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butchering tips

Old 11-22-2005, 06:35 AM
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Default butchering tips

Well I skinned and butchered my first deer yesterday. I've seen it done a bunch of times and have watched a few videos on how to do it and finally decided to give it a try. I was actually shocked at how painless it really was. I think I did a pretty good job.

Just a few questions:

FRONT SHOULDERS:
This was pretty easy. Not much holding them on. I just cut them off and set them in a cooler aside while I cut the rest of the deer. I later cut it all into trim/stew meat. Everything I read said there isn't really a choice cut in this part of the deer. Or is there?

BACKSTRAPS:
They came out easy too. Just scooped it out and peeled it down with my knife. I could almost pull them out by hand. What a nice chunk of meat!! I just cut each strap into 3 big chunks for now. What or how should they be cut? They look mighty tasty like I have them. Should they be cut into steaks??

HINDQUARTERS:
This is where I got a little confused. I came in from the side and cut the sirloin out along the fatty line you can clearly see (saw that clear as day from one of the videos I watched). That cut exposed the femur and I took the rest of the hindquarter off in on big giant chunk.

Now this was the confusing/frustrating part. I could pull/easily cut that big chunk into 3 or 4 other smaller pieces where the muscles seperates? So I pulled it apart the way it seemed to "want to" pull apart and pretty much cut everything inot steak size pieces. I know there is more to it than that. I'd like to know the specific cuts in the hindquarter. What part do you make into roast? sirloin? roundeye? etc.....

TRIM:
I cut every morsel of meat that I may have missed along the way and put it in a trim pile to be ground up today. I just took everything that looked like desireable meat and saved it for grinding.

I'm pretty sure the entire process went very good except a little confusion on the specifics of the hindquarters. However ....whatever they are "supposed" to be, they are still cut and trimmed nice and look mighty tasty for the grill.

The biggest pain in the butt was removing the fat and talo from the meat[:@]. That stuff is a ROYAL pain. The packaging was a little bit of a pain too. All in all I was surprised how simple it really was. No more $75.00 trips to the butcher for me. Just wish I knew a little more precision on some of the cuts. Anyone have any advice or websites that show exactly how to tackle the hindquarters? Any other tips or advice would be appreciated.
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Old 11-22-2005, 06:52 AM
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Default RE: butchering tips

Sounds like you did fine:

- front shoulder, I filet the meat off and chunk what I can for stew, rest is ground up.
- back legs. YOu did right seperating the three muscle groups. Depending on the size of the deer you can either cut these up for steaks or leave them big for roasts. I have also left them as a single chunk on a small deer and done one big roast.
- backstraps, these I butterfly and make into steaks.

Wrapping is a pain, but if you have 2 people it goes much faster. When we do it, we take a break from cutting to do the wrapping periodically.
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Old 11-22-2005, 08:04 AM
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Default RE: butchering tips


Sounds like you did it just the way I do it. the hind I package up in 3 packages or more, then when i want some meat i take it out of the freezer and cut up for what ever I'm gonna make. Use it just like beef. you can do bacon wrapped shish-k bobs, do carne guisada, stirfry, makes excellent jerky, roasts, chicken fried, etc etc...
the front quarter is best smoked for an hour then wrapped in foil with some wild rice and mushroom, back on the pit for another 2 hours.
Back strap is cut in medallion size pieces and fried or beat with a meat hammer and dredge in flower and fry, then make a milk gravy with your leftover grease.
Forelegs are ground, neck is ground or roast.
Flanks are ground.
tenderloin is stirfryed, yummm.
hope this helps.

One other thing, when you do guisada or stirfry or say you you do hamburger meat for a goulage or manwiches. always brown the meat add a little water and simmer, then dump those juices and then start over with more water and your seasoning. Those first juices will give your food a bad taste, thats the blood.
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Old 11-22-2005, 08:47 AM
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Default RE: butchering tips

Here's a pretty good link, with multiple charts...

http://www.askthemeatman.com/deer_processing.htm

I basically take out the inner/outer loins and save for steaks. The hindquarters I now separate into the rounds and sirloin, and process most into either jerky or pastrami. Sometimesif it hangs for awhile (like the one I'm getting ready to cut up, which has hung for a week) I'll take the sirloin for tips/steaks.

Everything else on mine goes for grind. I have access to a commercial meatlab, so I can make any kind of sausage and basically any type of smoked product.

Cutting it up also depends, largely IMO, on what you and your family eat. If the family prefers the taste of venison sausage over steaks, then make more grind. If they prefer steaks/roasts, make those cuts. Just need to have the foresight before you start hacking...

And on another note...get a vacuum sealer. I've had venison last 3+ years in the freezer aftervacuum sealing...

S&R
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Old 11-22-2005, 08:48 AM
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Default RE: butchering tips

NY..We have been butchering our deer for almost 20 years. What you did is very similar to how we do it. We concentrate on steaks, stew meat, hamburghand sausages, which we make ourselves. Chops and roasts we seldom do.

Here's a site that may be of interest to you:
http://www.biggamehunt.net/sections/Whitetail_Deer/A_Guide_to_Butchring_Deer_11220412.html

Although the wrapping part can be tedious we put a lot of emphasis on making sure it is done right. We always us Saran and double-wrap each piece. The first part that is folded, now goes "down" on the new piece and the second wrap protects against any exposure. We then do a final wrap in freezer paper and finally put many pieces in a big zip-lock bag.

Soooo, I think ya done good. You will find you'll get faster and better at it the more you do. I hear the tenderloin or backstraps on big bucks (like the pic you posted) can be very tough [:'(]. So, if you don't want to eat any of that "tough stuff", I'm holding my hands way high .

Enjoy!
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Old 11-22-2005, 01:33 PM
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Default RE: butchering tips

Thanks for the help guys.

I'll tell ya what. I've been getting ripped over the years[:@]. I got a ton of meat off the doe that I did! I don't think there was an ounce of good meat wasted when I was through.I like being able to cut the steaks the way I want them too. I compared my butchering to the 200+ pound buck I had done this year and it was laughable. The whole process was actually rewarding and kind of fun.

A couple more questions:
After I skin and butcher the deer, how long can I wait to trim and cut the meat to a finished product? After I cut all the meat out I can store it in a spare refridgerator. Can I pick away at it and cut it into steaks as I get time? How long can it stay refridgerated?

How picky should you be with the trim? It seems I could have spent the rest of my life cutting away fat and talo on a lot of the pieces. Some of the fatty/stringy pieces of trim would clog up my meat grinder pretty bad. The second batch I was a little less selective about what I put through the grinder. I still ended up with a ton of ground beef. Is it worth the time cutting out every piece of scrap?

And on another note...get a vacuum sealer. I've had venison last 3+ years in the freezer aftervacuum sealing...
That's EXACTLY what I need. Seems like that would make life a lot easier.


I hear the tenderloin or backstraps on big bucks (like the pic you posted) can be very tough [:'(]. So, if you don't want to eat any of that "tough stuff", I'm holding my hands way high .
LOL those are loooooooooooooooooooooong gone my friend.
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Old 11-22-2005, 04:21 PM
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Default RE: butchering tips

Inever worry to much about 'choice' cuts anyway. Just take the loins, one good roast from the center of each hindquarter, and grind the rest. I use ground meat FAR more than anything else, so it works for me.

Sounds like you got the idea, you only get faster and better each time you do one.

BTW, it's alot more fun with several people helping out, just be sure to haveplenty ofbeer around.
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Old 11-22-2005, 05:35 PM
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Default RE: butchering tips

[blockquote]quote:

And on another note...get a vacuum sealer. I've had venison last 3+ years in the freezer aftervacuum sealing...[/blockquote]

That's EXACTLY what I need. Seems like that would make life a lot easier.
Ken, see my post over in the offseason about food processors.
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Old 11-22-2005, 06:07 PM
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Default RE: butchering tips

ORIGINAL: NY Bowhunter

Thanks for the help guys.



A couple more questions:
After I skin and butcher the deer, how long can I wait to trim and cut the meat to a finished product? After I cut all the meat out I can store it in a spare refridgerator. Can I pick away at it and cut it into steaks as I get time? How long can it stay refridgerated?

How picky should you be with the trim? It seems I could have spent the rest of my life cutting away fat and talo on a lot of the pieces. Some of the fatty/stringy pieces of trim would clog up my meat grinder pretty bad. The second batch I was a little less selective about what I put through the grinder. I still ended up with a ton of ground beef. Is it worth the time cutting out every piece of scrap?

And on another note...get a vacuum sealer. I've had venison last 3+ years in the freezer aftervacuum sealing...
It would keep for probably a week but I usually get to it within 3 days. As far as removing all the fat and tallow, I do you get a better quality of ground meat. I cut my trim in small peices and get as cold as possible before grinding, also make sure you tighten the grinding plate good, you may need a mallet and a piece of wood to remove it but if it's loose and the meats not cold it will clog every time.



After I debone and seperate the chunks I partialy freeze the Backstraps and hams before slicing into steaks, (you get a nicer looking cut)`

I Bone out the neck and use the meat for ground, or roll and tie for a neck roast. I also cut the neck bones into 3 or 4 chunks and use in spaghetti sauce, the meat just falls off.MMMM.

The front shoulders I use for stew,burgers, or jerky.
The hind quarters provide, Steaks,Roasts, Shish-Ka-Bob chunks, or I turn some into Corned Venison, then into Pastrami.
Turning venison into corned venisonis the easiest anyone can do it.


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Old 11-23-2005, 05:59 AM
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Default RE: butchering tips

I TIGHTLY wrap the meat with saran wrap, then wrap that with butchers paper and seal all the seams with tape. Haven't had any go bad, but it also gets eaten within a year.

I use to be very picky removing all the white when butchering, now I am not so picking, I take out the big chunks of it, but now I just clean it up before cooking, makes the butchering go faster and takes only a minute or two before tossing the steaks on the grill!

--Bob

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