Review: Ask the Meatman Butchering DVDs

Double grinding the hamburger

I have to say that after getting our milk cow, butchering our first steer at home has to be one of the most exciting homestead adventures we’ve had to date.

After I dealt with the implications of killing an animal that I “knew,” it was incredibly empowering and exciting to have such a hands-on approach to our meat.

It’s been a learning experience figuring out what to do with all of the “spare” parts like the suet, soup bones, and internal organs. But, my freezer is happily full, and we are enjoying the harvest!

I don't think I've ever posted a pic of hubby on here. He's gonna kill me. (Hi Honey!)

I’ve had several of you ask how you can learn the skill of home butchering, and I have been *dying* to share some DVDs with you for a while now.

Ask the Meatman is a family-owned butcher shop that offers everything you need for your first home butchering experience. Not only do they have a detailed Beef Slaughtering and Beef Processing DVDs, but they also carry DVD tutorials for sharpening knives and processing hogs and deer.

My husband and I watched both beef DVDs (as well as the knife-sharpening one) twice before butchering our steer. Even though we’ve cut up deer, antelope, and even beef before, it was incredibly helpful to see the whole process explained in detail from start to finish.

The one hour Beef Slaughtering DVD shows you how to skin, gut, and quarter a beef and how to keep the meat clean in the process. (Watch a 5 minute clip here.)

The two hour Beef Processing DVD shows you how to break down each quarter and how to cut it into roasts, steaks, stew meat, and more. (Watch a 5 minute clip.)

Prior to watching these DVDs, I was embarrassingly uneducated when it came to different cuts of beef… I had no idea where the different steaks or roasts came from, and never really knew what I was ordering in a restaurant. But now I have a much clearer mental image of where the different cuts are found.

These DVDs are pretty affordable at only $24.97 each with free shipping ($39.97 if you purchase both.) The increased confidence we had after watching the DVDs was definitely worth the price!

I would definitely recommend these videos for someone who wants to butcher at home, but has no idea how to start.

The one thing I thought was lacking from the videos was a more detailed description of hamburger. While they do show how to set aside meat to be ground into burger, there wasn’t much info on how much fat you should trim off, or how many times to grind it. For us, it was not a big deal since we’ve done it before. But I think that it is something a newbie would be interested in knowing more about. Other than that, I have no complaints! (I do think this information could easily found from other sources, in case this is something you are interested in.)

Some steaks and stew meat

We also purchased several knifes and a meat saw from Ask the Meat Man. We’ve been incredibly happy with those as well– definitely high quality, and super sharp.

So there you have it- a wonderful resource for those of your looking towards adding home butchery to your list of homestead skills. Head on over to AsktheMeatMan.com to have a look around and tell them The Prairie Homestead sent ya. ;)

More Home Beef Processing Posts:

Disclosure Statement: I received a set of DVDs in exchange for a review. I was not compensated in any other way for this post. All opinions expressed here are completely my own and I really, honestly, and truly like these DVDs and would recommend them regardless.


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Comments

  1. that sounds really interesting, plus it’s really, really cool that you know how to do it for yourselves now, too :) :) I’m guessing that your cow was organic raised? if yes, then you can definitely use the marrow bones to make a lovely marrow broth. Very tasty and very healing for the gut. I watch The Food Network Channel a lot, and specifically “Diners,Drive-ins, and Dives” with Guy Fieri…and one thing I noticed about the places that make their meats, like sausages etc. In every case, they always grind the meat cold, because it doesn’t gum up the meat grinder. That was interesting for me :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

    • Yes, our steer was “organically” raised. :) I’ve been researching using the marrow bones more. It seems like it is considered quite a delicacy! And yes, cold meat is definitely easier to work with- although the fingers get pretty chilly after a while.

  2. FarmSchooler says:

    I have these DVDs and they are VERY helpful. We set a small TV up next to the processing area (aka the dining room table) and we would watch a segment…do it…watch another segment…do it. Walked us thru doing a whole steer at home year before last when we didnt WANT to afford a meat processor. Great resource!

  3. I just bought a split side of beef and asked for all the scraps, fat, organs and the soup bones. I got a large box filled with “scraps” (shaved fat and bones) and they said that these were good for dogs and not anything else and separate bags for the soup bones, chunks of fat and organs. Do you use the “scraps” from your beef to cook with or are they only good for the dogs? Thanks for the info on slaughtering and butchering; I would like to raise my own beef one day, too.

    • Diana- we are going to use the fat and bones for our own consumption. So, I guess it just depends on what they gave you. I’m thinking some fat wouldn’t be worth going to the trouble of trimming down to make tallow, which is why they designated it for the dogs. Probably the same goes for certain bones, too.

  4. I looked at the videos on the site. How great! Thanks so much for sharing. We will be raising a pig again this year and I think we will buy the set with the cow and pig videos too. Thanks again for the great information.

  5. I am so glad I found your blog! We are moving from a mega city to the country in less then a year. I am currently reading a book called The Compassionate Carnivore, which has been totally inspiring. I had no idea you could butcher a cow at home! I have been so concerned about us even being able to find an abattoir that would butcher one or two cows in a humane way for us. *When we get to that point.* Have you posted on here how you killed your steer? I will definitely being buying these dvd’s! Thanks again for blogging about all this, I love knowing it can be done! Cant wait to dig deeper into your posts!

  6. This is so interesting! I will definitely look into these videos when we are ready to start raising our own beef cows.

  7. it looks like the fat on the steer is very yellow.

    (Kind of reminds me of the color of chicken schmaltz back when butchers used to actually lay out cuts on butcher paper in a frozen window. (I’m blessed to know a butcher like that, but his meat is not farm raised.)

    Is it really that yellow? Is the fat we get in commercial markets white because of the grass, etc. that the cows eat?

    i bet you have some mighty tasty steaks there!
    ~ Dana
    Cooking at Cafe D

    • Hi Dana,
      Yes, it really IS that yellow!
      Dairy breeds of cattle (like Jerseys and Guernseys) have yellow fat instead of white. One’s not worse or better, just different. Our steer was a jersey, so the fat throughout his entire body was bright yellow. Cool, huh? :)

  8. Just went and ordered the big butchering video in preparation for our fall butchering! We ruined a lot of cuts on our hogs last year and don’t want to make that mistake again!

    Thank you!
    Sarah

  9. Uhhh, hello spell check…that should be pig instead of big in my above post.

    Sarah

  10. My family back in Guatemala owns a few hundreds of cows, I was never ever able to eat the meat from a cow that I knew. You are brave! I like your blog :)

  11. Maria Calvo says:

    Are you kidding me? I just happened to fall into this blog from a link from another blog. I cannot believe you are actually excited about killing an animal. While it may be a necessity for food, it certainly should be something you enjoy. What a mistake, I will never return to this blog again.

    • Melissa says:

      Oh, please. You completely missed the point. It’s the excitement over actually accomplishing a big goal and having a freezer full of meat that you raised yourself that is exciting- not “killing an animal!” Really.

    • Apparently you didn’t read the second sentence of this post where I refer to and link my previous blog post that expounds on all the emotions I dealt with in killing an animal that I knew. This butchering DVD review was a follow-up post to that one.

  12. Below is one of my favorite essayists and poets. I thought many here might agree with his thoughts

    “I dislike the thought that some animal has been made miserable to feed me. If I am going to eat meat, I want it to be from an animal that has lived a pleasant, uncrowded life outdoors, on bountiful pasture, with good water nearby and trees for shade.”
    ? Wendell Berry, What are People For?

  13. Hello, Our family is new to homesteading and a 57 acre farm where our plans are to live as sustainably as possible and to raise/grow as much of our food as possible. We have been city slickers all our lives although my husband loves to grow things and he has since he was little. We started “homesteading” a couple years ago as much as possible at our house in the suburbs. We have started with 21 chickens (layers) and a summer garden. I have been letting our chickens free range but they have eaten our whole garden in the process. Unfortunately, we were late putting in our garden due to our move and put it the place they previous owners used which we have since decided isn’t the best location and with a busy summer settling in and other family obligations we didn’t get to spend enough time tending the garden therefore we kind of let our chickens take over. Any suggestions on keeping free range chickens AND a garden??

    Also, we have plans to raise a couple pigs each year for meat. What is the best time of year to start with piglets, spring? And what breed is the best and most cost effective for meat?

    Same question for beef. We would like to have 1 or 2 cow for our personal meat supply. Which breed is best tasting and most cost effective to raise? We want all our animals to be raise as natural (organic, grass fed, etc) as possible.

    Thanks for you help!
    Jenny in KY

    What is the best breed of cow to raise for meat?

  14. Jill, I am curious if you have made your own sausage (as in link) and also brautwurst. I noticed on the Ask the Meatman website he recommends a Dakota sausage stuffer that’s a water driven piston. Looks pretty cool! Also, what kind of meat grinder do you have and do you recommend it?

  15. Colette says:

    Just wanted to add my two cents regarding AskTheMeatMan videos. We purchased both the beef slaughtering/butchering set & the pig set about 3 years ago. Extremely helpful! I’m a converted city-gal, and my partner has cut & wrapped his game for years. These videos break down most of what you need to know, and are very understandable ( I agree about the grinding meat for sausage or hamburger, little skimpy on information). And being in video format we can review as we are cutting each section of meat. Well worth the price, considering it cost us about 250.00 to have just one pig cut & wrapped by a local butcher.