Tuesday, December 18, 2012

How to Can Venison

Jill from Lodgepole NE asked:
Just watched an episode where you were canning venison. I was wondering just how much water is being placed in the jars with the venison, beef boullion and dried onions? The cans were cooked on high till steam came out then turned to low for how long? Where can you find the CanCooker that was used in this episode too?


Thanks for the question and just so you know, I had to call in the real expert on this one! My Wife! Here are her answers: Always leave 1" of space at the top of the jar and fill it with water. Use the handle of your spoon to to make holes for the water to soak down into the meat. After the CanCooker starts to steam, cook for 90 minutes. Make sure all your lids are boiled and the tops of the jars are clean with no chips. If the jar lids do not pop inward and seal, refrigerate and eat the meat as you normally would. As long as the jars seal, you can store your canned venison for a year or more just as you would any store purchased canned product. The CanCooker is available on The Hunter's Butcher Shop website so check it out! Great product!

"The Meat Man"
Brad Lockwood
Outdoor Edge's LOH TV

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Eating Fresh Game Right After a Hunt

Michael from Courtice, Ontario, CA wrote:


My question is about eating freshly killed game meat. I watch a lot of hunting shows on Canada's "Wild TV" and I see guys get so excited after they kill a deer/elk/moose, etc. and they say "We'll have those back-straps on the BBQ tonight back at the camp." I don't know a lot about meat preparation and the aging process. But I would have thought that eating a freshly harvested game meat (same day) would not be the best way to enjoy the meat.

So, would it not be better to dry age the meat 3 or 4 days before cooking it? Or, can you get the same tasting meat from a fresh kill as you would if you dry age it? I am a brand new hunter, in fact I just took Ontario's mandatory "Hunter Safety Course" a few weeks ago and I was surprised that they don't discuss safe preparation/consumption of game meat - other than field dressing/transporting back to camp and keeping it cool as soon as possible after harvesting the animal.

So, before I get out there and harvest my first animal, I would like to know how best to enjoy a fresh kill.

Very best regards!


You are correct! Aging meat properly is the best way to truly enjoy wild game meats! Be sure to look around on our blog page as there are several great questions and replies under the aging meat link.

Yes, you are correct and I have done it many times myself! Harvest an animal and just for tradition cook up some fresh meat for a celebration. It's more tradition than enjoyment but anytime you can eat what you harvest it's all good! To properly explain how to process meat and perform proper field dressing would take more typing than I can do!

My best advice here would be our Deer & Big Game Processing DVD, which deals with field dressing a trophy animal & a meat animal, skinning and caping your trophy, aging your animal and then deboning all the quarters of the animal and defining all the cuts from each and every primary muscle in the animal. This DVD is a must have for every hunter - Beginner to Advanced. It's used by many states here in the USA during the hunter's safety classes to instruct students on proper field dressing.

I would check it out and good luck in your new adventure!

"The Meat Man"
Brad Lockwood
Outdoor Edge's LOH TV

Friday, December 14, 2012

Making Jerky in the Oven

Jon from Lancaster, Ohio asked:
How can I make venison jerky in the oven? What temperature should I set it on and how long do I leave it in the oven?


I have used my household oven to dry jerky many times and it works very well! Not to mention: it makes the house smell wonderful also!

One thing to note is that you will have to add a little bit of liquid smoke to your seasoning marinade to get the smoke flavor into the product because you won't be burning wood. Be careful when doing this! If you add too much, you can really give your product a bitter smoke flavor! I like to mix the liquid smoke with a little water to dilute it down and get it evenly spread throughout my meat.

When drying jerky always remember you're doing just that - drying it! Not baking it! So keep the temperature nice and low. Start out at 150F for 1 hour then go to 170-180F until dry. The trick here is don't over dry! There's a fine line between dry enough and crispy, so be careful!

You really should look at our Advanced Jerky Processing DVD. It's 2 full hours of great jerky processing tips! Great DVD!

Brad Lockwood
"The Meat Man"

Monday, December 10, 2012

Love of the Hunt Webisode: How Fast Do Weston Meat Grinders Grind?

This is a Love of the Hunt TV Webisode. In it, I put the Weston #22 Electric Meat Grinder to the test. I've been asked countless times how many pounds a minute the Weston Grinders grind. So I decided to cube up some meat and leave it untrimmed, with the fat and sinew on there for a true test. See for yourself how amazingly well it performs! This is why I use Weston brand Meat Grinders!

Monday, December 3, 2012

What kind of wood should I use in my smoker?

Ron from Yelm, WA asked: 
What kind of wood would you recommend for smoking fish, venison sausage, and jerky?

Very good question Ron! I'm glad you asked! The type of wood you use will depend on several factors...

First: Is the product traditionally hard smoked?

Second, and most importantly: Do you like a heavily smoked product?

Third: How wet is the surface of the product and how much moisture is in the product?

Finally: What is the surface area of the product (diameter)?

Let me explain: If you're making a black forest ham, you will want a deep penetrating strong flavor that would come from a wood such as hickory or mesquite. If you want a light smoke, you may want to use apple or alder wood.

When I speak of how wet the surface of the product is, I am meaning: When you touch the surface, is the product wet or dry? If the surface is wet, like fish or waterfowl, the product will absorb a lot of smoke. If the surface is dry, it won't matter what type of wood you use. You will have trouble getting a strong smoke flavor and getting good penetration of smoke into the meat. Always remember that moisture is the way smoke travels into the meat. No moisture = no smoke penetration, little moisture = little penetration, a lot of moisture means a lot of smoke penetration!

When I speak of surface area I am meaning: How big is the product you are smoking? A ham will have a lot more surface area than a snack stick, so you are going to have less time to apply smoke to a snack stick than a ham because the surface of the snack stick will dry out much faster than the surface of a ham.

Thanks again for the question Ron, and I would really recommend the Advanced Sausage DVD (click to check it out) for you! Judging by your question, I believe you would really enjoy the content of that DVD.

Brad Lockwood
"The Meat Man" 

Can I use a Weston Meat Cuber to make sausage?

Eliden asked via Youtube:
Can the Weston Meat Cuber make meat cubes? I want to make chunky meat sausages.


The Weston Cuber that I used in the video you are referring to is designed to break down the muscle fibers and tenderize the meat. However, with that being said you can put the meat several times through the Cuber crossing the direction each time until the meat simply falls apart or can be pulled apart very easily by hand. I would then mix this "chunky" meat with some ground product, season and stuff the product and try that.

If you try to make sausage out of nothing but chunks of lean meat the product will never hold together during the cooking process. It will fall apart similar to a cheap ground up Philly cheese steak product. The ground product will hold the chunky meat in place during cooking and get you the product you may be looking for.

I would also recommend our Advanced Sausage Processing DVD which digs deep into the exact process you are asking about. It talks specifically about how proteins bind muscles together and how the various particle sizes give you different textures in the final product.

Great question! I enjoy working with various grinding techniques. Check out the DVD, I think by your question you would really enjoy its content!

Good luck this season!

"The Meat Man"
Brad Lockwood

Which tastes better: Moose or Deer?

Jason from Columbus, NC asked

My wife's family is from Maine - well known for lobster and moose. We were watching your show when you were making moose steaks in the smoker and were curious: How much of a difference is there between moose and deer, and which one do you prefer?

Oh my Jason - no question about it: moose is the best wild game meat I've ever tasted! Doe antelope is a very close second. Go get yourself one and enjoy!

Brad Lockwood
Outdoor Edge's LOH TV