Monday, February 3, 2014

Wild Game Brines

Gary from Oakfield, WI wrote:

I have always smoked my venison roasts myself, and I am looking for a new brine to use in the preparation process. Would you be willing to part with a recipe, or send me looking in a certain direction?

Hello Gary!

Thanks for the great question AND the new topic! This is a new category that I haven't received questions on until now! 

Cured venison hams are a very fun product to make, and I usually brine mine, then use a Weston Meat Slicer to slice it thin like chipped corned beef for sandwiches. There are several good brines that you can use. Hi Mountain has a Brown Sugar Canadian brine mix that is very good. They also have a BuckBoard Bacon Brine that, when mixed with some additional brown or white sugar, works very well for injecting and soaking roasts to smoke as well. 

The one important secret that I will share with you is to keep in mind these are simply a base recipe for salt/sugar brines. They contain the cure that you will need to preserve your product, BUT they are only a BASE recipe for you to start with. Feel free to add additional salt if you want a salty product, additional brown or white sugar for a sweeter product or increase both salt and sugar content for an overall stronger flavor profile! 

I always inject my hams with all the brine they will hold! Fact is: with a simple injection process, you will only get a 12-15% brine pick up anyway, so you really can't over inject. The muscle tissues can only hold so much marinade and the rest will just run out. I then take my remaining brine and cut it with 50% water, soak for 3-5 days covered in the cooler, remove it, rinse well and then smoke. 

I produced a great DVD that showcases these brining techniques entitled Mastering Marination. Be sure and check it out - you will enjoy the information shared in that DVD. It covers ducks, geese, boneless smoked venison hams, smoked fish and much more!

Thanks for the great question and the new topic of discussion!

Brad Lockwood

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