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Deer Processing


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#1 Whitetiger

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 07:28 PM

How many of you process your own deer & if so, do you make bag bologna &/or meat stix? I really want to debone my own deer this year to have meat stix & bag bologna made up. It'll same me $85 per deer to do so. My butcher charges $4/lbs for meat stix & $2.50/lbs for the bologna. How much silver skin is there that I'll have to trim off? Is there anything I have to watch out for while deboning? Any tips?

#2 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 08:12 PM

WT I have always done my own deer. It is a little labor intensive but sure saves a lot of money. Besides you are sure you are getting your meat not someone elses. If it is cold enough I prefer to hang my deer with the hide on for a day or two. If it is not cold enough I do it as soon as possible. I hang my deer by the back legs and skin it by cutting the skin from where I cut to field dress to the anus. I then start between the legs and slide the knife under the skin and cut the skin all the way down the legs to near the knee joint. I then proceed to cut and pull the skin off the legs and after cutting the tail pull the hide down to the front shoulders. I then cut arount the front legs near the knee and slit it open all the way to the body and across to the other leg. I cut the hide from the brisket to in front of the front legs and work the hide off the front legs and as far up the neck as I can. I then proceed to clean the hair off the meat. Some people even use a torch to burn the loose hair off the meat. I then trim all the fat off the carcass that I can as I feel that if there is a wild taste it is in the fat. I usually start with the front legs which can be cut off with a knife by pulling it away from the body and cutting around the shoulder bone. Most of the meat I make burger meat out of so I just cut the meat off the front legs trimming anything off the meat I prefer not to eat. I also put the hind quarters into burger meat. I do save the backstraps and especially the tenderloins located next to the backbone near the hind quarters. I then cut the backstraps off the carcass. Just cut straight down one side of the backbone to the ribs from the hip joint to the neck. You can then cut along the ribs up to the straight down cut you made and the backstraps just roll out. Do that to the other side and loins are out. I discard any bloody meat from the shot and trim as much meat off the carcass as I can get. I do not take the meat from between the ribs as it is pretty tough but you can use that meat in the burger meat. When you aredoing up the hind quarters be very careful not to cut the tendon or the meat below it as it will fall off the gambrel. There are several pockets of fat between the muscles of the hind quarters and they have a gland in that fat. I cut as much of the sinue and silver skin off as possible. I usually cut all the meat into small pieces so I can mix the lesser quality meat and the good quality meat together. When I make jerky I use plain burger meat (no fat added) and a jerky shooter that works pretty much like a caulking gun. With different nozzles I can make small sticks, larger sticks, and ribbons. I have also found if I put my finger over the end of the spout and pump a few times the meat sticks together better and removes the air. I get my meat ground at a local meat market that assures me they only work on one persons meat at a time. He did comment that my meat was the best and cleanest meat of anyones deer meat. To which I commented yes and I get very good burger meat to eat this way. We use a lot of burger meat other than making actual burgers although we make them too. My wife makes stroganoff, lasagna and chili along with other dishes with deer burger. I take the backstraps and cut them into bite size pieces and home can them in pint jars and use them in stews, vegitable soup or just roll in flour and sear in a pan. The tender loins get cleaned and soaked in some salt water and cut into pieces and rolled in flour and seared quickly in a pan. A meal fit for a tiger. Hope this helps you. There are many places on the net where you can go and see step by step how to cut deer meat too.

Edited by PA RIDGE RUNNER, 08 October 2011 - 08:15 PM.

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#3 Spirithawk

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 05:13 PM

We almost always process our own deer. I've bought Sameee meat slicers, vacume sealers, electric grinders and such to make the job easy. Doing it yourself just adds to the pride you can take in serving it to friends and family. Plus, you know exactly how it was handled, and as Paul said, you know it's your own meat. We usualy cut one up into steaks, roasts, stew meat and grind some for chili and such. Then we'll make another one completely into jerkey and Summer Sausage. We have a traditional meal we always fix. Whoever gets the first deer donates the tenderloins for the meal. We cut them into butterfly steaks. Dreadge the steaks in flour and seasonings. Then brown them in a deep skillet. Next we add sliced mushrooms and onions and brown gravey and let it all simmer till done. Makes a very heart and satisfying meal after a successful hunt. :)

#4 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 08:24 PM

Another piece of meat I like is the heart. I clean it well and soak in salt water over night. Lay the heart on its side and cut straight down into about 3?8 to 1/2 inch slices roll in flour and sear. Try not to over cook as it can get tough. I have also eaten it by searing in a pan and then put in the oven with some flour and water and slow cook it. I think it is yummy. The liquid becomes a gravy for the taters.
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