Freezing deer meat helps preserve it for an approximate duration of 6 – 9 months while maintaining its best quality. Freezing helps to prevent the meat from oxygen which can cause bacteria growth. But, can one grind this frozen deer meat? Let’s get to it.
Can You Grind Frozen Deer Meat? Yes, frozen deer meat can be ground, but to get the best result, the meat must be thawed properly to get the pieces apart in order to make grinding easy.
Deer meat can be processed in many ways. It can be roasted or made into steaks, it can also be ground and this is done by finely chopping the venison using either a chopping knife or a meat grinder.
Ground meat can be used in many recipes including hamburgers, etc.
People freeze deer meat because it is one of the easiest and common home preservation methods. It is also a relatively quick process that does not take time to initiate.
Out of the many advantages of freezing deer meat, one that stands out is that it keeps the meat in shape and firm enough to go through the grinder more easily.
From my experience in Whitetail deer hunting, I have realized that grinding makes it much better compared to other processing methods.
Furthermore, it is much easier to grind it when frozen and firm than when it’s soft and silky.
Things to consider before grinding your frozen deer meat
It is very important to promptly begin to process your game once you get home, but it is much easier to freeze portions of the meat that would be ground and used for recipes as burgers or sausages.
- One of the ideal ways to effectively grind your frozen deer meat is to make them half defrosted. Thawing the deer meat is the process of warming the meat in order to cause it to be processed and prepared.
- The best way to thaw venison is by defrosting it in a refrigerator in order to prevent harmful bacteria that would build up if the meat was defrosted in a warmer environment.
- To get the best results from processing your venison through grinding, you must also realize that not every part of deer meat can be ground.
- Majorly, large primal cuts from the neck, shoulders, and hips can be processed through grinding because they are soft and have more flesh compared to other parts.
I always grind the front shoulders because I make the best venison sausage from it. However, this differs according to your taste or preference.
It is very essential to also ascertain the quantity of venison you need at the moment because it might not be advisable to refreeze after grinding the venison.
Except in rare cases, the venison might lose taste and quality. You should be sure you want to use the quantity you are about to grind.
- I count it very important and necessary to also keep my venison at 0℉ to ensure it is properly frozen enough to make grinding easy.
Keeping your venison below this temperature might make it too frozen which might require thawing to defrost while keeping your venison above this temperature might spoil the venison if you intend to keep it for longer than 3 days before grinding.
- Understanding the best temperature to keep your venison is very important in ensuring you get a quality grounded venison that would make your sausage and burger taste very delicious.
Venison can be sour and bitter when added to sausages if the excess fats are not properly removed.
This is the reason why I ensure that the thick, heavy silver skin and heavy white tendons need to be trimmed off especially when I want to grind the shank meat.
Trimming off excess fat is a very necessary action.
Steps in Grinding frozen deer meat
Step 1: Freeze your deer meat
Freezing your deer meat is the first step to ensuring a successful ground. Once your deer meat is well frozen, it would be firm enough to ensure a smooth grind, unlike when it is warm and soft, the fats tend to stick on the grinding plate.
The first step to grinding your deer meat is to ensure it is properly frozen.
The major equipment I make use of to ensure that my deer meat is properly frozen without freeze burns is the vacuum sealer, and I also recommend it to you.
Step 2: Add fat to give more flavor
While grinding your meat, adding fat (especially beef or pork) adds flavor and also holds your venison together after it is ground. Most importantly, it adds quite a very substantial moisture to your meat.
The amount of fat I add to my venison depends on whatever I plan to cook.
Typically, I make good use of pork fat because it has a fine neutral flavor.
Depending on your taste and the type of venison you want to cook, applying fat is a good idea.
Let me also tell you this; avoid using warm fat. Keep it semi-frozen, it helps.
Step 3: Grind with your meat grinder
You would need a grinder to grind your venison and fat, any size is okay depending on the volume of meat you are planning to grind, but, a larger grinder would make the grinding process a lot easier.
I find the VBENLEM Commercial Meat Grinder to be extremely effective and satisfactory in grinding your deer meat.
The meat grinder attachments can also be put into the freezer to help keep the meat cold as it grinds. This is absolutely necessary to ensure smooth and easy grinding.
When it comes to grinding your venison, your grinding machine has different plates for various purposes.
- The All-purpose grind is used if you intend to grind all your venison in a single way. All you have to do is to run the meat and fat through the medium grinding plate and ensure the plate is alternating between the meat and fat for even distribution and supply. You must also ensure that this process is carried out twice. The second grinding process makes the mixture of the meat and fat look as fine as a hamburger.
- Chili grind is commonly used for chili. You must grind the meat only once through the coarse grinding plate, there is no need to add fat to this.
- The sausage grind would perform an identical function as the All-purpose grinder. The only difference is that the All-purpose grinder is effective if you want a coarser grind for your sausage.
- It is not compulsory, but I run my venison through the coarse and medium grinding plate respectively. Depending on what you want, but this might be a good idea.
- My venison ground comes out well because of the 80/20 ratio of venison to fat. You can stick to this depending on how much venison you want to grind.
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Advantages of grinding frozen deer meat
Grinder will work better
Grinding frozen deer meat makes grinding easier for you compared to when you grind warm and soft meat.
When you grind frozen venison, the grinding plates would easily work through the meat cutting through easily without attachments of the venison sticking to the grinding plate.
Your ground meat can be used for different things
Grinding frozen deer meat opens you up to various ways to consume your meat.
With a properly grounded venison, you can decide to make sausage or a hamburger either for commercial use or for your personal consumption.
I love sausages a lot and I make them for my friends as well when they visit me either at the hunting camp or my house, grounded venison with pork fat makes my sausages unique and yummy.
Compared to steak or roasted venison, grounded venison can be used in various ways.
Have you ever gone to a sausage walk-in shop and got a sausage but wasn’t satisfied because of the taste or mix?
Well! this is one of the advantages of grinding your meat. You decide what cut you want in the mix.
I use 80/20 ratio of venison to fat, it might not be quality enough according to your taste. Grinding your own meat gives you the freedom to decide the ratio of deer meat to fats you want to mix while making sausages, hamburgers, etc.
Frozen meat is a healthy meat
From a food safety standpoint, frozen meats are healthy. When frozen, oxygen is totally expunged which reduces the growth of bacteria that might be harmful to human health.
Unlike the warm deer meats which bacteria grows on and is subject to decay after a while, grinding frozen venison makes you consume healthy nutritional intakes.
It is absolutely healthy to Grind frozen deer meat because intake of bacteria that might be harmful to health would be reduced or totally prevented.
Disadvantages of grinding frozen deer meat
The danger associated with thawing
When grinding frozen deer meat, if the venison is extremely frozen, you must thaw it. Thawing venison simply means making the venison warm enough for grinding.
The problem with thawing is that it is possible for some parts of the meat to be warm enough for bacteria to grow on.
Whenever you grind frozen meat, once the ground meat begins to thaw, it must be used immediately and as quickly as possible.
Bacteria starts growing mostly on the surface of the deer meat the moment you start thawing it.
Must be consumed on time
Grounded frozen deer meat might also be dangerous if it is not exhausted on time because it has much more surface area unlike the ungrounded one and it makes it susceptible to being infected with bacteria that cause food poisoning in people.
This is why relatively maximum profile cases of E. Coli food poisoning involves grounded deer meat products like burgers, chili, and sausages.
Once you have grounded your frozen venison, it is extremely advisable and important to consume it quickly.
The concept of freezing, thawing, and refreezing makes frozen deer meat disadvantageous to be ground.
Once the frozen venison gets thawed, you stand the risk of losing the meat to decay or contacting food poisoning by consuming such venison.
Refreezing ground deer meat would greatly affect and hurt the texture of the deer meat because when food freezes, ice crystals tend to break down the structure of the venison.
The more you thaw and refreeze is the more ice crystal forms and worsen the texture of the venison.
It is good and highly beneficial to grind frozen venison. However, it becomes unhealthy when a repeated cycle of thawing and refreezing begins to occur.
The deer meat would be subject to bacteria which is harmful to the human body.
It is true that Venison is common among Americans and Canadians, but all over the world as well, it is a meat that is highly demanded and also consumed.
Deer hunting is one of the common and most popular hunting games in the world especially the white-tailed deer, the mule deer, and the moose elk because of their extremely large sizes and nutritious meat.
Generally, deer is one of the most hunted animals in the world today.
However, it is more important to preserve and avoid the meat from decaying or getting exposed to bacteria which might be harmful to the health of man.
This is the reason why various methods have been adopted to preserve this highly nutritious meat of which freezing is a part and various methods have been adopted to also process this highly nutritious meat of which grinding is a part.
Grinding frozen venison is a very good means of effectively preserving and processing deer meat, but extra care and caution must be taken to ensure that the meat does not lose its nutrients, texture, and durability.
With the right approach and method, a ground frozen venison with pork fat is a good sausage recipe.