Field to Table: Best processing equipment
If you are like me, you like to process your own big game meat. It gives me peace of mind that the meat is taken care of the way I would want it to be. Not to mention you get to make the cuts you want, you can try different types of sausages or have more steaks and roast than grinding it all up.
My family has been processing our big game for about 10 years now. From rabbits to elk we have done it all. Having proper equipment makes the process quicker and more efficient. Find my favorite tool below.
Butchering is pretty straightforward, take the meat off the bone, cut the meat into different cuts ( Roast, Steaks, Grind, etc) and package the meat. Now, this can be overwhelming at first but with practice, it can become easy. I suggest watching some videos if it is your first time. Take a look at this video Click Here. YouTube is great, but be careful you might get sucked into a rabbit hole and before you know it, it’s been 4 hours!!
You will want to have a good set of knives to help you with this process. A sharp knife will make your life much easier and will help you speed up the butchering process. I prefer to have a few different knives for different applications but a good overall knife is going to be The RazorMax by Outdoor Edge. This knife comes with interchangeable blades which gives you a sharp edge no matter how far you are into butchering your harvest. I love the ease of changing blades and the razor-sharp blades give me confidence in each cut.
If your family is anything like mine, they love Hamburgers and Hotdogs. Growing up when we would harvest an animal we would grind a big portion into hamburger and sausage. Having a good meat grinder will save you so much time and headache. The 1HP Carnivore Meat Grinder is worth every penny and I mean every penny. We bought this model 10 years ago and have loved it ever since. This thing eats meat faster than you can feed it. None of the hours of struggling to grind the meat in a smaller cheaper Grinder. For example, it can grind over 10lbs per minute with ease. This also has all the attachments to make sausage. I know it’s a big investment but you will not be disappointed with this purchase.
Now that the meat is cut up and ground down you will need to store it. Now everyone has their preferred method. From the classic wrap in plastic wrap and the butcher paper to the vacuum sealer. I personally use both methods. I am currently running the FoodSaver FM2435. It is the perfect size for my personal needs and at the right price point. It has handled everything I have thrown at it and still works like new. It pulls the air out quickly and seals great every time. My only negative is that I feel that you need to take a minute or two between seals just to let the machine rest. This I have found to give me the best results.
After the first investment into your game processing equipment, you will be set for many years to come. Like with anything it takes time to perfect your techniques. So practice and you will come to love the process and quality of your harvest.