Aging meat?

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by Atroxus, May 24, 2010.

  1. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand
    Southern Oregon Coast
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    I have eaten the liver for breakfast and back strap for dinner on a warm deer and on a few that had time to cool off. Never noticed the difference.
     
  2. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand
    Southern Oregon Coast
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    I don't have a walk in freezer so a well covered animal will have worms in the joints in short order. A week, maybe on the Coast
     
  3. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch
    Forest Grove, Oregon
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    It is pleasing to me that others have contributed their new (or newly contributed) experiences to this relatively old sticky. I do pay particular and close attention to those who operate on the jungle coast (as most of my recomendations in the essay were for open country hunting). But I live on the jungle coast. Still learning, and still have to shake off a lot of habits learned from Nevada and Montana. Always open to hunting advice, and game meat care advice (especially with these little skinny, tick-ridden blacktails). I still believe PROPER aging is essential for tender, good tasting meat. But I also recognize that it cannot always be possible. Never saw a flea on a deer till I came here.

    Thanks to those who continue to pay attention to the most important actions after the shot.
     
  4. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand
    Southern Oregon Coast
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    I usually hang a buck for about four days in a cool shed, you may get away with five days but it is not that often. You will have to keep a close watch for mold forming on the animals exposed areas as well. If it is warm enough in November for flies you know what can happen if not paying attention.

    There was a time I would cut a deer in half, hide on and make two trips or more to pack one off the next ridge or vertical rock ledges over four hundred yards out. Reverse skinning in the field changed all that. Taking out the head it is required! In possession and tagged.
     
  5. smoothbore

    smoothbore
    sutherlin
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    I agree! I've hunted and eaten wild game for over 50 years, and have tried every thing you can think of to improve the flavor and tenderness of meat.Now I never keep meat hanging any longer than it takes to skin and quarter, if possible.

    #1 in my opinion is the cooling of the meat asap.The faster you can get it cooled, the better it will be.....Period.

    Just don't shoot a Buck or Bull, walking with the aid of crutches, if you want to eat it :)
     
  6. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu
    Oregon
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    I game bag it at the site and try to drive home at night, placing (water proof) bags of ice strategically around it. At home I give it 3 days, unless it is extremely warm, laying it on the cool garage floor during the day and hanging at night. I often cover it with an old sleeping bag while it is on the floor. This method has worked fine in our family for decades.
     
  7. JoeDirt82

    JoeDirt82
    NW Oregon
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    What a good read!

    Here is my method,

    Try to take the game out whole

    Let it hang in the garage until I have time to process it, usually 2-7 days. (shorter if its hot weather)

    With practice learn your cuts, what makes good steak or burger...ect.

    Thats it! Dont over think the process!

    Most people process game the way there parents and grandparents did. I dont do anything special and eat non gamy tender meat every night!
     
  8. Indy

    Indy
    N. Indiana
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    Just 2 cents on a method I used in a processing shop in Indiana for over 3000 deer and had hunters drive 2 hours one way to have me butcher theirs.

    Temps of course is important. Good info above and I used temps 32-38 targeting 35.

    Aging is an enzyme breakdown, and is locatable online looking that up.

    I have three rules.
    1. GET THE HEAT OUT the first day. Pack in ice and do it again in the morning.
    2. WITH THE HIDE ON the animal. Without the hide the meat dehydrates and is open to bacteria. The hide also KEEPS the meat cold even if ambient temps fluctuate a few hours. It is insulation when they live and equally good when deceased. Ive even dropped them in a chest freezer the first night to insure all the heat gets removed. The initial cool down is the MOST important!!

    3. Once the heat is out the critter should be kept OUT of sunlight and and breezes.

    Time wise few go as long as you CAN but a rule of thumb is 60 percent of aging happens the first week then is slows but still progresses. 10 days is rock bottom for me for EXCELLENT and TENDER venison and Ive repeatedly fed such to "I don't eat game animal" people that refused to believe it was venison.

    The best venison Ive ever ate was when I had the time and temps controlled without changes and I hung that big OLD buck 21 days. I could cut steaks with a fork. Properly aged I defy anyone to tell a buck from a doe, regardless of age but of course young ones don't need as much time for tenderness alone. Ive won many bets from those "SURE" they could tell buck from doe venison.

    GAMEY meat comes more from NOT removing the body heat ASAP. I cannot tell you how important that is. IF one is going to age an animal AND feels the need to "wash out" the carcass, use bottled water from the store. Ground water is FULL of bacteria. If butchering rather soon it isn't as important but if properly aging it.....distilled water, ONLY.

    All else fails an old chest freezer turned down to the right temps makes an AWESOME cooler for one deer (on milk crates or something so it can drain and not lay in it).

    Only offered to help and I promise the best venison you've sunk your teeth in. When the temps behave 2-3 weeks is great and MOLD in the rib cage is NOT rot. Don't worry about it if you have cooled the deer out ASAP and kept it closed up in 35 degree temps.

    Some will doubt, some will turn up their noses but be aware that you have NEVER bought a piece of beef in the store that didn't hang a week. The reason they no longer hang them longer is because they skin them and dehydration reduces the amount of "meat weight".

    Try it once and see for yourself. Time and time again I had customers tell me that their wife and kids would never eat venison.........till I aged one for them correctly. And yes, it affects the burger flavor as well. Aging is more than tenderizing. The flavor itself improves dramatically.

    God Bless
    Steve
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014
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  9. Stump

    Stump
    Westeren Washington
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    With deer after one day I cut it all up and grind the burger then age the meat in the frig for a few days. I always have great tasting meat! Elk is off the bone and I do the same but age it a little longer in the frig, I have a large extra one for this purpose only. Cheaper that a walk in.
     
  10. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth
    Josephine County
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    It was tenderized as it fell over the cliff and some more when you guys winched it back up. Been there, done that.
     
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  11. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth
    Josephine County
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    Shoot, gut, skin. Debone, defat, in freezer. Close to home, kill in the morning, in the freezer by dark. Proper cooking of venison is critical to a good meal. Same goes for good jerky.
     
  12. smoothbore

    smoothbore
    sutherlin
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    It's been my experience that hanging to age wild game is a waste of time. The most important thing I've found is how fast you cool the meat out. If the weather is cool, and the animal goes down quickly, the faster you can field dress, and open that body cavity to cool, the better the meat will taste. One of the best tasting deer I ever harvested was killed standing in a cool stream. After gutting the deer, I washed and cooled it in the creek. Took it home, skinned it, wrapped it, and into the freezer.It made a venison lover out of my wife. back when I aged them, she hated the stuff lol! I learned from many years of rabbit hunting to gut as soon as you kill it, if you want good meat. It lets the meat cool faster. JMO and 71 years of mistakes and learning from them;)
     
  13. Sstrand

    Sstrand
    La Grande OR
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    Do not . . . DO NOT take your game home prior to skinning!!
    Skin it while you're in the woods. Get the hide off as soon as you can!!

    Sheldon
     
  14. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand
    Southern Oregon Coast
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    No matter how we do it dirt or debris is going to attach itself to the meat. Even if we skin it at the pickup what is to keep from collecting filth.

    I like to open the body cavity wile I drag my meat out in one piece. Haul by the horns. There is nothing on the inside I want except two small pieces of meat way up inside behind the lungs close to the neck and attached to the back bone, get to that as soon as you get home and have it that night or better yet with eggs in the morning for breakfast. No room for sharing this part, it is the hunters prize and it is small and a bit troubling to remove the first time due to it being so tender. The heart and liver can be stuffed toward the neck to protect it, if you take it out with you; you will find the liver and heart taste just like venison especially when it is still warm.

    If I use a pack board I am dragging the head and at times the hind quarters with a nice limber rope, 5/8'' - 3/4'' diameter, cotton or soft high count braided nylon 20' behind me. Gloves Help! Longer is not always better!

    You will find every Stump, stick and bush will try to stop you.

    With the hide on and the heart and liver tied into the head neck area, using a flap of hide tied over it still connected to the tagged head and neck unseparated from shoulders, off the back bone [a separate 1/8' nylon rope from my pocket] poke small holes in the hide tie it to the horns to hold the heart & liver tight.
    You pull and stop, Pull n stop all the way to the top, most times it is up hill or rarely side hill almost never down hill.

    Have you ever tried to clean the forest off of a fresh kill? There is no way you will ever wash it off, it is cut away and given to the cat or the dog.

    Plastic bags don't breathe they are considered a positive vapor barrier. Moisture cannot pass through! We can ruin meat real fast if we let it lay in a pool of fresh blood for a few hours in a tightly closed plastic bag.

    The hide is a passive barrier that breaths! Just like good paint does on your house.
    Game bags are fine for some folks. I never needed one till I got back home and I have shot a deer or two in my lifetime.
    Silver Hand
     
  15. Sstrand

    Sstrand
    La Grande OR
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    When I hunted a lot. We never got any of the forest on the meat . . . In fact, My cousin could skin an elk on the ground, keeping the carcass on the skin and hardly ever had to pick off even a pine needle. AND, when he got done gutting and skinning he'd have a little blood up to his wrists. Gene was a real artist.

    Sheldon
     
  16. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch
    Forest Grove, Oregon
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    Sheldon ran off the Reservation, and then came right back. (As was often the case in 1876.)

    Sheldon either has not hunted in Scenario 2, or 3 (and therefore he gets his pass),

    OR: we grant him accolades for his most recent post, saying it is ENTIRELY possible to skin a critter in the woods, with NO debris on what you pack out, he gets full offset.

    DON'T skin before processing, unless external factors dictate. (Pack weight, warm temps, etc.).

    Once again:skin and hair are the BEST protecion against insects toward your meat. Meat cold? Keep the skin ON!
     
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  17. 156256Hunter

    156256Hunter
    Fairview-ish
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    If it's warm out, then get the hide off asap. Otherwise you could have problems with bone sour.
     
  18. Sstrand

    Sstrand
    La Grande OR
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    I never hunted on a reservation.
    I have always been "Off the Reservation". . . Skin off. Quartered, Meat bags. When you get home hang the bags in the barn, take a shower, and have supper.

    Yes I have waited to skin until I was home. It is much more difficult and besides I was ready for supper and a shower. Working with a cold hide is not my idea of a good time.

    Sheldon
     
  19. ogre

    ogre
    Vancouver, WA
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    Apparently this thread is not about a senior dating service….
     
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  20. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand
    Southern Oregon Coast
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    I have never eaten the bones, what the heck is bone Sour?

    I have eaten meat that has been blown in the joints and it was not bad tasting, again what is bone sour?
    Silver Hand
     

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