Processing Equipment - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Processing Equipment

The other thread made me think....

I processed my own deer for the first time last year and realize now how much better it is to do your own (admittedly mine didn't turn out great but it was my deer)

That said, I want to get more into it. I want to buy the equipment necessary to do the basics.

What is everyone's suggestion for make and model of grinders, vacuum sealers, hedydrators, slicers, etc.?

...but those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. -Isaiah 40:31
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 01:09 PM
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Re: Processing Equipment

I am currently using a grinder and dehydrater bought at Bass Pro on Black Friday.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 01:14 PM
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Re: Processing Equipment

LEM Has everything you need.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 01:59 PM
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Re: Processing Equipment

Most of my equipment is commercial grade, all used. I picked them up at restaurant/butcher supply shops, scanned ads in "Pennypincher" magazines, stopped in a couple butcher shops & asked if they had equipment they wanted to part with. This was all before Craigslist, you may be able to find equipment there. LEM, Cabelas, & The Sausage Maker all sell equipment, but it's pretty pricey, I usually just rely on them for supplies when I'm in a jam. Maybe try a post in the "Buy & Sell" section here on HPA?

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 02:12 PM
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Re: Processing Equipment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Retiredusne8
LEM Has everything you need.
That is who supplied Bass Pro's models last year. The grinder in the link looks exactly like my grinder.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 02:19 PM
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Re: Processing Equipment

I just spent the last hour on LEM's site.lol.

Thanks for the link.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 02:27 PM
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Re: Processing Equipment

My barn is set up as a butcher shop starting the first week of Archery season.You're more than welcome to bring any deer over to cut up.I even have a fridge that's dedicated to keeping deer cool during archery season.Most years,I end up doing or helping other people do about 15 deer or so at my house.

All you really need is a good grinder.A vacuum sealer and a slicer are also a big help.I have a Cabelas commercial grinder and it works good.I'll probably upgrade my sealer and slicer this year or next year.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Processing Equipment

dce, you are prepared for everything!

BTW, I'll give you a call next week!

...but those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. -Isaiah 40:31
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 02:38 PM
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Re: Processing Equipment

Depends on how many deer you plan you do for some things. A hand grinder will do the job if you're just doing one or two a year. If you process yours and your buddies too and end up doing four a more a year cranking gets old. However, you don't need a $300+ grinder for that unless you have the cash and have a need to spend it. Both the Cabela's grinders and LEM are good units. your mileage will vary with $100 electric grinders....experience.

You can get by without a grinder at all too. Some places will charge a few bucks to grind it for you. You can also freeze chunks in, say, 1lbs packages and when you thaw it just put it in a food processor and chop it up. Works fine and most of us probably have one in our kitchen anyway.

For the basics though, I'd say a couple of good knives. I use cheap Rapala fillet knives....a 6" and a 4" exclusively. They're cheap, sharp and work well for me.

Get yourself a decent cutting board. I like the plastic ones that are big. LEM has them, Cabela's has them....that auction site has them for half the cost. I think mine is 18" x 30" or something along those lines. They last for years, you can put a whole quarter on it, carve off what you need to work on and still have plenty of room to trim. Keeps the mess on the Mrs. dining room table down!

Meat tubs are a gem if you can't process all at one time. Even if you can they're still nice to have. Or some big tuperware bowls. I use mine for mixing, short term fridge storage and such.

Vacuum sealer is a must. I will never wrap meat again. These things are simple, easy to use and just plain work. Nothing wrong with wrapping, but by the time you do all the wrapping you'll be wishing you had a sealer. You can rolls of vac bags from that auction site for half the cost of going to the store as well.

A scale if you're mixing anything....bacon into ground ven, bologna, etc. I really like those 44lbs scales that everyone has their name on. Shop around for that as I'm pretty sure they're all the same scale with a different name on the dial face!

You'll need a stuffer if you're making sausage and sticks. That's more advanced though and you might not be ready or interested in that. That also starts into the realm of smokers and a level of knowledge and patience and equipment I'm just not getting into here.

I probably missed some things in all that, but I think I covered the basics. I do all my own deer, my buddies deer and starting next week a pig. Usually we cut up around 6 or so deer a year. I have a #8 Cabela's grinder that's worth its weight in gold. I usually make 100-150 pounds of 'stuff' every winter....summer sausage, snack sticks, jerky, smoked bologna, smoked cheese, smoked salmon, soon to be bacon too. Sometimes I enjoy cutting and processing more than the hunting shooting....I ALWAYS enjoy it more than dragging!

You really under estimated the ramifications of the boondoggle you have just perpetrated!
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 02:43 PM
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Re: Processing Equipment

A good set of knives, a vacuum sealer and a grinder.
The more deer you do the better you will become at it.

Once you get the basics down to just boning out the meat, cut the back strap up into 1" thick "butter fly" steaks, the muscle groups seperated into roasts,and grind all the scraps into hamburger you can branch out into making snack sticks, jerky and ring bologna using a smoker.

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