Need Tool Suggestion for Splitting Birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Salt and Light, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    When butchering, I split the birds in half using a large knife and hammer. This past weekend, the knife handle broke and I'm in the market for a better tool to split a chicken's backbone. Does anyone else process birds this way and what do you use?
  2. jafo

    jafo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    My grandparents used heavy scissors.???
  3. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    I've thought about scissors but it seems like they would need to be HUGE to cut through bone.
  4. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2009
    North Carolina Sandhills
    What you need is one of those big, heavy, butcher's meat cleavers -- chopping through bone is what they are designed for.

    However, though it takes more time, you'll get a nicer product in the kitchen if you use poultry shears to cut through the backbone on each side, a filet knife to cut the meat away from each side of the breastbone, and the poultry shears again to cut the breastbone free.

    The backbones and breastbones, like the necks, wingtips, tails, and giblets -- along with any fat globs that you pulled out of the abdomen -- go into the stockpot.

    A chicken split that way is nicer in the kitchen and on the plate because you don't have annoying bones on the edges of the meat when you're trying to bite into it and you don't have those even more annoying splinters of broken bone that you don't find until you bite down on one and drive it into your gum. Instead you get a nice, clean half-chicken ready to cook as is or process further.
  5. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Hacksaw! [​IMG]

    Recently I was butchering with a friend -- he wanted to share/show off his home-made Whiz-Bang Plucker -- and saw how he was splitting his birds' carcasses with a hacksaw. He could saw through their breastbones, and also through the backbone. For the backs he sometimes would saw half-way through the length of the bones, then cut the rest with heavy poultry shears.
  6. TarzantheChickenMan

    TarzantheChickenMan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2009
    Guthrie, MN
    Quote:totally agree
    i used to split the breast but now i fillet them off much quicker less mess and so much safer beside being easier to store in the freezer no sharp bones poking though bags
  7. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    Quote:Did the hacksaw cut through the flesh of the bird or did that require a knife?
  8. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    I have been thinking about mounting a saw-zaw to the bottom side of my butchering table. If I would put a short metal blade in the saw-zaw, turn it on, and buzz right thru them. I haven't tried it yet, but I would think it would work pretty well. I think it would also be an easy way to cut the necks of as well.
  9. trilyn

    trilyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    East Syracuse
    Quote:I know in the cabela's catalog they have one of those deals that look like what you're describing. It is a huge band saw (2) just a single blade on a table and you can run your meat through it kind of like wood on a table saw. I always thought if I ever got beef cattle, I would learn to process from someone and buy one of those saws. It seemed like an efficient piece of equipment to me. However, it is pricey so the sawzall mounted to the bottom of the table might be the way to go!
  10. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas

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