Hans has been in the meat cutting industry most of his life. At 18 years old, Hans started working at a local grocery store cleaning their meat room after school. Breaking down boxes and cleaning the meat cooler were part of his everyday duties. Hans recalls, “I thought I might as well learn something while I was there.” The meat cutters liked him, and each night, they taught him a different skill. A little while later, there was an opening for a Meat Cutter in the store, and they gave Hans a shot. He worked hard and tried to be better than the other guys. He learned everything he could from them, repetitiously making the same cuts to strengthen and sharpen his skills. Hands on experience has made Hans into one of the greatest meat cutters in the industry.
Hans says he loves to be a part of the process that create a product that people like and can eat. He said, “I like to cut great meat, set up a display in a meat case, and offer people the best steak they’ve ever had. Just knowing that I cut their steak for them, brings me great joy.”
Hans takes pride in the quality of meat he sells a customer. Hans truly believes that where your meat comes from and how it was raised, make a great difference in how it cuts and how it tastes. “You can tell when your meat is full of antibiotics and was grown fast, versus a cut that was humanely and naturally raised.
In 2014, Hans stepped out from behind the meat case, and into a role at Pederson’s Natural Farms. Pederson’s is the nation’s largest producer of naturally raised pork products. Hans and his meat market experience have become an invaluable asset to the company. Since Hans isn’t working in the meat market on a daily basis, he said, “I buy all natural cuts of meat, when I can. When larger cuts of meat – like a pork shoulder – are available, I’ll buy those and make the smaller cuts myself.”
Meat cutting is a dying trade. There are fewer people learning the real skills of a meat cutter, and there are fewer who are willing to teach them. Hans wants to teach people where their meat comes from; how to choose their meat wisely from the meat case; and a few skills that will allow them to have perfect cuts of meat in their own homes.
Hans believes that a sharp knife is the most important tool you can have. If yours isn’t sharp enough, he’ll teach you how to fix that too. Join Hans each week to learn useful meat cutting tricks and meat buying tips that you can use in your own kitchen.