If you do your own wild game processing, these tools will simplify your life.
Most hunting seasons have opened now across the country. Regardless of what you are hunting, hopefully your freezer is starting to fill up. Resist the temptation to turn everything into burger. This year, consider some of these wild game processing gadgets to make your life a little easier, try some new methods/recipes out, and potentially increase the storage life of the wild animals you worked so hard to get. After all, an ethical hunter should always respect the animal from the field to the fork.
1. Knife Set
First things first. A good set of knives is essential for most of the remaining processing techniques. Remember to sharpen them often, as a sharp knife is much safer than a dull one. A variety set will go a long way and is a great investment if you take care of them. Get a set from Sportsman's Guide.
2. Jerky Knife Board
This cutting board is a wonderful way of producing consistent whole muscle-cut jerky. You can adjust the thickness of the jerky by flipping the cutting board over. Are there other ways of doing this? Sure. Is this a lot easier? You betcha. Get one from Cabela's.
3. Vacuum Sealer
Gone are the days of wrapping venison steaks in butcher paper and tossing them in the freezer to burn. Vacuum sealers prolong the storage life of your wild game cuts by sealing out oxygen very effectively and protecting your items. They are very simple to use and are great for bulk grocery freezer items as well. Get one from Cabela's.
4. Meat Grinder
I know I said don't turn everything into burger, but that doesn't mean you can't grind some of it. In fact, with so many sausage recipes out there it would be crazy to not try a few. You can always opt for the old hand-cranked version as well, but the electric grinder saves some time. Many models also come with various sized tubes to stuff the sausage into casings.
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5. Jerky Gun
There's something special about whole muscle-cut jerky, but there's no denying how tender and flavorful jerky from a jerky gun can be. You can apply several types of nozzles to make wide or thin strips, and you don't have to be a cave man or woman to eat it either. Get one from Cabela's.
The easiest way to make jerky is to use a dehydrator. You can also prepare whole muscle-cut jerky and sticks using a food dehydrator. But it can always be used for fruit or vegetables as well. Get a model with several trays to save on time. Get one from Bass Pro.
Whether you make your own smoker or purchase one, there are not many other wild game processing gadgets that can completely transform and add so much flavor to your dishes. Experiment with different types of wood chips for a different flavor, and see what you can create.