Dream Processing Setup

Ttannahill14

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Jan 26, 2016
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Central Kansas
My inlaws have an empty old farmhouse that they have been renting out... it's rural Kansas so only getting $200/mo rent. I think I've convinced them let me turn it into a "butcher & bunk house." Most of my hunting is done there and most everything I shoot out of state gets processed down there.

It's 100% livable as it sits... 2 bed / 1 bath, 900 sq ft. But could use a little small reno to make it a little nicer and more comfortable.

I'm getting pretty tired of processing meat in the shop... just not a super clean environment.

So if you could reno an old kitchen specifically for processing game (and also still usable as a kitchen) what equipment would you want in there?

What would be your dream setup for a butcher and bunkhouse hunting lodge?
 

406LIFE

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Aug 18, 2016
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Bitterroot Valley, MT
1hp+ Grinder with reverse and foot pedal.
Assortment of knives and sharpener: filet, skinning, caping, cleaver
Sausage Stuffer: 10lbs+ with foot pedal.
Commerical Grade Vaccum Sealer.
Scale


But something else, I'd think about is putting that thing up on Airbnb for hunters. If you did $100/night, and rented it for 3 weeks you'd match what your renter would bring in, with less hassle and wear/tear.
 

JLS

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Somewhere in the basalt rocks
I really like the 30" deep counters we installed. It's amazing how much difference the extra depth makes. I'd also make sure there is enough useable counter space. A deep sink for washing cutting boards and metal pans is nice.

I still paper wrap when butchering, so I'd make a portable rack for saran wrap and butcher paper.

Ditto a heavy duty grinder.
 

wllm1313

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Aurora, CO
1hp+ Grinder with reverse and foot pedal.
Assortment of knives and sharpener: filet, skinning, caping, cleaver
Sausage Stuffer: 10lbs+ with foot pedal.
Commerical Grade Vaccum Sealer.
Scale
^ this +

Standing freezer with pull out racks
Stainless steel rolling counters with lock out wheels
Lots of totes
Meat cutting bandsaw
Sealed concrete floors with a drain in the middle
Extra deep double sink
 

kansasdad

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Wichita
Ergonomics to make the work feel better when you are done.......properly heighted countertops (remember you are a giant among men!!) with good lighting to see where you are working, and then perhaps seated working spaces as well. Restaurant prep surfaces are stainless steel for a reason: easy to clean and easy to see if they are clean.

I find that working around water/sinks I like having a spray hose to forcefully direct a stream of water. The under the sink pull up hose works ok, but if you were to do the dream setup I would install a commercial sink/hose unit found in restaurants.

See the source image



PS: I wanna see a photo of you complete with the hair covering when you get the setup in operation!
 

Hunting Wife

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Nov 18, 2014
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Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
Yes, wishlist!

Definitely commercial sink and sprayer. Extra deep lower cabinets/counters. Island with counter height seating for marathon sessions. Stainless countertops. Concrete floors. Wall mounted paper and plastic rolls. Under cabinet lighting and good task lighting for islands/work areas. Pull out trash bins. Magnetic knife strips. Lower cabinet appliance lifts for grinders, etc. Extra large refrigerator and freezer. Rolling cart. Lots of cabinets/open shelving. Lots of outlets. Lots of totes.
 

jlong17

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Jan 21, 2019
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'Merica
Thanks for starting this thread so I can steal all these great ideas for my Christmas wish list!! I was just looking at grinders today! Do you guys find that DIY processing is more out of satisfaction and pride of doing it yourself, or more cost savings?? This was my first year really considering DIY processing... I harvested a bull elk, and a cow elk- and it was painful paying more money for processing, on top of the NR tag fees. All I have so far is a high quality vacuum sealer, so I have to borrow a buddies grinder. I'll be following this thread to see what the experienced HuntTalkers have to say
 

SFC B

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Colorado Springs
Thanks for starting this thread so I can steal all these great ideas for my Christmas wish list!! I was just looking at grinders today! Do you guys find that DIY processing is more out of satisfaction and pride of doing it yourself, or more cost savings?? This was my first year really considering DIY processing... I harvested a bull elk, and a cow elk- and it was painful paying more money for processing, on top of the NR tag fees. All I have so far is a high quality vacuum sealer, so I have to borrow a buddies grinder. I'll be following this thread to see what the experienced HuntTalkers have to say
If you shoot multiple animals a year you can recoup your equipment $$$$ really quickly.....it was a nasty surprise coming from the midwest and flat rate cut/wrap processing to everything by the pound out here. OUCH!! FYI, cut and wrap in IN currently is +-100.
 

Hunting Wife

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Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
Thanks for starting this thread so I can steal all these great ideas for my Christmas wish list!! I was just looking at grinders today! Do you guys find that DIY processing is more out of satisfaction and pride of doing it yourself, or more cost savings?? This was my first year really considering DIY processing... I harvested a bull elk, and a cow elk- and it was painful paying more money for processing, on top of the NR tag fees. All I have so far is a high quality vacuum sealer, so I have to borrow a buddies grinder. I'll be following this thread to see what the experienced HuntTalkers have to say
Because once you get good at it, you can have it done way faster, exactly how you want it, and you are certain it’s all your meat and it was cared for properly. You can age it just how you want. You can make whatever specialty products you like. You can get the exact cuts you want to use, and you can experiment if you want. The equipment pays for itself after a couple of animals. The better question is why wouldn’t you do it yourself?
 

jlong17

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'Merica
Because once you get good at it, you can have it done way faster, exactly how you want it, and you are certain it’s all your meat and it was cared for properly. You can age it just how you want. You can make whatever specialty products you like. You can get the exact cuts you want to use, and you can experiment if you want. The equipment pays for itself after a couple of animals. The better question is why wouldn’t you do it yourself?
I enjoyed processing the couple of deer I helped with this year. It’s a cool way to come together and retell the stories of the hunt... the stories seem to get more dramatic!! Haha. It’s just intimidating and there is definitely a learning curve for a newbie like me. I’m not experienced enough to know what exactly I like and want yet...
 

Hunting Wife

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Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
I enjoyed processing the couple of deer I helped with this year. It’s a cool way to come together and retell the stories of the hunt... the stories seem to get more dramatic!! Haha. It’s just intimidating and there is definitely a learning curve for a newbie like me. I’m not experienced enough to know what exactly I like and want yet...
Everyone was a newbie once. There is a learning curve, but there are more resources out there now than there have ever been for learning how to do this. Honestly the learning curve is a lot less steep than it used to be. Plus there are about as many ways to do it as there are to skin a cat, so when you think about it, it’s hard to actually do it “wrong”. See? Not so intimidating 😁

Meateater and Hank Shaw are both great places to start. Both have books/websites/podcasts loaded with info that will get you started.
 

wllm1313

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Aurora, CO
If you shoot multiple animals a year you can recoup your equipment $$$$ really quickly.....it was a nasty surprise coming from the midwest and flat rate cut/wrap processing to everything by the pound out here. OUCH!! FYI, cut and wrap in IN currently is +-100.
Honestly I think prices are pretty much the same. I know 2 different processors that will do a flat rate mule deer for $100.

I guess a $100 flat rate isn't bad if you shoot a deer and can get it out whole and just drop it off, but I've never been remotely close to being able to do that with an elk. As such I bone everything out in the field, I then typically take the back straps and tenderloins and trim those myself and then keep the largest muscle groups in the hindquarters for steaks and roasts and then have a butcher grind burger/ chorizo/ cut chops etc. Done this way an elk is usually ~$300, I'm bring in like 120lbs of meat so lets call it $2.5 an lb (I would have to check my last receipt but that's a ball park. If you did similar on a white tail doe you would be bring in what 20lbs of meat maybe 40lbs for a buck so $50-$100 assuming $2.5.

I'd say it's kinda a wash, I think just lots of guys have some sticker shock at an elk... which has 3X to 4x the yield of a white-tail. Going by midwest flat rates an elk should probably run $300-$400, which honestly is the going price if you bring an elk in whole and just get it cut and wrapped and just do burger and not sausage or other specialties.

I would guess flat rates are more common back east because 95% or more of animals are brought in whole versus I dk 20% of animals out west.

All that said, you are spot on if you hunt a lot you recoup your costs really quick.
 

Nameless Range

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Western Montana
I would also add a chain hoist. I have a one ton chain hoist in my garage, and on the occasions that I have got an elk out whole, it's pretty nice to be able to lift a 500 pound elk off the ground to a hanging position with only one arm. For deer it would be awesome.
 

Mallardsx2

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Apr 4, 2015
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I will be building a new setup when we mopve to our new house. I am sick and tired of carrying that 3/4 horse grinder up and down the stairs to the basement. I will have something more streamline and easy to clean up as we process a lot of game throughout the year. Interesting thresd for sure.
 
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