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Processing a Deer #8062546 11/24/20 02:47 PM
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I have processed a deer several years ago. What should I soak the deer meat in to remove the "gaminess"? Some say ice and water, some say salt and vinegar, and some say milk. I need some advice.

Re: Processing a Deer [Re: JethroODB] #8062555 11/24/20 02:51 PM
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I dont soak my deer in anything. The biggest things are how you kill and how you process your meat. It needs to stay clean and cold. Aging is probably prefered depending on what your going to do with the deer, but it isnt going to turn deer into domestic grain fed beef or anything close to it.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Processing a Deer [Re: JethroODB] #8062568 11/24/20 02:58 PM
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Why do folks let game meat soak in a liquid? This is an honest question.

I've never done it with any big game animal and never had any gaminess. I've been in remote camps where we've eaten that day's kill and there was no gaminess. I did try this with a duck breast one time in milk and to be honest, I tasted no difference there.

Re: Processing a Deer [Re: JethroODB] #8062664 11/24/20 03:49 PM
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I don't see the point in soaking it prior to processing it, yeah soaking it in water pulls some blood out to help with that irony taste. But then you are cutting off all the discoloration if you aren't going to toss it into the grinder.

Now if I am going to chicken fry it I will soak it in buttermilk after cutting it into the cutlets, but I also will do that with chicken as well.

Last edited by Herbie Hancock; 11/24/20 03:51 PM. Reason: Do you?

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Re: Processing a Deer [Re: JethroODB] #8062680 11/24/20 04:03 PM
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I have done both, was told as a kid to soak it and my Mother believed in it so we did. These days I put it in a cooler with ice and the drain open so the water drains if I am going to finish the processing another day. Doesn't work the freezer as hard either when putting cold meat in it instead of warm meat. I cannot really tell any difference in taste between soaked or not. Main thing most that complain about the taste of deer over cook it.

Any animal tastes better if it is killed while it is gaining weight, doesn't matter if we are talking beef, pork or venison. Diet can also affect the taste of game meat, a prong hrn, deer or elk that is feeding in an alfalfa field regularly will taste better than one deep in the woods.


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Re: Processing a Deer [Re: JethroODB] #8062692 11/24/20 04:07 PM
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Some of the above but not only. Some a of the taste depends on the food the deer has been eating.


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Re: Processing a Deer [Re: JethroODB] #8062781 11/24/20 05:15 PM
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Don’t soak the meat in anything. If you’re not going to grind it, you can age it (hanging in cooler or can ice age), but no need to soak it in anything. The deer’s diet and how the deer is handled will determine it’s taste.

Re: Processing a Deer [Re: JethroODB] #8062806 11/24/20 05:31 PM
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Clean kill fast chill and no soaking. Gamy taste comes from mishandled, bad shot, or rutted up bucks in my experience.


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Re: Processing a Deer [Re: JethroODB] #8062839 11/24/20 05:52 PM
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Get the flesh cooled quickly, keep it clean and never, ever soak it in anything.

Re: Processing a Deer [Re: Hudbone] #8063521 11/25/20 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Hudbone
Get the flesh cooled quickly, keep it clean and never, ever soak it in anything.

X2

Re: Processing a Deer [Re: JethroODB] #8063629 11/25/20 03:33 AM
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When you add salt to ice or ice water it quickly lowers the temperature below freezing. I usually quarter a deer into cooler. Cover with ice, then add salt. It creates a reaction that flash cools it very cold. If I am at the lease or on the road for an extended trip, I will drain any water that melts in a day or two, add ice, and add salt it again. It may brine it a little, but I don't add enough to make the meat taste salty. I sometimes will add a few drops of vinegar if I have it which in theory will tenderize the meat. And have added a tablespoon or two of sugar too with the salt brine. And if it was warm out while I was cutting it up, I will have thrown a lot of pepper onto the meat for keeping the flies out of my way. The Sambar I recently killed. I brined and aged the meat in coolers as described because I did not come home right after the hunt. But the backstraps from the Sambar were immediately frozen in the ice box where I was staying instead of the coolers. Being an old sambar, it is tough meat to begin with, but I later cooked the brined round steak from the Sambar and had no problems with it being tough cooked in bacon wrapped poppers. And if anything it was over cooked. Then next time we cooked some of the backstrap that had not been brined. both in foil on the fire and again in bacon poppers. It was tough as shoe leather even in the poppers. I should have aged it in the coolers with the other meat. I will ad for hogs, we brine them all with three salt/ice changes over two to three days. The difference on the hogs between home and lease taste tests with the cooked meat between brined and aged compared to only fresh frozen is significant to me. I don't always age my venison, but we do always age the pigs now. The salt may or may not brine the meat or maybe just allows it to age while controlling bacteria as it melts into ice water, or may make it more tender or not, or may make it less gamey or not, or the water may make it more moist or not due to the salt. But without a doubt whatever the reaction it creates, the taste and texture is significantly better to us. You will not convince me otherwise. We have tested the difference several times and I did it with small game long before I was a big game hunter. For venison, I do believe the absolute best is to be able to hang the deer under 50 degrees out of the sun away from bugs and critters for at least three days before cutting it up and I have done it when I could, but this is Texas and those opportunities are rare in my situation.

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