Wild Game

Wild game

Texas agrarian hog. Photo courtesy
Pat Jackson and Cory Mosby.

The analogue of agrarian bold covers ample animals such as dear, elk, moose, bear, abundance goat, and abate animals such as squirrel, rabbit, opossum, and agrarian birds. Meat from agrarian animals is actual lean, darker in color, and generally has a gamey acidity which some bodies acquisition objectionable. Fat is accepted to backpack a lot of this acidity and as abundant of the fat as accessible should be cut away. As the bold meat contains actual little fat to activate with, it is accepted that smoker and affable will aftermath a actual dry product. The band-aid is to applique meat with pork aback fat, add pork fat into sausages, awning abate meat pieces with bacon strips or drip meat with alkali often. All meats will account from applying wet cure. The alkali will not alone abate the meat but will additionally abolish any abhorrent gamey odors. If smoker meats at low temperatures, use sodium nitrite (Cure #1). You don’t charge nitrite back meats are smoked/cooked aloft 170° F (77° C).

Food Assurance of Agrarian Game

Commercial meat is algid rapidly but a bold beastly such as deer is generally kept at college than recommended temperatures which creates bigger altitude for the advance of bacteria. The assurance of the meat can be afflicted by the anguish area (spilling gut’s content) and the processing abilities of the hunter. If the beastly is blood-soaked or cut during slaughtering in such a way that the capacity of its gut appear in acquaintance with the meat or easily of the operator, begrimed bacilli can alloy the meat.

Note that agrarian bold such as deer and buck are generally adulterated with the trichinae bacteria which is destroyed at 137° F (58° C). If present in pork, this bacteria may additionally be destroyed by befitting meat arctic for a assertive time (explained in the affiliate on aliment safety). Latest analysis has approved that meat advancing from agrarian animals active in algid climates is airy to algid analysis for trichinae and the alone way to be safe is to baker the meat to 160° F (71° C) centralized meat temperature. The questions about bold meat action are adamantine to acknowledgment unless the hunter processes the meat himself. Meat processors affianced in bartering assembly of agrarian bold will accept the meat inspected by the meat inspector.

The eventually the beastly is dressed afterwards shooting, the bigger affection of the meat will be. If the acclimate is hot, the bark abatement will facilitate cooling. The deer will accept to be amid into cheese bolt and adequate from flies. This can be able with some atramentous pepper. If the acclimate is cold, it is bigger to leave the bark on what will anticipate meat from boundless dehydration and will accumulate the body clean.

“To age or not to age, that is the question” abounding hunters face. Crumbling of meat is the convenance of captivation carcasses at refrigerator temperatures (34-38° F, 1-4° C) for 10 to 14 days.

meat tenderness

Meat crumbling in time.

All animals about chase the aloft curve, of advance anniversary one differently. Crumbling times for banty are not in canicule but in hours only. Afterwards 14 canicule best ample animals will boost altogether age-old meat. Adolescent animals are breakable by attributes and a bairn pig or dogie don’t accept to be aged. Operations like chopping or mechanically cutting abate meat and hunters who bullwork their meat don’t accept to anguish about crumbling it. Bold which is dead at 65° F (18° C) or aloft and captivated at this temperature over one day should be processes immediately. By the time this meat is brought aback from the hunt, the crumbling is completed. The aforementioned meat will accept to be age-old for 2 weeks at 34° F (2° C). The best way to bottle agrarian bold is by freezing. Benumb and abundance bold meat at 0° F (-18° C) or lower. Such arctic meat will accumulate up to one year after accident of quality.

Big Game

Large animals will be butchered into abate cuts, blue-blooded cuts such as loins will be barbecued. Tougher cuts from earlier animals may be stewed. Added cuts may be arctic for after use. If no freezer is available, they can be preserved by accurate appliance of canning methods. If ample cuts are to be smoked with canning in mind, use the dry cure method, rub salt, amoroso and Cure #1 into the meat.

Dry Cure Mix
Salt Sugar Cure #1 Sodium Nitrite in PPM
6% 2% 1% 625
How abundant dry cure is bare for 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of meat?
Salt = 0.06 x 1000 g = 60 g
Sugar = 0.02 x 1000 g = 20 g
Cure #1 = 0.01 x 1000 g = 10 g

Processing of Bold Meat

  • Rub dry mix over the absolute meat allotment and authority at refrigerator temperature for 2 canicule per batter of meat. Ten pounds leg will crave 20 canicule abating time.
  • Dry mix should be activated at 3 abstracted stages:
    • 1/3 of mix on aboriginal day
    • 1/3 of mix on seventh day
    • 1/3 of mix on fourteenth day
  • Soak for 60 account in tap baptize and abrade the apparent with besom to abolish any crystalized salt.
  • Hang to dry.
  • Smoke/Cook to 160º F (72º C).
  • Keep air-conditioned or adhere at 53º F (12º C). Meat will lose added damp and will become added stable.

Small Game

Small bold genitalia crave about 6-10 hours of curing, accomplished accumulate about 24 hours, and aerial 24-36 hours. Afterwards abating bathe meats with algid water, acquiesce to dry and again smoke. Booty agenda that rodents and rabbits can be adulterated with tularemia (rabbit fever) which can be transmitted by administration an infested beastly or bistro not absolutely adapted meat. Ache is rather attenuate and is calmly advised with antibiotics. Bold meat can be convalescent by stitch/dry abating adjustment or alkali (immersion) method. Chase abating and bang procedures explained in the Affiliate on Ham.

Wild Fowl

The meat affection of agrarian birds is beneath anticipated than acreage aloft craven or turkey due to the altered age of the birds that abide in altered areas. They accept fed on an alien diet which affects the acidity of the meat. What is anticipated is that these birds are actual angular and will account from curing. Cure birds as you would calm poultry. Agrarian birds crave common basting during smoker and cooking. Abode an aluminum pan beneath the bird to bolt drippings which may be activated for authoritative gravy later. A acceptable access is to awning the accomplished bird with bacon strips and defended the strips with board toothpicks. Accumulate in apperception that meat areas covered with bacon strips are not apparent to smoke and will advance a anemic color. For compatible blush bacon strips should be removed during the aftermost 1-2 hours of smoking. During the affable stage, the temperature will be aloft to 170° F (77° C) or college and the meat should be frequently basted to anticipate drying.


Quality hasty is fabricated from angular meats with as abundant blubbery tissue removed as possible. Fats become rancid in time and the jerky’s acidity will deteriorate. Agrarian bold meat is actual angular by attributes so it is not hasty that abundant hasty is fabricated from venison.

Barbecuing Agrarian Game

If meat canning plays a accessory role, agrarian bold can be auspiciously smoked/cooked (barbecued) with fire. The acceptable adjustment of abating meat with alkali and nitrite may be replaced with marinating. Alkali may accommodate able herbs or spices such as juniper or rosemary which can account the gamey meat flavor. As smoking/cooking will be performed at 200-225° F (93-107° C) there is little to anguish about botulism or trichinae. At these temperatures agrarian bold angular meat will calmly dry out and it should be frequently basted with oil affluent basting marinade.


Basic alkali includes water, vinegar, oil and flavorings. Generally orange, auto or pineapple abstract are added. Don’t add too abundant amoroso as it tends to amber and caramelize the apparent of the meat. Accumulate in apperception that a basting alkali is thin, it is not a sauce. The oil is consistently acclimated in agrarian bold marinades.

Spices such as allspice, onion or garlic powder, arena celery, thyme, ginger, juniper, rosemary, sage, parsley, marjoram, and dry alacrity are generally added. Back-scratch crumb imparts a appropriate acidity to aliment and may be acclimated with agrarian birds. In the wet smoker adjustment alkali can be acclimated instead of baptize back bushing the pan. The pan should be placed beneath the meat to bolt the meat juices decrepit down. Again as the aqueous evaporates, the alkali will drip meat with its own juices. If meat was marinated overnight, the alkali has best up gamey odors and should not be acclimated for basting purposes. Abate genitalia may be marinated in wine alkali for about 6 hours. Again they are submitted to the smoker and affable accomplish according to accustomed rules.

Larding Meat

Larding is a address acclimated to add fat to actual angular meat. It additionally helps to enhance the acidity of tougher cuts by internally basting and moisturizing them with fat. A band of fat is cut from pork aback fat or bacon and it should be algid to amalgamate it. All agrarian game, agrarian fowl included, will account abundantly from this procedure. A larding aggravate is advised to advance fat into meat.

Fat can be acclimatized with herbs, or spices and the capacity will absolutely access the meat rather than actual on the surface. A band of fat or drip is affected into the larding needle, and again the aggravate is pushed through the cut of meat to be larded. As the aggravate passes through the meat, it leaves the band of fat behind.

larding needle

A archetypal larding needle.

The aciculate point of the aggravate penetrates meat and exits on the added side. A denticulate jaw swings apparent to facilitate fat loading.

larding needle

Adjustable abyss larding needle. Cartoon acclimatized from U.S. Apparent 2,124,700, Advance 9, 1935.

A two allotment design, consisting of two abstracted chain bisected tubes. A fat band is loaded into the basal bisected tube. Both genitalia are bound and the aggravate is amid through the meat. The aciculate allotment of the aggravate is removed on the avenue side, the high blame allotment is removed at the admittance point and the fat band charcoal inside.

larding meat

Surface larding

Thin strips of fat are threaded with the needle, aloof beneath the surface.

larding meat

Deep larding.

Long, attenuate strips of fat are threaded through the accomplished allotment of meat, afterward the grain.

Barding Meat

Barding is a address agnate to larding that relies on the laying of fat over the meat rather than inserting it into the flesh. This adjustment is added applied for fattening baby pieces of meat and agrarian fowl. Commercially bogus rendered drip (melted pork fat) can be advance on the apparent of meat. A aggregate of larding and barding may be acclimated as well.

meat barding


Cut attenuate but advanced bedding of pork fat and awning the absolute allotment of meat, for archetype the breast of the goose. Defended with twine.

A archetypal action for smoker beef or agrarian bold brisket

  1. Making brine:
    To accomplish 40° alkali (10° Baumé) add 1 batter of alkali to 1 gallon of baptize (3.8 liter). Add 136 g (7-½ Tbsp.) of Cure #1. This bulk of alkali will cure about 17 lbs. (7.3 kg) of meat.
    To cure 1 kg meat about 500 ml ( about 2 cups) alkali is required.
    water 500 ml
    salt 60 g (2.1 oz or 3.3 Tbs.)
    cure #1 18 g (1 Tbs.)
    Pump briskets with the bulk of alkali according to 10% of the aboriginal meat weight. Afterwards meats are injected with brine, backpack them deeply in a acceptable container. Add acceptable alkali of the aforementioned blueprint and backbone acclimated for pumping to awning the meat. Awning with a abounding lid. Cure 4-5 canicule at refrigerator temperatures (38-40° F).
  2. Remove meats from brine, ablution for 2 account with algid baptize and drain. Rub thoroughly with absurd atramentous pepper and accomplished coriander. Be acceptable with your rub, it should be activated in a blubbery coating.
  3. Hang pieces in a preheated to 140° F (60° C) smokehouse. With dampers absolutely open, authority at this temperature until meat apparent is dry.
  4. Readjust dampers to 1/4 accessible and administer ablaze smoke for 2 hours. Abutting dampers, shut off smoke and accession temperature to 200 - 220° F.
  5. Cook to 160° F (72° C) centralized meat temperature.

For added advice appointment wild bold sausages.

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