Three Great Gifts for Processing Meat

If you know someone who could use a few more tools in their home butchering kit, here are some ideas.

Tip of blade and glove
Whatever type of meat someone is processing, a sharp, reliable knife is a must. Outdoor Edge

Processing a deer from the field to your dining room table isn’t a complicated feat if you know what you’re doing and have the right equipment. In addition to saving money and providing healthy, lean meat for your table, processing wild game meat makes many hunters feel a greater sense of accomplishment and self-sufficiency. If you know a person who wants to process his or her own deer, you won’t go wrong with these three gift ideas.


This folding knife will work for a number of game processing tasks and has replaceable blades so you never have to use a dull one. Outdoor Edge

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A few good knives can make getting a deer from field to table a much easier task. Some people use a single knife for the process, but they’re not being as efficient as they could be if they had specialized knives for each part of the job. A good gutting knife will typically be very sturdy, about 7-inches long, including a blade that’s 3- or 4-inches long. Some have gut hooks that help with the process. A good skinning knife will have a comfortable grip and most likely a curved blade, although some have straight blades. It must be razor sharp or the job will be more difficult. A good boning knife will have a long, thin, somewhat flexible blade and also should be razor sharp.

Meat Grinder

This .35-horsepower grinder is best for those who plan to process only one or two deer a year. LEM

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While deer steaks, roasts, and chops provide awesome meals, ground deer meat is one of the most versatile types of venison. It can be used to make deer burgers, chili, spaghetti sauce and just about any other delicious food for which you usually use beef hamburger meat. While many hunters take their meat to a processor for grinding, doing it yourself is not a difficult chore. If you are only going to ground a pound or two, you can do it with an old-fashioned hand grinder. If you’re going to do a lot, electric grinders are perfect for the job. Electric grinders are available in a variety of sizes and price ranges, and some will grind hundreds of pounds of venison an hour.

Jerky Dehydrator

This shelf dehydrator has six trays so it can be used to dry a lot of jerky at once. Cosori

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Another great gift for those who want to process their own deer is a dehydrator. Making jerky isn’t difficult. Of course, you need venison, and you need a way to slice it in very thin, uniform pieces. Many companies make meat slicers that do just that. They’re very handy because if all the pieces are the same thickness, all the batch of jerky will be done at the same time. The other tool you’ll need is a good dehydrator. These come in two different types—shelf dehydrators and stacking dehydrators. While shelf dehydrators generally have more uniform drying, either kind can work fine to make delicious jerky from your hard-earned venison.