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Cooking venison for flavor and safety

Roasted venison with bacon and vegetables.

What causes the wild or gamey taste in venison?

Venison refers to the meat of antlered animals such as deer, moose, elk and caribou. The 'wild' flavor of venison is directly related to what the animal eats. Corn fed deer will have a milder flavor than those that eat acorns or sage. The 'gamey' flavor is more noticeable in the fat. Removing the fat, connective tissue, silver skin, bone and hair during processing lessens the 'gamey' taste. However, undesirable strong flavors are due to inadequate bleeding, delay in field dressing or failure to cool the carcass promptly.

The "wild" flavor of venison is directly related to what the animal eats.
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Suzanne Driessen, Extension educator and Kathy Brandt, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2021

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