well. I am the only one who eats it but i love sausage pizza and I like it in lasagna, etc. even though my husband always said he didn't... AFTER I placed the order yesterday he told me "Oh, I like sausage in lasagna now. The last two times we've had it I've liked it a lot." Well, too late. I already told them breakfast style since we've been together 25 years and you've never liked spicy sausage. Sigh.
I'll update when we get the hanging weight, the price per pound and I'll update how many packages of each cut we get. I anticipate it will be almost $700 based on a 275-300 pound live pig but I'm hoping for less.