Curing and smoking

Air dried venison

August 1, 2017

This entry will record my first attempt at air dried venison.

The starting point is a haunch (i.e. back leg) of a roe deer that was shot on 24th July 2017, butchered on 25th July 2017 and then kept in a fridge.

30th July 2017

The roe leg weighs 2.2kg and washed with vinegar and dried. The recipe for air dried ham ( ) was followed.

3 days per kg means that the haunch will spend around 6 1/2 days in the salt.

Here is the haunch in salt and being weighed down with 4 lightweight blocks.

6th August 2017

Here is the haunch upon removal from the salt. It has changed shape and colour, and is also now much lighter.

Here is the haunch having been rinsed clean of the salt and then sterilised with vinegar.

The haunch is now in a net bag and should be ready in a year or so. The haunch is in the bag on the right. The left bag contains a leg of saddleback pork that has been air drying for about 16 months.

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  • Reply Sam Crawford December 20, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Good evening Nico do you have a blog regarding the building of your air drying chamber? I am about to start building one out of an old larder fridge, the aim of this is to produce air dried venison products from the deer I shoot.

    Regards Sam

    • Reply admin February 7, 2018 at 8:13 am

      I don’t have an air drying chamber for drying meat. I use big net bags, and hang the meat in them after it has been salted. I’ve tried various locations for the bags but the best so far is under the back door porch as it is breezy, but provides protection from the rain.

  • Reply Adam Milner January 17, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    I’m curious to know how this turned out? Have you done it again since and did you adapt the process at all after the first attempt?

    • Reply admin March 8, 2021 at 8:57 pm

      I salted it for too long, and air dried it for too long. It was too hard to cut.

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