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66 Reviews
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65 of 67 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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5 of 6 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 22 months ago by dutch


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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars thank you Ryan Farr......, November 10, 2011
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This review is from: Whole Beast Butchery: The Complete Visual Guide to Beef, Lamb, and Pork (Hardcover)
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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7 of 7 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 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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissappointing as a teaching aid for pork butchery, January 31, 2013
This review is from: Whole Beast Butchery: The Complete Visual Guide to Beef, Lamb, and Pork (Hardcover)
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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20 of 27 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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This review is from: Whole Beast Butchery: The Complete Visual Guide to Beef, Lamb, and Pork (Hardcover)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finaly, December 18, 2011
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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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This review is from: Whole Beast Butchery: The Complete Visual Guide to Beef, Lamb, and Pork (Hardcover)
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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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whole Lotta Love for Whole Beast Butchery, November 11, 2011
This review is from: Whole Beast Butchery: The Complete Visual Guide to Beef, Lamb, and Pork (Hardcover)
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
3.0 out of 5 stars Basic, March 19, 2014
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The book was OK. There are several books on the subject that are better. The images were very small on the kindle making it difficult to see the detail.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fit for a meatcutter!, December 2, 2013
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This review is from: Whole Beast Butchery: The Complete Visual Guide to Beef, Lamb, and Pork (Hardcover)
A book for a butcher! Which I am! Goes into great detail everything you need to know about cutting up all edible beasts!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall, great book, October 23, 2013
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This review is from: Whole Beast Butchery: The Complete Visual Guide to Beef, Lamb, and Pork (Hardcover)
Great pictures, I wish it was more focused on wild game. Overall good information, good processing details. The overall process can be transferred between critters.
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Whole Beast Butchery: The Complete Visual Guide to Beef, Lamb, and Pork
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