Venison is already delicious and nutritious in itself, but when mixed with pork fat, you can bring even more flavor out of your deer meat.
It’s especially great for burgers, meatloaf, meatballs, and every hunters favorite: snack sticks and sausage!
In this article I’ll go over the best pork-to-venison ratios, when you should mix with beef fat, and a few other helpful tips.
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Table of Contents
- How Much Pork To Mix With Venison
- What Do You Mix With Deer When Grinding?
- Why Do You Mix Pork Fat With Deer Meat When Grinding?
- What Kind of Pork Do You Mix With Deer Meat?
- How Do You Mix Venison and Pork?
- Final Thoughts
How Much Pork To Mix With Venison
You should mix roughly 30% pork fat with venison when making snack sticks, venison sausage should have up to 50% pork fat, and venison burgers and meatballs need only contain about 20% pork fat. The amount of pork fat you need to mix with venison varies depending on the dish you’re making.
What Do You Mix With Deer When Grinding?
You should mix pork and beef fat with deer when grinding. These act as binding agents and flavor enhancers during the grinding process to compensate for the low moisture content of the lean game meat.
The choice and amount of meat to be added typically varies by personal preference. However, it would be best to read up on established golden ratios and meat-venison mixtures to enjoy your favorite ground venison dishes.
You can opt to mix beef fat with venison to make a patty or meatloaf more cohesive or to enjoy juicy snack sticks that would instead feel dry if you stick with pure venison.
If you are sort of a food connoisseur, you may notice, though, that the overall texture and juiciness of the beef-venison combination lacks refinement, in which case, you may want to try mixing it with pork.
Ground pork fat functions similarly to beef fat when mixed with venison, although you might observe a more savory mix when using pork.
An essential factor to watch out for and consider would be the source of pork fat that you mix with venison.
For instance, fat from pork belly may contain too much flavor and could overpower the deer meat.
You will not want this if you are more inclined to highlight venison’s flavor than the former in the ground meat mix.
Meanwhile, opting for back fat may provide you with just the right chewy texture without compromising the authentic venison taste.
Why Do You Mix Pork Fat With Deer Meat When Grinding?
Mixing pork fat with venison provides moisture, flavor, and cohesion to your venison grounds and a soft texture that outperforms beef fat. Additionally, venison is generally lean meat, so it needs pork fat to bind the venison grounds together.
Otherwise, you may find yourself struggling to cook pure venison patties that easily break apart.
Purists may find this problematic, thinking that precious venison meat deserves to be enjoyed free from other types of red meat that are not as lean or healthy.
The thing about the lean nature of venison is that it makes it challenging to prepare several other meat-based dishes without compromising quality.
However, if only you can toss just the right amount of pork fat into your grinder, you can expect a marbly grind that closely resembles the most common patties – beef patties.
The combination of flavorful pork fat and venison also results in a delectable ground mix. When ground, the combination of juicy pork and deer meat leaves you satisfied while also free from the greasy after-taste that comes with, say, beef.
Sausages with the perfect pork fat to venison ratio coupled with the ideal preparation steps can leave you wanting more. Besides the seasoning added to the pork and venison mix, the pork fat itself already adds flavor to your deer meat.
The moisture extracted from different types of pork cuts, such as bacon and belly, makes the entire meal even more satisfying.
The lean nature of venison makes it quickly dry out during meal prep, so the extra fat accords you with the juiciness necessary to enjoy delicious – but dry – meat.
Imagine indulging in protein-rich, saporous venison snack sticks with a hint of bacon. It seems like it could not get any better.
What Kind of Pork Do You Mix With Deer Meat?
As mentioned earlier, to enhance the juiciness and taste of venison, a certain amount of pork fat is needed. So, it’s best to add pork cuts that contain high-fat content in your grind.
Deciding on the pork cut to use depends on the taste of the end product you want. Do you want to retain the gamey taste without the dryness, or would you prefer one with a hint of pork flavor?
You can mix deer meat with any kind of pork, including pork butts or shoulders or a higher fat pork belly. Butts and shoulders are milder in flavor, while pork belly gives you a more pronounced pork taste. It depends on your preference.
If you want the unadulterated taste of venison, grind it together with pork butts or shoulders. These pork cuts are located at the front end of the pig and contain high-fat contents.
However, if you don’t mind a more domesticated taste, go for the pork belly. This slightly more pricey cut is located in the pig’s underside and is where bacon comes from.
It also has a high-fat content and that distinct pork taste that will undoubtedly influence your venison grind.
Meanwhile, back fat provides your ground venison with a soft and chewy texture, perfect for sausages and meatballs.
How Do You Mix Venison and Pork?
To mix venison and pork, start by ensuring the meats are chilled. This will help with handling and grinding. Next, find a ratio of pork to venison that works for your tastes and then grind them separately before mixing them together into a uniform mound. Finally, add any spices at the end to taste.
The amount of pork you add with venison depends on the kind of meal you plan to prepare. You’ll want to experiment on the correct pork to venison ratio and source of pork fat that you will be using.
Different types of pork fat contain varying moisture and flavor, so consider this when deciding whether to opt for savory belly fat or the more low-key back fat.
For venison sausages, you would want a more fatty venison grind. As such, I suggest mixing at least 20% pork fat with 80% venison. Of course, you can go higher than this, depending on your taste.
Just remember that eating sausages with a fat content higher than 50% can make you feel lethargic.
Venison snack sticks are a versatile outdoor treat typically marketed to hunters that may coincidentally hunt for game. If you want to have that extra money for that cool new hunting gear, you can save on buying snack sticks by making them on your own.
You can make venison snack sticks using 100% venison, but most prefer adding a little bit of pork into it (around 30%) to achieve a certain degree of juiciness. Just make sure you have the time to make them before your next hunt.
Lastly, if you’re into burgers, meatballs, and meatloaves, you may want to try burger patties made of venison. Again, you’ll just have to add a little bit of fat to prevent it from drying out and crumbling during the cooking process.
As with patties made of beef, the fat content is essential to grind the meat. Always remember that venison is leaner than beef, and you may want to add a little more fat than you would wish to on your beef patties.
The safe bet is to go for 20% fat to make the taste of your patties richer.
Pro Tip: I always prefer to grind my venison semi-frozen, after it’s been thawed out. This keeps the meat cold, and prevents your grinds from getting too wet or juicy,
One of the most rewarding aspects of hunting is the processing of your own game meat. I highly recommend you give it a try.
You May Also Like: Buck, Buck, Moose: Wild Game Cook Book
If you prefer to use your local game processor or butcher, that’s fine too. Just ask them to add some pork fat to your ground venison, and you’ll have a versatile ingredient that can replace nearly any ground beef recipe.
Thanks for reading!
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