Venison Chop Shop

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Yesterday September 15, 2007 was the day reserved for cutting up the nice 4 point buck deer that was harvested on opening day of our annual Archery season here in Anson County.  Being able to process my own harvested game seems to take me back many years when hog killing time came around and I helped keep the fires burning under the cast iron “wash pots” that heated the water so the hair could be removed from the hog.  I do believe we processed everything except the squeal of the hog, hair and the hooves.  

For a couple decades I had used our local processors to cut and package most of the deer I harvested especially in the archery season when the weather was extremely hot and would do a few along during the cold weather when it was cold enough to hang one outside. However, getting Mother Nature to be between 35 to 45 degrees was not always possible!   

Since I already had a meat grinder and sausage stuffer, the decision was made to obtain a used refrigerator especially for game and sausage making supplies after a local game processor’s walk-in cooler went on the blink whereby loosing a nice buck I harvested during opening day of the 2002 archery season.  He later said that was a costly mistake since I normally spent several hundred dollars or more a year with him and has since processed my own. 

This week I added a hand cuber/meat tenderizer to my equipment list and it worked fairly well.  The real test will be when I have the cubed venison on a plate smothered by some mushroom gravy and “sticky” rice.  This hand cuber doesn't flatten the steak out thin as the commercial powder driven units like Hobart, etc., or even a heavy hand mallet type cuber but instead pierces a series of slits or cuts into and through the meat which does help to tenderize the meat.  It is no substitute though for a 2000 dollar production commercial unit; don't waste your money on this item!  I have noticed you need to simmer your cubed steak longer when using this unit versus cubed meat from a commercial cuber or the old fashioned hand mallet cuber type.   I prefer the hand mallet cuber best!


The cuber/meat tenderizer is easy to disassemble for cleaning and it works fair.  My recommendation is Do Not Purchase this Item or one like it.  A hand cuber or meat mallet works better!  See the Venison Steak recipe in the Recipe section of this site for a view of the finished product on the plate.   It has fifteen (15) rows of circular blades on each gear driven roller and will cut meat up to one (1) inch in thickness by seven (7) inches wide.  

Above pix  of hand aluminum meat cuber my bride gave me many decades ago and about as low tech as you can go.  There are much larger versions available with nice fancy handles on them but this one still works.  A larger one might reduce your "mallet" time cubing those "beautimous" loin straps though.  Pix of the little hand cuber in action:

Below current hand cuber that I use which has more real-estate:

The pix below shows the comparison between the hand cubed venison and the mechanical cuber at the top of the page:


Equipment set-up is the first stage of the getting the venison ready to cube and grind.  It takes work, effort, equipment and a little “know how” and the same as with cooking, the clean-up is always ready and waiting for you.  I normally do most of the deer processing in the basement but I have a ton of turkey box call making equipment and supplies in the way and it was easier to bring the stuff topside this time.  Maybe next time, I will set up a table to save some stairwell step walking!  I need that walking though!

I will insert a few pictures of a few of the steps in breaking down the ham or hind quarter of a deer which is very easy to do.  The pictures are graphic so if you are weak or faint, don’t look!  

This picture is the hinder quarter minus the rump roast and shank of which I ground the entire deer except the loin or “back strap” as the ole country boys call it. 

Pix of hind quarter exposing main muscle groups and bone on 09-20-08.

Below pix of muscle groups which would be called top round, bottom round and sirloin if beef and the flank gland (popliteal).


Another pix showing the placement of the flank gland.

Pix below of venison shoulder (front quarter) deboned with the scapula (shoulder blade) and the humerus bone showing.  The radius bone is not showing in this pix since I do not save the lower portion of the leg below the humerus joint (connection).  It is too sinuous and clogs the grinder plate and blade.  Not much meat left for the scavengers on this shoulder.  Note:  under the scapula is the prescapular gland which is nearly identical to the flank gland and needs to be removed as well.  It is buried in fat and tissue and easily recognizable and if left in will give the meat a bad odor!

Below pix of loin or "back" strap deboning process on 09-20-08.

Loin was aged in game refrigerator for a week with temp. set at about 35 degrees and did not have the loin in a plastic bag....ran out at an inopportune time therefore the outside of meat is darker and a heavy "dry crust" on the fascia which is removed anyway.

Below pix with one side of the loin removed from the bone.

Below pix of loin strap sliced and ready for the vacuum sealing.  I will hand cube the loin when ready to prepare some Venison Country Style Steak N Gravy.

Below pix of grinding and vacuum sealing.

I estimated about 40 lbs. of ground venison from the 3 point buck harvested on 09-13-08.  I ground the entire deer except for the loin aka "back" straps which were sliced. 

For those that have never seen a popliteal (flank) gland which needs to be removed from the hind leg before cooking since if left in, it will give the meat an unpleasant odor and taste, I will insert a pix.  This gland is sandwiched between the muscle groups and easy to spot. 

The gland is gray in color and stands out from the surrounding tissue.  It is easy to get a bad experience with wild game but if processed properly in a timely manner and prepared right, some excellent table fare and venison has little if any cholesterol.  As far as saving money from the meat department for burger and cube steak, etc., you had better believe it.  Of course, you would have to factor in a life time worth of hunting and processing equipment and those that have all the high technology toys, four wheelers, haulers and special trucks, vans, etc., hunting property leases, special guided hunts, therefore venison is probably “The most expensive meat in the World”!   Man, I have been eating first class All American for many decades using that psychology!  If you must, go ahead and grin on that statement.  And you thought lobster, caviar, filet mignon, Porterhouse,  and T-Bone steaks were expensive.  Heck, they are expensive to me!  

Got to run, my second pot of coffee should be made and I heard the bell go off on the timer letting me know it is time to fletch another arrow. 

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 09-16-07 and additional pixs on 09-21-08.


Click on the thumbnail pixs below  for a larger view of cutting, grinding and vacuum sealing the venison headed for the freezer:


I will "guesstimate" there was 30 plus pounds of deboned ground venison which will make some wonderful meals.  I didn't grind the loin strap but sliced them for later transformation into some hand cubed venison steak n gravy.  There is one picture that shows the popliteal (flank) gland  that is located in the hind quarter that needs to be removed, otherwise if left in the hind quarter,  the meat will have a gamey smell and taste especially if the animal was stressed by a pack of dogs.  I personally do not want to harvest a deer in front of a pack of dogs due to the increased adrenalin in the deer's system and the stress on the muscles which renders some tough and smelly meat!  Any animal harvested such as stand or still hunting renders much better tasting meat in my humble opinion.   

NOTE:    I do not add any type of animal fat to the ground venison that I package and freeze.  I will later add pork trimmings, etc. when I am making summer sausage.  Venison is very lean and fat free and requires some type of oil, e.g., olive oil, etc. when used in place of ground beef.

The clean-up and sanitation of the processing equipment is the hard part of this job....I use a weak mixture of Clorox water to help with the sanitation.

Web posted by Bill aka Mickey Porter 09-13-12.

Above is a copy and paste from Hunting 2012 webpage.


Acts 10:10 - 13

10And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 11And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: 12Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 13And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. 14But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. 15And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. 16This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

Insight to the above bible verses

And there came a voice to him,.... Formed by an angel, or rather by Christ himself: rise, Peter, kill and eat; he might be on his knees when he fell into this trance, being at prayer, and therefore is bid to rise; and he is called by name, the more to encourage him to do as he was ordered; and he is bid to kill and eat of all the creatures without distinction, which were represented to him in the sheet; and the design of this was to teach him, that both the distinction between clean and unclean creatures in the law was now abolished, and men might lawfully eat of whatsoever they pleased; and that he might and should without any difference converse with all sorts of men, Jews and Gentiles, circumcised and uncircumcised, and preach the Gospel to one as to another, and maintain a church communion and fellowship with all equally alike.

If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please take this moment to accept him by Faith into your Life, whereby Salvation will be attained.   

Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

Open this link of Bible Verses About Salvation, King James Version Bible (KJV).

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Micah 6:8 “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”


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