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Thread: Show your home processing stations

  1. #1
    Member bnkwnto's Avatar
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    Default Show your home processing stations

    I just retired from the Army and bought my first house in Eagle River. Now that I'm not living in military housing or renting I want to set up my own little processing station in my garage. I prefer to everything myself vs turning in it all in. I already have a utility sink so the plumping is already there.

    What do guys recommend for a sink with plenty of counter top to work up meat and fish?

    Should I go with stainless steel or what kind of countertop?

    Where's the best place in Anchorage to buy this?

    Let's see some pictures of your setups.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    I am a simpleton, but for a surface, I would pick up some UHMW cutting board material on a large flat working surface. That along with a utility sink and enough electrical capacity to run a grinder, vac sealer, etc would be sufficient.

    That said, I just grab a scrap of plywood, set it between two saw horses in the garage and go to it....Then I move to the kitchen table once the boning and trimming is done. Someday, maybe I'll get more sophisiticated, but I doubt it

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    akroustabout worked as a butcher back when we were in school and had a pretty slick processing center set up in his garage last time I was out there. You may want to hit him up for ideas.

  4. #4
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    akroustabout worked as a butcher back when we were in school and had a pretty slick processing center set up in his garage last time I was out there. You may want to hit him up for ideas.
    big bear 2 003.jpg

    Will see if I have a pic, I think I do from when I shot that beast of a black bear already on file here. AK rubber supply on old seward north of Dowling has the white USDA approved cutting board material. Can buy it in whatever length you want. I suggest what I did, a full sheet cut in half, 2'x8'. Framed mine in with aluminum and had a buddy weld it for me. Then I cut white cutting board to fit, as you weld the metal can move, so I had to scribe it to fit, pretty easy, I can maybe loan you the tool, used a hand held plainer. Mounted to wall with galvanized hinges and lags. Fold up outa the way when not in use. Make it belt buckle hight! So it is comfortable to use for hours while working a moose or 5 caribou! Then cut legs to fit so table drained to either side. Cut angle aluminum for foot holds on floor.

    For the walls, get the fiberglass panels at Home depo, I stood 3 height wise and siliconed to wall, all edges and seams and also to floor, for floor caulking I would use Pro Seal, $17 a tube. Only place i know that has it anymore is Central Plubming on International.

    Your sink is probably fine, you can barely see in my pic that I used pex. Ran lines behind and under sink for hose bibs with pex fittings. Put in valves where you want. Hot water for mopin floors or cold water for washing meat and table while butchering. Hook up to a electric power washer and you're good to go, rarely do that, works good with skulls though after you boil.

    Then we use costco plastic garage sale style tables for white wrapping and vacuum sealing stations. Hit me up man if you want to see mine or use it to get ideas for your own. Def better to think it through well and do once!

    Congrats on retiring BNKNTO! Thanks for your service too!

  5. #5

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    I like wood or plastic tables rather than steel. A nick on metal will dull a knife much faster. We have an old dining room table that we use, along with a couple of the folding plastic tables from Sam's Club. We triple grind the burger, double saran wrap everything and tightly wrap with freezer paper. It lasts several years this way.

    Things that we have learned over the years is that having tables set at the right height are worth their weight in gold when you are processing for long periods. Slave labor is always a good thing, as is an artist to help finish off the packages of meat. Every time I pull a package of burger or a roast out of the freezer, it always has some sort of art on it from the kids that brings a smile to my face.





  6. #6
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    My home has 2 kitchens, I use the one downstairs. Use food grade 5 gallon buckets and a spare frig to store it as I go. I use a propane torch to burn off the hair on the meat. Have a 1hp grinder and slicer. NO ONE treats your food like you will. I know how my game has been cared for from trigger pull to table. I label the meat and rotate it, so the older gets eaten first. As the next season gets near, I run any left over through the grinder and make jerky to use on the up coming trips.



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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    W​hat brand vacuum sealer do you use Steve?
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjm316 View Post
    W​hat brand vacuum sealer do you use Steve?
    I'm on my 3rd foodsaver, but a chamber unit is my next purchase. I've really had good luck with them, just make sure not to let any moisture get in the motor and use the already made bags, I've had bad luck trying to make bags as I go, the unit over heats.
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  9. #9

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    I think I'll give the "torch the hair" trick a go next time. I'm guessing it only takes a short punch of flame to make it disappear? Do you ever see any browning of the meat when you do this?

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerod View Post
    I think I'll give the "torch the hair" trick a go next time. I'm guessing it only takes a short punch of flame to make it disappear? Do you ever see any browning of the meat when you do this?

    It will brown if you get too aggressive, but it just takes a sweep to burn it off.

    Found a deal on a chamber sealer and bought it tonight, VacMaster Portable Tabletop Chamber Vacuum Sealer w/ 12 Inch Seal Bar VP112 by ARY.

    Hope it is a good one.
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  11. #11
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Default Show your home processing stations

    Steve check out the chamber vac that Costco sells.

    I'm still trying to pull that purchase off. Lol
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  12. #12
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWB View Post
    Steve check out the chamber vac that Costco sells.

    I'm still trying to pull that purchase off. Lol
    The story I got on the Costco machines is that the impellers are made of plastic and will wear out fairly fast. Better to spend the extra $$ for the one at Alaska Butcher Supply in Anchorage. I rented one of theirs and we did the whole moose in a day. Amazing machine, and no worries about sucking water into the motor like you get with the FoodSavers.

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  13. #13
    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    A sheet of plywood on two saw horses and two more folding tables. All three covered in butcher paper. Carve meat off the bone from the hanging legs. Cut roasts and steaks and wrap in saran wrap and butcher paper. Grind and wrap anything that is not roasts, ribs, or steaks.


  14. #14
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Pretty fancy "meat lift" you got there mod elan

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    Found a deal on a chamber sealer and bought it tonight, VacMaster Portable Tabletop Chamber Vacuum Sealer w/ 12 Inch Seal Bar VP112 by ARY.

    Hope it is a good one.
    I bought one of these in 2011. Its not too bad. For the life of me I can not figure out why its cheaper than a regular one with the motor beneath the chamber. the VP112 has a lot of plastic lid and hinges that I would think would increase the cost.

    There are two issues with the VP112. First is that it takes up a lat of counter space with the motor in the back and the chamber up front. However its is easy to use on a counter top since it is a flat design. The one vertical chamber sealer I have used needed to be down on a little stand to get the chamber up to a comfortable working height. The second issue is that you need to watch the vac guage and keep just a slight amount of hand pressure on the lid when starting a cycle. The first year my unit did not have an issue except when sealing salmon. Never figured that one out. This fall I had to keep my hand on the lid for about one of every 12 cycles. It does not run the heat strip when it fails to pull a vacuum.
    And now that I think about it there is a third thing, you need both hands to open the lid. Due to how the hinges are articluated you have to lift from both sides on the lips of the hinges or it won't open at all. The lid will just twist to the side and lock up. Using two hands to open and close it lid gets to be a PITA when you are trying to get a load done. You have to put everything down, move the lid, unload, reload, close the lid. Not a big deal with a few pounds of stuff, but when dealing with a whole animal, it gets old.

    Over all I like the VP112 as long as I am methodical, keep my beers to a minimum, and use Vac Master bags.

    PS: don't get the 4mil bags. I clicked the wrong button and ended up with a gross or two of 4mil when I wanted 3mil. They work well and are hardy, but sometimes they don't seal as good if the insides are wet.

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