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75 Reviews
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67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars thank you Ryan Farr......
As someone who began raising and butchering his own livestock several years ago, I've developed quite a library of "how to butcher" books. Most of them are quite useful and I've usually been able to take home a least a couple of "pearls" that I find useful in my private on-the-farm butchershop. Needless to say it's been quite a journey and I still have a long way to go,...
Published on November 10, 2011 by Philip Vogelzang

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissappointing as a teaching aid for pork butchery
Recently home-slaughtered two 10 months old pigs and bought this book to further help me with cutting up. I have some rudimentary butchering skills and thought from the review that this would be a clear step by step guide.
The guide is confusing for several reasons
- The pigs used in the book is killed at a young age and hence smaller than normal kill outs and...
Published on January 31, 2013 by dutch


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67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars thank you Ryan Farr......, November 10, 2011
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As someone who began raising and butchering his own livestock several years ago, I've developed quite a library of "how to butcher" books. Most of them are quite useful and I've usually been able to take home a least a couple of "pearls" that I find useful in my private on-the-farm butchershop. Needless to say it's been quite a journey and I still have a long way to go, so it was definitely a sense of relief when I opened Mr. Farr's new instructional manual and found to my surprise loads of useful tips and ideas.

The book is divided into three main parts - beef, lamb and pork. Each section begins with a clear schematic the various parts of each animal. Each schematic is then reproduced in miniature at the top of each ensuing page, keeping the reader oriented as to where in the animal the current photos originate. I for one, found this extremely useful

And what photos! Each one is clear, detailed and nicely laid out, accompanied by short and concise notes. It's harder than you might think to describe in words accurately how to break down an animal carcass. Believe me, I've read some other texts that leave you so confused, you don't know which end is up. Not here. Farrs descriptions are smart, pithy and to the point. Not to mention plentiful.

One aspect that this book doesn't cover (nor does it claim to) is the livestock side of things. Farr assumes you will be picking up your carcass from a local butcher. He offers no advise or instruction on how to slaughter a live animal, something many of us small scale livestock farmers need. But there are other good texts for that such as The Complete Book of Butchering, Smoking, Curing, and Sausage Making: How to Harvest Your Livestock & Wild Game by Philip Hasheider. Together with Whole Beast Butchery, these two texts are all an amateur butcher needs to get started. Thanks Ryan! Great job!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whole Beast Butchery, November 11, 2011
By 
EAM (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Whole Beast Butchery: The Complete Visual Guide to Beef, Lamb, and Pork (Kindle Edition)
This is a comprehensive and very well written butchery book. Perfect for both beginner and more advanced home butchers! The step by step photos are extremely helpful. And Farr's personality is present throughout the book, making it seem both familiar and fun. His simple recipes will give you a great building block from which to grow your skills. Really excited to have this book in my cookbook collection.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissappointing as a teaching aid for pork butchery, January 31, 2013
Recently home-slaughtered two 10 months old pigs and bought this book to further help me with cutting up. I have some rudimentary butchering skills and thought from the review that this would be a clear step by step guide.
The guide is confusing for several reasons
- The pigs used in the book is killed at a young age and hence smaller than normal kill outs and therefore some of the cuts suggested end up as enormous joints on a normal pig.
- The pigs is whole rather than split in half which means a lot of flicking through pages to get to the correct stage.
- It is not always clear when two different methods of cutting up are performed on the corresponding halves of the pig.
- Quite a few of the instructions end half way and do not describe what to do next or use unclear instructions (i.e. remove the featherbone probably clear to a butcher but not to a relative novice).

So overal not quite the guide I had expected from the description. Not useful for someone with basic butchering skills and probably midly informative for someone who understands what is going on in the different pictures.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My personal opinion: I do not recomment this book to anyone who doesn't have some experience in meat cutting., September 7, 2012
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Mostly photos of meat with brief description of cuts. Lacks adequately detailed desciptions. A good butcher should not need the book but would likely say it's informative. Most meat cutting novices such as myself will be likely to want more detailed instructions.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whole Lotta Love for Whole Beast Butchery, November 11, 2011
It's great that more people are moving away from the nasty plastic-wrapped meat in the supermarket and hitting up farmers' markets and old-school butchers. You can take it one step further by learning how to actually butcher your own meat. You want a true farm to table experience? Pick up Whole Beast Butchery, source a whole pig or a lamb or go in with a group of friends on a steer and go to town! Ryan Farr shows how, with hundreds of very cool-looking step-by-step photos, breaking down everything you'd ever want to know about breaking down beef, lamb or pork. And even if you don't feel up to the task, the book is worth it for the recipes alone -- Spice-Cured Beef Brisket, Merguez Sausage, Crispy Pork Shoulder...
This man knows his meat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finaly, December 18, 2011
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This review is from: Whole Beast Butchery: The Complete Visual Guide to Beef, Lamb, and Pork (Kindle Edition)
I was searching for some book that will help me to understand some cuts of meat in USA, finaly I got it! It show it and explain it, in Europe, Croatia we dont have butchers that do meat that way and now all recepies make sense!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book, December 13, 2011
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I recently finished my first look thru WBB. So much information presented in an understandable way. I recommended this book to several friends, one has a son who wants to be a chef. The attention to detail and advise about tools is invaluable for both professional chefs and serious home chefs.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whole Beast Butchery is Prime Cut reading!, December 17, 2011
By 
Lenet Compton (Kansas City, KS) - See all my reviews
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I am not a Foodie and I don't cook all that well. So why in the name of good cooks would I read Ryan Farr's book let alone suggest you read it too? Because I found it intriguing that someone would write a book about cutting up things that won't fit in a refrigerator (until, of course, you cut it up). There is another reason. I believe I don't cook well because recipes aren't written well. There is always some minuscule detail left out that apparently any slob should know that is paramount to culinary success. Ryan is detailed enough for even me to "get it!" Ryan writes like he is your friend and you are having an everyday conversation. I suppose most cookbooks are printed on shinny paper for easy clean up should a particle of the recipe become airborne and land on the page. I prefer the non-glare paper utilized in this book. Little things do make a difference. This is just one illustration of Mr. Farr's detail orientation. If you read nothing more than the book's dedication and acknowledgement you will have met a truly beautiful person. Thank you Ryan Farr!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unleash the badass butcher within, December 17, 2011
I've been Ryan Farr's friend for many years, so take this review with a grain of salt if you must. But, speaking from what I know, Ryan is among the most passionate and knowledgeable people on the planet in regard to meat and butchery. And it's all right here in this book for you to learn for yourself, step-by-satisfying-step.

Ryan's passion for whole beast butchery runs deep, and it's something he's done for years just for fun - long before turning pro. This is a guy who is a self-described "purveyor of porcine dreams." He cuts up lamb and beef in his sleep. I remember Ryan used to invite people over to his apartment not for drinks, but for homemade, freshly sliced prosciutto and cured meats. He's made sausage with Martha Stewart for goodness sake. Who better to learn from? Buy this book and unleash the badass butcher within.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book! Love SF native authors!, December 28, 2011
By 
Rebecca Wraxall (san francisco, ca) - See all my reviews
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This is a wonderful book. Butchery classes in sf can be quite expensive, however this book is written by a sf native who teaches them! It is better for a book like this to have visuals, as words alone are not as helpful. There are not many books like this on the market, and this one is quality.
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