Tag Archives: what’s a good butcher?

What’s a good butcher?

22 Nov

When I was a kid, every family had a butcher.  I remember my mother saying that it was really her butcher who taught her how to cook meat.  She’d order something, he’d say, “no, that’s not what you want, you want this“.   And he’d give her a cut of meat and he’d tell her how to cook it.  It was always delicious.

Those days are pretty much gone – unless we want them back.  I think it’s great that people are starting to question where their food comes from, how their meat was raised, looking for a real butcher.  We’re out there.


So what’s a good butcher?  Well, ideally, he’s been recommended to you by somebody you know.  If not, ask around.  And when you meet him, ask some questions.  Ask him how often he sanitizes his bench, what he knows about bacteria.  He shouldn’t get mad – he’s there to serve you (if he does get mad, run like the wind).

Don’t be shy.  In my opinion, it’s about customer service.  Butchers are like everybody – we’re all human.  Some are better than others.  Like bank tellers – you might have one with attitude, or one who bends over backwards to help.

I’ve had people ask me how often I clean my meat grinder.  In Vermont the state requires that meat grinders be cleaned and sanitized every four hours, even though they’re refrigerated.  I have one lady who used to ask me for steak tartare, and would ask me to take the machine apart and sanitize it first.  That’s something I offer and I ask them to give me their order for steak tartare in advance, and I also ask them to pick it up in a timely fashion, within half an hour of when the order is ready.

So go for it – and let me know who you find and where they are – meat-lovers everywhere will thank you for it.