Venison Meat

Venison is a term that broadly refers to the meat of a game animal. Game is any animal hunted for food, or the meat derived from such an animal. The species that fall into the game category vary significantly based on the region, and can be categorized based on size and biological class. Game is primarily consumed as unprocessed meat, but there are also many preserved preparations.

Nutritional Profile of Venison

Venison has a unique nutritional profile, which varies significantly depending on the specific game animal. However, there are some common nutritional characteristics.

Purines and Uric Acid

Venison is rich in purines, compounds that can become harmful for individuals with a specific metabolic defect known as hyperuricemia. This condition results in an accumulation of uric acid in the blood, a byproduct of purine degradation. An excess of uric acid can lead to gout, a form of arthritis. Therefore, venison is typically avoided in the diet of those with hyperuricemia and gout.


The caloric intake of venison can vary, but it is generally medium or low. Proteins are the most abundant energy macronutrients in venison, followed by lipids, with carbohydrates being absent. The proteins in venison are rich in essential amino acids and have a high biological value.


Venison, particularly certain types, is high in cholesterol. To limit cholesterol intake, it may be beneficial to remove the skin of small game animals and avoid consuming their offal.

Vitamins and Minerals

Venison is rich in B-group vitamins, particularly Niacin, and also contains good amounts of Thiamine, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine, Biotin, and Cobalamin. Consuming the offal of game animals, such as the heart, liver, and kidneys, can provide high concentrations of Vitamin A and Vitamin D. As for minerals, venison is a good source of iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and sodium.

Types of Venison

Venison can be classified by size, with hunting practices often divided into small game and big game hunting. Another common classification is based on biological class, such as mammals and birds.

Mammalian Venison

Mammalian venison includes game animals such as hare, wild rabbit, wild boar, fallow deer, deer, roe deer, and chamois, among others.

Avian Venison

Avian venison includes game birds such as pheasant, duck, partridge, quail, and woodcock, among others.

Food Characteristics of Venison

Venison is known for its hard or elastic consistency, intense flavor, and aroma. It often requires maturing and marinating. It has a lower fat content compared to other meats and is more suited to long cooking methods. However, venison also has a lower hygiene level, which is a critical factor to consider when preparing and consuming it.

Hygiene and Safety of Venison

While venison is often considered a healthy food choice due to the natural diet of wild animals and the absence of pharmacological treatments, it can also pose certain health risks. Wild animals are susceptible to various diseases, some of which can be transferred to humans. Therefore, it is crucial to cook venison thoroughly before consumption and avoid game meat of dubious origin.

Venison can potentially be a carrier for various diseases, including Salmonellosis, Campylobacteriosis, Escherichia coli, Listeriosis, Toxoplasmosis, Trichinosis, and Hepatitis E. Additionally, game meat can be contaminated with lead, primarily through the bullets used in hunting.

Processing Venison

Processing venison involves several steps, including slaughtering, maturing, and marinating.


Large game animals may require partial slaughtering immediately after killing, even directly at the capture site. This process involves removing the viscera and testicles (in the case of a male specimen), and possibly skinning and/or cutting the animal.


Maturing is a process that allows all the blood to be drained from the carcass, drying the meat and softening it. The maturation time varies depending on various factors, such as the condition of the carcass, the place of maturation, and the possible application of marinade.


Marinating is a procedure that helps eliminate unpleasant odors from venison. It also allows certain flavors and seasonings to penetrate deeper into the tissues than what happens by flavoring the game only during cooking.

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The Wellyme Team

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