Marinating Venison and Deer Meat Tutorial

Marinating Venison & Deer Meat – Overview

Tutorial on How to Marinate Venison - VenisonHQMarinating Venison and deer meat is a simple process that when done properly, will produce a wonderfully tasting and delectable meal for all occasions. Follow the follow guide for information on how to marinate venison and other tough to eat meats. The process of marinating does not have to be difficult, so read on for more information!

Science Behind Marinating Venison & Deer Meats

Marinating venison and other meats serve two different functions: as a tenderizer and a flavor enhancer. You probably already know that some tough cuts of meat benefit from the tenderizing effects of marination, but how does it exactly work? The cooking process itself turns connective tissues into gelatin to varying degrees. Depending on the cut and type of meat, it may need a little assistance to bring it to a palatable range of tenderness. To do this, certain plant and fungi enzymes and acids can break down muscle and connective proteins in meats – which is why marinating venison is so important.

History of Marinating Venison & Other Meats

Venison Marinade and Deer Meat MarinadesAs far back as pre-Columbian Mexico, cooks found that wrapping meats in papaya leaves before cooking made for more tender results. The active enzyme in the papaya leaves is papain, now refined from papayas and commercially available. Connective tissue that comes in direct contact with the protein-digesting enzymes gets broken down. These tenderizing enzymes also reduce the capability of the meat to hold its juices, resulting in greater fluid loss and thus drier meat. Enzymes are heat activated at levels between 140 and 175 degrees F. and deactivated at the boiling point, so it really serves no purpose other than flavoring to let meat sit in a marinade at room temperature. In fact, refrigeration is recommended while marinating venison and other meats to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria. Let meat come to room temperature before cooking.

The process of Marinating VenisonMarinating Venison & Other Meats Requires Contact

Direct contact is the important point while marinating venison, since it is necessary for the chemical reaction to occur. This means that soaking a piece of deer meat in a marinade will only penetrate just so far into the surface of the meat. If you marinate a large cut of meat in a tenderizing marinade, you end up with a mushy exterior and an unaffected center. Puncturing the meat for the marinade to penetrate gives an uneven result, with the further undesirable side effect of allowing the meat to lose even more juices while cooking. Thus, flat cuts of meat benefit most from tenderizing marinades.

Steps to Follow When Marinating Venison

Deer Meat Soaking in Marinade - VenisonHQPlace the deer meat in a heavy zip-top bag with the air squeezed out and turn it often to be sure all surfaces benefit from the marinade. Some slaughterhouses now inject papain into the animals just before slaughtering. The injected papain is carried through the bloodstream to all parts of the animal and is later activated by the cooking process. This sometimes results in a mushy piece of meat due to the enzyme destroying too much of the muscle fiber firmness. The newest method being researched is a machine which immerses tough cuts of meat into a water bath and then sends a shockwave through the meat, breaking down tough fibers. Toughness is meat is determined by a number of things, the length of the muscle, the age of the animal, nutrition, time of the rut, etc. If you are presented with a tough piece of meat, there are ways to make it more palatable. Tenderizing actually requires that you break up or soften the muscle fibers, which you can do either physically or chemically.

Eliminating “Gamey Flavoring” By Marinating Venison

Tutorial on Marinating Deer Meat - How to Marinate Meat from Venison HQThe distinct game flavor of either birds or animals will be milder after marinating venison or other meat overnight in the refrigerator in either a salt or vinegar solution. To use this method, follow these general rules of thumb:

Salt solution - one tablespoon per quart of cold water

Vinegar solution - one cup per quart of cold water

Use enough solution to cover the venison completely and discard the solution after soaking.

Coca-Cola solution:

Soaking the deer meat in Coca Cola for 2 to 4 hours or overnight in the fridge is another marinating venison you have. The acid in the Coke dissolves or neutralizes the wild game taste. Wash meat thoroughly before cooking. You can also marinate game to give it a savory flavor or to tenderize it. Always marinate it in the refrigerator (1 to 2 days for birds; 3 to 5 days for game animals). Boil used marinade before basting meat as it cooks or using as a sauce on the cooked meat. Discard any uncooked leftover marinade.

Use buttermilk on the animals that are really gamey and soaking it overnight in the ‘fridge and the next day, pour off, and just WIPE and PAT the meat, don’t rub.

Marinating Venison & Deer Meat – Conclusion

Marinating venison and other tough meats is essential in order to produce a palatable meal. We hope this information in our guide was useful to you, and that you continue to visit VenisonHQ for all your Venison needs. Good luck with marinating venison and continue to visit us for other how-to’s and guides on cooking with Venison.