Much conflicting info

Discussion in 'Wild Game' started by richtee, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    On the treatment/prep of game meat, in particular venison.

    Wash/soak meat or not?

    Use a weak salt water brine to remove blood? Or no?

    Milk soak or other than water/salt?

    I know many have a TON more experience than I here.

    Opinions please? And if there's any empirical data- IE: side by side comparisons done on treated/non-treated meat by anyone, all the better!
  2. twistertail

    twistertail Smoking Fanatic

    I have never done any kind of soak with any deer meat. I let it hang for a few days before I cut it up and then freeze it before I eat any. I have read something that you should freeze it to kill anything that might be in the meat but know plenty of people that eat some of it fresh while they are processing.
  3. gramason

    gramason Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I have always soaked in salt water over night, changing the water a couple times, and then freezing, thats when we butcher them. I try to soak it before I cook it when it comes from the butcher, because I don't believe the butcher soaks it. We cut one up last weekend and I soaked it, it seems to pull alot of blood out.
  4. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    But is that a good thing?
  5. gramason

    gramason Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I've never had bad tasting deer from soaking it, I just googled it, and it seems that alot recommend to soak in salt water or butter milk. I can't answer if its a good or bad thing, i've always had good results.
  6. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well, OK. I have about 35 lbs venison here to do for a bud of mine. Mainly burger/sausage. I can keep a bit, so I'm gonna make 2 identical 1 lb sausage chubs, 1 with weak brine soak/rinse, 1 without. Also, he does want a small amout of jerky. I'll split this the same way. Kinda a PITA, but enquiring minds, ya see ;{)

    All his stuff, as requested, I'm not gonna soak. He does not want me to even wash it... just manually pick off the bit of hair that you inevitably get when quartering, and of course trim tallow, any easily gotten sinew..

    I'll let y'all know if any thing shakes out of this.
    Personally, I'd have to go with the weak brine soak, but it may be hard to tell, since the deer came from right around here IE: well fed... grass, corn, etc.

    Maybe a better test would be a tough old swamp buck heh.
  7. From what I understand some people soak deer meat to remove the gamey flavor. I have never done it, never had a problem with that flavor. I do rinse all meat with cold water before cooking to wash away any old blood, water or anything on the surface of the meat. I dont know why people kill animals or accept parts of them from others if they know they dont like the taste. my.02
  8. goat

    goat Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I probably take 20 - 30 deer/year. If it is cool, I let them hang a few days or if I have access to a cooler, I let them hang. Most of the time in this part of Texas, it is warm and I at least muscle them out and freeze, then process further at a later date. The only thing I soak is cutlets, prior to frying. I have soaked them in buttermilk, milk, milk and egg, jalapeño juice, beer, and Miracle Dip just to name a few. I did not do this to remove any flavor or blood. It makes me feel good and makes the flour mix adhere to the meat better.

    I process my own so I that all contaminates have been washed off. They do make a product that you can spray on the carcass that kills or slows, the growth of bacteria. I also shoot mine in the neck or heart/lung shots. I have not gut shot a deer in years, and do not mess the shoulders up either.

    I realize that I am very lucky in being able to hunt in my back yard, and if not, real close to a cooler or residence. If I were hunting away and took a deer, and it was hot, I would skin and quarter it. Then I would place that in a cooler with the drain open and keep covering the meat with ice. My main purpose in this would be to cool the meat while in transit.

    Sorry to ramble, but I am a no-soaker, and I have never had anyone say that my venison had a gamey or deer taste.

    PS: I have given away, or thrown away some deer that had been eating excessive amounts of Cedar. They stunk, the meat stunk and I got rid of it. No amount of soaking was going to cure that smell.
  9. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good post goat! [​IMG]
    I think you said it does depend on how the deer was taken and how it was field dressed and handled.[​IMG]
  10. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Goat! 'preciate the input!
  11. nocontest

    nocontest Newbie

    It is a great debate between hunters on aging venison. As far as soaking, I can say overall- most would not think of soaking venison. I base this on Michigan deer though- western venison taste much different.

    I feel that venison needs to be treated as a expensive cut of beef. I do not use the word "gamey" A squirrel is not a chicken. Venison is not beef. I would never cook venison past medium and I would never soak venison unless it was part of a recipe- or corning. I hunt, dress, process & cook my own venison, including canning, corning, sausage, links, & smoking. I have great recipes if anyone is interested.

    Bottom line- I would not soak venison. Improperly handling venison once the animal is down has a lot to do with flavor. I disagree with freezing venison to kill bacteria, that could be a dangerous presumption.

    Just my 2 cents.
  12. goat

    goat Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Good post, I am with you on the last sentence also.
  13. goat

    goat Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I really do not understand why some folks insist on soaking their deer to get the blood out. #1 if they are shot right, they will bleed out anyway. #2 no one ever talks about soaking any other cut of meat. I cut up 60 lbs of pork butts to make sausage today and there were a number of blood clots in everyone of them. If you ever chop up beef there will be blood clots. Lord only knows about those yard birds, no tellin what they are contaminated with.

    Let's harvest our deer in an humane manner, take care of the carcass the way we should, process the deer in a timely manner, cook the deer the way one would cook a very lean piece of expensive meat, and enjoy the bountiful harvest that you were so fortunate to have the right to participate in.
  14. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Rich, i usually take several deer each season from upper and lower Mich.
    Do my own cleaning and processing and definetly have to agree with these guy's [​IMG]
  15. allen

    allen Smoking Fanatic

    I quit deer hunting at 14, but I have helped cut up deer since then and We have NEVER soaked the meat Just cut and wrap. I have smoked necks and fronts and hind quarters no problem, in fact in 2 weeks I'll be smoking Legs and quarters, like in the past No soaking but just smoking,SMF will get PICS when it happens
  16. We gotta deer camp down here and a walk in cooler runnning around 39 degrees. If time allows, we gut and hang the deer for a week. If it doesnt, I quarter it out, put it in a cooler with the drain open and pack with ice for a few days. After that, trim it up, wrap and freeze it. The cooler with ice works just as well as a walk in cooler in my opinion, and its pretty easy to do. A big bag of ice every other day is all you need. In the end, we dont soak any of the deer we harvest.
  17. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I can't give you points again, I don't think. but-
    HEAR HEAR! Or HERE HERE! Or both! I value your opinion very highly, Goat.
  18. allen

    allen Smoking Fanatic

    Hey Richtee who's getting points'S all we have done was cut, clean,and wrap and freeze, then smoke when we're ready.
  19. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    YOU are... 'cause they be mine to give!
  20. allen

    allen Smoking Fanatic

    OK, I help cut up 3 Deer Sunday, and all we did was cut up, the choice wether it be roast, burger,or anything else, what ever people wanted and wrapped, if seasoning was to be added then it was added before it was wrapped, To be honest I have never heard of soaking deer meat. Just cut,wash,wrap, and freeze, that is it.I have help cut up venison the last 6 years and no soaking was done.

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