Where to Source Beef Fat for Deer Processing

When processing deer meat at home, adding beef fat is a key step for improving texture and flavor. Finding a high-quality source of beef fat ensures your venison comes out tasting its best. This guide covers the top places hunters can buy beef fat for deer processing.

Why Add Beef Fat for Venison

Mixing beef fat into ground venison offers several benefits:

  • Adds moisture and richness lacking in wild game. Deer meat can be quite lean

  • Improves texture of burgers, sausages, and jerky – makes them more tender.

  • Beef fat has a higher melting point so won’t render out during cooking.

  • Provides extra juiciness when cooking venison cuts like steaks or roasts.

  • Blends well with the flavor of venison without overpowering it.

  • Makes venison more palatable for folks not used to strong gamey taste.

Recommended ratio: 20-30% beef fat to 70-80% venison when mixing ground meat.

Where to Buy Beef Fat Locally

Checking out local meat suppliers is the easiest route for sourcing beef fat. Here are some places to look:

  • Butcher shops – The best option. Ask butcher to grind beef fat or suet to your specs.

  • Meat markets – May have suet or fat trimmings available behind the counter.

  • Ethnic grocers – Mexican carnicerías and Asian markets sometimes carry suet and fat.

  • Restaurant suppliers – May sell untrimmed fat wholesale to individuals if you ask.

  • Farmers markets – Chat with vendors selling grass-fed beef about beef fat.

  • Ranches – Those raising cattle often have excess fat they’re happy to sell.

When buying locally, inspect fat first for freshness and quality. Avoid old or discolored beef fat.

Ordering Beef Fat Online

If striking out locally, specialty online shops are another beef fat source:

  • Butcher & Packer – Sells suet, leaf lard, tallow, and trimmings for processing.

  • Walton’s Inc. – Retail packs of suet and tallow plus large bulk sizes.

  • Ask The Meatman – Offers raw suet chunks, tallow, and rendered beef fat.

  • Organic Prairie – Sells grass-fed beef fat from their cooperative farms.

  • Fossil Farms – Retail-ready packs of beef fat from ethically raised cattle.

  • Yellow River Meats – Suet and tallow from their pasture-raised Indiana cattle.

Check shipping costs before ordering online, as beef fat can be heavy.

Sourcing Beef Fat from Local Farmers

To source really fresh local beef fat:

  • Search Facebook or forums – Ask in farming, homesteading, or hunting groups about beef fat.

  • Check online ads – Websites like Craigslist often have folks selling livestock fat.

  • Visit cattle farms – Stop by ranches in your area and ask if they sell fat.

  • Ask deer processors – They may know of farms with excess fat for sale.

  • Contact 4H/FFA members – Chat with youth cattle raisers selling animals at the fair.

This allows you to hand select the freshest beef fat possible.

What to Look for When Buying Beef Fat

To make sure you choose high-quality beef fat:

  • Check color – Should be bright white with a creamy tint. Avoid yellow or brown fat.

  • Smell it – Should have a mild beef scent. Strong odors mean it’s going bad.

  • Texture – Should be somewhat firm but pliable. Discard if mushy or slimy.

  • Fat source – Leaf fat or suet provides the best flavor. Avoid hard tallow.

  • Freshness – Raw fat keeps just 2-3 days. Frozen keeps 3 months. Don’t buy old stock.

  • Hair/debris – Trimmed fat works best. Don’t buy if covered in blood, hair, or bits of meat.

Taking a few moments to inspect means you get the highest quality beef fat for mixing into your venison.

Buying Grass-Fed vs Grain-Fed Beef Fat

You can also choose between grain-fed or grass-fed beef fat. Differences:

  • Grass-fed – Leaner with yellow hue. Richer taste but can be more susceptible to rancidity.

  • Grain-fed – Whiter color. Milder flavor some find less gamey. More saturated fat so more shelf stable.

Either grain-fed or grass-fed work well for deer processing. Go with your personal taste preference.

How Much Beef Fat to Purchase

As a rule of thumb when buying beef fat:

  • Ground meat – Calculate 0.25 to 0.5 lbs fat per 1 lb ground venison.

  • Sausage – Get 0.5 lbs fat per 2-3 lbs sausage being made.

  • General use – Buy 2-3 lbs beef fat for adding to roasts, steaks, etc.

  • Stock up – Purchase 5+ lbs beef fat if processing a lot of deer meat.

Buying in bulk saves money but only if you’ll use it before it spoils.

Storing Beef Fat for Deer Processing

To maximize freshness:

  • Fridge – Wrapped raw fat keeps 2-3 days. Submerge in water if longer.

  • Freezer – Wrap tightly in freezer paper or plastic. Keeps frozen 3-6 months.

  • Thawing – Defrost frozen fat slowly over 24 hours in fridge before using.

  • Rancidity – Use nose to detect spoilage. Discard if turning yellow or smelly.

Properly storing beef fat prevents waste and keeps it in peak condition for your venison.

Preparing Beef Fat for Mixing with Venison

Once you have high quality beef fat, prepare it by:

  • Trimming – Remove membranes, blood clots, and any meat/tissue.

  • Cutting – Dice into 1⁄2 inch cubes for mixing into ground meat.

  • Grinding – Ask butcher to grind fat or use food processor. Get consistency of pebbles.

  • Chilling – Keep diced fat very cold before mixing with venison.

  • Ratios – Combine 20-30% fat with 70-80% venison when grinding meat.

Take steps to get the fat in proper form for combining with your deer meat.

Best Uses for Beef Fat in Venison Dishes

Once processed and mixed, beef fat enhances various venison meals:

  • Burgers – Adds juiciness and texture when added to patties. An essential ingredient.

  • Sausages – Provides richness and moisture to venison sausage crumbles and links.

  • Steaks/roasts – Baste lean cuts while cooking with melted fat for added flavor and tenderness.

  • Ground meat – Use in chili, tacos, meatballs, lasagna, etc. Provides moisture and richness.

  • Jerky – Chop finely and mix with ground venison before dehydrating for tender, flavorful jerky strips.

The options are endless for ways to incorporate beef fat into your favorite venison recipes.

Hunters can improve their home deer processing by taking time to source high-quality beef fat from a trusted local or online source. With the proper storage, preparation, and mixing techniques, adding beef fat to venison results in tender, juicy, and flavorful wild game. Where is your go-to place for buying beef fat to enhance your deer harvests? Please share in the comments!

Grinding Deer Meat with the Right Fat Ratio for Burgers


Where to get fat to add to venison?

Pork fat trimmings is one of the cheapest and purest ways to add fat to venison, if you can find it. Most pork at the grocery store is usually well-trimmed, but if you find an extra fatty shoulder, trim off that fat, freeze it and save it for your venison.

Can you buy animal fat at the grocery store?

Yes, many supermarkets do sell lard. You often find it in the baking or cooking oil section, and you can choose from options like traditional lard or hydrogenated lard.

Do butchers throw away fat?

Beef Fat: 30 to 40% of Choice Beef Dressed Carcass is excess fat. They sell it for pennies per pound to a contracted ‘Bone man’ who picks it up once or twice a week. It is processed into makeup & fertilizer. Pork Fat: Used on site for Pork Sausage & Ground Pork.

What is the best fat to grind with venison?

Depending on what you’re planning to cook, you may want to add fat to your ground venison. This added fat can be bacon, pork shoulder, pork belly, beef tallow, etc. It’s purely personal preference. I always add about 15-20 percent fat if I’m making hamburger or kebabs, which makes the meat juicier and more flavorful.

Where to buy beef fat for deer processing?

The best place to buy beef fat for deer processing is from a local butcher or meat market. They will have a better selection of high-quality fats than you would find at a grocery store or online. You may also be able to find beef fat from a local deer processor or hunting outfitter.

How much beef fat is needed for deer processing?

For those who are deer hunting, it’s important to know how much beef fat is needed for deer processing. The general rule of thumb is to buy one pound of beef fat for every two pounds of deer meat. This will ensure that the deer meat is properly preserved and has a good flavor. Another important factor to consider is the quality of the beef fat.

What is the best fat for deer sausage?

The best fat for deer sausage is a combination of pork back fat and beef suet. Pork back fat gives the sausages their desired texture, taste, and moisture while beef suet provides a traditional flavor that will be appreciated by venison lovers. Both fats offer an ideal balance of leanness and richness to your wild game meat dishes.

Can You Make your own deer fat?

This can be a bit more work than buying it pre-rendered, but it can also be a great way to save money and ensure that you are getting high-quality fat. To render your own fat, simply cut up the deer carcass into small pieces and render the fat in a slow cooker or on the stovetop. You can then strain the fat and use it for your deer processing.

Leave a Comment