Did You Know?: Boilermaker Butcher Block

January 14, 2011

Food science major Katie Veenhuizen shows some butterfly-cut pork chops to local resident Jerry Shull at the Boiler Butcher Block in Smith Hall. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)

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Every Friday, Purdue Today's "Did You Know?" will explore unusual, unique and fascinating details that make this University one of a kind. This week's "Did You Know?" features the Boilermaker Butcher Block located in Smith Hall.

With offerings from filet mignon, mesquite butterfly chops and hot Italian sausage to beef tongue, oxtail and chicken feet, Boilermaker Butcher Block on Purdue's West Lafayette campus has been making carnivorous mouths water since 1973.

This butcher shop in Room 170 of Smith Hall is rooted in providing educational and research opportunities for students and quality meats at a convenient location for customers at the University and in Greater Lafayette.

As part of its dedication to academics, Boilermaker Butcher Block hosts anatomy, meat identification and meat science courses for a variety of majors in its Smith Hall butchering facilities. Students have the opportunity to be involved in the entire meat processing procedure -- harvesting, cutting, marinating or smoking and packaging.

Purdue's Animal Sciences Research and Education Center provides all livestock and poultry for Boilermaker Butcher Block. Research trials such as increasing omega 3 fatty acids, implementing a ginger root diet or exercising the animals are done on ASREC animals, and the influence of those approaches are examined in the final meat products. Quality of the meats is not affected by experimentation.

Just as in grocery delis and community butcher shops, the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) inspects and approves the meat before it can be sold at the campus butcher shop. BOAH inspects all other butchering facilities for cleanliness before operations begin each morning.

The Boilermaker Butcher Block retail room, full of refrigerators with vacuum-sealed meats and Purdue Ag Alumni Swiss Cheese, has held the same hours of operation for 38 years -- 3-5:30 p.m. Wednesday and noon-4:30 p.m. Friday.

For weekly product lists, unadvertised meat specials or to place an order online, visit www.ansc.purdue.edu/meatshop.

Sources: Mike Booth, meat cutter. Mickey Latour, animal science professor and associate dean for distance learning.

To offer ideas or suggestions for "Did You Know?," please contact at mrgreenw@purdue.edu or 49-61325.