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Author Topic: Consumables for self processing Elk  (Read 1356 times)

Offline lamrith

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Consumables for self processing Elk
« on: October 29, 2019, 08:19:39 AM »
Fingers crossed this will be my 1st year self processing something more than an unused tag.  I will have a second thread about the actual processing, but for this one I wanted to talk required items.

I HAVE:
Vac Sealer
Meat Grinder
Meat slicer (optional not even sure if will be used or needed, maybe to thin slice for stirfry/jerk?)
Table
Cutting board
knives & sharpener

With that in mind, what sort of consumables do you pro's use or recommend I have onhand when I process an elk?  It will be quartered out with bone still in.
Certain size vac bags? Papertowels?  Meat/fat for grinding ground?
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 08:28:10 AM by lamrith »
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Offline Sundance

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2019, 08:24:21 AM »
I prefer the smaller pre-sealed bags for the steaks, makes the work quicker without having to cut the bags and seal them to size. I use the plastic sock bags for burger with hog rings, makes quick work of stuffing the burger into bricks. Disposable nitrile gloves, a PVC apron, plastic totes for separating the cuts of meat, scale for weighing out fat to add to burger. While you can stuff burger with a meat grinder it's worth it IMO to buy a crank stuffer.

Offline Stein

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2019, 08:43:29 AM »
I don't vac red meat, only fish.  I double wrap the meat in freezer paper and plastic wrap and it goes faster, is cheaper and will last for at least a couple years.  The white packs are easier to stack and you don't run the risk of bags leaking.

Other than that, I would get some plastic tube grind bags and that would be the basics.  Add extra items for any type of cured or sausage you want to do, but it's all optional.

Offline boneaddict

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2019, 08:55:06 AM »
I don't vac red meat, only fish.  I double wrap the meat in freezer paper and plastic wrap and it goes faster, is cheaper and will last for at least a couple years.  The white packs are easier to stack and you don't run the risk of bags leaking.

:yeah:

Offline lokidog

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2019, 09:21:53 AM »
I only vac pack red meat... and fish... and fowl.....   :chuckle:

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2019, 10:27:11 AM »
As stated, I use plastic wrap and freezer paper for steaks and roasts. I vacuum pack stew meat cuts and pre made burger patties. I also use the plastic tubes for ground but with a tape tie. Fill those with the sausage stuffer, its much easier. Make sure you have plenty of large bowls or plastic tubs on hand to separate the meat as you de bone it. I like to cover my table with plastic/visquine, makes it easier at clean up time. Try to decide where you want your ground/jerky to come from ahead of time so you can separate meat easily. When grinding, try to spread your cubed meat out on sheets and freeze it just over half way. It will go through the grinder much easier with less clogging. Cutting and wrapping is pretty easy, grinding and jerky/pep making takes up most of the time I have found. I posed a question on here a couple years ago about how long it takes to process an elk. I was surprised at how quickly people claimed to do it, seems to take me much longer.

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Offline Angry Perch

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2019, 12:22:13 PM »
With the exception of the grinder, this is everything I use to break down a deer. The last couple years I've quartered them on day one, wrapped in plastic wrap and tossed in the fridge. Then I can butcher when I have a couple hours. There's a Sharpie somewhere on the table that I use for marking packs. I butcher a quarter, clean it up and wrap it, then move on to the next.

I also keep my Worksharp plugged in next to the table with the finishing belt on it to keep a razor edge.

Note: The coffee turned into a beer shortly after the photo was taken!


Offline huntingfool7

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2019, 05:51:31 PM »
Make sure your cutting table is at a comfortable height.

Offline lamrith

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2019, 06:26:52 PM »
Make sure your cutting table is at a comfortable height.
I JUST was out looking at that.  I know out counters in the house are not.  being 6'4" has it's drawbacks and working surface height is one of them.
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Offline KFhunter

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2019, 06:30:47 PM »
6'4" and a plastic fold up table is gonna suck


I use sawhorses, tall ones, and plywood

Offline lamrith

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2019, 06:45:16 PM »
No doubt. 
I have a big stainless steel table.  just confirmed I have 4 cinderblocks that I can put it up on.  be perfect.
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Offline NOCK NOCK

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2019, 08:02:37 PM »
Fillet knife is my most used knife, trimming silverskin and cutting steaks.
I wrap steaks and burger in coated white freezer paper, do it properly and it will stay freezer burn free for over a year.
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Offline lamrith

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2019, 08:04:52 PM »
With the exception of the grinder, this is everything I use to break down a deer. The last couple years I've quartered them on day one, wrapped in plastic wrap and tossed in the fridge. Then I can butcher when I have a couple hours. There's a Sharpie somewhere on the table that I use for marking packs. I butcher a quarter, clean it up and wrap it, then move on to the next.

I also keep my Worksharp plugged in next to the table with the finishing belt on it to keep a razor edge.

Note: The coffee turned into a beer shortly after the photo was taken!
Fillet knife is my most used knife, trimming silverskin and cutting steaks.
I wrap steaks and burger in coated white freezer paper, do it properly and it will stay freezer burn free for over a year.

What size filet knives are you guys using?  I have a 9" big game one.  The one Angry Perch has looks pretty short, 6"?
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Offline WapitiTalk1

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2019, 08:15:42 PM »
Larry, NO fat mixed in with your burger. I also like plastics/freezer paper vs VAC seal. Just ensure you get all the air out when you wrap with the plastic. Oh, and order one of these for burger.  It’ll be here by Friday 😁.

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Offline KFhunter

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2019, 08:44:21 PM »

Offline kenzmad

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2019, 08:44:45 PM »
I vac pac. Only issue I have, is the bags are slippery once frozen. They stack nice with fresh ground meat in them. Once frozen, removing one from the stack is like playing a game of Jenga. A mixer of some sort is nice if doing burger. Or, the old fashioned way of hand mixing can be done.
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Offline KFhunter

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2019, 08:49:18 PM »
Larry, NO fat mixed in with your burger. I also like plastics/freezer paper vs VAC seal. Just ensure you get all the air out when you wrap with the plastic. Oh, and order one of these for burger.  It’ll be here by Friday 😁.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B002L80DUQ?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title

I got one of those, had trouble with the tape keeping it sealed.  Went to rings and had better luck.    If you do the tape try to not get grease on the bags and don't stack them in the freezer until they're frozen fully, the weight will push the tape up the bag.   I might need better tape, but it is quick to use. 


Offline NOCK NOCK

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2019, 08:53:41 PM »
I use a 9ish" rapala fillet.
Some like fat in burger, some don't. I hit up my buddy(grocery butcher) and get trimmings from prime ribs at xmass time for my fat. mix at 10%
Some folks like to add raw bacon to their grind. DONT do it unless you try a small sample first. I found out the hard way on this, spaghetti, lasagna, tacos, etc should not have a bacon flavor imho. 
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Offline Stein

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2019, 07:41:41 AM »
I use the Victorinox 6” curved flex blade.  It’s pretty standard with a bunch of butchers and works great.

I have a longer chef’s knife for steaking or other bug cuts.


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Offline ballpark

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Re: Consumables for self processing Elk
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2019, 08:40:50 AM »
Beverage of choice :tup:

Offline Angry Perch

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2019, 09:37:55 AM »
Make sure your cutting table is at a comfortable height.

Definitely. The table I use (in the picture( has the extendable legs. Saves the back for sure.

Offline Angry Perch

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2019, 09:41:33 AM »
With the exception of the grinder, this is everything I use to break down a deer. The last couple years I've quartered them on day one, wrapped in plastic wrap and tossed in the fridge. Then I can butcher when I have a couple hours. There's a Sharpie somewhere on the table that I use for marking packs. I butcher a quarter, clean it up and wrap it, then move on to the next.

I also keep my Worksharp plugged in next to the table with the finishing belt on it to keep a razor edge.

Note: The coffee turned into a beer shortly after the photo was taken!
Fillet knife is my most used knife, trimming silverskin and cutting steaks.
I wrap steaks and burger in coated white freezer paper, do it properly and it will stay freezer burn free for over a year.

What size filet knives are you guys using?  I have a 9" big game one.  The one Angry Perch has looks pretty short, 6"?

Not fillet knives for me. I use 2 6" boning knives, one straight and one curved, and an 8" breaking knife. All Victorinox.

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: Self processing consumables for Elk
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2019, 09:43:40 AM »
With the exception of the grinder, this is everything I use to break down a deer. The last couple years I've quartered them on day one, wrapped in plastic wrap and tossed in the fridge. Then I can butcher when I have a couple hours. There's a Sharpie somewhere on the table that I use for marking packs. I butcher a quarter, clean it up and wrap it, then move on to the next.

I also keep my Worksharp plugged in next to the table with the finishing belt on it to keep a razor edge.

Note: The coffee turned into a beer shortly after the photo was taken!
Fillet knife is my most used knife, trimming silverskin and cutting steaks.
I wrap steaks and burger in coated white freezer paper, do it properly and it will stay freezer burn free for over a year.

What size filet knives are you guys using?  I have a 9" big game one.  The one Angry Perch has looks pretty short, 6"?

Not fillet knives for me. I use 2 6" boning knives, one straight and one curved, and an 8" breaking knife. All Victorinox.

Same, the Vicki boning knives are fantastic
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Offline lokidog

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Re: Consumables for self processing Elk
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2019, 09:55:16 AM »
The best knife I have used for butchering is the inexpensive red/purplish handled Rapala filet knife that you can usually find these days for about $7 or less.

I don't know why so many people add pork to their pristine game meat for hamburgers. I can understand it for sausage or pepperoni, but I've never had an issue with my burgers falling apart (1/8" grinding plate) and I can eat them rare top medium rare without worries.....

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Consumables for self processing Elk
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2019, 10:11:13 AM »
you can eat pork med rare too, trich is gone in commercial pork.    My pork I've raised is ultra clean, you could sushi it, not that I would  :puke:



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Re: Consumables for self processing Elk
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2019, 10:16:53 AM »
I don't think Loki is worried about under cooked pork. I think he just doesn't want his deer to taste like a pig.

Offline Stein

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Re: Consumables for self processing Elk
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2019, 11:58:24 AM »
you can eat pork med rare too, trich is gone in commercial pork.    My pork I've raised is ultra clean, you could sushi it, not that I would  :puke:

True statement, once we stopped feeding dead pig parts back to live pigs it magically disappeared.  Of the 20 or so cases a year in the US, I think most of them are from eating bears.

Offline Angry Perch

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Re: Consumables for self processing Elk
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2019, 12:30:47 PM »
Ain't many things better than a high quality, medium rare pork chop. Unfortunately, you will not find such a thing in your local QFC or Safeway. It's a shame what mass produced pork has become.

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Re: Consumables for self processing Elk
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2019, 01:48:32 PM »
I cut mine 1.5 inches thick  :chuckle:

Offline lamrith

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Re: Consumables for self processing Elk
« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2019, 01:22:58 PM »
So after  processing (most of the way) my elk I have a few items to add.

Nitrile/latex gloves.  I know some do not use them, but I found it quite handy to be able to remove gloves when I needed to do something other than processing.  I was working in the garage with no access to a sink to clean up, so being able to remove gloves to go in house etc was priceless.

Papertowels.  Partially for the same reason as the gloves, but also because papertowels stick to membrane and silverskin like velcro so it makes it easier to remove them.

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