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Discussion Starter #1
If I am going to start handling all this meat next week, I'm going to have to learn how to chop it up. Somewhere on here I remember reading about people using cleavers and kitchen shears (boy, can you tell I don't cook!).

What is the best way to chop up chickens and turkeys and what are the best brand names that are going to last awhile? Are cleavers better then kitchen sheers? I have some decent knives that my mother-in-law gave me but nothing big like a cleaver.

Thanks for all the help. Rocky is drooling........and telling me to donate that bag of Evo to my son's dogs.
 

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I use three main tools. A cleaver, a sharp boning knife, and a plastic (non-porous) cutting board that I've dedicated to meat service.

I also use lots of Ziploc freezer bags, and for cutting up large amounts of pork at one time (I seem to react to it if I handle it for extended periods) I use disposable Nitrile rubber gloves like these:

Amazon.com: KIMBERLY CLARK STERLING Disposable Nitrile Gloves, Large, 150 per Box: Office…

I also have a Magic Marker or Sharpie handy for writing the contents and dates on the freezer bags. Oh yeah, and a good knife sharpener. You will want to keep your knives and cleaver very sharp to make things easier.

Hope this helps.
 

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I have a regular kitchen knife and a cutting board. There is very little cutting I do and I do absolutely no grinding. I cut up beef heart and i cut meat off pork roasts to give to the cats. Thats all the cutting i do.
 

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We don't do much "processing" of our meats. When we do (like breaking down a whole turkey) we typically will use a nice quality knife, plastic cutting board, and occasionally some kitchen shears.

Very rarely we'll use a cleaver

We use a lot of 12qt containers for storing the meat (hold 10+lbs)

Sounds like Natalie and I need to do some "prep" videos... :wink:
 

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Sounds like Natalie and I need to do some "prep" videos.
That's a good idea. I suspect one of the advantages of having larger dogs when you feed PMR is that there is much less work in cutting up their food.

If you do make some instructional videos, remember that the smaller the dog, the more prep there probably is. I can't feed whole chicken quarters to either of my dogs. I have to separate the leg from the thigh and even then they are too big for my smaller dog. Pork and beef ribs have to be individual. Even chicken wings have to be cut into two segments for my smaller dog. For me, a cleaver makes all of these tasks much quicker than it is with a knife.
 

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we have a cutting board, a cleaver, and a carving knife and a knife sharpener (good one, jay)

when we buy in bulk, we use our food saver, depending on what we've bought and sharpies to mark what it is and the date....

i don't break down everything....

so i have a llama roast defrosting in my fridge at the moment...and i'll just cut pieces as i need them once it defrosts..

on the other hand, i'll cut ribs into appropriate meals when i buy a rack...

i used to make 'meal bags'....but i don't anymore, because what i feed them is determined by their poop the day before....

and i now know that malia needs a little more bone than bubba, plus rich muscle meat and fattier cuts will loosen her stools, but not bubba....so they don't always eat the same thing...i keep a polycarbonate container in the fridge with three or four proteins...

their liver is in the freezer and they get a 1 inch cube of that daily.

i tried scissors.....what's her name...last name is chen...didn't much care for them.

i have a henckels carving knife, presidential series, that i got with a gift certificate at macy's..and a kitchen aid carving knife....got from fred meyers...

the cleaver is my best friend and i need a new one....can't remember the brand but it has held up and has oriental writing on it....it wasn't expensive...

i take whole chickens and just whack on them,

well, i have a little more finesse now than that...but i am getting pretty good at separating chickens....they get the drummies and wings with breast attached and thighs and we get the breast meat, they get the carcass...

but i do it at meal time...takes a few minutes....and then put the rest of the chicken back.

jay is right about smaller dogs...although it's pretty easy to cut a slice of beef off of a roast...

ribs are packaged separately...because my dogs don't get an entire rack...they get a rib apiece...i have learned not to use baby backs...too small....

we do buy a lot of bulk food, so we use our food saver quite often...for both our meat and their meat....

i found there is a learning curve...and i think i take longer than most people here, but you do what works for you....and your dog...

it used to take me a half hour to feed the dogs....they were learning and i was learning...now it's down to fridge to clean up in about 10 minutes or less.
 

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i wish you guys would do prep videos....for large and small breeds..

the ones i see are wholly inappropriate for feeders like me....with all the veggies and yoghurts and cheeses and 'stuff'.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I love the idea of the prep video!!! Jay is right about the little dog. I"m sure with Great Danes you don't do much cutting. Chelsy is only 17 pounds and on her way down to 15 pounds and at 13 years old she only eats about the equivalent of a half a drumstick at a time. Even Rocky is a small eater and always has been. I gave him 1 beef rib and it took him almost an hour to work on that just as a recreational bone. He may get better at this as he gets used to the idea of chewing on things but right now he is just a very dainty eater and doesn't like to 'hurt' things! He will tear up a bully stick, though so I know he can do it.

I have a food saver so that's a good idea for long term storage when I get meat on a great deal. I"m gonna go out this week and scout stores and see where I can find things like chicken backs, and 'parts'. I've gotta clean out the freezer and make room for dog food, too. We may have to eat a turkey and a ham this weekend:smile:
 
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