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#6005699 - 11/01/15 08:59 PM DIY processing
Cow_doc.308 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 2208
Loc: Ellis Co.
This might not be the right forum but since processing your own was brought up in the other thread I thought I'd ask. Didn't want to hijack his thread.

For those who process your own, what tips can you share? I know how to get down to primal cuts and de-bone. What is a good grinder to start with? When making burger, what do you add for fat? Good sausage recipes?

#6005713 - 11/01/15 09:10 PM Re: DIY processing [Re: Cow_doc.308]
maximum Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 1788
i use forschner and old hickory knives mostly.
one or two boning knives and a 6 " butcher.
and old steel of unknown make.
the hardest part is skinning.
everything after is gravy. all the lines
you need to follow to quarter are already
in the carcass put there by god's infinite wisdom.
skin- backstraps out- 2 shoulders- 2 quarters-
tenderloins if you want 'em- neck roast

josey wales the rest unless you want ribs and innards

good luck

#6005759 - 11/01/15 09:46 PM Re: DIY processing [Re: Cow_doc.308]
Western Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 25948
Loc: Wise County Texas
Doc, I have a LEM and it is outstandingly powerful, has enough attachments you can do many things with it as well. Keep an eye out as they sometimes go on sale.

Pretty sure I have this one without pulling it out.

We also bought a vacuum sealer that can be rebuilt (most cant) also can handle liquid without ruining the pump. Also one you can find on sale occasionally. Expensive, but buy once...

We havent done a lot of our own deer, but will on occasion. Have a great processor about 6 miles from the house.
“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic”

Friends don't let Friends drink and post.......

The first 5 day's after the weekend, are the hardest....


#6005767 - 11/01/15 09:53 PM Re: DIY processing [Re: Cow_doc.308]
djs303 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/05/12
Posts: 338
Loc: Jackson County
I have a 3/4 hp grinder from Cabela's that works good. I use it to stuff link sausage too. Some of the smaller grinders work good but they are kind of slow. I use Boston Butts and use 60% Pork to 40% Venison for link and pan sausage. For burger, I pick up a good fatty brisket when they are on sale and mix that with my venison. As far as seasoning goes, most places that make sausage will sell the seasoning mixes for whatever amount of meat you need to season. When grinding the meat, make sure it is as cold as possible, almost frozen, and it will grind better. I have been doing mine for a long time, we make it a family affair and it goes a lot quicker with the extra help.

#6005787 - 11/01/15 10:07 PM Re: DIY processing [Re: Cow_doc.308]
passthru Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/05/06
Posts: 11232
Loc: Saginaw, Tx
I have a 1/2 horse ss cabelas grinder that does a great job. I brine soak all of my meat so much of the blood is gone already. Get most of the white covering off of the muscle tissue that you can. I don't mix in fat with the ground unless making sausage. Then pork fat. You can add ground beef mixed with your ground deer later to make burgers and what not but straight ground venison works great for spaghetti sauce, taco meat, soups, etc. Adding fat shortens the freezer time as it will go bad faster. I process 3 or so deer per year. The rest I have professionally done as where I donate the meat requires that.
I work hard, drink a little and hunt when I can.
NRA Life Member

#6005832 - 11/01/15 11:13 PM Re: DIY processing [Re: Cow_doc.308]
Woodrow1 Offline

Registered: 09/27/15
Posts: 57
I haven't processed one myself yet but I am this year.

I just can't see myself spending all that money when I'm already skinning, and quartering the deer anyway. Plus i like to do things myself anyway.... It's fun to me.

So I bought a grinder that stuffs sausage.

I bought sausage seasoning to make the sausage, I will be adding different flavors to each jalapeño and cheese. Will use pork butt for the fat. 60/40 probably.

I'll be making some breakfast sausage.

I'll be grinding up some straight venison for ground meat....

Seems really easy, plus I'll be able to make everything exactly how I want it

#6006066 - 11/02/15 08:08 AM Re: DIY processing [Re: Cow_doc.308]
Sparky45 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/02/12
Posts: 2381
Loc: Big Country
I used the sausage stuffer attachment to my grinder for 2 seasons and finally bought a vertical stuffer.
I wished I had done that from the beginning. It is so much easier and faster to stuff casing from a stuffer than a grinder.
The only easy day was yesterday

NRA Life Benefactor Member

#6006142 - 11/02/15 08:47 AM Re: DIY processing [Re: Cow_doc.308]
kmon1 Online   content

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 22908
Loc: Texas
Have processed a bunch of them over the years. Here is what I use.

Fillet knife with butchers steel handy to keep edge sharp
Several plastic bins for keeping separate and handling meat
Old Hobart grinder
Vertical stuffer
Vacuum sealer (have a food saver brand but wish it was better)
Stand alone meat tenderizer, tenderize after thawing when wanted.

For cutting one up

Skin then pull back straps and tenders. cut back straps in 6 inch blocks so can use how I want to later, whole, butterflied sliced and tenderized...

Hams separate each muscle, trim each up and freeze with silver skin still on. The silver skin is easier to me to remove when frozen. Then use them as roasts, steaks stir-fry, Jerky... Decision made when deciding what is for dinner or need more jerky.

Shoulders, neck and all other trimmings get ground, sometimes make Jerky from shoulders.
Burger gets 20% bacon (I like bacon burgers) Prefer to smoke bacon before grinding so it is too Smokey to eat well as bacon but can then cook bacon burger in George Forman grill and tastes like it was cooled over coals.

Sausage mixed 50/50 with boston butts or 25% pork fat put some up as breakfast sausage and stuff and smoke some links also. For seasonings usually just use a packaged mix Old Plantation works well but usually use 1.5 times the recommended amount with some ground red pepper added. I smoke the links heavy since I cook with them a lot more than eating as link sausage. With out a smoke house to use any more I bought a Master Chef with the cold smoker for smoking the links.

On the ground meat I usually grind twice once with course plate then with fine plate. Reasoning is it helps mix in the fat with the 2 grindings and the course grind feeds through the grinder easier than fine ground for the second grind. Mix in the seasoning before grinding the first time so it also gets mixed in well.

Edited by kmon1 (11/02/15 08:53 AM)
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#6006153 - 11/02/15 08:58 AM Re: DIY processing [Re: Cow_doc.308]
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
THF Celebrity

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12697
Loc: Lewisville, TX
If I process my own deer, I keep it simple. I will quarter everything up. I will cut the back straps in half, and vacuum seal each half, and the tenderloins. When I cook for family, it takes about 1/2 a backstrap for a dinner. I may thaw the tenderloins also.

On the hams and front shoulders (if I take the front shoulders), I normally grind them up into hamburger meat. I use a Kitchen Aide bowl mixer with the meat grinder attachment (It was a gift to my wife, then I bought the meat grinder attachment!!!). It will grind up meat faster than you can put it in on the slow level 1 or 2. I then package the ground meat into about 1.5 lb vacuum sealed bags, vacuum seal and flatten them out for fast thawing. I use the ground meat for spaghetti, tacos, chilli, hamburger helper, or most anything that calls for ground beef.

Sometimes I'll make jerky with the ground meat and a jerky gun and put in my dehydrator. It's really good.

I normally process a deer for jalapeno cheddar sausages, which is one of my favorites.

Custom and Precision Ammunition!!
Type 01 and Type 06 FFL

#6006655 - 11/02/15 01:11 PM Re: DIY processing [Re: Cow_doc.308]
chicklitter Offline

Registered: 01/25/14
Posts: 72
Loc: Austin, TX & Val Verde County,...
Last year was my first year to process our deer, so I'm by no means a pro, but this is what I use/do:

Large cutting board
Plastic meat tubs for separating meat as I'm working with it
Nicely sharpened knives (butcher, filet, boning mostly)
Food Saver and Sharpies to label each package (I like to put identifying info on each package, along with weight so I can go through older stuff first)
Kitchen scale (A-I like to put the weight on the packages AND know how much meat we get from our deer and B-it's also useful when adding fat for ground meat)
Cabela's grinder/stuffer (I actually have the small 400hp one and it works fine, if not a little slow. One day I'll upgrade, I'm sure. *g*)
Food dehydrator for jerky
Jerky seasoning

We brine ours in water before processing, so a lot of the blood's already gone. I do the typical cuts--tenderloins, backstrap (which I like to butterfly for chicken frying), roast, steaks, etc. For ground venison I use my meat grinder and do a 20% beef trimmings/80% venison mix. I run it through the coarse grinder first, and then the finer plate second for hamburger meat (I keep a couple of pounds of the coarse ground for chili). I have yet to make sausage, but we're talking about doing that this year. For jerky, I just kit one of the Hi Mountain jerky seasoning kits. We used the Hunter's Blend last year and the jerky was fantastic. I thought it would be hard to do on my own, but it's actually fairly easy (just time-consuming). I also try to save a couple of the bigger bones for the dogs--that way even the bones are getting used for something.

#6006671 - 11/02/15 01:23 PM Re: DIY processing [Re: Cow_doc.308]
redchevy Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 27798
Loc: Texas
Have never taken an animal to the processor and wont until I cant and my kids wont help me... hopefully never!

1-Knives I use forschner and dextur russel, keep a steel handy
2-Plastic tubs
3-Grinder (we have a bigger cabelas one, its been great)
4-Vaccuum packer
6-smoke house
7-large ice chest
9-cutting board
It's hell eatin em live

#6006707 - 11/02/15 01:41 PM Re: DIY processing [Re: Cow_doc.308]
BOLT GUY Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 02/17/11
Posts: 1228
Loc: North of Wylie
All good points and I use most of these every year when butchering. It has been very handy to have each package dated so we can rotate our stock. One thing i did this year was upgrade my cutting board. I found it very awkward using your standard size boards, so i went to a local plastic wholesaler and had them cut custom size ones for me. i got 3 that were 36" x 40" for just over 200.00. 2-3 people can work on one board and not be in each others way. It was great for Boning out hams and shoulders. Was especially useful for the two elk I cut up a few weeks ago, was a chore to just lift the freaking hind quarters. They fit perfectly on the cutting boards. If anyone is interested shoot me a PM with your location and I'll try to direct you to the closest place.

I need to build a smoke house out back!

#6006864 - 11/02/15 03:13 PM Re: DIY processing [Re: Cow_doc.308]
LumberKat Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 12/04/13
Posts: 18
Pretty much the same list as redchevy. I suggest spending a little more on a good commercial grade grinder. You will be using it year after year and a good one will not only last longer, but it will cut your work time down considerably. Also, buy a vertical stuffer. It is much easier and sausage turns out better when you use the stuffer instead of stuffing attachment with the grinder.

#6008381 - 11/03/15 10:38 AM Re: DIY processing [Re: Cow_doc.308]
txwingnut Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 09/26/14
Posts: 48
Loc: Collin Co, TX
my question is how are you aging before processing? it really isnt cold enough to age in the garage or outside. Do you have extra fridge space?

#6008463 - 11/03/15 11:18 AM Re: DIY processing [Re: txwingnut]
redchevy Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 27798
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: txwingnut
my question is how are you aging before processing? it really isnt cold enough to age in the garage or outside. Do you have extra fridge space?

I have eaten deer steaks that were dang near still twitching as they hit the grease and if eaten ones that were aged up to or a little over 2 weeks. I notice very little difference.
It's hell eatin em live

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