Hunter: Do you want your wife to beg you to go hunting? Bring her home the most delicious meat she’s ever had, and she won’t mind that you disappear during hunting season.
How to Process Venison at Home
These pages will help you learn how to process venison at home. They include how to properly field dress your deer, and then how to butcher it yourself to yield the best cuts of meat. Even if you’ve been hunting for years, you may find a new trick here that will show you how to process venison at home in a much easier way that yields better meat—that was Rick’s experience when he first learned the techniques described in our videos. And if you have a special trick you use, share it with us!
Before you dive into the how to of processing venison at home, here is some background as to why it is so important to do it correctly.
The key elements to producing good meat for the table are:
- Cooling the meat as quickly as possible,
- Keeping the meat clean,
- Aging it properly, and
- Packaging and freezing well.
For a comparison, take a look at how processed beef arrives in the supermarket versus a hunter’s game.
Beef cows (not bulls) are walked up a shoot into an abattoir where they are quickly dispatched. The cow is then taken immediately to a climate-controlled room and gutted and skinned to cool quickly. The two sides of beef are split from each other and hung to age in a perfectly controlled, low-humidity, 40 degree cooler for a few days to weeks, depending on the grade of beef. Once the beef has aged appropriately, it is quartered and broken down into the cuts for the consumer. It is often shipped in a partially frozen state to be further processed at the supermarkets and packaged there. At the supermarkets, beef frequently has either carbon monoxide or additives applied to keep it looking “fresh.”
At every step, there are quality control measures in place to make sure the meat always tastes good. Although you are using different methods, the generally process is the same and if you keep quality in mind, you’ll have a good outcome.