What Does Venison Taste Like?

Venison meat chopped up in bowl

Venison tastes a bit like beef, but is smoother in texture and slightly firmer.

In my opinion, it is the best meat out there, but you need to ensure it has been culled and prepared correctly – just as you would with any other animal.

Flavour wise it tastes a little like beef, but with less fat, and slightly more gamey.

Whether you like gamey flavours is down to your personal preference, but I and many others do, although, if the meat has prepared correctly, then venison should no be too gamey at all.

Does venison taste better than beef?

This will depend on a lot of factors, but if cooked and prepared correctly, then yes, venison can taste better than beef.

Whether venison tastes better than beef will very much depend on your own tastes and how the venison has been cooked.

As beef is likely to have been part of your diet from an early age, then you will know that beef can taste amazingly good, and well as rather bad, depending on how it has been prepared and cooked.

The same goes for venison.

If it has been prepared and then cooked correctly, depending on the cut etc, then as a meat eater you will likely love it.

However, if it has not, then you will either find it too chewy, or dry.

If this is your first experience of venison, then it’s not going to win you over.

So please, make sure it’s of a decent quality and has been correctly cooked so you will likely enjoy it.

I will link up to a recipe I use further down the page.

Is venison chewy?

No, venison is not chewy if it’s cooked correctly.

If pan frying venison fillet for example, it is easy to over do it and make it chewy, just like if you were cooking a beef steak.

Knowing your cook times is essential.

I usually cook mine to around medium rare, so they are cooked through, but still slightly pink in the middle.

I would also recommend not crowding the pan, to allow steam to escape etc, other side you can end up boiling the fillet instead of frying it.

Stick to 3-4 pieces at a time.

Why is venison so popular?

Venison’s popularity has increased massively in recent years.

This is largely down to the public being more aware of intensive farming practices and looking elsewhere to more sustainable options.

There is nothing more sustainable on the meat front than wild venison.

The deer have normally been living a very clean and wild existence, grazing on wild plants and shrubs.

This is reflected in the flavour of the meat.

And the main reason for its popularity… it tastes great!

Is venison more expensive than beef?

Venison is far more popular than it once was, and as such, the supply has increased and prices reduced.

In reality though, venison is still likely to be more expensive than beef, due to it not being a commodity product.

It’s not always the case though, and can actually be really good value if you find a good supplier.

Even better, befriend a keen deer stalker and they should hopefully have a steady and regular supply for you.

Or better still, take up stalking yourself!

As a comparison, shop bought venison mince here in the UK comes in at approx £17.50 per kilo.

Good quality organic beef mince from the same supplier comes in at approx £12.60 per kilo.

Price per kilo
Good quality organic beef mince£12.60
Good quality venison mince£17.50

Is venison gamey?

If the animal has been correctly killed, gralloched and then stored correctly, then the venison should not taste ‘gamey’.

Like all game, the key is the preparation and ultimately how the animal (or bird) has then been stored.

Venison has its own flavour, and if cooked correctly, is a truly delicious meat.

If you have concerns over whether you might not like the flavour, then I would recommend trying some venison burgers to start with, or venison sausages.

Your local butchers or supermarket should stock these.

Or, if you fancy having a crack yourself, try my delicious venison burgers recipe.

Can you eat venison rare?

Whilst it is technically possible to eat venison rare, it is not recommended.

You should always cook venison to be on the safe side.

How Long Does Venison Last in the Fridge?

Red Deer Stag standing side on

As a hunter and someone who enjoys the taste of venison, it’s essential to know how long venison can last in the fridge.

This knowledge not only keeps your meat fresh and tasty but also ensures it is safe for consumption.

In this article, we will discuss the shelf life of deer meat in the refrigerator and some factors to consider when storing it.

Venison, or deer meat, lasts in the fridge for about 2-3 days at 40°F (4°C) before cooking or using it.

However, it can last up to 5 days if stored properly.

To maintain freshness, keep the meat in an airtight container to minimise exposure to air and bacteria.

Additionally, aging deer meat in a controlled environment for 3 to 7 days, though not necessary, can improve its flavour and tenderness.

To dry age venison, place it on a rack in a refrigerator set at 34-37°F (1-3°C) with good airflow.

Understanding how to store venison is essential to help you enjoy your meat to its fullest potential.

By following the guidelines mentioned above, you can keep venison flavourful, tender, and safe to consume.

Happy cooking!

Storing Venison in the Fridge

Optimal Refrigeration Conditions

To ensure proper storage of venison in the fridge, maintain an optimal temperature between 1°C and 4°C, which helps maintain the quality and safety of the meat.

A refrigerator thermometer comes in handy to accurately monitor the temperature inside the fridge.

When it comes to the storage container, I prefer using airtight containers or sealing the meat tightly in plastic wrap to keep out excess moisture and prevent the growth of bacteria and mould.

Storing the venison on the lowest shelf of the fridge helps prevent cross-contamination with other foods.

The shelf life of venison in the fridge varies depending on its freshness.

In general, raw venison should last between 3 to 5 days under optimal conditions, while cooked venison can last between 3 to 4 days if properly stored in airtight containers (source).

Identifying Freshness and Spoilage

Keeping a close eye on the venison’s freshness is crucial when it comes to safe consumption.

Knowing how to identify spoilage in venison is essential and prevents consuming unsafe meat.

Here are a few indicators that venison has spoiled:

  • Colour: Fresh venison has a characteristic deep red colour. If it becomes dull or dark brown, it might be a sign of spoilage.
  • Odour: A distinct off-putting odour usually indicates bacterial growth and spoilage in venison.
  • Texture: When touching the surface of the venison, if it feels slimy or sticky, it’s likely that it has spoiled.

In summary, when storing venison in the fridge, I always ensure optimal temperature and storage conditions to maintain its quality and safety.

Additionally, keeping an eye on the venison’s freshness by checking for any signs of spoilage is vital for safe consumption.

Freezing and Thawing Practices

When it comes to preserving venison, freezing and thawing practices are of utmost importance.

In this section, I’ll discuss proper freezing techniques and safe defrosting methods to ensure high-quality venison and food safety.

Proper Freezing Techniques

The first step to freezing venison is to ensure it’s cooled quickly after processing.

Quick freezing helps maintain the quality and freshness of the meat.

Before freezing venison, I recommend using high-quality packaging materials, such as vacuum sealer bags or freezer paper.

This prevents freezer burn and allows the meat to maintain its freshness.

A vacuum sealer is especially useful, as it removes air from the packaging and seals in freshness.

Here’s a step-by-step process:

  1. Trim excess fat from the venison, as it can turn rancid in the freezer.
  2. Wrap the meat in individual portions using freezer paper.
  3. Place the wrapped meat in vacuum sealer bags or zip-top freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Seal the bags tightly.
  4. Label and date the packages to keep track of when they were frozen.
  5. Store the venison in the coldest part of the freezer, typically at or below 0°F (-18°C).

With proper freezing techniques, venison can last up to 6-9 months in the freezer with minimal loss in quality.

Safe Defrosting Methods

When it’s time to enjoy your venison, it’s important to use safe defrosting practices to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and maintain the quality of the meat.

There are three common methods: refrigerator thawing, cold water thawing, and microwave defrosting.

  1. Refrigerator thawing: To defrost venison in the fridge, place the frozen package on a plate or tray, and put it in the refrigerator. It’s best to allow about 24-72 hours for the meat to thaw completely, depending on the size. For added safety, place a paper towel under the meat to catch any excess liquid.
  2. Cold water thawing: To defrost venison using cold water, place the sealed package in a large bowl or sink and fill it with cold water. Submerge the package completely, and change the water every 30 minutes. This method typically thaws the meat at a rate of 1 pound per hour.
  3. Microwave defrosting: As a last resort, venison can be defrosted in the microwave, but this method may partially cook the meat and result in uneven thawing. Make sure to cook the venison immediately after microwave defrosting to ensure food safety.

Overall, refrigerator thawing is my preferred method as it’s the safest and ensures the best quality venison.

Try not to refreeze thawed venison, as it will decline in quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

For how many days can raw venison be safely stored in the refrigerator?

Raw venison can be safely stored in the refrigerator for three to five days.

It is crucial to keep the temperature below 4°C (40°F) to maintain its freshness and quality.

What is the maximum period for aging venison in a fridge before it spoils?

Venison can be dry-aged in a fridge with good airflow and a temperature set at 1-3°C (34-37°F) for a period ranging from three to seven days, depending on your preference.

Aging the meat enhances its flavour and tenderness.

How many days will venison sausage retain its quality when refrigerated?

Similar to raw venison, venison sausage will retain its quality for about three to five days when refrigerated at temperature below 4°C (40°F).

Be sure to check the packaging instructions for more specific information.

What are the signs that venison is no longer fit for consumption?

When venison is no longer fit for consumption, it might exhibit a sour smell, slimy texture, or discolouration.

Trust your senses; if you notice any signs of spoilage, it’s best not to consume the meat.

How long can one expect venison jerky to last when kept in a fridge?

Venison jerky, when properly stored in a sealed container or vacuum-sealed bag, can last for one to two months in the fridge.

However, ensure to check the packaging for specific storage instructions and expiration dates.

Is it safe to refreeze venison that has previously been thawed?

It is generally safe to refreeze venison that has been previously thawed, provided it has been thawed in the refrigerator and not at room temperature.

However, keep in mind that refreezing can impact the meat’s texture and quality.

To retain its best quality, ensure proper thawing methods and don’t exceed the recommended storage time.

Enjoyed this??? Why not take a look at how to freeze deer jerky