Having the right tools for processing and preserving meat on your own makes all the difference in the world.
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If you’ve ever processed your own animals for meat, then you know just how important a good sharp knife is. The job goes much more quickly, you have cleaner cuts, and are a lot less likely to lose a fingertip with a high-quality, sharp knife.
This kit has been my husband’s go-to for years for processing our venison. It includes a skinning knife, caping and boning knives, knife sharpener, bone saw, and rib spreader. Plus it all comes in a great hard shell case that’s easy to clean and keeps everything together in one place. We have used this same set for years and they’ve held up wonderfully.
When it comes to cleaning fish, an electric filet knife is life-changing. I know that sounds dramatic, but you can’t beat the precision and speed of an electric knife. We upgraded to the cordless Bubbe knife last year and it has been well worth the money!
Tools for Preserving Meat
Now it’s time for the fun part, getting all of that delicious meat preserved and stored. We’ve done a lot of experimenting over the years to find the methods that work best for us. We process our venison a few different ways before it’s ever put in the freezer. We keep tenderloins and roasts, or course. (If you’re not saving your venison neck, you’re missing out on a ton of meat! Try my recipe here.) We also make jerky, and grind some of the meat for burgers and sausage.
Be sure to check out all of my favorite recipes at the bottom of this post!
This isn’t the exact model meat grinder that we have because ours is a dinosaur and I don’t know that I would recommend it. We have definitely put it to good use over the years, but there have been many times that it has bogged down on us when processing several animals in one day. I plan to upgrade to a stainless model like the one above soon!
We added a deli slicer to our processing tools a few years ago when I started reading about all of the toxic junk that goes into sandwich meats from the grocery store. This way I can cook a whole roast, then thin slice it for sandwiches without having to worry about any ingredients. It’s also a great tool for thin-slicing meat to make jerky.
Another tool that we use for jerky is this gun. You use it by grinding meat, marinating it, then packing it into the gun and squeezing it out the other end for a different texture.
I love this dehydrator! It is all metal, inside and out, so no plastic is touching our food. This time of year it lives on the counter because I always have a batch of jerky going, or some herb salt drying for Christmas gifts. It’s super easy to clean, and runs pretty quietly.
I love that these bowls are large and have lids. I can marinate a big batch of jerky in them, or even mix my venison sausage without having to dirty up several smaller bowls.
We vacuum seal hundreds of pounds of meat and fish every year, and a good machine is crucial. I love that this model has a built-in bag cutter so that you can customize the size of your bag to each cut of meat.
Try My Favorite Wild Game Recipes
Now that we’ve processed and preserved all of this meat, let’s get to cooking!