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» Trad Gang.com » Main Forums » PowWow » Let's talk about AGING MEAT (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Let's talk about AGING MEAT
AkDan
Contributor 2016
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Let me state, there is no wrong way, short of loosing meat to spoilage! If it works great, results speak!

I will say. I travel south quite a bit. One of my trips i shot a doe the morning before i flew back to ak. I was persuaded to cut it up while it was still warm (pre rigor). That was by far and away the worst deer i have had that my familys shot. I have had bad deer for sure and agree quality steaks are in meat care! This was years ago and what spawned a meat fridge idea. We had until recently a fridge just for this (dans trips home lol). The fridge has died, i rarely hunt deer anymore with the passion of my youth, and the landowner i grew up on is passing. Something we never talk about.... the last hunt, has entered reality. A family, and property that most would dream to have! They have been great times!

Good luck this fall! Its almost winter here..... i am slightly envious of those with inexspensive months long hunting! There's no better place for a soul than in the mountains or woods.....

Posts: 4025 | From: Alaska | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CRS
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aging venison

This is the article that started me on the way to aging venison. Originally from the University of WY. Could not find the original document.

I typically skin quarter and game bag the venison right away. Then into a fridge at 36 degrees for 3 to 10 days depending on my schedule.

If it is cold enough in the garage, I will let it hang overnight before skinning and breaking it down into the refrigerator. But if I do this, I split/prop the rib cage open. I also zip the skin open all the way up to the base of the neck and remove the esophagus.

I have also processed deer immediately and even vacuum packed and into the freezer when still warm. But I do not like working with warm venison. But if time dictates, so be it.

There is some discussion about cold shortening, which occurs when venison is cooled too rapidly. I believe I have experienced this a couple of times. Makes for tougher eating.

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Inquiring minds.......

Posts: 667 | From: Black Hills, SD | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Fletcher
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Good article, CRS. Thanks for sharing.

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Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

"The next best thing to playing and winning is playing and losing."

"An archer doesn't have to be a bowhunter, but a bowhunter should be an archer."

Posts: 5883 | From: Rochester, IL | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hackbow
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This is season #40 for me. I've tried a bunch of different ways but for several years I had an extra fridge that we would put our boned-out meat into for 10-14 days.

I'm still not sure the meat tasted any better than after immediately butchering, but there were two unmistakable advantages. First, every cut was noticeably more tender. Second, the sinew was MUCH easier to strip/remove.

Those two reasons alone make aging worth it to me, if I am in a position to do so.

As an experiment, we hung a skinned, young doe in the garage one winter. Dad killed it in early-mid December. We did our best to keep the temp around 40° (not difficult in IL).

After a couple weeks we started cutting enough meat off the carcass for a meal. There was a small amount lost due to outside layer getting hard. However, we just removed that thin shell with a fillet knife like you would removing skin from a fish.

That doe lasted us into February and was the best venison I've ever eaten. It's not a practical way of doing it, but I hope to build a cooler one day to try it again.

Posts: 1229 | From: North Texas | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete McMiller
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Hackbow, saw a buck hanging in a garage 3 months after the season ended (in Wisconsin) and thought they had ruined it - after hearing your story I guess they knew what they were doing.

Nice article on aging CRS, thanks.

When possible I like to hang quarters of elk for example with the bone in as I believe it limits the effects of rigor. After reading the article I better understand it.

I have noticed that aging ducks results in a significantly better piece of meat than cleaning right away. I generally will age ducks a minimum of 4 days by laying them on their backs either on top of a cooler in a cold garage or in the lower part of my frig. The result is a very tender bird with a mellow flavor. I switched to hunting 95% diver ducks many years ago and this method not only makes them palatable but exceptional on the table. "Best duck I've ever eaten" is a common comment from my guests.

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Pete

Charter member - Ye Old F.A.R.T.S and Elkaholics Anonymous

MOLON LABE [mo 'lon la 've]

"That human optimism & goodness that we put our faith in, is in no more danger than the stars in the jaws of the clouds." ............Victor Hugo

Posts: 1342 | From: Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin | Registered: Apr 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Terry Green
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Never dry aged any of my wild game....

BUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have found that COLD SMOKING for an HOUR is INSANE!!!!

Sorry I wasn't much help.(unless he learns how to cold smoke [Cool] )

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"An anchor point is not a destination, it's an evolution to execution" - Me

"It's important, when going after a goal, to never lose sight of the integrity of the journey" - Andy Garcia

Black Powder Gang ......... & www.loopaddictions.com

Posts: 30671 | From: GAWGIA | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TIM B
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Pete- I do the same thing with ducks! Works great!
Terry - learn us how to cold smoke now
Tim B

Posts: 558 | From: MO | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ranger 3
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I always thought it is bad to get water on the meat before freezing, is it true or not?

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Black widow PLX 48@28
Black widow PSRX 48@28

Posts: 3203 | From: il | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
katman
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A local processor opened up here a couple years ago. He ages the deer in a controlled walk in cooler for 7 days keeping the temperature and humidity at the proper level. The deer he has processed for me was way better for taste and texture than any aging method I have tried at home. Since it is usually hot here the deer is quartered placed in large trash bag then into a cooler adding ice around the bag and off to processor. The processor said keeping the meat wet while aging promotes bacterial growth, not good. It does cost a bit more but worth it to me.

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shoot straight shoot often

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mec lineman
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I started wet aging my venison 5 years ago and I am convinced it is the way I will do it from here on out. I listen to everyones way and opinions. That being said, I do not process one or two deer a year, 6 -10 is more realistic. Virginia has very liberal tags. I put cut up deer on ice as soon as possible. I cut up and clean meat,remove silver skin. Put in large Ziploc bags and roll up to remove air. You will have to pour out blood and rinse the first 3-5 days. I age at least 2 weeks in fridge 3 is even better. If someone is willing to try this simple method, they will notice the meat is of fillet mignon consistency.

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"Pick a spot,now aim 6" lower!" Northern Mist Baraga , Kota Killum, Tall Tines Stickflinger ,Omega Imperial & Ten Ring strings

Posts: 632 | From: southern virginia | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ksbowman
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CRS, Very interesting article. Thanks for sharing.

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I would've taken better care of myself,if I'd known I was gonna live this long!

Posts: 1859 | From: Paola,kansas | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CRS
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Just for reference, I would conservatively say that this house has processed 10 animals a year for the last 15 years. From pronghorn to moose.

Have already processed two deer this year with 14 tags left between Dad, boys, and myself. Plus helping a friend with an elk tag/processing.

I have done the cooler/ice thing. If you keep the water clean, you will be fine.

I like letting the quarters dry a bit to form a crust before placing them in game bags. I have also washed quarters, patted dry with towels then let crust form before bagging and into the refrigerator.

I would love to have a walk in cooler so I could age complete carcasses. But I slum the spare refrigerator and get by just fine.

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Inquiring minds.......

Posts: 667 | From: Black Hills, SD | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Doug Treat
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I aged 1 elk years ago-worst elk I ever et. Now, my meat is frozen within 48 hours. I've had butchers tell me that wild game meat doesn't benefit from aging like domestic animals do. Now, maybe corn fed whitetails are similar to domestic animals in fat content and may benifit from aging them.
Posts: 481 | From: Redding, Ca | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mnbwhtr
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I have an old freezer I converted to a cooler by a external thermostat so I can control at whatever temp I choose. That said like KS Trapper I never noticed any difference in flavor or tenderness. Most my deer, like the doe I shot last week, get skinned quartered and put in the cooler within hours of being shot and usually cut up the next day. Waiting a week didn't make any difference, at least to me.
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CRS
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I would urge anyone who has never aged venison, to try it.

Here is a challenge for those that are skeptics. The next time you kill a critter, pick a cut of meat. Make sure it is the same muscle bundle.

Cut one steak right away, season, coat lightly with some oil and cook on med high heat to your
Prefered doneness level. I suggest medium rare to medium.

Cook another piece the next day. Same method of preparation.

Take another piece and place in a cotton game bag. And another piece in salt water. Store in fridge.

If game bag get's bloody, change to clean bag. Change the water bath every day. Age deer for 5-7 days, Antelope 3 days, elk 7-10, moose 10-14.

After the aging period, cook with the same method as the fresh meat.

If you cannot discern any difference, carry on.

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Inquiring minds.......

Posts: 667 | From: Black Hills, SD | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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