Appalachian Food Celebrating Appalachia Videos

How to Clean Deer Meat & Can it

Matt cleaning deer meat

This is The Deer Hunter’s favorite time of the year…deer hunting season.

He’s never been a trophy hunter. Of course he gets excited about a big buck and loves to try and figure out the habitat of one, but at heart he’s always been about harvesting deer as a way to provide food for his family.

I grew up with a brother who deer hunted and my uncle Henry was an avid deer hunter. So every so often some deer meat would make it to Granny and Pap’s table. I never liked it.

Once I started dating The Deer Hunter I discovered just how tasty deer meat could be. Not only does it need to be cooked right, it also needs to be cleaned right.

The Deer Hunter says the correct cleaning starts the instant you harvest the deer.

One of Pap’s favorite meals was The Deer Hunter’s deer roast. Paul likes it so much he said if he ever had to request a last meal it would be the deer roast.

In our latest video The Deer Hunter gives an up close look at how he cleans his deer meat and even shares how to can the meat for future use.

I hope you enjoyed the video! The Deer Hunter finds it very rewarding to harvest meat to sustain his family. It’s the same feeling we both get from growing a garden every year.

Here’s a post I wrote about canning deer meat a while back that has all the details.


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  • Reply
    November 30, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    Tipper, if I didn’t know better, I would say you was describing my husband. He loves to hunt deer. He’s 2 favorite things are fishing and hunting. I don’t know if I fit into any of that.He got a deer this year and we made deer jerky and canned some of it. It was delicious. He could have gotten more but we don’t have room for it. I guess we need another freezer.

  • Reply
    November 30, 2020 at 7:40 pm

    I used to help my dad can pork and beef in the days before we had a freezer. We also made sausage, cooked and canned it. Whenever a deer or bear was killed there were usually several men hunting together and the meat was divided so that only two or three meals went to each family. now the only venison I get is from my brother and he and a couple of buddies process them. The ground meat is mixed with beef fat.

  • Reply
    November 30, 2020 at 11:49 am

    I am so glad the Deer Hunter recorded this for others to watch and learn. Hunting and freezing venison is a big part of Appalachia. I am amazed by the variety of talents in your family, and great how you work together as a team. I just started canning beef and chicken in the last few years for soups and stews. It is so handy in the Winter to have on hand.

    • Reply
      Linda Collins
      December 3, 2020 at 9:34 am


  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    November 30, 2020 at 11:15 am

    Very well done, impressive skill, and knowledge on Matthew’s part. I also enjoyed seeing Glenn Brown’s flying goose in the background as Matthew filled the quart jars. Always good to see a connection to the Folkschool.

  • Reply
    November 30, 2020 at 10:23 am

    My husband used to hunt, and what your husband says about cleaning the deer is how my husband did it. We never canned it, only froze it. If we were going to have a cold spell, my husband would hang the field-dressed deer in our tool shed, and let it age.

  • Reply
    John T
    November 30, 2020 at 10:07 am

    Great video! That was interesting how you canned that deer meat. I agree that its better to process your own meat. Ive seen deer stacked like a cord of wood at a deer processors and you know your not getting your meat back. Is that a Mora knife you’re using? I have an orange handled one I keep in my ice fishing bucket.

    • Reply
      December 7, 2020 at 3:35 pm

      John T- You have a good eye that is is a Mora companion heavy duty. Matt really likes it.

  • Reply
    Janis M Zeglen
    November 30, 2020 at 9:59 am

    My stepchildren were VERY picky eaters. My sister in law invited us all to dinner to feast on venison that her husband had bagged during bow season. I told them, “whatever you do, do not mention venison, just let them think that it’s beef!” Sure enough they both cleaned their plates. We did not tell them until a couple of days later what they had eaten!

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    November 30, 2020 at 9:28 am

    I never dreamed there was so much work involved in processing deer meat. The Deer Hunter sure did a good job in this instructional video. I am sure the meat tastes wonderful.

  • Reply
    Margie Goldstein
    November 30, 2020 at 8:31 am

    An old friend of mine who’s long since departed this earth introduced me to the taste of CANNED DEER MEAT. It IS the tastiest, leanest and juiciest meat you’d ever like to eat! We used it for stew, stroganoff and stir fry. I think a man who cares for his family by providing deer meat is a KING of men. No wonder you and the Pressley family are so attractive, healthy and nice!!!! You eat very healthy and local!!! What a good man that DEER HUNTER really is!!!! I’m not a hunter but would easily become one if I had to…

  • Reply
    Roger Greene
    November 30, 2020 at 8:01 am

    Silverskin is an extremely tough connective tissue commonly found on beef pork and venison. That sounds better to the uninitiated than “slime”.

    I’ll never forget my daughters complaining the first time we bought them steaks at an Outback steak house that the steaks were “greasy”. They had been raised on venision. Just like they complained when they started school that the milk served at school lunch was “watery” after being raised drinking whole milk from nubian dairy goat that we used to keep!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    November 30, 2020 at 7:50 am

    Tipper (and Matt)–I found this quite interesting although my processing approach varies somewhat from Matt’s. I am like him in doing my own working up of the deer and being a meat hunter first and foremost. I like knowing the meat is mine and that it has been done right. Similarly, I’m meticulous like he is when it comes to removing fat (the deer he was processing was really fat, which should mean fine eating), silver skin, glands, and connective tissue. I age quite differently, although I have done it in coolers with ice the way he does. I’m fortunate enough that my hunting buddy has a drink cooler which has been converted to a deer cooler and will hold three deer. We age for five or six days and then process. We also have a cuber and a grinder so we can make burger, cube steaks, and sausage. Basically the meat ends up going into the freezer in one of five ways–burger (with pork fat ground in), sausage (with favorite spices included as it is ground), cubed steaks, bacon cheeseburgers (ground venison with fresh pork side meat in a seven to three ratio along with a pound of sharp cheese cut in small chunks), and whole back straps and tenderloins. There is incredible versatility when it comes to use from all sorts of Tex-Mex and Italian dishes using ground meat to fine grilled steaks using slices from the backstrap.
    My late wife and I wrote two venison cookbooks so I’ve experimented with the meat a great deal. However, I’ve never canned it or used canned meat so I was fascinated by that portion of the coverage. Great stuff.

    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Leon Pantenburg
    November 30, 2020 at 7:03 am

    Your husband and I would get along really well! My family was raised on venison and wild game, and I am strictly a meat hunter. I do all my own meat processing and learned many years ago that good eating starts as soon as the deer is down. This post is a perennial favorite on my website

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 30, 2020 at 6:46 am

    That meat sure is a beautiful rich red color. The video shows how much work it takes to process the meat for optimum flavor retention. As you might guess from his name, the Deer Hunter has spent a lot of time hunting and learning the best ways to process the meat. He is a strong believer in the clean and ethical way to hunt and process meat.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    November 30, 2020 at 6:34 am

    I enjoyed the video of your husband preparing and then canning the deer meat. It was very informative and he is a natural behind the camera.
    I like the fact that he is not about the trophy deer but instead the meat that feeds his family. I can tell he is a good steward of nature.

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