How do you get the Wild taste out of your Deer

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

I cooked the Tenderloin last night, (not the back strap) it was the best deer i've ever fixed, But had a mild wild taste to it that I did not like, I know folks do all kinds of different things to get the wild taste out of their deer.

What do you do?

Is it because it was so fresh, (killed the day before)

i've heard soaking in buttermilk helps, or does that just tenderize, I don't reallly need to tenderize, but get the wild taste out.

And yes when my husband puts up his deer, EVERY white membrane is cut off, he's very maticulous, spends Hours doing this.

Also, what all do you put in your sausage seasoning to make your own sausage?

I use
Sage, brown sugar, salt, pepper, garlic and sometimes I use paprika.

we often just add then cook a piece and see how it tastes, i'd love to put amounts to these ingredients for say such as l0 pounds of meat.

WE also use slab bacon in with our deer to make sausage with instead of fat. I just love the taste of it with bacon ground up in it instead of just plain fat.


Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Kathy, I never understand what people mean about a wild or gamey taste in their deer. I've never noticed that, but then, we also really like lamb and some people object to the taste of that, too. I cook mine any way that I'd cook beef, and it's very similar to the grass-fed beef we've had in France. Aging it tenderizes it but I would think that would only accentuate any wild taste that you might find objectionable. Soaking it in buttermilk not only tenderizes it but also makes the taste milder, from everything I've heard, although we've never done that. We like to cook our steaks and tenderloins in butter with sautéed mushrooms in a little wine and/or teryaki sauce. You might like that, too, and also find that it decreases the wild taste.

When we make deer sausage we use a 60% deer to 40% fatty pork ratio, and use Italian seasonings like garlic, fennel seed and oregano. This year I'm also going to try adding some wine. We had a discussion about this on the Big Green Egg forum and someone offered this link for sausage recipes:

And here's the page with the discussion:

Sedalia, MO

I never noticed the gamey taste in the deer here where we live, they eat all kinds of grain, corn wheat. When we lived down in the hilly part of mo. where there was no crops grown, the deer had a gamey taste, they ate mostly acorns and brush. So it probably depends on where you harvest them.
I make jerky, and summer sausage, and lots of ground meat to cook with. I only take roast from the young deer. Also don't leave any bone in the meat, such as the roast's as I think it gives it a bad taste,JMO

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Aha, the bone may be the key. Although our deer don't have access to grain or corn or wheat, and just browse in the woods and fields around here, we always bone them out completely when we package them. We also try to get the silver off the muscles but we're not fanatical about it. We cut them up by muscle groups: top round, eye of round, sirloin tip, rump roast, etc. and give the bones to our chickens or burn them in the wood stove. Maybe that's why we don't notice any wild taste.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

Your right about not leaving the bone on the meat, I knew that. I have had it both ways and I do not like it when it's cooked with the bone on it.

I love the idea of cooking it in butter, and mushrooms and wine, sounds really good, I'll have to try that.

It may have just been gamey tasting because it was so fresh, it usually tastes just fine to me.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Or maybe your deer got into something especially strong before his or her untimely death! We don't find the tenderloin, right above the kidneys, strong, and that comes out immediately after gutting and we eat it right away.

Try a little teryaki sauce, too. That's nice for a change.

I made a stew with deer chunks the other night that was out of this world: carrots, mushrooms, celery, potatoes, parsnips, onions, kale, wine and I think rosemary and thyme with French sea salt. I cooked it for a long time and it was excellent. Very flavorful.

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

use ginger. whenever there is a strong flavor that i am aware of, i use ginger in the dish.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

I use ginger very lightly sprinkled on fish but I never thought to try it on anything else. Interesting, MaVie!

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

yes, ginger definitely take off foul flavor and smell on food. my ancestors in the Phils. use it in their lifetime. guess what? lot of chefs in the food network and other well known chefs use ginger. in fact, other well known chefs like Mario Battali, Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay and so many other go to Asia to study the Asian trends in cooking. look around u, u will see lots of Asian restaurant blooms like mushroom. there is a very well know Amer. chef in ur area who travels to asia every so often, his name is Mike, sorry i forgot his last name. Amer. palate is changing, they are beginning to adhere to healthy Asian foods which are mostly organic too.

London, United Kingdom

Leslie, Ginger does work, so does a glass of port and Juniper berries!
However as we have a lot of deer in the UK and I love it, but it must be hung correctly.
It is a ruminant like cattle, so should be hung. You would not eat beef if it had only been killed the day before as it would be dangerous in the extreme.
It also depends where it was shot and how long before it was Gralloched, for in Scotland whilst shooting Red deer or in fact in England shooting any deer, it should be Gralloched within four minutes, or the stomach starts to become gassy, just like cows stomachs do. If the stomach ruptures as the organic material inside lets of methane very quickly, the resulting green mess on the meat will taint it badly!
Although we do it differently than the US rucky who gets on these forums, shoots deer and he does it the US way plus he was a butcher, I am sure he can help!
However deer is a wild animal and it should have a natural gamey taste, it should not taste like a domestic animal at all.

Huffman, TX(Zone 9a)

I have hunted in several different states and can tell you that the deer eat what is good forage for their area and this gives them a different taste The best way to deal with it as Neil says it needs to hang. But living in the South the temp's are to high so the best thing is to leave the meat in the ice chest for several days and drain off the bloody water everyday and add new ice this will take all most all of the gamey taste from the meat. then if it is still to strong for you soak it in buttemilk before cooking it. I like a little game taste its why we hunt deer and other game I recently shot a Wild turkey it doesn't tase any thing like domestic turkey. The legs are a little stringy and the breast meat a little tougher so the legs went into Gumbo and the breast was marrinated in soy and lime and beer then slow grilled with bacon on top. It was deiicious. I went back hunting and my wife ate all the leftovers while I was gone. I once hunted in an area where the deer ate cedar beens off a cedar tree and the meat was pretty strong so we left it in the ice chest for several more days changing the ice and draining the water and the meat was fine. I like the ground meat from my venison its the most versital I made some spagetti last night from it. I added some gound chuck to the venison when processing or pork to give the meat a little moisture. The thing about the tenderloins is that they come from the inside closest to the vitals of the deer so if the deer was gut shot it might give the meat a rangey taste. I try to clean my deer as soon as i can after shooting it and wash it good with cold water. If its really cold out I will let it hang for several hours then put it in the ice chest it keeps the ice from melting so fast at first.
I hope you enjoy your venison I love it and usually try to have some year round (unfortunatly not this year yet) Fried back strap with fried potato's and milk gravy just don't get no better than that..............rucky

London, United Kingdom

Rucky I totally agree with you. For Scottish Red deer eat a lot of heather, as that is what grows up on the mountain sides, so they sometimes have a grouse flavour.
Whereas in the Scottish lowlands which is rich in grass, they are very mild in taste.
In Yorkshire where I used to shoot, they eat a lot of pine, forever chewing on things, so they tasted like turpentine.
Down in Hampshire they eat a lot of acorns and hazel nuts, and are fantastic to eat.
Plus it also depends on what species they are, as well.
Due to the cold here, I hang mine in the stone north facing pantry for at least seven days before I touch it, and that is a small roe deer.
The Kent Red deer I get now are big so you can hang them for 14 days with no problem at all.
As there is a drain in the pantry, I simply wash them down with clean water twice a day!
Rucky don't forget the liver with mashed potatoes and a good sauce!

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

There are a lot of acorns and hickory nuts around here; maybe that's why our deer taste so good. We also have red cedar, though, or juniperus communalis, and they do browse that. Here we can't gut within four minutes of death. My DH hunts on our own property; he puts up a deer stand every fall. When he shoots one he has to drag it out of the woods to our barn, where he puts down a tarpaulin and guts the deer. By then it's more like a half-hour after death. Then he hangs it and removes the tenderloin. If it's cool enough he hangs it in the barn for at least a week, but this year when he shot a doe during bow season it turned mild after five days, so we processed the deer, cut it off the bones, and packaged it, and then put it in an extra refrigerator we have in the basement for another five days before freezing it. That's the first time we've tried aging in a refrigerator. That's less messy than using ice, at least.

Charlevoix, MI(Zone 4b)

Grass-fed deer taste best, corn-wheat fed next and those darn deer that browse the cedar swamps.. YUCK! :)

Soaking in buttermilk overnight will tenderize and also pull any "off" flavors out of the meat. I like the very mild gaminess of venison...I like to know I'm eating venison!

Huffman, TX(Zone 9a)

I agree MsKatt I like the taste of most wild game of course its all in the preparation where I hunt now the deer eat mostly acorns and we feed them corn year around so they are really good. I hunted in the desert of west Texas a couple of years ago. There where no acorns and not much forage and you wouldn't believe the amount of deer that live there. It was nothing to see 20 deer at a time. So we fed corn year around and made sure the water wells stayed working we had water tubs all over for the wild life and miles of pipes to keep them full. The meat from these deer was wonderful I know that they nibbled on young prickly pear cactus because I seen it so maybe thats why they tasted so good. I quit hunting there because it was so far away 9 hour drive. And it was a very unforgiving place everything sticks stings or bites and the neerest town was 1 store and about 10 miles away it was seven miles from the camp to the road and I am not as young as I used to be :) I hunt the hill country now just outside of Leukenback Tx. The deer are just as plentiful but a little smaller. But taste just as good .

London, United Kingdom

Dear Leslie, we do not get hickory here, but acorns we get a lot of and beech mast (nuts), they eat a lot of them as well.
The problem is we have too many deer due to the E.U.! They state that all venison must be veterinary checked when killed, that is impossible out on the moors as sometimes you do not see them for days on end. So to pay a vet to come with you for days would cost a small fortune.
The estates used to want people to cull a certain amount of the big herds, they would take 60% to sell and you would get 40%, which paid your wages.
Now as you cannot sell them if they are not meat checked, the estates don't bother, hence deer everywhere! The stupid bit is it is not illegal for the Eastern Europeans to bring unchecked venison into the UK and sell it!
There is a problem in north London as they have wrecked a park there is so many of them.
To be honest there are also untold amounts of them near me, but you can only use so many for your own consumption, that is the law.
It is weird that Juniper berries and port is the standard sauce for venison, and lovely it is too. Junipers grow near deer, and on the moors we have bilberries which grow near the grouse.
They are the same family as your blueberries, but a lot smaller and more tart, yet they make the perfect sauce for grouse.
We have had a major storm here which has flooded Cumbria, whole towns under water, terrible. A policeman was stopping traffic and people from going across a bridge as he thought it to be dangerous. Then suddenly the bridge collapsed and he was swept away in the river, which was running at 45 knots. They found his body yesterday 18 miles from where he fell in. Sadly he was married and leaves four young children, and it was his Birthday today! very sad indeed. In one town the RAF helicopters had to rescue 1100 people of the roofs of the houses as the water was rising so high and so fast.
Hope you and the family are fine, my ankle still hurts, but will get better.
Regards form London.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

Thank you so much for all the comments.

Our deer are Full of acorns , grass, and persimmons, and they still taste a little gamey,

My DH does let it sit in an ice chest for a couple days not sure if he cleans it out daily and refreshes the ice though. I'll have to tell him about that one. He's very particular about cleaning it though as he knows I won't eat it if it's not done right. Nothing is left on the bone when he's finished.

I will start soaking it more often in buttermilk also. I've done this before and had good results. I'm not really big on eating it FRESH< as killed yesterday , eating the next day. I just don't like the taste, as I think that's why the tenderloin was so gamey. When It's in the freezer a while, my DD can't tell the difference between it and beef. She now asks every time she eats meat around here. What is this meat? LOL

I'm looking forward to trying the mushrooms and wine. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

MY DH is coming out of the woods today, with 2 more deer, we're making deer sausage this weekend. I have the seasoning made up for the sausage, and just waiting on him to come in.

Huffman, TX(Zone 9a)

Cool what kinda sausage do you make and do you smoke it.I like fresh and smoked. Also if you havn't tried it venison makes great jerky. And if you have quite a few back straps try this: a back strap is thicker on one end than the other so I take one and lay it in the bottom of a small roasting pan (I marrinate it of course) then I layer onion slices on top of it and slices of jalapeno then a layer of good bacon lay another one on top of the other in the opposite direction and shingle with bacon wrap the whole thing with butcher string and slow roast at about 300 for about 45 minutes then turn the temp up to 400 and brown the bacon. I usually put some beer in the bottom of the pan and cover with foil for the first 45 minutes then uncovered for 20 minutes or so untill bacon is brown it is a good roast and the bacon keeps it moist.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

It's just a breakfast sausage. Spices i'm using are garlic powder, onion powder, sage, salt, pepper and brown sugar. We have made summer sausage before, it turned out really good. We have alot of deer this year, we've been blessed.

and Jerky, yes, but we haven't found a good recipe yet that we liked. any ideas? We have jerky meat cut up and frozen in small batches so he can experiment with different ingred in the marinade.

Huffman, TX(Zone 9a)

I use soy sauce for the base of my marinade usually about a half cup. I then add about 1/4 cup either brown sugar or honey or sometimes molasses depending on what flavor I am making. I don't add salt because the soy has plenty but I like course pepper and garlic powder then whatever flavor I want. I make one with a chipoltle hot sauce I just eyeball the amount. Or I use a jalapeno sauce. I also make one where I cut the soy in half add terryaki sauce brown sugar and cayanne pepper its sweet and spicy. I use a dehydrater for mine so I also add liquid smoke to all of the mixes usually about a couple of tablespoons but if your smoking the jerky you won't need that. Its important that the meat is cut across the grain or it will be hard to eat. That seems to be the hardest part with venison. I used to be a butcher so I know what to look for but you can see which way the grain runs in the meat and slice it across it. I hope this helps I don't really measure anything just kinda guestamate. If you like it spicier grind some coarse pepper on the meat when you get ready to dry it. I do this right on the trays. Have fun.

Sedalia, MO

When I do my jerky, I grind the meat, add a tablespoon of tender quick, soysauce, peperika, some pepper flakes and brown sugar, and some liquid smoke, then I add a teaspoon of jack daniels for each lb of meat. then let it set in refridg for 24 hrs, miix again and let set another day. Roll out on wax papper and sprinkle with coarse black pepper, cut in strips and I use cookie cooling racks and dry in oven at 200.
I do in abtches of 5 lbs

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