aging meat at home

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vpsaline
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aging meat at home

Post by vpsaline » Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:46 am

I was curious. Some of us don't have means of aging our own venison in large fridges from home. Do people just pack the meat themselves and freeze it fresh right away...to then let it thaw and age in the fridge for 7-14 when ready to eat in small packages at a time? It seems to me like this method would require the least amount of trouble to accomplish the same end result!?
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robertyb
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Re: aging meat at home

Post by robertyb » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:31 am

I bone out my meat and throw it in an ice cooler on top of a bunch of ice. I leave the drain hole open so the meat does not sit in melted water and add ice as needed every day. I age the meat from 3 to 7 days this way and then process, wrap and freeze it. Been doing this for around 50+ years.
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AJ01
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Re: aging meat at home

Post by AJ01 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:38 am

I'm one of those lucky guys that has room in my shop for an extra fridge.
I quarter, bones out and then place the meat in the fridge on racks for anywhere from 3-10 days, depending on cut. Then I finish trim it, and then vacuum pack it. Seems to work for me.
I bring in the son-in-laws and make sausage at the same time. Both patty and link. I'm mainly the "supervisor", after all, they wanna eat don't they?? :lol: :lol: :lol: :thumbup:
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elkaholic
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Re: aging meat at home

Post by elkaholic » Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:55 pm

I had an older, larger fridge in my garage/ shed. Mostly to keep extra beer / soda cold.

If I was lucky during hunting season, deer or elk. I'd remove shelves and stack the quarters and bags if backstrap meat inside. Always put it in new clean gamebages and rotate it around. Evey other day , for at least 5 days.

Then get setup to butcher it, for freezer. That way it'd get some curing time. And allow me to take my time while butcher/trimming meat for eating.

Normal fridge temps set at like 40 to 45.

Always excellent and never gamey.

Proper field care , makes for best table fare. !!

We always remove hide asap in field and use game bags to keep meat clean. Always iced meat down in ice chest with drain spout open. Fall temperature in Az easily 85.
Last edited by elkaholic on Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AJ01
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Re: aging meat at home

Post by AJ01 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:21 pm

elkaholic wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:55 pm
I had an older, larger fridge in my garage/ shed. Mostly to keep extra beer / soda cold.

Proper field care , makes for best table fare. !!

We always remove hide asap in field and use game bags to keep meat clean. Always iced meat down in ice chest with drain spout open. Fall temperature in Az easily 85.
Same thing here in Texas. Bow season is usually so hot you sweat like you're in a sweat lodge!! :wtf:

Ran into the same thing hunting Prairie Goats (Pronghorn) years ago in Wyoming. Everyone said, they taste terrible. Old Rancher who owned the place we hunted said, "once you knock 'em down, gut 'em and fill 'em with ice!! Don't put 'em on the hood your Jeep and take pictures with your buddies, if you do, you want be able to eat 'em"!! :think: :think:
He was exactly correct!! They make excellent table fare!! :eusa-dance:

It's all about HOW YOU take care of the game!!
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Re: aging meat at home

Post by DuckHunt » Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:54 pm

I don't age mine at all. My preference is to minimize the time from field to freezer to keep it as fresh as possible. Any deer I take in the morning will be in vacuum sealed bags in the freezer that day. If I get home very late with one, I have a fridge that is big enough to hold one that is quartered up until the next morning. We just thaw out packages as we need them and they are typically used as soon as they are thawed.

I've iced down the quarters before when I've had multiple to process, but I'd prefer for them to never soak in water.

We tend to focus more on how the venison is prepared to achieve the desired result. A young deer is generally tender enough for steaks to go right into a skillet with onions. You wouldn't want to do that with some old buck steaks unless you like chewing tasty leather. For older bucks we make more ground meat and chunks for chili and stews. We also prepare the steaks or roasts in a crock pot which makes them tender as well.
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elkaholic
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Re: aging meat at home

Post by elkaholic » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:18 pm

I've been on hunts, warmer than normal weather. Success early in a 10 day hunt. Not going to town for a few days. Skinned , bagged, iced as much as possible .

Hang out over night to cool as much as possible. Wrapped in old sleeping bag and stashed in the shade during the day .on logs or branches cut. to keep off ground. Get some air circulation With periodic spraying of game bags to keep drying out to a minimum .and rotating.
Never more than 3 days , if longer then its time to be iced in chests with drain open.

Some even bring a chest freezer and a generator just in case.

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vpsaline
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Re: aging meat at home

Post by vpsaline » Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:41 am

I'm wondering if people are missing the point of this post. Can you age meat prior to eating, rather then prior to freezing?
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robertyb
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Re: aging meat at home

Post by robertyb » Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:08 am

vpsaline wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:41 am
I'm wondering if people are missing the point of this post. Can you age meat prior to eating, rather then prior to freezing?
Ok I see your point. You are wanting to immediately freeze and then age after thawing for several days. I have no idea if this will work or not because I have never heard or read about anyone doing so. I think that you can Google this question and probably find an answer.
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janesy
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Re: aging meat at home

Post by janesy » Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:37 am

vpsaline wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:41 am
I'm wondering if people are missing the point of this post. Can you age meat prior to eating, rather then prior to freezing?
The answer to that is yes, and no. But that's depending on how you process to begin with.

If you freeze the meat immediately and properly, then you can absolutely thaw it and age it in a cool fridge, preferably hanging prior to eating it. The process of hanging meat is effectly allowing the decay to start CONTROLLED without allowing harmful bacteria to form.

Where you will run into problems if if it is frozen with oxygen able to access the meat and creating freezer burn. This Cooks the outside layer and does not let the meat age to add tenderness or desired texture.

Most butchers do age meat, and that is because it allows for a much easier and generally more appealing texture during and after processing. The meat is physically easier to cut. Most will agree, if you bring meat that is not aged vs meat that has hung for a period of time, the texture is much more solid and not "mushy" as it comes out of the grinder.

Note that I am in no way shape or form a butcher, and the theories and techniques represent only those shown to me by my butcher over the years. Others will have a differing opinions and that's cool too. He showed me difference in aged in ice vs air hung meat last fall, and it was pretty interesting to watch
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AJ01
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Re: aging meat at home

Post by AJ01 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:46 am

robertyb wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:08 am
vpsaline wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:41 am
I'm wondering if people are missing the point of this post. Can you age meat prior to eating, rather then prior to freezing?
Ok I see your point. You are wanting to immediately freeze and then age after thawing for several days. I have no idea if this will work or not because I have never heard or read about anyone doing so. I think that you can Google this question and probably find an answer.
The US department of Agriculture says you can thaw (IN THE FRIDGE) beef, pork, lamb or veal, and then let it sit in your fridge for 3-5 days before cooking! They do not specify if the 3-5 days is included in the thawing process. But they do say that this DOES NOT APPLY to ground beef. 1-2 days on thawed ground beef.

Poultry and fish 1-2 days after thawing.

Grill time!!Smoker time, or however you wish to prepare it, happens then!! :lol: :lol:

Hope that answers your question. :thumbup:

AJ
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DuckHunt
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Re: aging meat at home

Post by DuckHunt » Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:13 pm

AJ01 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:46 am
But they do say that this DOES NOT APPLY to ground beef. 1-2 days on thawed ground beef.
The problem with trying to age meat on the back end of the process is that you can't age it evenly. I had to quit packaging ground venison in 3 pound packages for that reason. The meat on the outside edges is almost starting to go bad before the meat in the center has thawed enough to use. It wasn't an issue on 1-2 pound packages because they aren't as thick. I guess the weight of the package isn't what matters, its the thickness.
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