Cutting Venison

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The Most Common Methods for Cutting Deer Meat

Different venison recipes call for various methods of cutting deer meat, and doing it right can make a difference in how good your meal will taste. Here are the most common techniques and brief instruction on how to do it.


Butterflying makes a venison steak thinner, which is ideal for stuffing or rolling meats. Flank steaks and backstraps work best.
1. Lay the meat on a cutting board with the long side facing you.
2. Begin to slice the meat in half horizontally, making sure you’re keeping the halves even. Don’t “saw” the meat with the knife, but rather slash in short strokes, pulling the top part back to reveal the inside of the steak. If you find yourself sawing, stop and sharpen your knife.
3. Slice carefully so the meat stays intact; you want it to remain in one piece.
4. Stop cutting when the meat gets to a point that it can lay flat when opened.
5. You can use it as-is or pound it thinner between two sheets of wax paper using a tenderizer. Be careful if you’re pounding it—venison tears very easily.

Frenching Venison

“Frenching” refers to a specific way to cut food. For meat, it means that a portion of the meat has been separated from the bone, such as a chop or a rib, by cutting the meat from the end of the bone. When you see ribs with the end of the bones sticking out, that’s Frenched meat. It’s done to help the meat cook evenly, and it looks nice on the plate.
1. With a sharp knife, carefully trim the meat from the bone. Stop the cut when you have exposed as much of the bone as you want to (usually 1 ½ inches for a rib).
2. Slice meat between bones and repeat step one at the next rib.