Today I’m going to share with you my thoughts on a book I got for Christmas last year called ‘Basic Butchering of Livestock and Game‘ written by John Mettler. In short, this is a book that deserves a place on every preppers bookshelf. Overall it’s one of the best works I’ve written on how to take an animal from eating in the field to being eaten on the table.
The first chapter of the book discusses the tools and implements of the trade. It covers knives, cleavers, saws, and everything else you might need. The workspace requirements for effective processing of a carcass is covered nicely. The book briefly touches on the process of aging meat as well, including why you should age meat and what types of meat shouldn’t be aged.
For the lions share of the rest of the book the specifics processes for different types of livestock and game are covered. Everything from how to dispatch the animal, how to clean and skin it, and how to best cut up the carcass. In some cases there are special requirements, such as scalding a hog, and those are covered appropriately in each chapter.
The following types of game and livestock are covered:
The latter part of the book covers meat inspection and preservation and even includes a couple designs for home built smoke houses. After a section covering meat inspection and how to detect spoilage the book is rounded off with a big section of recipes that look pretty darn tasty.
Like I said at the beginning of this review this book belongs on the bookshelf of every prepper. It’s concise, to the point, and includes fantastic diagrams. That said, don’t depend on this book in case of an emergency, be sure to practice and build up some hands on experience. Go buy the book and add it to your library today!
The editorial description on the back of the book reads:
Whether you hunt or work a small farm and hope to become more self sufficient, this book can help you enjoy the better flavor of humanely and properly slaughtered and butchered meat. Detailed instructions and easy to follow illustrations demystify the slaughtering and butchering process. Standard domestic and game animals and birds – from beef and veal to venison, pork, lamb, and poultry – are discussed, as well as:
- When to slaughter
- How to skin and butcher
- Field dressing
- The latest information on chronic wasting disease in deer
- Methods to avoid contamination and spoilage
- Aging, dry cures, pickling, and smoking