Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Making The Most Out Of Wild Turkey

Bob from Eau Claire, WI wrote:

I will be hunting for my first turkey this year. In your turkey jerky video, you say something I've been hearing a lot: That people don't like wild turkey. You also say there are 101 ways to prepare it.

Can you share some other ways you like it?

Wild turkeys are very good eating Bob! It doesn't matter if you make jerky, sausage, or marinate them; they can be great table fair! Here's my recommendation...

Check out a couple of these Love of the Hunt Butcher Block videos on processing wild turkey products:
Soy Ginger Turkey Breasts
Turkey Sausage
Turkey Jerky

If you need more information, see my Mastering Marination DVD. This DVD has segments on marinating turkey, upland game birds, waterfowl, fish and much more.

The only real issue I've ever experienced with wild turkeys is that they tend to get dry, so baking them in the traditional "Butterball" fashion doesn't work well. You have to improvise a little to get a good product. Marinating is a great method for preparing wild turkeys and Hi Mountain Seasonings have a great injectable marinade just for turkeys.

If you're going to bake the breast, I always use a Reynolds Oven Bag to help hold in the moisture as much as possible during smoking or baking. You can purchase these bags at any grocery store.

Be sure to watch those videos I recommended and I'm sure you will come up with some great ideas when you bag your bird this spring!

Good luck!

"The Meat Man"
Brad Lockwood

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Making Summer Sausage

Michael from Reno, NV wrote in:


I have watched two of your online videos and have read the directions for the Hi Mountain Jalapeno Summer Sausage seasoning mix. It is asking for pork to be added. What cut would your suggest? I will be using beef roast to mix with the pork.

Also is the non fat dry milk just for the wild game?

I also will be following your directions for the smoking instead of the one that came with the sausage kit.



If you will be using a beef roast, will it be chuck or round?

If you are using chuck, I would suggest using pork butt for the pork section of your meat block. If you are using a section from the round, which has much less fat content than a chuck, I would use a pork product that contains a little more fat.

The mix you are looking for is about an 80/20 blend of lean to fat for the overall mix. Chuck will be in the correct area to start with, as will pork butt, so that's why I suggested mixing those two together.

If you use round, you may need to use some fresh side pork to mix with your round to get the fat content correct. On the overall mix, you are looking at 2lbs of pork for every 8lbs of beef. This will give you a good blend for Summer Sausage.

I would add the additional non-fat dry milk at the rate of one cup for every 10lbs of meat. This will help keep the product firm during cooking.

When you get into the final stages of smoking, be sure to close the damper on your smoker and even add a pan of water in the smoker to help keep the humidity level high. This will keep your product from drying out. Cook to an internal temperature of 156F.

Good luck and have fun!

"The Meat Man"
Brad Lockwood

Adding Seasoning to Your Pre-Packaged Mix

Gary from Little Valley, NY asked:

About how much cayenne pepper would you recommend to add to your 10 lb kielbasa sausage mix? I would like something mild.


The first thing I would recommend is to start a good recipe book and keep track of every step of the process - especially when adding additional ingredients to your products. What tends to happen is you find the perfect amount for your taste buds and then forget how much you added!

I would start with one tablespoon for 10lbs of meat and work your way up or down from there. Always remember, the pre-packaged seasonings you purchase are simply a base flavor profile of the product you are trying to make. They are not designed to fit everyone's particular taste so modifying the recipe is exactly what you want to do. Just be sure to keep track of what you add so you can increase it or decrease it on the next batch.

Thanks for the question and be sure to let us know how it comes out!

"The Meat Man"
Brad Lockwood

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Beginning Processing

Darrel from Alvin, Texas asked:

I am a new hunter at 52 years old and want to process my own game - So far just whitetail and hog. Please help!


Thanks for the question. When answering questions I generally try to refrain from talking about specific products and selling items to people - but in this case I have no choice.

The best thing to do is purchase the Deer and Big Game Processing DVD, available for purchase by clicking here. I created this DVD for this exact reason. This DVD will take you step by step, with exact detail and extreme close ups on the proper field dressing techniques of a trophy animal and a meat animal. It then covers step by step the proper skinning of a meat animal, as well as preparing a trophy animal for a taxidermy mount. It covers proper aging of the carcass and then spends a great deal of time de-boning and sectioning all the primary muscles from each quarter of the animal and explaining the various cuts available from each section of meat. It also covers basic grinding and packaging.

This DVD is a must for every hunter no matter if you've been processing deer your entire life or just starting. I promise there are tips and techniques in this DVD for every hunter. If you really want to get head over heals into it, look at the Advanced Game Processing Library that has all 4 titles in it. Elk, Sausage, Jerky and the Deer Processing DVD.

Take my advice here, a little knowledge can go a long, long way when it comes to game processing. It's not rocket science but a few basic tips and techniques can really make your job much easier and more enjoyable.

"The Meat Man"
Brad Lockwood

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Stainless Steel or Carbon Steel Grinder Knives?

Wyatt from Adamsville, TN asked

Are Stainless Steel grinder plates and knives better or Carbon Steel? What's the difference?


This is a tough question and not easily explained so I will do my best...

By definition, a steel cannot be labeled Stainless Steel unless it contains at least 11% Chromium. Chromium is a very hard element that helps keep the steel from rusting. Because Chromium is very hard, if you put too much of it into a steel when you are making a knife, grinder plate or any other product, it gets so hard that you can't get a good cutting edge on it. This is why no matter how hard you try to sharpen a kitchen butter knife you will never get it to take or hold a razor edge like a knife designed to cut meat. It won't rust, but it also won't take a sharp edge and maintain one.

On the other side of the spectrum, Carbon is soft and will rust. Carbon is the compound used in knives that allow you to get that wire sharp edge. This is why a perfect balance of Carbon for sharpening and Stainless for rust prevention is required to make a great knife. For example, Outdoor Edge Knives uses a lot of 420 Stainless and AUS8A Stainless to make knives. This steel has a high concentration of Carbon so you can get a razor sharp edge on them, however you have to take care of the knives, oil them and keep them dry or the blade will get rust spots on it.

Grinder blades are made in the exact same fashion. They all have Carbon and they all have Chromium - they label them Stainless Steel because they have the Chromium anti-rust material, but they will still rust because of the Carbon content.

To summarize: Get yourself the Carbon grinder knives if you want 'em sharper, but know that they will rust easily. If you're worried about rust, get the Stainless, but still remember that you have to take care of them and dry them thoroughly after washing. No matter which you get, I recommend buying some Weston Silicone Spray to help prevent rust and take proper care of your plates & knives.

"The Meat Man"
Brad Lockwood