Hadley: 5 Ways to Process Your Whitetail
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Hadley: 5 Ways to Process Your Whitetail

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After the hunt is over, one of the great parts about hunting whitetails is the food in your freezer. After the prime cuts are trimmed into mouth watering steaks and roasts, you have the option to turn everything else into a variety of foods. Here are a few great options to diversify your stockpile of deer meat. Check out these ideas to process your Whitetail.

Jerky

Good jerky is hard to beat. Keep a bag in the car for road snacks or in your decoy bag for cold days in the duck blind. You can make it in an oven on low heat or with a food dehydrator. The dehydrator is much easier to control but both work.

Pepperoni

Not only is pepperoni delicious, it lasts for a long time in the refrigerator or freezer. Add it to pizza, eat as a snack with cheese or bite of chunks on the trail. You will need a meat grinder and sausage stuffer attachment to make it work.

Summer Sausage

Summer sausage is surprisingly easy to make and with some cheese and jalepeno added to the recipe it’s especially tasty. This one also requires a meat grinder and sausage stuffer. Some recipes call for pork fat as an addition but it works just fine with straight venison.

Pastrami

If you love pastrami, take a front roast and try it out. The process takes a few days of curing and some low temperature smoking but can turn out excellent. Hot pastrami sandwiches are a favorite.

Breakfast Sausage

Find your favorite mixture of seasonings and the right ratio of pork fat and venison to make great breakfast sausage. There are tons of recipes available and pre-made seasoning mixes. You will need a grinder and sausage stuffer for this on as well.

Burger

Straight ground or add a little pork fat to hold patties together. A burger press is great for having patties ready in the freezer. You can always form them by hand though. Adding some minced onion and jalepeno to your patties adds plenty of flavor.

Easy Canned Meals

Forget TV dinners with rubber meat on a plastic tray. You can hot can venison that is pre-cooked, extra tender and ready to serve cold or after a quick warmup. You will need a pressure cooker and jars, lids and a day to sort it all out but the process is simple and works great. Ground and pre-cooked is ideal for tacos, lasagna and pasta sauces. You can build pre-made stews by adding potatoes and vegetables to cubed venison. Sliced pieces that are seared and placed in a hot pack are ready to add to cold sandwiches as well.

Zach Lazzari
Zach Lazzari
Zach Lazzari is a fly fishing guide and freelance writer based in Montana. Zach has fished and guided in Alaska, Colorado and Patagonia. When he's not fishing, Zach is chasing big game, upland birds and waterfowl.