Buying a half hog at bulk prices is by far the most cost effective way to get great-tasting, all natural pasture-raised pork. It's also a lot of fun to see all the meal options from all the cuts of a pig in your freezer. It might prompt you to try out some new (or old) recipes!
Since most of us aren't used to figuring out how to make meals out of a half of a pig, here are three examples of how you might get a hog butchered to fit your family's needs. These don't include sizes since that varies for everyone - so if you want 3 to 4 pound roasts, for example, just tell the butcher that when you are ordering roasts. If you want 6 thick-cut pork chops per package (teenage boys in the family?) just let the butcher know!
These are organized by section of the pig, so you can easily mix and match. You could get the pork shoulder cut one way and the loin cut to a different style. The choice is yours!
Sample "cut sheets"
The Pit Boss example is for someone who wants an opportunity to fire up the barbecue smoker and grill as much as possible. Get ready for some nice quick grilling and lots of long, slow, flavorful smokes in the cooker.
The Kitchen Wizard example is for when you want a cornucopia of cuts for a wide variety of cooking techniques; fancy roasts for special occasions, flavorful cuts for stews, and a whole lot more.
The Easy Split example is for two families wanting to get a half hog cut to make it easier to split equally. Or for someone who just wants a little meat at a meal and doesn't need a lot of roasts or other large packages.