Show Notes:

Butchering a whole deer from field to freezer is a big undertaking for new hunters and we don’t recommend trying it your first time. But if you know what to ask your butcher for, and if you are able to cut up your own leg quarters that they prep and return to you, you can enjoy a level of quality and cooking that few hunters experience. On this episode I talk about butchering a leg quarter and how to cook each cut of meat.

Take Aways:

  • All you need to butcher your own leg quarts is a sharp knife and a cutting board. That’s it. Watch the videos below, it’s super easy.
  • When someone asked Chef Wutsch about the best type, brand, and style of knife to use, his answer was “a sharp one”.  Really, that’s all that matters.
  • Most butchers take short cuts and just chop up all the prime leg sections so you will never be able to cook each muscle in it’s ideal way.
  • The front legs are less exciting from a culinary standpoint and have less meat, your butcher can easily turn those into stew meat and ground and you can save a little time. 
  • I recommend handling the back legs and the back straps yourself.
  • Just like beef, elk, lamb, and moose, each deer leg quarter contains:
    • Shank – The most tough but most flavorful cut, braise this for 4 hours with the right seasonings and you will be amazed. But if you grill it, it may be inedible.
    • Top Round – The most tender cut of the leg, this makes great steaks.
    • Bottom Round – Very lean, but not as tender. Perfect for a roast, pot roast, or jerky. If you grill it, treat it like a flank steak, cook it to medium rare and cut very thin across the grain.
    • Eye of Round – A small, lean, semi-tender cut. Great for medallions, or searing and serving.
    • Sirloin Tip – A football shaped, less tender cut that is ideal for roasts and pot roasts. Cook it low and slow and it’s perfect.