How to Remove Gamey Flavor From Deer Meat

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Remove the gamey flavor from deer meat before you cook it.
Remove the gamey flavor from deer meat before you cook it. (Image: Venison roast with roasted potatos image by Elzbieta Sekowska from Fotolia.com)

Deer meat, also known as venison, can have a “gamey” flavor. Many people do not enjoy this flavor, so they do not enjoy consuming venison. Before you cook deer meat, you can remove most of the gamey taste. Once you remove the altered flavor from the meat, you can then season and prepare it using your favorite cooking method. Venison meat is lean and it does not contain a lot of fat or cholesterol compared to beef.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • 1 qt. cold water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • Container
  • Aluminum foil
  • Seasonings or marinades

Remove the excess fat and the silver skin from the venison. The gamey flavor will often reside in the fat.

Pour 1 qt. of cold water and 1 cup of vinegar into a container. Use a container large enough to hold the venison so that it remains submerged in the solution.

Cover the container with aluminum foil. Store the venison in the refrigerator and allow it to soak overnight.

Remove the venison from the container. Add your favorite marinade or spices to the venison to mask any remaining gamey flavor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Increase the cold water and vinegar ratio for larger cuts of venison.
  • Marinate the deer meat with tomato sauce, wine or a vinegar-based marinade to tenderize it.
  • Store the deer meat in the refrigerator for only 1 or 2 days to help control the gamey flavor. The fat will go rancid quickly.
  • Always thaw deer meat in the refrigerator before you soak it to remove the gamey taste.
  • Cook venison to a safe internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit to kill tapeworms and parasites.

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