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Thread: Deer Fat vs. Beef Suet dilemma

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    Member Anythingalaska's Avatar
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    Default Deer Fat vs. Beef Suet dilemma

    Before last year I usually ground my deer meat with pork shoulder or beef suet. Since last year I've been grinding my venison using only deer fat. I haven't shot any stinky rutty bucks, and so all the meat turns out delicious and clean. Talking to several different people lately, I've heard something I've never heard before. According to them; deer fat will 'spoil' sooner than beef suet, and after a long time (year? not sure) in the freezer, meat with beef suet instead of deer fat will be more palatable and less gamey tasting. I have never heard of or noticed such a thing personally....

    Any thoughts?

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anythingalaska View Post
    Before last year I usually ground my deer meat with pork shoulder or beef suet. Since last year I've been grinding my venison using only deer fat. I haven't shot any stinky rutty bucks, and so all the meat turns out delicious and clean. Talking to several different people lately, I've heard something I've never heard before. According to them; deer fat will 'spoil' sooner than beef suet, and after a long time (year? not sure) in the freezer, meat with beef suet instead of deer fat will be more palatable and less gamey tasting. I have never heard of or noticed such a thing personally....

    Any thoughts?
    Asked and answered. Why would you worry about what some other people "say", when you already know based on your own experience? Did your deer from last year go rancid before you used it?
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    I know for certain that venison fat will stick to your mouth like peanut butter.........I still have terrible memories of a thanksgiving in the UP years ago and the family we stayed with did a big ol deer roast that was hardly even trimmed. It tasted okay til it solidified on the roof of my mouth.......

    Moose fat is excellent but I don't know that it spoils any faster or gets more tangy than beef fat, it may be stronger than beef fat after a year or so but both of em taste off to me after too much time in the freezer.....especially if vacuum isn't super tight on the package.........I use pork for my sausage for just this reason, pork doesn't seem to get as tangy after time in my opinion.

    What I do with my grind is to trim it super duper lean, then for burgers I either mix in an egg, or I will mix in 30 percent grass fed beef from costco the day I make it....makes a great burger and that way the beef and fatty part is fresh.

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    I trim all deer fat. Grind has nothing added when packaging. Some of the time I may add a bit of fresh ground pork or pork sausage after thawing, and then hand mix if dish or meal would benefit.

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    Member Anythingalaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Asked and answered. Why would you worry about what some other people "say", when you already know based on your own experience? Did your deer from last year go rancid before you used it?
    Yeah I was just curious if anyone else had heard of or noticed such a thing. And no, I've never had any deer meat have any 'off-taste' from merely time in the freezer, except for freezer burn of course; but even then, freezer burned deer meat is a lot more palatable and less noticeable than say, freezer burned fish.

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    I trim of every bit of fat off my deer/moose/caribou. When grinding, I prefer either beef fat or bacon ends.

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    Shot a big bull with tons of fat in 2011. Mixed in the moose's fat instead of using "who knows where it's from" beef or pig fat. Just got done eating the ground and it was still good after 3 years.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    We grind ours lean - almost all fat trimmed off. We rarely feel the need for added fat, but have started adding one egg to a pound of burger to help it stay together. That said, I hear really good things about grinding in the kidney fat, so I intend to try that with my next moose or caribou.

    That said, I've not noticed a difference in the shelf life of moose fat versus beef or pork fat. I can't think of a biochemical reason why they'd behave differently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    We grind ours lean - almost all fat trimmed off. We rarely feel the need for added fat, but have started adding one egg to a pound of burger to help it stay together. That said, I hear really good things about grinding in the kidney fat, so I intend to try that with my next moose or caribou.

    That said, I've not noticed a difference in the shelf life of moose fat versus beef or pork fat. I can't think of a biochemical reason why they'd behave differently.
    Kidney fat...yummmmmmmm

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Kidney fat is the best by far...but I haven't found a butcher shop around these parts that will sell me any.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    Kidney fat is the best by far...but I haven't found a butcher shop around these parts that will sell me any.
    I ate it for the first time this year. WOW! It was so good that we ate it all. Just threw it in the pan and fried it up. Added some salt and pepper. My kids loved it. I took the grease and fried eggs in it. I don't care if it wasn't healthy (no idea what the health value of it is, but I do know we need fat). I can't wait until next year.

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    Stopped using fat in burger quite awhile back. Now all we do is mix in olive oil with it before we cook em' up. Works great and far better for you......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Stopped using fat in burger quite awhile back. Now all we do is mix in olive oil with it before we cook em' up. Works great and far better for you......
    I've ground all mine lean as well. Have you tried coconut oil in the meat?

    I usually do either olive oil or an egg, but I rarely make burgers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Stopped using fat in burger quite awhile back. Now all we do is mix in olive oil with it before we cook em' up. Works great and far better for you......
    That's what we do with our as-needed grinding. Just add a little olive oil when you grind. But mostly we don't add fat at all. Egg works just as well if we're making burgers, which we seldom do. But for spaghetti or anything else, just use it plain.

    Having said all that, the "organ" fat from deer is awfully sweet and not tallowy like body fat. When dressing a deer, I peel the "lace" fat off the paunch and hang it over a bush to cool and harden for a few minutes, then lay it on a sheet of waxed paper I carry for the purpose and fold it up for the trip home. Wrap it around a roast, and you've never roast. I've used the organ fat to make small batches of fresh burger while we're butchering and it's just fine. But if you've ever left a little body fat on a steak and cooked it six months later, you'll never want to put any body fat in burger you plan to eat down the road. Talk about gamey!!!!!! And I'm talking body fat from an August spike rather than a big rank November buck. It just doesn't hold up well in the freezer.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
    I've ground all mine lean as well. Have you tried coconut oil in the meat?
    Sounds interesting. Have you done this? We've started using coconut oil in a lot of our cooking due to my son's allergies. Makes the best waffles and pancakes ever! Hadn't thought about trying it in burgers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKChester View Post
    Shot a big bull with tons of fat in 2011. Mixed in the moose's fat instead of using "who knows where it's from" beef or pig fat. Just got done eating the ground and it was still good after 3 years.
    Same here. Son shot a big bull that was as fat as any moose we have ever taken. Left the fat on. Very good burger. There is never a gamey or wild taste to our moose. We keep it religiously clean, and butcher it asap. No hanging for more than a day or 2.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKChester View Post
    Shot a big bull with tons of fat in 2011. Mixed in the moose's fat instead of using "who knows where it's from" beef or pig fat. Just got done eating the ground and it was still good after 3 years.
    I used to clean all fat off of the deer we shot in Washington where I grew up. They were eating mostly winter wheat but the taste of the fat was never desireable even though I grew up only having ate beef once or twice until I was about 16. I was back east for 4 years and the deer there ate mostly acorns and that fat had a bitter taste to it, so we always cleaned that off as well. However, the elk we got in WA had great tasting fat and I never noticed the difference over 6 months in the freezer if it was carefully wrapped. Then, when I moved up here and shot my first moose- a 55" so probably close to the prime of it's life and LOADED with fat, I learned to never clean the fat off of a moose. Primarily for cooking purposes- keeping the meat from drying out. We just had ribs last night from a 40" moose with even better fat and put them in the cast iron pot covered in water on the wood stove for the day, tehn removed them and put them on the grill over cherry wood just to sear the fat and add teh light smoke- and let me tell ya, that's the best part of a moose because the layers of fat keep it very moist and oily.

    I used to mix pork fat in my burger but now, I mix in only moose fat. The one thing I've noticed in all game meat is that the sinew is where you get a lot of undesireable flavor, so I take a lot of time to cut it all out and it makes a big difference. I think most people just throw anything in the grinder pile and I've had that kind of burger- it's not what it could be.

    Another thing about fat, you have to take extremely good care of it to keep it dry and cool. I strip all fat out when gutting and hang it on branches to cool. I once went with a friend who wanted the liver, heart, and kidneys with fat and he just put it all in a cooler and left the lid open a bit and even though it was cool out, that cooler insulated that stuff and when we dumped it out that stuff was so rancid, it smelled like some kind of concoction fermenting. Gave it to a "friend" and he said it was the best liver he had ever eaten!!! Haha!

    Moose fat varies in flavor a lot. the fat from this years moose is almost sweet. I cut off a chunk and fry spuds and eggs in it and it's like no other moose I've ever had. If nobody told you, you would not believe it was moose. The bone marrow is the same way.

    I think the number one key to good fat is just like anything- the prep has to be done right and the results will be great.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Gosh, I love venison fat! Catchit, send me your deer fat, I'll trade you for ammo. I love all wild game fat! No hormones, antibiotics or any other stuff found in beef and pork fat. We keep all and use it for burger and sausage. It's natural folks! As the Bible says, "Delight yourself in fatness...!". Oh, and don't forget the marrow!

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    Trim all the fat you can off your deer.

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    I love deer fat,, fried some studs and backstrap in rendered blacktail fat,, to die for!!! Save it and grind it with my ground deer meat, same for sheep and moose.



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