Aging Deer Meat/ advice and tips

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Aging Deer Meat/ advice and tips

Post by RonnieM » Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:42 pm

Been too hot here to let deer meat hang to age. Even growing up my dad always threw it in a cooler with ice. Being older now I understand the importance in aging any meat. Since I do not have a big fridge or walk in cooler I use a huge cooler and just layer my deer in ice draining all the time to try my best to keep it from soaking in water. I then let it sit for at least 7 days before I butcher the rest of the way up and freeze. Any of y'all have any tips or advice on aging deer meat properly?
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Re: Aging Deer Meat/ advice and tips

Post by Waif » Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:12 pm

Your using a cooler and ice while avoiding soaking meat is the preferred method out west in warm temps from what I have read. One claimed bonus was lots of blood being drawn out with draining water.Sounds like you have a good handle on it.
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Re: Aging Deer Meat/ advice and tips

Post by rayman » Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:02 pm

I do pretty much the same. I think the meat ages better hanging in a walk-in cooler, but maybe I'll build one after I win the lottery and retire. :)

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Re: Aging Deer Meat/ advice and tips

Post by cevans » Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:29 pm

If too hot to hang,,I take the racks and everything out of a Fridge I have in the garage and quarter it up and leave it in there with the temp gage showing about 38-40. Have left them in the fridge for up to 7-8 days and works fine. Then cut it up and clean my mess up and do it all over.
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Re: Aging Deer Meat/ advice and tips

Post by bubba » Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:47 pm

I've always done it about the same way.just let it sit in the ice cooler a few days and keep the ice up.. And then do all the finishing up.. There were a few hunts up in Kentucky when it was cool enough to let hang. But being almost all my hunting is in the south,the old igloo has worked fine for me. I'm like you having a walk in cooler is beyond me......bubba........
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Re: Aging Deer Meat/ advice and tips

Post by bob1961 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:38 pm

from the time of arrow hitting deer, i have all the meat boned off deer and in cold fridge and eating the tenderloins 3.5 hours after death....I have gotten very good results with tender venison doing it this way....I get all meat boned and in plastic shopping bags loosely closed on a towel on bottom of my fridge....

1 bag each hind quarter = 2 bags....

both back straps in 1 bag....

front shoulders and all neck meat in 1 bag....

4 bags total....

after 4 days in 39 degrees I start with the back strap bag and one gets the jerky treatment the other cut into at least 3/4" thick steaks after silver skin is removed....tightly wrapped in glad wrap and then butcher paper for no freezer burn....

day 5 I start with 1 hind quarter bag and separate all muscle groups and silver skin and those get cut into 3/4" steaks then 6 the other hind quarter gets the same....

day 7 the rest of the meat gets the same thing with chunks big enough for steaks, rest goes into 1/2" square stew/stir fri cubes then in freezer....

that is how 1st deer gets cut up, when I get 2nd deer half goes to jerky and the rest as above, 3rd deer goes to what ever I need to replace after eating some venison :wink: ....basically I put 3 hours a day for those days
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Re: Aging Deer Meat/ advice and tips

Post by Cossack » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:03 pm

I don't age my (eater) deer at all. Skin em same day as killed, let em set up overnite, bone out, and package in vacuum seal bags. No longer cut the chops into individual servings, freeze them in serving sized portions and cut into chops if necc. The venison is great this way.
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Re: Aging Deer Meat/ advice and tips

Post by Galgo » Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:37 am

I'll hang mine up to 7 days but I also have fully processed deer meat immediately and really not noticed any difference. one thing my butcher always told me was is should be bleeding right up to the moment you put it on your mouth...


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Re: Aging Deer Meat/ advice and tips

Post by nyexhunter » Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:58 pm

Always field dress and butcher as quickly as possible. That's how we have done it for many years. Not saying that aging is bad, maybe it works for you; however, we have best results with fast as possible from field to freezer. Cut off all fat prior to cooking - the fat is where the gamey taste resides. If you want venison to taste good, you must cut off all the fat before cooking and do not overcook.

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Re: Aging Deer Meat/ advice and tips

Post by Riflemanz » Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:01 pm

I dont age deer meat, i kill it and grill it!
I've never had bad venison.
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Re: Aging Deer Meat/ advice and tips

Post by pstjohn » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:29 pm

As I understand it, hanging to age tenderizes the meat in two ways.

1) hanging stretches the muscle fibers causing the meat to be more tender
2) enzyme action tenderizes the meat but stops if too cold (freezing) and is called rotting if too warm (>4 C).

I seldom find myself in just the right temp to hang meat outside so in the past I've opted for straight up enzyme action in a dedicated 2nd fridge. Don't have that fridge anymore so will either go to cooler, like you, or straight to freezer.

Butchering such that you cut across the grain rather than with it will also result in more tender pieces of meat because you don't have the long stringy muscle fibers to gnaw through.

Taste is a separate issue from tenderness and many factors contribute - time of year, age of animal, feed, clean kill, field dressing, butchering. You may not be able to control all these factors but you can certainly control some of them. I agree with earlier comments about getting rid of the tallow (fat). not just a gamey taste but also waxy texture. I try to get rid of it during the butchering process rather than waiting until cooking. Boning out the meat rather than cutting through the bone - the marrow of the bone also contains tallow and cutting through it will spread some small amount onto the meat.

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Re: Aging Deer Meat/ advice and tips

Post by cevans » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:46 pm

I know of old timers that age their deer 14 days hanging. I have done 10 myself. Your going to cut the outside edge of the meat off anyhow. I also burn the hair off with a hand small propane torch all over the carcass as its hanging. It will pop the hair right off as you barely keep the flame away from the meat. the heat of the flame does the trick of getting rid of the hair and you don't turn the flame all the way up on high either. If you have the cool weather, aging the meat does wonders I think. Been killing deer over 40 yrs now and eating it.
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