Carnivore's Guide: The Art of Butchering

Learn to butcher like the pros in meat preparation classes
| Updated: November 27, 2018

Perhaps inspired by Julie and Julia author Julie Powell’s second book, Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession, or by an increased interest in knowing just exactly where their food is coming from, more and more people are doing it themselves when it comes to butchering meat. Several Seattle classes offering lessons in meat preparation have emerged, and some of them will even please the squeamish.

From least to most bloody:

PCC Natural Food Market
Learn how to judge the tenderness and flavor of just about any cut at PCC’s demonstration-only “Perfect Poultry and Meat” course, taught by PCC chef Lynne Vea, an alumna of Paris’ Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. Various dates and locations. $45 for non-members;
Squeamish factor: MILD

Dish It Up!
Former Swinery chef Gabriel Claycamp visits the Ballard cooking store to lead a whole pig breakdown demonstration. This three-hour lesson is a post-holiday treat for anyone interested in the art of butchery. 1/14/2011. $85. 5320 Ballard Ave. NW;
Squeamish factor: SEMI-MILD

Sea Breeze Farm
Take the short ferry ride from West Seattle to Vashon Island, where you can participate in a course on pork butchering followed by the art of making charcuterie. Ideal for the slaughter-squeamish (no live pigs), the class at Sea Breeze’s butcher shop focuses on instruction about equipment (types of knives needed) as well as key cutting techniques. The course runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; the morning focuses on butchering the whole pig and the afternoon on charcuterie and curing various cuts produced during the morning session. 11/9. $90 for one session, $150 for entire day. 17635 100th Ave. SW, Vashon Island;
Squeamish factor: MEDIUM

Home Acres Farms
Watch Bruce King lead demonstrations on everything from how to slaughter a live pig to butchering retail cuts of meat. Choose from either the “Pasture to Primal” class (which starts with live pigs from his Everett farm), or watch and learn how retail cuts are produced in the less bloody “Primal to Plate” course, held in a commercial kitchen on Capitol Hill. 12/18 and 12/19. Prices and locations vary;
Squeamish factor: INTENSE

Published November 2010

More articles from our Meat issue
Carnivore's Guide: Bacon!
Carnivore's Guide: A Burger for every budget
Carnivore's Guide: Charcuterie
Carnivore's Guide: Chicken
Carnivore's Guide: Duck, Turkey, and Goose
Carnivore's Guide: Game: Venison, Elk, Wild Boar
Carnivore's Guide: Lamb
Carnivore's Guide: The Meatless Meats
Carnivore's Guide: Offal
Carnivore's Guide: Pork
Carnivore's Guide: Sausages
Carnivore's Guide: The Steakhouses
Carnivore's Guide: The Art of Butchering
Carnivore's Guide: Butcher Shops and Meat Markets
Carnivore's Guide: The Seattle Meat Directory