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Advice needed on home processing

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Advice needed on home processing

Old 09-23-2008, 01:18 PM
  #1  
Typical Buck
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Default Advice needed on home processing

Ok, so this year i decided that i am going to do all of my own processing. I have heard far to many horror stories and experienced a few myself with the local butcher shops here in Ohio. Plus i think that i will bring me a deeper feeling of achievement and a greater appreciation for the food on the table. So far i have watched a 2 hour DVD on the entire process and also numerous videos and articles online.

So far i have installed a gambrel (deer hanger) in the garage, purchased a secondary garage refrigerator and purchased a set of boning knives and a cheap little hack saw. I have yet to purchase a meat grinder because i am not sure if i want a manual for around $25 or an electric for around $100. Is a manual all that much work? I figure that i will process 2-4 deer per season and will not be making and sausage only steaks, ground and jerky. Also, do you guy's mix in beef fat with your ground or do you just go with straight venison?

Any other tips that you would like to share please feel free.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:22 PM
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Default RE: Advice needed on home processing

I mix in beef fat personally in my hamburger so it doesn't get so dried out.

The hand grinder is alright but I would go with the electric one. We have one and it works really good. Alot faster and less work than a hand grinder.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:26 PM
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Default RE: Advice needed on home processing

Go electric on the grinder for sure. I add pork trim/fat at approx. 15%-20% in my burger and grind twice with the course grinder face.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:26 PM
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Default RE: Advice needed on home processing

i think that i will bring me a deeper feeling of achievement and a greater appreciation for the food on the table
I would deffinetly agree with you hear. I 've allways done my own deer and it is quite satisfying. All-be-it a long process and not always easy, it is a good way of enjoying the fruits of your labor that much more. And lets face it, you'll save a lot of money this way too.

If you're going to do a good portion of ground I would suggest getting an electric grinder, as hang grinding can be quite a chore. Mixing with ground is just a matter of choice. I usually do half plain venison and half a venison/bacon mixture at 5/1 lbs. It's good stuff!
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:28 PM
  #5  
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Default RE: Advice needed on home processing

Really not that hard to do but don't forget the important things like plastic and wrapping paper, cleaning things thoroughly everytime, etc. Eventuallly a nice freezer and meat saw but you can do without for now. Trust me when I tell you it's soo much easier when you can freeze a hind quarter and run it through a meat saw and have steaks. Go for it and see if it's for you. And yes if you are gonna grind much burger the electic one is nice but you can "rig" a manuel one with an electric motor.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:35 PM
  #6  
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Default RE: Advice needed on home processing

DO NOT BUY A $100 ELECTRIC GRINDER. You will be disappointed and will more than likely strip the gears out of it. Go to LEM's web site and get a #32 hand grinder, you can get them for about $85, money well spent. It has a 6" throat, so you will be able to shove some meat in it. The best part is, later if you desire, you can add a pulley wheel to, with a cheap motor you have a GREAT electric grinder. You will have to gearyour motor down, but will some play you will have it going in no time. This is the set up I have, I have been using for about 8 years now and it is amazing. With the motor gearing I have, it is equal to able a 1 1/2hp and just eats meat. All total I have about $140 in it. I have done deer with a small hand grinder, pain in the butt. I have gone the cheap electric route, have thrown out 3 or 4 of them before I learned my lesson.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:43 PM
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Default RE: Advice needed on home processing

My wife and I process ours. We used an old hand grinder the 1st time. What a pain. She has one of those heavy stand mixers that have bread hooks and all. If you or your wife has one, you can purchase a meat grinder attachment for like $50. We used a vacuum sealer and pre-marinated the steaks before vacuum sealing and freezing. Worked great.

We mixed 1/3 pork fat in with our ground. Was great for chilli, spaghetti, whatever.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:53 PM
  #8  
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Default RE: Advice needed on home processing

Well i am on a tight budget and have already spent way to much this year on hunting stuff. It's either the el cheapo electric or the decent hand crank. What do you guys use for packaging?
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:58 PM
  #9  
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Default RE: Advice needed on home processing

Vacuum sealer for me. Costs more to package, but it'll last A LOT longer.
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Old 09-23-2008, 02:01 PM
  #10  
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Default RE: Advice needed on home processing

I use a vacuum sealer, but you do not have to do that. For years I used Reynolds wrap and freezer paper and never had a problem. The vaccum sealer is really nice, but not a must have. I would purchase the decent hand grinder (be sure you can add a wheel to it later) this year. You can figure out in the off-season what "nice-to-have" things you want to add after you have a year under your belt. The fact is, all you have-to-have is a set of good sharp knifes and a decent grinder.
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