Top Equipment For Home Butchering

Tools to Take Your Trophy from Field to Feast!

Grinding meat will be a chore no more with Bass Pro Shops Electric Meat Grinders by LEM Products, available in five models from .25 HP-1.5 HP ($250- $700; www.basspro.com). Each has an easy-to-clean stainless steel housing, grinder head and big bite auger that grinds up to 50-percent faster than the competition. The motor is permanently lubricated, has all-metal gears and a built-in circuit breaker. Accessories include coarse and fine stainless steel plates, a stainless knife and stainless meat pan, three stuffing tubes, stuffing spacer, meat stamper, heavy-duty handle and two-year warranty.

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Cabela's 80L Commercial Food Dehydrator ($330; www.cabelas.com) is ideal for making a lot of jerky or other dehydrated foods in a single batch. The unit comes with 12 nonstick drying racks, each measuring 211„2x16 inches for a total of 28-square feet of drying room. The 80L's fully insulated housing maintains a maximum drying temperature of 160 degrees, so drying takes no more than 12 hours. Features include a built-in drain reservoir, glass-front door and fully digital controls.

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The Outdoor Edge Game Processor ($94; www.outdooredge.com) kit provides every utensil you'll ever need for butchering big game, waterfowl or any other bounty of the outdoors. Included are a 3-inch caping knife, 4€‰1„4-inch gut-hook skinner, 51„2-inch boning-fillet knife, 8-inch butcher knife, sharpener, steel stick, game shears, carving fork, cutting board, bone saw, gloves and hard-sided carrying case. Knives are ground from 420 stainless steel and feature full-tang construction. The Kraton handles have an easy-grip rubberized texture.

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The Outdoor Edge Advanced Wild Game Processing Library, which comes in a 4-DVD combo pack ($70; www.outdooredge.com), will become your go-to source for comprehensive and useful home meat processing information. If it's how-to you're seeking, you'll find it on the four DVDs, which include nine hours of helpful processing tips and instruction. "Hunting the Outdoors," a bonus DVD that features exciting hunts, including bowhunts, is also included.

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Stock up on products from Hi-Mountain Seasonings ($3.36-$17; www.himtnjerky.com) and revel in the results. Use a kit for making sausage, bratwurst or old-fashioned bologna; each contains everything needed to get these jobs done right. Don't forget Hi-Mountain's Jerky Cure, or the company's one-of-a-kind seasonings such as Western Style Elk Steak, Western Style Original Burger, Western Style Cajun Cowboy and all-purpose Western Style Trail Dust.

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The versatile Chef's Choice Model 610 Premium Electric Food Slicer ($100; www.edgecraft.com) gets points for being both rugged and budget friendly. Constructed of cast aluminum and steel, the slicer's seven-inch stainless steel blade, tilted food carriage, 100-watt motor, slicing thickness control dial, easy-clean design and safety lock button make it user friendly too. Remove blade, food carriage, food pusher, food deflector and thickness plate to clean. A serving tray is included.

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Use the Foodsaver GameSaver Pro Plus ($190; www.basspro.com) to vacuum seal your game meats and never worry about freezer burn again. Features include an upgraded, heavy-duty seal bar, touchpad control, removable vacuum channel and safety precision cutter. Also included are one roll of 11x10-inch bag material and one roll of 8x10-inch bag material, plus five one-quart and five one-gallon capacity bags.

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Lansky's Crock Stick 4-Rod Gourmet Knife Sharpener ($42; www.lanskysharpeners.com) will make short work of a dreary — and often time-consuming — task. The hardwood base has a Lexan guard to protect your hand during sharpening. The two-stage system features two pairs of holes pre-drilled in the base at angles of 20 degrees and 25 degrees for optimum positioning of the four nine-inch alumina-ceramic sharpening rods (two medium and two fine grit).

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LEM's Ground Meat Packaging System with two-inch Aluminum Stuffing Tube ($4

5; www.lemproducts.com) delivers exactly what you need to package ground meat in one-third less time than if you used freezer wrap. Included are a bag taping machine, two-inch stuffing tube, poly bag tape and 50 one-pound game bags. Just position the stuffing tube over the grinder plate, slide on a bag and grind meat directly into the bag. Squeeze air from the bag, twist, seal and you're done.

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Every home butcher should own Cabela's Open Country Digital Scale ($70; www.cabelas.com), which features sleek stainless steel construction, a backlit digital display, tare function and mode button for those who prefer metric readings. Mount the display on the wall or at the unit's base for easy viewing. Weigh items from two ounces-150 pounds in two-ounce increments.

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