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Wild Game Meat Soaking

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Wild game meat soaking tips. Know how to soak or marinate your deer, squirrel, rabbit, or elk meat after the hunt.

If you're acquainted with preparing wild game meat such as deer, elk, squirrel, rabbit, or other so called exotic meats, then you are aware that these meats can have a bit of a Gamey flavor. For wild game that is gamey and tough in taste and texture try soaking in a ziplock bag with:

  • Mountain Dew (works great for wild hog if BBQing, tenderizes meat)
  • Coke (gives meat a sweet taste and tenderizes)
  • Beer
  • Red wine
  • Pineapple juice
  • Buttermilk ( In the buttermilk soak, add minced garlic, black pepper, paprika, cardamom, or other spices to suit your taste.)

This is called a soak or marinade. Many of the meats mentioned above are far more prone to being tough and dry if not properly soaked before cooking your recipe. One thing you do not want to do is add extra salt to whatever your soak maybe. This will turn your wild game meat into jerky; tuff and dry as leather.Some salt is good, but avoid excesive amounts.

In the good old days of pioneering the country, before refrigeration; Deer, elk, and other wild game meat as well as beef were salted to preserve the meat and keep it from spoiling. The idea being to dehydrate the meat, because dry meat won't rot as quickly as fresh meat with all the moisture in it; and it does not require refrigeration. This was the origins of beef jerky, deer jerky, and other meat jerkies. This worked great for the trails and lifestyles of the frontier, but not so good if you want a nice tender and juicy piece of deer. Anyone that has ever tasted jerky knows that while tasty, it's quite dry and tuff. So, unless you want deer jerky; avoid the extra salt before cooking, it WILL dry your wild game meat out.



Soaking with the soft drinks will give the deer, wild hog, elk, and similar game meats a unique sweet flavor as well as tenderize the wild game meat. This works well when cooking the wild game meat with sauces such as BBQ sauce, and similar sauces or gravies.

For a less sweet more savory taste to your squirrel, rabbit, deer, and other game, try a vinegar, red wine, or beer soak. Let the meat soak in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. {Be careful of what seasonings you add to the soak, some seasoning have salt mixed in them.} Then remove it from the fridge and let the game meat sit out, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes. The reason for this is that cold meat to hot oven shocks the meat and tends to make the wild game, especially deer and elk tough. Then add your seasonings.

You'll have to experiment with seasonings to find the right combination of spices to suit your taste. I tend to keep it pretty simple, and mix Cavender All Purpose Greek Seasoning, with just a pinch of ground ginger and black pepper, then lightly rub the meat with along with some salt when I'm preparing the meat to go in the oven or crock pot. (This is when you add the salt) Adding a few drops of olive oil to the soak will add flavor and help the seasoning stick to the game meat.

You'll find a deer leg roast recipe using the above technique here, but now a little more info on wild game soaks. No matter which method of soaking you choose for your deer, squirrel, rabbit, or other wild game meat, soaking for 12 to 24 hours is the standard. The longer being better.



Exotic Meats and Game from Fossil Farms

Soaking in buttermilk is best for when you are going to fry the game meat, so it is best to cut your wild game into small pieces before soaking. Add minced garlic, black pepper, paprika, cardamom, or other spices to suit your taste. Put some olive oil in with your meat soak. Then place the squirrel, rabbit, fowl, or other meat in a ziplock bag and squeeze out all the air, and soak.

Pineapple juice will give the wild game meat a sweet and sour taste. I recommend you use this for making sweet and sour fowl, wild hog, and beef recipes. Use your favorite recipes that you would normally use pork, chicken, or beef, and swap it with squirrel, rabbit, quail, or similar wild game meat. Wild duck turns out great in these recipes. Just remember you have to soak wild game, it is a must.

I hope these tips have helped you. Even those of you that don't hunt yourself can enjoy the taste of wild game meat. Maybe you've had friends or family that are hunters offer you some deer, elk, fowl, rabbit, or squirrel, and you turned it down because you didn't know how to prepare the meat for cooking. Please don't be afraid to try wild game.

Use the information above, and try wild game meat in your favorite recipe. You'll be surprised at how much you might like the flavor. And remember, there's no preservatives, steroids, or other additives in the meat YOU hunted yourself.

Enjoy the Outdoors!

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