5 Things Every Venison Lover Should Do

Dan Wis bowIf you’re a diehard deer hunter then you probably love to eat venison, too, and likely are handy in the kitchen or manning the grill.

If so, you could ramp up your skills with just a few changes. Deer & Deer Hunting Editor-in-Chief Dan Schmidt offers five of his best deer tips to give you a leg up on your venison meals this season.

Weston Jerky in Smoker1. Take up smoking.
My dad is a master 
at smoking venison
 sausage, but he uses a
 real smokehouse, and 
it has taken him years
 to perfect the craft. 
It’s hard to describe
 why, but home-
made sausage just 
tastes better. Today’s 
propane smokers are 
certainly a lot more handy than doing it the old-fashioned way, and the results are pretty darned good, if I do say so myself. Best part: It allows for smoking manageable batches of sausage, jerky and hind quarters.

Smoke ’em if you got ’em with a fantastic, big propane smoker …

Engel Coolers2. Keep your cool.
Nothing is more frustrating than spending $6 on a jumbo bag of ice only to see it become tepid water after two days in the cooler. I’ve found the solution to that problem and discovered new ways to keep food fresher longer with a performance cooler. Engel was the first to market with these coolers, and the company’s products are virtually bomb-proof. Sweet features include hinged closures, a pitched floor with a drain plug and an air-tight food-grade silicone freezer gasket.

Keep your venison cold on the way home for better flavor at the table … 

Weston Vacuum Sealer Pro 23003. Seal the deal.
Vacuum sealers are all the rage for storing home-processed fish and venison. A new tactic (well, new to me) is to use the sealer for marinating meats faster and better than via traditional methods. I don’t like to marinate venison unless absolutely necessary, but some cuts such as neck roasts are better suited for it. Simply put the meat in a vacuum bag, add the marinade and seal it. The sealing action draws the juice right into the meat.

Seal ’em up with marinades, or keep you venison fresher in the freezer longer … 

Weston Grinder 54. Be a slave to the grind.
Quality butcher shops are still the way to go when it comes to convenience, but you can’t always be sure what you’ll get back, especially with ground meat. With your own grinder, you dictate how much fat is added, if any, and how coarse the final product is. A quality grinder can easily pay for itself in just one deer season.

Never worry about what’s in your ground venison or who’s deer it really is ever again … 

Click the photo for more information ...

Click the photo for more information …

5. Pack a lunch.
I finally stopped fooling around with those wimpy soft-sided lunch bags and now pack a man-sized lunch into the new 13-quart cooler/dry box. This thing is the bomb. It features metal hasps and a sealed gasket in the lid for keeping a day’s worth of goodies cool, dry and secure.

Keep cool things cool and your valuables safe from the elements or dirt … 

Here’s a great dry rub recipe from our good friend Stacy Harris. Check out her site, www.GameandGarden.com for more insights, and visit ShopDeerHunting.com for her cookbooks that are jammed with super recipes, tips and more.

Best Dry Rub 
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp ground smoked cumin
1 Tbsp freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients and rub thoroughly into the meat. Cover the meat and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. I like to leave it in the refrigerator for 24 hours or overnight.