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The Game Taste?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by theboyscout, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. theboyscout

    theboyscout Well-Known Member

    Trick of the trade... who has some ideas and old methods to getting rid of the game taste of wild animals. I am looking to get my wife to eat more squirrel and deer or hog and she doesn't like the gamey taste. what to do?
  2. Patocazador

    Patocazador Well-Known Member

    Gamey taste is one of two things: 1) the actual taste of the animal or 2) allowing it to slightly spoil by not taking proper care of the carcass.

    The first is corrected easily. Chicken doesn't taste like lamb; if you don't like lamb, don't eat it. The same goes for game.
    the second is also easily corrected by quickly bleeding out the animal, gutting, skinning and refrigerating the carcass promptly.
  3. zdc1775

    zdc1775 Well-Known Member

    You can also try soaking the meat in butter milk overnight before cooking it. Something my Grandmother always does before frying or grilling any game meat to get any gaminess out of it and keep it tender. Don't know if it actually makes a difference or not but her fried rabbit and venison are amazing so it can't hurt to try.
  4. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Well-Known Member

    Go to your butcher or grocery store and buy her store bought beef or pork.
    Like Patocazador said, maybe she just doesn't like it. That's okay too. Different strokes for different folks.

    If my wife didn't like the taste I'd fix her something else. I don't spend a couple grand a year and get up at 4:30 so I can have meat that tastes like $5.99 beef at Wally World. I'd just buy it if that were the case.
  5. inclinebench

    inclinebench Well-Known Member

    I like to soak some cuts in brine before guests come over. It tends to bind out some of the heme iron from the meat, making it a little less strong tasting. Also, some of the deer I serve can be a bit dry because it is so lean. I remedy that with a rub of olive oil and seas salt or kosher salt.

    My family likes the taste as is, but people accustomed to store meat are not yet used to other meats. Nutrition scientists will tell you that many foods need to be sampled a few times before the pallet comes to really enjoy it. Few kids like broccoli the first time they try it, but after having small servings a few times, they can come to really love it. Same with any strong tasting food ie wild game.
  6. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Well-Known Member

    I heard a new one this year...

    Don't wash the meat before or during processing.

    I employed the hands of a couple butchers this year because I killed two nice elk this month and that was a lot of meat for me and the wife to break down. They've both worked with a well known game processing company here and one has been cutting meat most all his life. While working at the game processor, policy was to never wash the meat. They would 'clean' the meat by shaving off the thinnest outside layer and wiping/picking any hair/dirt off by hand. It was meticulous and I didn't buy it at first, but they have the credentials to say.

    I don't have an articulate palate so I probably won't be able to tell if this method makes a difference. My wife will though. She can smell meat from across the room and know whether it will cook up gamey or not.
  7. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Well-Known Member

    Yeah, deer can be overcooked in a hurry. If I'm grilling it, it has to be medium at the most.
    If I'm pan frying, I like to barely cook the blood out of it.

    To me, nothing is better than perfectly cooked venison, and nothing is worse than overcooked venison.
  8. boogieman

    boogieman Well-Known Member

    I brine most cuts before cooking. Stews I soak the cubes in a light brine while im browning the onions and peppers. Rinse it once or twice then toss it in to brown. Other cuts like back strap (loin) I simply marinade before cooking. She may never like the taste, or she may have to eat it a few times so that she becomes used to it and even craves it.
    My wife never ate game, then she watched Food, Inc. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1286537/
    Now she wants to raise chickens and eat venison
  9. farm23

    farm23 Well-Known Member

    The first time [40 years ago] I cooked venison I soaked it in straight vinegar and it was SO BAD even my bird dogs wouldn't eat it. I learned and now we regularly have venison. If someone new is coming I usually serve as a stew and have never had anyone not like. I agree the best approach is the field dress soon and the deer stops kicking. I have read and it seems true that freezing seems to same affect as hanging for days.
  10. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Well-Known Member

    Any brine or merinade (even buttermilk) should help, but I'd wager that in a lot of that is masking the taste rather than eliminating it. There could be a chemical reaction with the acid or something that knocks it out, though. I have to think someone has done some research.

    I think the biggest help, in my experience, is bleeding it out and preparing it properly.

    There's some taste attributed to what the animal ate or (to a lesser extent) if it was stressed a lot before dying. My Dad got an antelope in Wyoming this year that was hanging out on an alfalfa field rather than the typical sage brush. It tastes almost just like beef, where they normally taste like a sausage experiment gone wrong.
  11. KC45

    KC45 Well-Known Member

    The most important thing is to kill the animal quickly. I usually kill game for food so I normally take headshots so the animal drops on the spot and doesn't have the time to dump all kind of hormones and other chemicals into the body as fight-flight reflex. An animal that is headshot and drops on the post will smell and taste very different than an animal that was gut shot and ran 500 yards in 3 minutes only to die 30 minutes later.

    Next is to open and clean the animal quickly to cool it off. In hot summer days my goal is to get the animal cleaned and soaking in the ice water within 2 hours after the shot. I usually get it done within 90 minutes. I also soak the animal in ice water instead of just ice as ice water will cool off the animal faster.

    Finally I drain as much blood as possible from the animal right after it is shot. Then I soak hogs, squirrels, rabbits, etc. in salt/vinegar solution to draw out as much blood as possible.

    I personally like a little of that gamey taste from my meat.

    Just my $0.002
  12. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Well-Known Member

    Gut & quarter immediately. Pack in ice. Gets the blood out and the temperature down the quickest way possible.

    Not all meats taste the same, though. Aoudad seems to have a slightly peppery taste to it that I love, but no one would ever mistake it for beef or venison... my kids' first reaction was "What is this?". Even teenagers obliviously scarfing food into their faces stopped and took notice.

    Now, I can't help looking at all kinds of animals and wondering what they would taste like.
    It's part of the experience. :)
  13. ngnrd

    ngnrd Well-Known Member

    My three rules for assuring tasty freezer fare:

    1) Time your hunt properly; don't harvest an animal in rut.
    2) Know your target, the limitations of your weapon, and your own skill set; limit yourself to only taking 'high percentage' shots that will quickly dispatch the targeted game.
    3) Don't neglect field care; immediately field dress and cool the carcass, taking care to keep the meat clean and dry.
  14. 788Ham

    788Ham Well-Known Member

    Once the game animal is down, bleed them out right now! Then get them gutted and the hide off as soon as you can, especially deer, what little oil is in the hide starts to leech back into the meat. The biggest thing is to get them cooled as soon as one can, this eliminates the gamy taste some find objectionable. This method used for many years around our household.
  15. Double_J

    Double_J Well-Known Member

    Field dress and cool the animal as fast as possible. Then what I have always heard is to soak the "deer" (insert other animal as required) for several days in a cooler full of ice water, draining the old water daily and replacing with ice. Then you can use any marinade or preparation as you see fit. We did this at my house and never had a complaint, even from the people who said "I don't like venison."
  16. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Well-Known Member

    I have only taken two animals. One antelope and one deer.

    In each case I had the animal skinned and on ice within an hour of shooting it.

    The meat in both cases was spectacular. The same practice is followed for pheasant. Skinned and on ice within an hour.

    I do see people driving home with a skin on animal thrown in their pickup truck. that will be some lousy tasting meat. That is where "gamey" comes from.

    There are instances where the animal eats sage or pine bark and those will taste bad.

    Just plan your hunt so that you can get your harvest skinned and on ice right away and you will be in great shape.
  17. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Well-Known Member

    Most of the venison and elk meat is cut into steaks for the grill. I soak venison in milk overnight before cooking. In the morning I drain the milk and add a light splatter of Dales low salt marinade in the bowl and throw back into the fridge til dinner time.

    Elk, I do not soak, just lightly season and then grill to medium.

    Never cook either beyond medium on the grill.
  18. wyohome

    wyohome Well-Known Member

    I sprinkle the backstraps with Montreal Steak Seasoning, then vac-pack them. After thawing, I smoke over apple wood, until medium rare. I have never had anyone refuse a second piece.
  19. Geno

    Geno Well-Known Member

    For me, marinate the steak for an hour in a mixture of:

    3/4 Worchestershire sauce (makes it tender and adds flavor)

    1/4 olive oil (keeps it moist)

    onion to suit your taste

    garlic to suit your taste

    Fry it in real, salted butter on med-low to medium approximately 3 minutes per side on the steak.

    Tastes great with sautéed red skin potatoes, mixed veggies, and corn bread (AKA "Johnny Cake"...my Childhood nickname :D ).

  20. frankenstein406

    frankenstein406 Well-Known Member

    I just throw it in the crock pot and slow cook it. With squirrel I have ice packs in a back pack that they sit on top of.

    Oh and hot sauce
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013

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