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    • 1shot
      Post count: 252

      Here in Arizona, I cant hang my Deer for a few days like we do in NY, so after de-boning and carrying off the Mountain, I clean the ‘silver skin” from the de-boned meat, leaving it in large muscle pieces then into the freezer within a couple of hours…

      I understand the ‘curing” process of letting it hang and I’ve heard that it will age in the freezer, but it just isnt as tender and flavourful when it’s off the mt’s and in the freezer so fast.

      My Gf is a real NYC woman, she doesnt want to hear about how the meat got home, but she just loves to eat it, and while she raves about the deer I bring home from NY each year, she’s not realy a fan of my Az deer(deer are eating acorns in both places).

      Is there another way to care for the meat to let it go through the ageing process so I can keep a “happyer” home???

      Thank you for any replys…

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2371

      One of the most amazing things about life on earth is that every living organism has within its cells the enzymes required to digest it.

      The aging process is the process whereby those enzymes are allowed to begin the digestion process which makes the meat more tender and tastier.

      Based on this, I don’t see how meat in the freezer can age. No biological processes go on in frozen food. That’s why it keeps. Freezer burn is not aging…

      Here in NC, it’s also too warm to age meat outside. I have an extra fridge which serves as my cooler for aging. I quarter the deer up and put it on a shelf. The rib meat, backstraps, and tenderloins go in a bowl on another shelf. I leave it there for a week before cutting it up or making burger.

      I forget the exact perfect temp for aging, but I looked it up and then adjusted the thermostat in the fridge to get to that temp. It is slightly warmer than you would want to keep the fridge for storing food.

      Before I had an extra fridge, I would take the meat out of the freezer and leave it in the fridge for a week before using it. Thus aging each meal individually. This takes planning, and didn’t always happen. But works.

    • David Fudala
      Post count: 224

      Meat ages properly between 36 and 38 degrees. One way I learned how to tenderize and age meat that I couldn’t do traditionally is to seal the meat in a ziploc bag with olive oil and minced garlic. Put this in the refridgerator for 1 to 2 weeks. Make sure all the air is out of the bag. I was taught this by a chef and the results are amazing!

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      Not to sound authoritative, but this is a pet thing of mine…aging meat.

      I agree with Dfud that anywhere above freezeing, preferably 34-36 and up to even 40 (butcher’s tell me) will allow the enzymes to work on breaking down the connective tissue in the meat. I’d personally rather not think of it as “digesting” the meat, but breaking down the cellular connective tissue.. 😯

      As for taking it back out of the freezer, that won’t work. Once meat is frozen, the fresh enzyme is killed. Letting it age after being frozen is called another word: Rotting! 🙄

      I shot a doe of the year my first time I killed any with a stick bow. It turned warm and it was skinned and butchered & in the freezer within hours. That was the most miserable, chewy, tough animal I ever wrapped eye teeth around. I also shot an old stump jumper and aged it 3 days and it was beautiful.

      An old fridge works wonders. If you’ve boned out the meat to get it out, then get some “meat approved” plastic bags and keep it on ice in a cooler for a few days. (NOTE: Meat’s acids can interact and leach out uglies from regular plastic trash/yard leaf bags!)

      If you hang it or place in a fridge, here’s a trick I learned living in MT. Coat the skinned carcass or meat with Crisco–inside and out. It’s a veggie shortening so it doesn’t turn rancid in the freezer. (deer fat will turn rancid in the freezer). Crisco seals in the natural moisture of the meat and you don’t get that hard crust on it while it tenderizes (ages). Once home, you grease your meat 😯 and you can lay it on wax paper and let air circulate in the fridge if you’ve got one.

      Guys in MT would let elk hang for a week or more and green mold would grow on the outside…:x rhizomes bury deep in the meat, and can be carcinogenic, so I don’t do that! Leaving in olive oil in the fridge a week (or 2) seems a bit long…but hey…if it don’t make ya sick, to each his own!

      Aging in a firdge, cooler but kept from getting wet, is a good thing but takes some moving it around to keep cool and not chill just one side I’d think. Even 48 hrs is enough to help break down the connective tissue.

      Again, not to offend anyone, just a pet thing of mine I’ve researched for a few years and wanted to share what I could.

    • 1shot
      Post count: 252

      Thank You for the reply’s, I’ll have to give them a go…

    • Anonymous
      Post count: 124

      “Wet age” it. Put everything is a cooler, under ice. Let it cool and soak until the ice is gone but the water is still cold. Drain, repeat. Then, cut and package.

      I’ve done this for years, and it works great. You can bring meat out boned and quartered out, age it (faster than hanging), and get it packaged.

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2371

      Doc Nock wrote: Not to sound authoritative, but this is a pet thing of mine…aging meat.

      …As for taking it back out of the freezer, that won’t work. Once meat is frozen, the fresh enzyme is killed. Letting it age after being frozen is called another word: Rotting! 🙄 …

      There are many studies that show that freezing does not affect the enzymes. Here is one from University of Oklahoma : http://beefextension.com/research_reports/1993rr/93_10.pdf

      There is something rotten around here, but it ain’t the venison 😯

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      Steve,

      Been doing that research using butchers and Penn State Ag Extension for several years.

      When I get back from this trip, I will surely read your link!

      Hopefully, I’ve not offended you, but after 20 yrs of questioning everyone in the know :?::?::?: I shared what has been promoted as fact hereabouts.

      Looking forward to expanding my knowledge with your link on my return next week.

      Cheers!

    • Anonymous
      Post count: 124

      Forager wrote: “Wet age” it. Put everything is a cooler, under ice. Let it cool and soak until the ice is gone but the water is still cold. Drain, repeat. Then, cut and package.

      I’ve done this for years, and it works great. You can bring meat out boned and quartered out, age it (faster than hanging), and get it packaged.

      As for how this works, I’ll give a bit of a story.

      A good friend of mine from back home called and asked whether I wanted hunt elk a couple years back. Um, yeah… So, off to Colorado we went. Long story short, we both tagged on the next to last day we had planned to be there. The last day was, obviously, packing meat out. We boned out everything on site and carried the meat out on our backs. Not exactly the best way to age stuff.

      Once back to base camp, we loaded everything into large coolers and started it on ice immediately. The temps when we shot the elk were warm enough that a long-sleeve T-shirt was warm in the sun (60s). As we were packing everything out, an arctic blast came through with an early season blizzard. That negated any ideas we had about letting stuff hang; not to mention the necessity to get back to “life” and work. It took us 4 hours on the interstate to cover what should have been less than one hour that night before we found a hotel.

      We got up the next day, checked the meat (it was fine), added some ice and headed back across the plains. After the next night, we drained all the water (the ice was gone), added more ice and made it home. I went back to my home with my elk meat still on ice in my coolers. I let it sit through that batch of ice until it was all melted, drained all the water, and started working up the meat.

      It was the most tender, juicy, well-flavored stuff I’ve ever eaten.

      I’ve done the same process for deer for several years before that elk hunt, with similar results. I continue to do it, because it works, it’s faster than hanging, and because most of the time I’m in an area where it’s just easier for me to bone out or quarter the deer and bring them home that way than to drag them out whole.

      If you hunt warm weather climates (hello, Steve in NC – I know that climate well), and/or don’t have access to a walk-in cooler, you might want to give the wet aging process a try.

    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Member
      Post count: 681

      Yes, best aging between 36-39 degrees. Also, keeping the hide on will keep the moisture in the meat, and age it even better

    • Dan Sweeney
      Post count: 94

      Here in arKansas, I quarter mine and age the quarters in the fridge for a week +/- when it’s too hot (always) to hang them outside. And it keeps the stray dogs from fussing around in the yard all night.

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2371

      Doc Nock wrote: Steve,

      … Hopefully, I’ve not offended you, but after 20 yrs of questioning everyone in the know :?::?::?: I shared what has been promoted as fact hereabouts…

      No worries!

    • tailfeather
      Post count: 417

      I prefer to hang meat in a walk-in cooler with the skin on, but I rarely have access to one. Soooo…….I put in plastic bags in the fridge, or most commonly, in a cooler with ice and the drain plug open. It’s important not to let it sit in water, but this does a fine job of aging as long as you keep an ample supply of ice. Once the meat chills, the ice lasts a good while.

      Doing it this way, I leave the meat in for at least a week…..a few days longer is even better. The meat is incredibly tender and has a texture when slicing/processing that makes you want to eat it raw.:D

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