View Full Version : Venison versus beef

August 6, 2009, 05:58 AM
Got this from the local CO. I think he took part in this study:p


Controversy has long raged about the relative quality and taste of
venison and beef as gourmet foods. Some people say that venison is
tough, with a strong "wild" taste. Others insist that venison's flavor
is delicate. An independent food research group was retained by the
Venison Council to conduct a taste test to determine the truth of these
conflicting assertions once and for all.

First a Grade A Choice Holstein steer was chased into a swamp a mile and
a half from a road and shot several times. After some of the entrails
were removed, the carcass was dragged back over rocks and logs, and
through mud and dust to the road. It was then thrown into the back of a
pickup truck and driven through rain and snow for 100 miles before being
hung out in the sun for a day.

After that it was lugged into a garage, where it was skinned and rolled
around on the floor for a while. Strict sanitary precautions were
observed throughout the test, within the limitations of the butchering
environment. For instance, dogs and cats were allowed to sniff and lick the steer
carcass, but were chased away when they attempted to bite chunks out of

Next a sheet of plywood left from last year's butchering was set up in
the basement on two saw horses. The pieces of dried blood, hair and fat
left from last year were scraped off with a wire brush last used to
clean out the grass stuck under the lawn mower.

The skinned carcass was then dragged down the steps into the basement
where a half dozen inexperienced but enthusiastic and intoxicated men
worked on it with meat saws, cleavers and dull knives. The result was
375 pounds of soup bones, four bushel baskets of meat scraps, and a
couple of steaks that were an eighth of an inch thick on one edge and an
inch and a half thick on the other.

The steaks were seared on a glowing red hot cast iron skillet to lock in
the flavor. When the smoke cleared, rancid bacon grease was added along
with three pounds of onions, and the whole conglomeration was fried for
two hours.

The meat was gently teased from the frying pan and served to three
blindfolded taste panel volunteers. Every one of the members of the
panel thought it was venison. One of the volunteers even said it tasted
exactly like the venison he had eaten in hunting camps for the past 27
years. The results of this scientific test show conclusively that there
is no difference between the taste of beef and venison.

August 6, 2009, 10:11 AM

Not how we do it, but it is still funny!

August 6, 2009, 10:15 AM
that is hilarious....but i still dont like deer meat!

August 6, 2009, 10:33 AM
Where can you hunt beef? I know local meat counter.

August 6, 2009, 10:41 AM
???? killed with gun or bow, doe or buck, hardwood mast or agriculture?dropped on the spot or chased for awhile?, aged before butchering or cut fresh, allowed to freeze first or butchered while floppy. Each condition makes a huge difference. When I am butchering the conditions are cleaner than a processor. My experience... calm relaxed does that are taken with an arrow that bleed out in a few secondstaste the best. Even better is medium age fed on agriculture corn, soy and grains for mast, allowed to age 2-3 days in controlled temp. spotless prep conditions. RESPECT the ANIMAL enough to make every bit useable. Thanks Craig.

Marty Hayes
August 6, 2009, 11:16 AM
Too funny...

I had venison just last night, from a doe taken on my own property, with arrow. Within 45 minutes, the girl was hanging in my cool garage, afterwhich she was cut and wrapped a day later.

The key is what you do with the meat after the kill.

A couple of years ago, wife and I went to WY and killed 4 pronghorns. After the shot, we gutted and drove to the meat processor an hour away. Did this 4 times. Meat was/is great. We are still eating on it, and looking forward to a return next year.

August 6, 2009, 11:17 AM
That's funny as heck, and I've seen venison "butchered" in similar fashion. My mom bought a chub of 'burger from the supermarket a few years back that had cow hair in it, so it's not at all one sided.

But, I take a lot of pride and care with the animals I take and prepare for food. There IS a difference in the taste between beef and venison, and IMO the venison is far superior.


August 6, 2009, 12:44 PM
There is the problem is was a Holstein steer. Milk cows are not known for their quality of beef even if it was a steer.:D They should have made it an Black Angus.

August 6, 2009, 02:23 PM
I would never eat that no matter what it is. I don't harvest game that way, and the portrayal is an insult to most hunters, not all.

August 6, 2009, 02:35 PM
HG - I treat my animals with all the care and proper handling possible.

But it was funny, admit it...:D

August 6, 2009, 09:43 PM
Funny as hell. Not how I do it, but I know folks who do!

August 6, 2009, 09:50 PM
Am I to understand that everyone doesn't do it that way????


August 6, 2009, 11:33 PM
I wish ya'll id quit watchin me when Im stockin up my pantry.

August 7, 2009, 12:53 AM
Sure isn't the way we treat our venison either. I must qualify our, as in I have not put one down for 11 years but I unload and process anything the young hunters put down.
The cast iron pan on my wood cooking stove is by far my favorite way of cooking our venison.
You are right Hunter girl, it is all about image today. We do need to police ourselves and show respect for the wildlife, environment and everyone that we interact with. However we have every right to be proud of our heritage and the sport we love.
I do know those that fit into your "Not All" comment. A tongue-in-cheek article like that could cause one of those in the "Not All" category to overhaul there M O.

W. C. Quantrill
August 7, 2009, 06:50 PM
I'm on the main road from the New Mexico hunting areas and Texas. You wouldnt believe how many pickups go through here in a day with game animals in the back end that have not been gutted or skinned...............heading back to parts unknown in Texas.

Brian Pfleuger
August 7, 2009, 07:04 PM
Am I to understand that everyone doesn't do it that way????

Absolutely NOT! My family doesn't drink alcohol!:D

August 7, 2009, 09:08 PM
Around here, most of the deer taste alot like beef, because they are all grain fed off of the farmer's fields.

August 7, 2009, 09:35 PM
I'll take beef any day of the week over venison. Elk meat is vey good however.

August 7, 2009, 10:10 PM
I'd rather eat venison any day of the week. Mmm, I can hardly wait for this season! I'm already writing out a plan of my favorite recipes and new ones I want to try. :D

Fat White Boy
August 7, 2009, 10:40 PM

August 11, 2009, 06:00 PM
love the post... is does have some truth about the way game is taken... most people dont like game meat because they have tasted it after it has been improperly harvested...

my personal rule is "if its on the run, the flavor is done"...

as the adrenaline rush takes over the nervous system on any animal the lactic acid buildup in the muscle and gives it a "bad" or "off" taste...

the best way to harvest is to drop it right there, on the spot, and unspooked...

August 11, 2009, 08:53 PM
I want to go hunting in KOBE.:D:D:D:D:D WE CALL COWS SLOW ELK AROUND

August 16, 2009, 07:21 PM
lol slow elk!
thats awesome :D

August 16, 2009, 08:32 PM
Good venison is a delighfully rich and tasty meat.

Personally, I also like buffalo too. A 6oz buffalo steak will fill you up and put a satisfied grin on your face.

Never tried Elk, yet. Looking forward to it as long as someone doesn't say "It tastes like chicken".

August 16, 2009, 08:54 PM
would take venison over beef myself... for the taste alone

August 17, 2009, 09:18 PM
I'll take elk over venison, pronghorn over elk, and moose over them all, but then my deer were out west eating bitterbrush, not corn......:D

August 18, 2009, 12:08 PM
I'll take beef over venison any time.

Given what I've tried, I would rate them best to worst:


The moose was excellent, like very fine beef with just a hint wildness to it.

August 18, 2009, 03:05 PM
I like both equally. Deer must be killed as cleanly an quickly as possible. I field hunt mostly with a gun. I head or neck shot does, DRT. Drive the truck right up to them and go directly to the skinning rack.

Art Eatman
August 18, 2009, 05:51 PM
I hear ya, publius. Back when I was culling, I did a lot of barbecue cookouts for my crowd. Boned out venison ham. I had a standing offer that if anybody didn't like the deer meat, I'd cook 'em a ribeye.

Never had to cook a ribeye. :D

FWIW, ground up deer meat that's not the neat part like hams and backstraps, hey, it's the world's best for spaghetti sauce. There's some sort of synergistic magic between deer meat and tomatoes. Scrumptious!!!

August 18, 2009, 06:26 PM
Never had to cook a ribeye. Pass up ribeye? Guess I've been eating venison at the wrong place!

August 18, 2009, 06:34 PM
The corn and sugar beet winter "midnight" deer my family "cooned" for lack of money were hard to tell apart from good steak. They were "on the bed" when shot and were hanging gutted less then 10 minutes since shot. Prep time and quality must be 100% high. Diet must play a part but no where near that of the clean kill, fast quality butcher work (cold climes can hang deer but I ain't there no more). I guess that is what the OP was leaning towards.

August 19, 2009, 04:20 AM
OP had a very funny story..

Meat all depends on how it starts right from the field..

I enjoy all wild meats,but it does' take someone awful to mess up a good piece of beef..;)

August 19, 2009, 05:28 AM
elk,deer anygame over beef

August 19, 2009, 09:41 AM
I see some place Pronghorn over Deer and even Elk:eek:,
Question, are those Pronghorn taken in areas without sage?
From what I have heard pronghorn is the worst, that is why I have never hunted them:(

I have never liked venison hamburger, but eat it.
And do not like venison roasts.
The last roast I did was in a roasting bag so it was moister than any other, but still didn't care for it.

One way I love is to make a meat & Veggie roll with a roasting net(like for a porketta).

I enjoy all wild meats,but it does' take someone awful to mess up a good piece of beef..
Its called a US Army mess hall!

August 23, 2009, 10:34 PM
I like both venison AND beef.

Funny post though! Just sent it on to my bussies!


August 23, 2009, 10:36 PM
I see some place Pronghorn over Deer and even Elk,

Everyday, and twice on Sunday.

Antelope is the best wild game meat I have ever had. Almost sweet tasting to me, and mild...oh man!!!!

I'd take it over beef and/or venison ANYDAY.


August 24, 2009, 02:10 PM
I never thought of the Army..I stand corrected!!:)

James R. Burke
August 24, 2009, 06:17 PM
That was pretty funny, but true what people will do. Marty is correct I always take care of my venison right away, making sure nothing gets dirty, even when it is getting taken out of the woods great care is taken to protect it. You need to just keep thinking someday you are going to be eating it. Anybody can gut a deer, but a good gut job leaves the insides clean unless you done major bullet damage. Just my 2 cents.

August 24, 2009, 11:06 PM
If it wasn't for beef eaters, who would I sell my cattle to? I like beef - but - what do I have in my own freezer? Elk and deer! There isn't so much as an ounce of beef in my fridge and hasn't been since I can't remember when.

... it's the world's best for spaghetti sauce. There's some sort of synergistic magic between deer meat and tomatoes.

Amen! Add a generous amount of ground venison to any sauce and people go nuts for it. You can't make enough!

Brian Pfleuger
August 25, 2009, 12:11 PM
FWIW, ground up deer meat that's not the neat part like hams and backstraps, hey, it's the world's best for spaghetti sauce. There's some sort of synergistic magic between deer meat and tomatoes. Scrumptious!!!

MMMmmm, best chili I ever had was made with hot venison sausage, dang, makes my mouth water just thinking about it....

August 25, 2009, 09:35 PM
Art, to this day my kids will not eat spaghetti unless it is made with deer meat. They think it taste funny and bland without it.
Ofcourse deer taste differant than beef. All those hormones, genetic alterings, and feed not natural to cattle makes them taste funny. A rancher I used to know never ate the cattle he sold. He had his own herd that the raised and feed natural.

August 25, 2009, 10:13 PM
First post...but something I could relate to. I was raised on deer meat and (more) never thought twice...25 yrs later...still a farmers daughter and family to raise... my ex still comes over and hunts with me and mine and we stilll enjoy fresh deer meat and then some...he has been a taxidermist for as long as I can remember. All of my kids are bigger than me and no body has health problems.) Thank God. We have had our share of everything from rabbit, squirrel, muskrat ... to elk and bear...but we are all healthy still. just my .02 worth. P.S. We eat plenty of beef too so I don't see any problem.

gun nut
August 25, 2009, 10:36 PM
If the holstein is grade A I sure don't want something graded lower:eek:!! The way it was gotten and processed I would pass on either (venison of beef) :barf:. Seriously I prefer beef and our deer processing is waaay more refined.

August 26, 2009, 11:05 AM
Antelope cleanly shot, not in a hard run prior to being shot, then gutted, skinned right there, washed down right away, then put on ice. Best eating game around. Too many slob hunters spoil the eating for those, who might have become interested in hunting and dining on wild game. I know far too many slob hunters, who have turned off people to hunting and eating wild game, and who have desecrated the animal they were hunting. So quick to kill an animal, living on the earth, for their idea of a sport.:( Wanton waste of meat and life. That's called arrogant. I'm relieved to know that I am not associated with those kind of people anymore, because I've thankfully developed an intolerance to arrogant, self indulgent people.

August 26, 2009, 11:30 AM
My big question is why soo many people try to make deer taste like something else. Granted, we all grew up eating mostly beef, pork and chicken. I ate a hell of a lot of wild game coming up. More than most. I was poor. Farm boy, duh ofcourse I was poor. If it wasnt for deer, limb rats, rabbit and bream, I would have probably starved. But even with all of that, we still ate more of the big three, so I can see how peoples pallet gets used to that kinda flavor. I like the taste of deer. I think the biggest problem is in the prep. Most folks try to cook it like beef. For those who like deer, thats fine. Deer has little fat, and if you cut a t-bone or a ribeye from deer, its gonna be alot tougher than beef. Just the way it is. Cube it, stew it, grind it and you are good to go. The tenderloins are the exception.

August 26, 2009, 12:59 PM
Deer meat is good but...ribeye just makes my mouth water ! :D

August 27, 2009, 08:14 AM
I pretty much grew up on "bream"- crappies, blueguill, bass, walleye, northern pike and home butchered chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits. We were poor too, and my dad didn't hunt. of course, I didn't know we were actually poor then. I had my first taste of wild game, venison stew, at a nieghbor's house, when I was 12 or so. Loved it.

August 27, 2009, 09:44 AM
I too grew up poor and didn't know it. My father didn't hunt or fish, so him being from Boston and my mom from Maine, we ate creamed cod (funny how salt cod is now "gourmet" food and runs up to $35/lb.), hot dogs, beans and brown bread. Don't recall tasting wild game until my late teens. Liked most I've tried though.

Uncle Buck
August 27, 2009, 10:46 AM
"You all need to quit eating them deer and start eating coon and possum! I am getting overrun with these critters. Skinned and aged aint a damn thing wrong with 'em, now stops your complaining and chew away."
Least that is what my grandma used to say. But once I got the taste of deer meat I never ate another coon, possum or any other burrow dweller.

August 27, 2009, 10:53 AM
Most of my family members have hunted since young ages, so I was thankfully introduced to venison, rabbit, and butchered chickens at a young age.

But god damn, venison and rabbit are still my two favorite meats.

August 27, 2009, 05:58 PM
Antelope cleanly shot, not in a hard run prior to being shot, then gutted, skinned right there, washed down right away, then put on ice. Best eating game around. Too many slob hunters spoil the eating for those, who might have become interested in hunting and dining on wild game.

+1 huntergirl

i like that term "slob hunter"... i have seen plenty of those in my day... i got a deer did you?(its to bad you had to take a bad shot and track it for half a day, now its ruined) i think a lot of the virtue of the taking of any game animal has been lost lately...

"the only poor person is the one who thinks that money is the symbolism of being rich"