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Thread: how long to boil?

  1. #1

    how long to boil?

    How long do people boils their roe heads for?

    I've a burco boiler and a camping stove/pan set up. I'm never really happy with how clean I can get my heads. The burco doesn't seem to get as hot as the pan.

    I pressure wash the heads off and always seem to be left with some stubborn bits of gristle/fat, especially on the crown of the skull.

    I'd appreciate input on how long others boil their heads for and whether you have any indicators as to when I head is ready for cleaning? I normally do them for about 20-30 mins and I'm always conscious of over boiling and the skull falling to bits under the pressure washer (I prefer to clean the full skull rather than cut).

    To be honest, my cleanest heads are those that I've allowed to rot out in the skin, then boiled off the 'mummified' remains.

    Novice

  2. #2
    Something wrong if your cleanest heads are ones you have let rot, Burco should get them clean if its working properly does it reach a rolling boil if not the thermostat is maybe cutting out too soon, happened with one of my
    my boilers easy enough to bypass the thermostat that's what I did.

    Are you skinning your heads before boiling ? You should

    How long to boil depends on the age of the animal,an old buck will take longer than a young one from maybe twenty minutes for a youngster to about forty minutes fora old guy.

    Get your water to a rolling boil before putting the heads in then time it from then,once you have done a few you can tell by looking at them when they a ready for cleaning.

    Oh and add a couple of large scoops of washing powder, it helps to cut through the grease and gristle.

  3. #3
    The time is about right 20 minutes 30 minutes is about tops. I put washing up liquid or washing soda in my boiler to kill the grease.
    I dont think that pressure washing does a 100% job ,you will probably still have to scrape the stubborn bits off.
    When you get it out of the boiler dunk it in cold water and never let it dry out through the scraping process.Rinse it off and put cotton wool all over the bone and pour on Hydrogen Peroxide. Leave for 24 hours then rinse and hang up to dry.
    Hope this helps it works brilliantly for me. Wf1

  4. #4
    My brother and I tried wf1's method for an entire muntjac skeleton a few weeks ago. Apparently the skull's not that photogenic but that's more to do with my brother's handiwork... Otherwise it works fine. It's best to use washing soda as detergent can damage the bone itself.

  5. #5
    Yes washing soda works , but don't use it in an alloy pot, never tried washing up liquid, never had a problem using washing powder instead of washing soda and find it works just as well, I do around 200 heads a year and would have noticed by now if there was a problem.

    Don't every substitute household bleach for peroxide ,now that does affect the bone.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by bogtrotter View Post
    Yes washing soda works , but don't use it in an alloy pot, never tried washing up liquid, never had a problem using washing powder instead of washing soda and find it works just as well, I do around 200 heads a year and would have noticed by now if there was a problem.

    Don't every substitute household bleach for peroxide ,now that does affect the bone.
    200...... OH THAT SOUNDS LIKE..... FUN

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by redlab View Post
    200...... OH THAT SOUNDS LIKE..... FUN
    Sure is see the damned things in me sleep,my own fault though been doing them for others not just my own clients ,due to change of policy I have lost one estate this year so that's around forty less to do Yee ha , I will miss the cash though.

  8. #8
    I think my mistake has been timing it from firing the heat up and immediately putting the head in! A rolling boil does eventually develop by both methods. Time to revise my timings methinks!

    Novice

  9. #9
    I did one today. A three year old buck, pan of boiling water with a teaspoon of washing powder and a squirt of washing up liquid. Got it boiling, head (which has been in a bucket of water since skinning) straight in and turned the heat down to keep it just on the boil. After about 25 mins I got it out, scraped all the meat and tissue off that I could and put it back in and topped the water up with boiling water from the kettle.
    Another 15 mins and I removed it and then spent half an hour getting rid of the remaining tissue and gristle. It was cut to just below the eye sockets so I bashed through the bone separating brain cavity to the back of the nose to make sure all the hard to get pieces were out.
    I kept it in the sink in hot water along with the jaw sections and then wrapped it wet in cotton wool and poured on the peroxide. It's important to keep the skull wet. The peroxide penetrates wet bone better and I have no idea if it works in practice but my theory is that keeping the bone in hot water opens things up and allows better absorption of the peroxide.
    Don't use too much washing powder. The surface of the bone goes rough, powdery and unnatural looking if you use too much. I know from experience. Less is more, a teaspoon will suffice in a saucepan of water along with a squirt of washing up liquid. Obviously if the water volume is greater you will need to add more.
    Don't despair if pieces of bone come detached. Whilst not ideal, they can be kept and glued back in place when the skull is dry.
    Last edited by AdrianC; 11-06-2013 at 18:50.
    Best Regards,
    Adrian.

    Jedward. The reason why there are two barrels on a shotgun.

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