Venison can be eaten in a practically boundless number of ways – from meatloaf to spaghetti, tacos, burgers, or one in a million types of sausages.
When it comes to dining on elk or deer, the tenderloins and backstraps get all the glory. However, it is the tougher cuts that make the most of the animals. The primal, large cuts of meat from hips, shoulders, and neck can typically be used in one of two ways – turn into ground venison or cut into roasts for slow and low cooking. It is the ground venison that offers the most versatility.
If you are new to cooking or preparing venison for the first time, it can be a bit overwhelming to grind venison, especially if you are grinding your own deer and elk burger.
Don’t worry! You are not alone. That’s why we have created this ultimate guide to help you grind venison in the best possible manner. Let’s get started.
Experts suggest that grinding venison should be done close to the time the venison delicacy is needed for the highest quality and freshest flavor meal results. If you process the venison way before it is used for preparation, you will sacrifice some of its shelf life, freshness, and, most importantly, quality.
When you grind the meat, it gets exposed to the microbes and air in the environment. The longer it is kept unused, the quicker it will lose all its moisture, reducing its shelf life.
This ultimately leads to a loss of texture and flavor, which are the two most important aspects of cooing meat. Therefore, it is best to grind venison as you need it. This ensures that there is no wastage of meat, and you will appreciate the enhanced quality of grinding venison delicacy yourself.
If you have the right meat grinder, grinding venison becomes relatively easy. There are both hand meat grinders and electric grinders available in the market. You can choose one based on your use. Hand meat grinders are cheaper than an electric grinder, but the quality of grind is better in an electric meat grinder.
The best ways to grind venison
There are plenty of ways using which you can grind venison. However, to get a better quality grind, consider the following factors.
1. Partly Frozen Venison is Easier to Grind
One trick that never fails when grinding venison is to do it when the meat is still slightly frozen. When you are defrosting meat, don’t let it completely defrost. Partially frozen meat is easier to cut into fine pieces. Dice the meat into small cubes or strips. This makes it easy for you to feed the meat through the grinder. Make sure that cubes or strips you cut are not too small or not too large. One inch cuts are perfect.
2. Clean the Meat First
When we say clean the meat, we are not talking about cleaning it under running water. It means trimming the meat to remove fat and silver skin from the meat. The silver skin not only influences the original flavor of venison but also can get stuck in the blades of your grinder. It will clog up the blades, which results in poor grinding. It will be a hassle if you have to unclog the blades.
3. The Bigger, The Better
Well, if you are only grinding meat in small quantities, a smaller grinder will be enough. However, if you have to grind a lot of meat, a slower grinder will only slow up the process. That means you have to stop and clean the grinder and blades after every grind, which is not feasible if you are time-bound. Since you would want to grind the meat altogether within a single lot, you are advised to use a bigger grinder.
4. Add Fat
You would be wondering that we just asked you to remove fat from venison before grinding. Yes, you are right. But here, we are talking about adding fat of some kind that’s not venison. You have to remove venison fat before grinding completely. Most meat processors and chefs prefer adding beef suet to their ground venison, as it increases the texture and flavor of the ground meat.
That’s it. These are the steps you must consider when you are using meat grinder for venison. Remember, grinding venison is a messy process. So you have to clean everything from the grinder, blades, and other tools. You would not want the meat to stick in between the blades.