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Shochet for hire in Los Angeles?

k
Kochav Oct 26, 2009 01:18 PM

There's a free range poultry farm in LA where you can pick your own bird and then have one of the employees slaughter it for you. The farm is halal, which is close but no cigar to what I need. I'm hoping I could find a shochet for hire and arrange a shidduch. Does anyone know where I could find a shochet who would be willing to do this?

Thanks for any suggestions. If it makes any difference, we affiliate conservative.

  1. k
    koshermasterchef Nov 2, 2009 11:56 AM

    I have another idea. If the main goal here is to go with free-range, natural diet, etc. have you considered buying ready packaged kosher chickens like that? Wise comes to mind: http://www.wiseorganicpastures.com/ca.... I think there are probably other suppliers closer to you. At one point, there was a Canadian supplier. Also, I'd check the Seattle area as they have a number of kosher butchers located inside regular supermarkets and some pretty fierce competition for business. Unfortunately, I found the quality of kosher meats in Los Angeles severely lacking, compared to what I found available elsewhere, which is (as they say) a "shanda" when you consider that they have the second largest Jewish population outside of Israel. They just don't seem to have discerning kosher consumers. You might also pop into Doheny Meats and ask the butchers there if they can special order it for you. Of course, if the whole point is to be involved in the process from buying to shocheting, none of these ideas mean anything.

    6 Replies
    1. re: koshermasterchef
      v
      vallevin Nov 2, 2009 12:15 PM

      KMC -- no longer need to check eggs? (?!?!?!?!?!?!?) Can you provide a source for the article?

      1. re: vallevin
        queenscook Nov 2, 2009 02:03 PM

        I've heard this for years. I have no source, but what I heard is that since laying hens are not kept anywhere near roosters, blood would not indicate a fertilized egg.

        1. re: vallevin
          queenscook Nov 2, 2009 02:05 PM

          Just found a source:
          http://oukosher.org/index.php/common/...

          1. re: vallevin
            k
            koshermasterchef Nov 2, 2009 04:39 PM

            I know. Disturbing isn't it? Not to mention the fact that it's a difficult habit to break, even if one was so inclined. More than you ever wanted to know about eggs in kosher commercial products can be found on the star-K site here: http://www.star-k.org/kashrus/kk-palate-eggs.htm and on the halacha regarding this, here: http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/english/jo...

            I'll probably go to my grave checking eggs, even though I cater events for as many as a couple of a hundred people.

          2. re: koshermasterchef
            f
            ferret Nov 2, 2009 12:29 PM

            FYI: The Jewish population of LA is about 1/3 that of the NY area.

            1. re: ferret
              k
              koshermasterchef Nov 2, 2009 04:42 PM

              You're right and I know this, but the LA Jewish population is nevertheless a heck of a lot larger than the population in Seattle, WA (for example) and yet Seattle has a higher quality of kosher meat (in my personal opinion) at it is more convenient to purchase (in supermarkets in Jewish areas) and, finally, it is cheaper! I just don't understand this. Apologies for the gripe and threadjack.

          3. k
            koshermasterchef Nov 1, 2009 03:36 PM

            Have you considered contacting the Beth Din? They are located in the Pico Robertson area and they may know how to guide you to a shochet. I always find the best source for this kind of a question is an orthodox vendor of kosher goods. Not just someone who runs a kosher goods store, but such a person who themselves is orthodox. If that appeals to you, I'd try Western Kosher butcher in Fairfax. Given that they usually have to have a source for shocheting chickens around Yom Kippur time, I am thinking they may know of a local shochet. If these two suggestions don't pan out, email me as I have others. I lived in Los Angeles for twenty-four years and only moved recently, so I if I can be of assistance, just shout.

            7 Replies
            1. re: koshermasterchef
              r
              ravchaz Nov 2, 2009 06:40 AM

              Before doing all this research you might also call the farm and find out if they will even allow this.

              I read in the local newspaper in our area about an organic turkey farm that will sell you a live bird and then slaughter it for you. According to the paper, there is a specific legal reason that they do it this way. Actual slaughterhouses are covered under one fairly stringent set of regulations, whereas farms are covered under a different regulation. In this case what they are doing, legally, is selling you a live turkey and then slaughtering the turkey you own, for free, as a favor to you. The price is the same whether they slaughter the turkey or you take it home live. To do it differently would be a violation of the law.

              So I am wondering if the free range poultry farm can even allow you to bring a shochet and have him shecht the bird for you since he wouldn't be a staff member of the farm. Of course, I guess you could bring the bird home and then have him shechted, but where?

              1. re: ravchaz
                f
                ferret Nov 2, 2009 07:19 AM

                Finding a guy with a knife is the easy part, you still need to remove the feathers and salt/soak in a bath large enough to accommodate the bird. On a one-off basis, you're opening yourself up to a mess of problems.

                1. re: ferret
                  c
                  cheesecake17 Nov 2, 2009 08:55 AM

                  Quite literally, a mess!

                  1. re: ferret
                    g
                    ganeden Nov 2, 2009 11:14 AM

                    You don't need to remove feathers before soaking and salting. The feathers are considered a valid surface. Pretty messy and undesirable, and yet it means you can remove the feathers hot rather than cold afterwards, since the bird will already have been kashered.

                    1. re: ganeden
                      Marcharlan Nov 2, 2009 11:30 AM

                      If you dont need to remove the feathers before salting then why dont the commercial guys do it this way (eg Empire). The big complaint we always hear (read) on this board is the pinfeathers being left in the skin. In turn we learn that the fathers dont release well in cold water.

                      1. re: Marcharlan
                        k
                        koshermasterchef Nov 2, 2009 11:40 AM

                        Yes, I have never heard that feathers can be soaked and salted, rendering the animal kosher and removed using hot water afterward. I would love to learn if this is so. I learned that the feathers must be removed before kashering, but that using hot water "cooks" the animal, making it so that the animal cannot be kashered. If the goal is to "leech" the blood out, I would think leaving the feathers on would defeat that goal. Then again, I recently read an article that said one no longer has to check eggs for bloodspots are bloodspots no longer render an egg unkosher. I'm still checking my eggs. The idea of a bloodspot in one of the eggs I cook with makes me feel ill!!

                      2. re: ganeden
                        f
                        ferret Nov 2, 2009 11:44 AM

                        It's a safe bet that you will need to remove the feathers at some point before cooking. This process is automated at slaughtering facilities (Kosher and otherwise) and for good reason. Unless you have someone with an appropriate facility for this kind of work, going Little House on the Prairie ends up being more of a headache than it's worth.

                        Not that many years ago we had a live poultry store in Chicago where you could pick your fowl and they would schecht and prep it for you (the de-feathering machine was a v-shaped contraption with rubber-roller "fingers" that plucked at hyperspeed). Not quite a "while you wait" process, but a "come back in an hour or two" experience.

                2. a
                  avitrek Oct 26, 2009 07:00 PM

                  Contact Hazon (http://hazon.org/). They run a food conference near SF and shecht chickens for it. The shochet they use may live close enough to LA, if not they may have other resources in the LA area.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: avitrek
                    Arthur Oct 26, 2009 10:32 PM

                    avitrek, San Francisco is roughly 375 miles from Los Angeles. All due respect, but that's like recommending that someone in New York City contract a local job to a shochet who works out of Pittsburgh, PA.

                    1. re: Arthur
                      a
                      avitrek Oct 27, 2009 08:33 AM

                      The conference is south of SF. And what I had in mind more was the shochet may live in LA and Hazon is bringing him up to SF. Either way, I found out Hazon uses a NY based shochet who goes to their food conference anyway. But if you email renna@hazon.org she should have contacts to point you in the right direction.

                  2. u
                    UWSFoodie Oct 26, 2009 01:36 PM

                    call the Star-K http://www.star-k.org/ and ask them. My friend is in DC and did a CSA with a bunch of people and the Star K put them in touch with a shochet, who schechted a cow for the group. They were extremely happy with the meat quality and the guy was very easy to work with. Also, I would contact any local kashrus organizations such as the California agencies on this list. http://www.crcweb.org/agency_list.php

                    Good luck and let us know how it goes, I'm so curious!

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