Safe Handling of Wild Game, Cooking Wild Game
Category : Hints, Tips and Tricks

Game animals lead active lives. As a result, their muscles are relatively lean. This makes game meat drier than domestic meat or poultry. Therefore, it's important to use cooking methods that add juiciness and flavor to the drier cuts of game meat.

Cooking Tips

1. Thaw frozen game meat completely in the refrigerator at or below 40F. Game meat is often high in bacterial content. Thawing at room temperature enhances bacterial growth.

2. Trim away fat before cooking if this was not done when the game was cut. Wild game fat tends to become rancid quickly and this contributes to the "gamey" flavor.

3. Add other fats to keep game meat from becoming too dry.

4. Rub a roast with salt pork, butter, margarine, beef suet, bacon fat, vegetable fat, or sweet or sour cream to add moisture, richness, and flavor.

5. Baste very lean cuts with additional fat to improve flavor.

6. "Lard" your lean game meat by inserting slivers of uncooked salt pork or bacon with a skewer or ice pick. If you make your own rolled roasts add beef or pork fat to the inside and outside of the roast before it is tied.

7. Serve game meat very hot or very cold. Lukewarm game fat has a very greasy taste.

Methods of Meat Cookery

The two major methods for cooking meat are:

1. Dry heat, roasting, broiling, and pan broiling.

2. Moist heat, braising and stewing. The same general cooking rules apply to most kinds of big game animals. Game meat is generally cooked the same way as a similar cut of lean beef.

Dry Heat

1. Roasting (loin or rib)

2. Trim off all game fat, rub with bacon drippings or similar fat.

3. Season with salt, pepper, and desired herbs.

4. Place on roasting rack in uncovered pan, bone down.

5. For added flavor, place bacon strips on top of roast.

6. Baste with additional fat as needed, but do not add water.

7. Roast uncovered at 300F. Allow 20 to 25 min/lb. Since lean game meat usually cooks faster than beef, use a meat thermometer, if possible.

Broiling (loin and rib steaks or chops)

1. Preheat the broiler.

2. Trim all natural fat from steaks or chops.

3. Rub meat with butter, bacon fat, beef suet, or salt pork, and season it.

4. Place steaks or chops on the broiler rack with the top surface 3 to 5 inches below the heat source, depending upon the thickness of cut.

5. Leave broiler or oven door open a few inches unless range directions advise otherwise. If meat smokes or spatters, the flame is too high or the meat is too close.

6. Brown meat on each side.

7. Baste with butter, and serve at once.

Pan Broiling (loin and rib steaks or chops)

1. Partially heat a heavy frying pan.

2. Rub the medium hot pan with suet or a small amount of fat.

3. Cook meat quickly over high heat.

Moist Heat (for less tender cuts)

1. Braising. (chuck or shoulder, leg or round, breast or plate)

2. Season with sale, pepper, and herbs.

3. Rub with flour.

4. Brown all sides in moderately hot fat.

5. Add a small amount of water (about 2/3 cup).

6. Cover tightly.

7. Cook very slowly (simmer) until tender (2 to 3 hours). Turn the meat occasionally, adding water, if necessary.

Stewing (shank, neck)

1. Cut the meat into one inch cubes.

2. Sprinkle with flour and season.

3. Brown on all sides in medium hot fat.

4. Cover meat with boiling water.

5. Cover kettle tightly.

6. Simmer until tender (about 2 to 3 hours). Do not boil!

7. Add vegetables just long enough before serving time so they will be tender.


Marinades can tenderize, enhance or disguise game flavors to fit your preference.

Cover meat with one of the following marinades and allow to stand in the refrigerator at least 24 hours. Broil, roast, or braise.

1. 2 cups vinegar, 2 cups water, 1/2 cup sugar

2. French dressing

3. Tomato sauce or undiluted tomato soup

4. Tomato juice

5. Fruit juice (such as lemon, pineapple, or a mixture of many juices)

6. 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup cooking oil, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

7. 2 cups water, 2 cups vinegar, 1-2 tablespoon sugar, 4 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt, 12 whole cloves, 1 teaspoon allspice, 3 medium sized onions, sliced

8. Garlic salt, salt, and pepper to taste and equal parts of: worcestershire sauce and two of your favorite steak sauces. This gives a blend of flavors and also is excellent for basting game roasts or thick steaks during cooking.

9. 2 tablespoon vinegar, 1-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 clove garlic, minced, 2 tablespoon brown sugar, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 3/4 cup vegetable oil

10. Commercial marinades

11. Milk