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Ca_Vermonster's picture
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DIY butchering.... What cuts???

Just wondering, on another thread we were talking about the price to get an elk butchered.  I saw a couple of guys that said they do it themselves.  I was wondering, what kind of cuts do you get out of it?  Since they are almost as big as a cow, can you get all the similar cuts, i.e. roast, chops, steaks, ribs, etc.?

I have heard some guys say they do just the Tenderloins and backstraps, then make everything else into sausage.  i would think that's a waste of alot of good steaks.

What say you???

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When I butcher mine I'll

When I butcher mine I'll usually seperate the backstrap and tenderloins from the bones so that means no T bone steaks, but they are some nice filets.  But other than that you will get the same as a moo cow.  Roast, round steaks, stew meat and ribs.  The neck and front shoulders usually go into the ground meat pile along with any other scraps or trimmings. 

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So you put the entire front

So you put the entire front shoulders into the ground meat pile?  Is that because of meat quality, taste, etc., or just because they are not large enough to do anything else with?  I know with my deer, I will pretty much make as much as I can into steaks, even little ones, cause I just throw them into a pan with butter and onions.  Not sure I could see a 40-50 pound front quarter all go to ground.....

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I just find it easier to do

I just find it easier to do it that way and not have to worry too much about just how much meat is on the one or two roast that you get out of each shoulder.  Along with it not being really sutted for steaks in that the size is really the factor.  But if you want to you can always make fry meat out of it if you don't want to turn it into burger.  I guess that is all depends on how much trouble you want to go through to get what you want.  That's the nice thing about doing it yourself.  If you want the bone in you leave it that way, if you want the bone out you do a little work to get all the bones out.  If you like stews then there are a lot of pieces that can go into them or just make burger out of it.  I know of hunters that do it themselfs and they don't even do any round steaks.  They just cut a couple of roast off or the hinds and then the rest is burger, or you can do it the other way steak what you want and then the rest burger.   

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I hear ya.  I am a big fry

I hear ya.  I am a big fry guy, as well as jerky and stew meat.  So, i could see where you would do it that way.  The good thing with stew meat is that if you decide you have too much, you can always turn it to burger/sausage.  Just kinda hard to go the other direction.

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Nice thing about doing it yourself

Nice thing about doing it yourself is you control quality of cuts and how to use it.  I cut as many steaks as possible.  Trim and package loin, tenderloin, and sirloin steaks as is.  The round steaks and any tougher cuts I either tenderize with a Jaccard or cube before packaging for the freezer.  Anything that has connective tissue is cut into cubes for stew meat.  How much steak vs. stew vs. ground depends on the age and condition of the animal. I lean towards more steaks and if I am wrong I can always grind into sausage later. All trim is tossed into one of three bowls: Burger, Sausage, and dog food.  I throw little to no meat away and keep the major bones for the dogs.  The dog food meat is boiled and frozen in ziplock baggies.  Bones are baked on a cookie sheet and frozen.  I feed the dogs 1/2 the normal ration of dry dog food mixed with 1/4 cup venison.  Kitchen knives, Jaccard, freezer paper and tape, freezer bags, a small vacuum sealer and bags, and the small Cabelas grinder make up my tool kit.  Extra hands are very welcome as is a cold beer while cutting.  I find great satisfaction in doing it myself.  Family swears the meat is better too.

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Location: Edgewood NM
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we cut our own also

We keep the brisket, the tenderloin, backstrap and a few roasts and stew meat out of the hams. The rest goes in the ground pile.

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