freezer space half pig

How Much Freezer Space for a Half Pig?

How Much Freezer Space Do I Need For a Half Pig? 

When determining how much freezer space you'll need for your half pig, please note that the amount of pork you will get from a half or whole cow or pig varies from farm to farm. Please do not use these calculations for other farm's pork unless you know the hanging weight/finish weight will be similar.

If you select to receive all of the bones, fat, and organs in your half or whole pig, you should anticipate needing more than the recommended amount of space below. 

Half Pig Freezer and Cooler Space

The pork from a half pig from Hayfield Farm fills approximately 100 quarts of cooler space 3.5 cubic feet of freezer space, minimum. 

Whole Pig Freezer and Cooler Space

The pork from a whole pig from Hayfield Farm fills approximately 225 quarts of cooler space or 7.5 cubic feet of freezer space, minimum

A Few More Tips

  1. It is much better to have more space and not need it, than to need it and not have it. 
  2. Life is much easier if you have your freezer space cleared out before you pick up your pork.
  3. Keep your inventory sheet on the door and mark off items as you go. That way, you'll know which cuts you have left and you can make notes to know what you liked and didn't like for your next half beef. 
  4. Keep in mind that the recommended space above are round numbers to make determining how much cooler and freezer space you need easy!

Snag your half or whole pig or check out articles for everything you need to know about purchasing bulk pork on our Pork Page!


How to Make Lard

What are you supposed to do with pork fat? In this article, we're going to cover how to make lard, the benefits, how to use lard, and why you want to make it from home using pork fat. It's easier than you think! 

Customers filling out their wholesale pork cut sheet will often reach out and ask if they should get the pork fat and what they can do with it. People are often surprised to hear that lard is one of the easiest food items to make and that the health benefits far surpass those of plant-based vegetable oils and even Crisco. While hunters will grind pork fat into their venison sausage, lard has many uses in the kitchen. 

how to make lard

What is Lard

In short, lard is rendered down pork fat. Heat and time, y'all. While lard purists will lean only toward leaf fat, fat from inside the cavity, we've always made lard from the leaf fat and back fat, fat just under the skin of the back.

A hog will generally produce on a few pounds of leaf fat, but hog farmers can expect a hog to yield about 15 pounds in back fat. Using all of fat the animal provides will get you plenty of lard. 

While all breeds of pigs have enough fat to render into lard, there are two general classifications of pigs - lard and bacon. Lard breeds are raised for cooking oil and mechanical lubricants. They are compact, thick, grow quickly on corn, and produce a significant amount of fat.

Bacon breeds are long, lean, and muscular. The breed we raise, Yorkshire, is a bacon breed. Developed to grow slower to produce more muscle than fat and to eat a variety of foods, such as high protein feed, dairy by-products, vegetables, small grains, and legumes. 

Most breeds raised today are bacon breeds. Shortly following World War II, Western civilization began to vilify animal fats and push shortening, thus resulting in a decrease of lard breeds. Rendering pork fat into lard and beef fat into tallow was considered unhealthy. In the last several years, nutritionists and researchers have restored the view of healthy animal fats.  


Where to Get Pork Fat

Farms, like us, who sell direct to consumer often carry packs of pork fat for purchase, or offer the option to purchase bulk pork where customers can select to get the pork fat. Not local? Search for local pig farmers in your area. Local butchers will also carry pork fat and likely have an abundance.  

how to make lard

Health Benefits of Lard

Animal fats, including lard, have serious health benefits compared to their inflammatory cooking oil counterparts. That's right y'all, butter is better. Animal fats, like lard, are lower in inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids and don't contain the trans fat that is found in many vegetable oils. Pork fat is one of the richest dietary sources of Vitamin D when the pigs are exposed to sunlight. 

Animal fats have a very high smoke point, reducing the likelihood that it will oxidize when cooked. They also help lower cholesterol levels, promote healthy cells, and reduce the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer's. 

Fasten your seat belts. Alternatively, hydrogenated oils, like margarine or shortening, are produced starting with vegetable oils - soy, corn, cottonseed, or canola. These oils are already rancid from their extraction process and mixed with nickel oxide, tiny metal particles. The oil and nickel oxide mix is subject to hydrogen gas in a high-pressure, high temperature reactor. Next, soap-like emulsifiers and starch are squeezed in to give it better consistency. High temperatures again for a steam-clean to reduce the odor, bleach to remove margarine's natural grey color, and finally flavors and dyes are added so it resembles butter. 

You'll only find lard, tallow, and butter in our kitchen. That's for sure. 

What to Do with Lard

Use it exactly as you would any cooking oil. It's high heat, doesn't oxidize easily, and is a whole food. Fry up your eggs, prep your baking pans, or use it for fried chicken. You can also use it in making the flakiest pie crusts, biscuits, and more. One thing to mention is that lard, cooked properly, will not give your food a pork flavor. 

How to Make Lard

Lard is so easy to make, it doesn't even require a recipe card. Pro tip: Work with cold pork fat, it is much easier to work with. Take your pork fat and cut it into one inch, or smaller cubes. Put them into a crock pot. Set the crock pot to low. Over time, the liquid and solid will separate. The liquid is the lard, the solids are the cracklin's.

This process will take a several hours. Periodically, give it a stir. Over time, the crackin's will sink and then rise. When they rise, the lard is ready. If you aren't sure, you'll start to notice that the cracklin's aren't rendering down any further. Use a cheese cloth to strain and carefully pour the liquid into quart mason jars. As the liquid cools, it will turn into a beautiful white solid. Put the lid on and store in your pantry for 6 months. 

Throw the crackin's in a skillet and fry them up - delicious!

Filling Out a Cut Sheet for a Half Hog

Filling out a cut sheet is one of the most daunting pieces in the the process of buying a wholesale pig, especially if you've never done it. We know - this is a lot to read, but it will help answer almost all of your questions and help you fill out the cut sheet - promise! Here, we break down the cut sheet for a Hayfield Farm half hog in simple terms so you can get it filled out quickly and reserve that Butcher Date. When you're ready, fill out the cut sheet form and pay the deposit. 

Visit our How Much Meat is in a Wholesale Hog page to read more about how much pork to expect and to see some examples of what half hog customers have received in the past, plus what they paid. 

Let's Get Started

Open up our Half Hog Cut Sheet to follow along with this article. Getting a whole hog? Head on over to our Filling Out a Cut Sheet for a Whole Hog page. 

Working with our Processor

Our local butcher, Fauquier's Finest, only allows a certain number of selections per section. Our butcher will only cut pork according to what is listed on the Half Hog Cut Sheet and there are no alterations. Requests beyond what is listed on the cut sheet will not be honored. The exact number of cuts or amount of pork you get depends on what your specific hog yields. Sausage selections require a 15lb minimum, please follow the directions closely. All cuts are vacuum packed and labeled.

Pick up will be directly from the processor - Fauquier's Finest 11746 Ag Industrial Drive Bealeton VA. Please note, they are open Monday-Friday 9am-4pm. We do not ship or deliver. 

Pricing + Processing Fee

We require a $250 non-refundable deposit for wholesale pork. Our wholesale pork is $2.95/lb on the hanging (carcass) weight. Our half hogs typically hang at 100lbs. Processing fees are not included since smoking, curing, sausage options, the hanging weight, weight of the meat itself, and how that meat is processed can fluctuate the processing fee greatly.

Smoking and curing is $2.50/lb on the weight of the section you choose to smoke and cure.

Sausage options range from $0.20/lb for loose seasonings all the way up to $2.50/lb for breakfast patties and links.

The processing fee is determined by the butcher upon pork completion. *We do not give estimates on processing fees before the pork is complete*.

Once your pork is complete, we will email you the details for pick up and will send over the remaining balance invoice. 

Ok, here we go!

First, fill out your contact info.

Chop Thickness: If you choose to get chop cuts in the loin selection, the butcher will follow your thickness specification here. If you've had our pork chops before, they are 3/4". If you don't want chops, check the box at the bottom: "I do not want chop". If you want chops, be sure to select them when you get to the "Loin" section. 

Roast Weight: We recommend 3/4lb to 1lb per adult. Whole shoulders can sometimes weigh in at 10lbs or more. If you don't want roasts, check the box at the bottom: "I do not want roasts". If you want roasts, be sure to select them in the shoulder or ham section. 

Steak Thickness: If you choose to get any steaks cuts, the butcher will follow your selection. We recommend 3/4" for steaks. If you don't want steaks, check the box at the bottom. If you want steaks, be sure to select them in the shoulder, loin, or ham section. 

Bacon Thickness: Your choice! The thicker the slices, the less bacon total. If you do not want bacon *gasp* or you want the belly left in a whole slab, select that respective option. 

Ground Pork & Sausage Packaging: Your ground pork/sausage consists of all the trimmings and anything you choose to grind. Choose one option here.

Bones and Fat: Keep the dog occupied for a while or make pork stock with the bones, render down the fat into lard for a healthy bioavailable oil and flaky biscuits.

Shoulder: Grind it to add to your ground pork/sausage pile, get it into roasts for pulled pork, or try some shoulder steaks. Grinding this section AND your Ham section below gives you one additional sausage selection. 

Ham: Grind it to add to your ground pork/sausage pile. Ham roasts will follow the Roast Weight you selected above. Bone in ham steaks and center cut ham steaks can be prepared any way, we prefer fresh. Half hams are approximately 10-12lbs each and ready for your holiday table. Smoked and uncured means no nitrates or nitrites, it's a brown sugar and sea salt cure instead. Grinding this section AND your Shoulder section above gives you one additional sausage selection. 

Loin: You can choose to grind this, leave it as a roast, cut it into bone-in or boneless chops. If you choose a boneless roast or boneless chop option, you will get the baby back rib and tenderloin. If you choose a bone-in roast or bone-in chop option, the baby back rib and tenderloin will be attached to your cuts. 

Rib: The rib rack. Choose one option.

Pork Belly: BACON! Leave it as a whole slab or get it sliced according to your desired thickness above. You can leave it fresh, have it cured and smoked, or have it smoked with no nitrates or nitrites - it's a brown sugar and sea salt cure instead. Don't you dare grind this! 

Sausage Selections: Sausage is made from the trimmings and anything you chose to grind. The butcher requires a 15lb minimum to make sausage. If you did not grind anything, there is a good chance you will be under that 15lb minimum and the butcher automatically keeps your trimmings as ground pork - still delicious! Here are the rules: 
1. If you did not choose to grind anything, choose only one sausage option. 
2. If you chose to grind only the shoulder, only the ham, only the loin, or only the rib. Choose only one sausage option. 
3. If you chose to grind the shoulder AND the ham, choose two sausage options. 

Done! Prove you're not a robot and hit submit. Wait a few seconds to be automatically redirected to pay the deposit. 

If you need to make a change after submission, please fill out another cut sheet and contact us to let us know. 

Once we have your cut sheet and deposit, you are booked for our next available butcher date! Check out Wholesale Page for our next available butcher dates. 

Please remember, pork takes approximately 2-3 weeks to complete from your butcher date, you will be contacted as soon as it is complete and ready for pick up.