Deer Processing Questions.

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by One Legged Josh, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. One Legged Josh

    One Legged Josh New Member

    Messages:
    458
    State:
    Ohio
    I have been processing my own deer for 5 or 6 years now. I dont do any thing fancy; backstraps, tenderloins, round roasts, steaks,stew meat, and burger/sausage meat.
    I have never "aged" the meat. If its below 40 degrees I will hang the deer for a couple of days.
    My question is this; There is a butcher that I work with that says "no matter how warm it is you have to "age" the meat". He let a deer hang last year for 3 days @ 70 degrees outside. He said he wont cut it up until the outside of the meat turns brown. I think he is nuts. What do you fellas think on "aging"/hanging.
     
  2. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Josh,I'd be hard pressed to hang any game in temps above 40* I hung my deer overnite last yr but the temps were below 40. I am thinking about building a small shed with at least 10' tall peak and heavily insulated with a small ref. a/c unit to use for ageing. I could do it in the fridge ,but it takes a lot of room.A friend of mine has three gutted soft drink machines and he hangs quarters in them up to a week.
     

  3. takeaction

    takeaction New Member

    Messages:
    427
    State:
    Ware Shoals, SC
    The way my dad taught me, and his dad taught him... I process immediately. The minute the deer is down, he goes on the hook... Once it's cut up into the pieces, it goes on the table in the house, and is processed into the different cuts/burger. I "NEVER" wait, and we absolutely love the taste.

    Personally, if I saw meat that was left out 3 days in 70 degree weather, it's ruined. throw it away...

    I'll probably get yelled at for saying that, but that's my opinion. And by then, it already stinks.
     
  4. on_the_fly

    on_the_fly New Member

    Messages:
    606
    State:
    Kentucky
    We have always hung are deer for 3 to 5 days because I have always been told that you need to let the rigamortis set in that is what make the meat tender. Now if that is true or not but I have always done it but like richard said I'm the same if its above 40 degrees I dont hang as a matter of fact last year I keeped three of my deer (not at the same time) in a big cooler I got soking in ice water for 5 days. That is what I have been seeing more and more people doing. I just flushed out the bloody water every day with fresh water and ice. and I can say my wife and son both (that dont care for deer meat much ) ate more deer meat this past year than they ever have so I will probable stick to the cooler this year too. and right now its 50 at night and 85 midday so to me now the cooler is the only way to go.
     
  5. One Legged Josh

    One Legged Josh New Member

    Messages:
    458
    State:
    Ohio
    I agree I usually process right away. I was just wondering why anyone would risk spoiling meat that they worked so hard to get. This guy will not be processing any of my venison thats for sure.
    He also said you have to let it "crust up" I dont even want to know what that means.
    Thanks for your thoughts and keep those opinions coming.
     
  6. Angler2007

    Angler2007 New Member

    Messages:
    489
    State:
    Missouri
    Well, if you ever buy some of the top of the line steaks they hang for up to 2 - 2.5 weeks in a refrigerated cooler. There will be a crust on the meat that you need to cut off but the meat is just fine. If the weather allows I'll hang mine for a week before butchering.
     
  7. samh

    samh New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Damascus,Arkansas
    All depends on the temp, if it will not get over 40 degrees for a high, I let'em hang, if over 40 they get cut up and go in the freezer.
     
  8. tkoehler

    tkoehler New Member

    Messages:
    85
    State:
    Nebraska
    I wouldn't eat a $20 t-bone at a resturant if the waiter said we have the best steaks because we let em sit on the back counter for a few days. Sure wont do it to my deer. Gas, time off, ammo, food, motel, that deer has alot of money tied up into it to let it spoil ! just my opinion !
     
  9. bownero

    bownero New Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    State:
    Hastings, Ne.
    I just don't like the idea of hanging meat for an extended period of time. I'm hard pressed to get the meat to the processor as soon as possible. I like waiting until the temperatures dip down into the 40's before I step into the woods. This gives me a little comfort knowing the meat will not spoil and I have a little leeway to get the meat to the butcher. I know a lot of resturants age their steaks (prime rib) before serving it. The bacteria acts as a meat tenderizer and the cooking temps kills the bacteria before serving it. I can deal with that, but I like knowing the animals I harvest will be dealt with care and the meat will be of the upmost quality.

    I always wipe the carcess off with a towel, never water, to clean the inside. The water can create bacteria in the meat. When preparing the steaks, (backstraps), I rinse the blood from the meat in cool water and trim off the membrane before grilling them. I believe this gives the meat the best flavor and helps take away the gamey taste from the meat. Never had a problem with tough steaks!!:wink:

    Mark..
     
  10. Jacksmooth

    Jacksmooth Member

    Messages:
    574
    State:
    West Virginia
    I dont let mine hang unless its cool out and then its usually just over night. Ive never had problems with tough steaks. If you want to age it you can do what the resturants do and put it in a fridge for a few days. The game taste is easy to get rid of if you dont like it. Soaking the meat in water usually takes care of that. If Im frying I just wash the cuts of meat off and fry with lard. The lard takes the game taste out. I have to do this otherwise the wife would not eat it.:wink: Something about being bambi and whatnot!:roll_eyes: LOL!
     
  11. Blue Duck

    Blue Duck New Member

    Messages:
    465
    State:
    Idaho
    3 days at 70 degrees.... no way. Things like that is what gives wild game a bad name.
     
  12. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Messages:
    6,598
    State:
    Iowa
    Aging meat is done to tenderize the muscle by enzymes in the muscle tissue. When practiced right by butchers and meat companies it is done after an initial chill and then kept in very strict humidity and temperature conditions. The crust forms from the exterior portion of the meat drying out and must be trimmed=loss of meat.

    If you are hanging a deer in a garage or tree or barn or under the back porch eaves you are asking for trouble because you can't control the conditions. Deer meat is naturally tender from their diets. Unless you are going for stupid horns where there is more of a problem with some testosterone inflated deer, even an old doe will cook out tender.

    Kill 'em, stick 'em, gut 'em, wash 'em, hang 'em, skin 'em and maybe an overnight chill then cut them puppies up and get them frozen.

    Remove all the fat and the silver skin and you can't tell it from beef, except it is more tender.
     
  13. psychomekanik

    psychomekanik New Member

    Messages:
    2,534
    State:
    Illinois
    I always let mine hang for a few days at the least. It don't have to be below 40*, but it should be below 50*. I killed 2 deer within 3 days of opening day. It's been hot, so I used tarps and hung the deer, made a top or a "ceiling out of the tarps. Then wrapped a tarp around 3 sides of the deer and the 4'th is against the wall with an air conditioner in it. It kept the temp. right around 50*. I like to age mine. But, there's no way I would let any meat hang in 70* temps. That's asking for some serious belly problems.
     
  14. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    Messages:
    10,914
    State:
    missouri
    Unless it's cold outside, i quarter my meat and pack it in ice for a couple days before cutting it up. Ain't no way i'm lettin my meat hang in 70 degree heat, especially not for 3 days.:crazy: Each to their own i reckon, but i ain't consuming something that the buzzards have started circling.
     
  15. Poppa

    Poppa New Member

    Messages:
    1,233
    State:
    Pinson, Al
    I don't know about 3 days at 70 degrees. I would be afraid of that. It has
    a lot to how well your body can handle the bacteria. Mexicans drink the
    water in Mexico but it make tourist very sick. Something that does work
    and I have done it many times in weather in the 60s for over night and
    on into the next day. A deer has great insulating qualities snow will not
    melt on a deers back if he is bedded. What we do is to field dress the
    deer and allow the body cavity to cool. Wash it out if possible. When
    field dressing it best to cut up to the sternum and stop reach in all the
    way to the windpipe cut the windpipe and drag out heart lungs and all
    insides. By doing this you leave the hide intact. Then stuff the body
    cavity with bags of ice and hang your deer up head first and cover the
    the deer with a tarp. It normally takes 3 bags of ice, on very big deer
    it might need 4. You have to tie the bottom bags and they support the
    top bags. The most I have ever done this is 30 hours and the meat was
    cool and in good shape. I really don't know the max limit on time. If you
    do this indoors put something under it to catch the drippings.
     
  16. Cheez

    Cheez New Member

    Messages:
    522
    State:
    Trion,GA
    I have processed between 50 and 200 deer per year for over 30 years. The longer the meat hangs at the proper temp AND humidity the better it is. My personal prefference for deer hanging is a mimimum of 14 days at 35 degrees in a dehumidification type cooler. I have aged my own deer for as long as 28 days. The meat is totally different and way better. It is more tender and does not have all the blood in it.
    I quit processing last year because of my regular job and have had guys begging me to get back in. The processors in my area will not hang a deer for more than a day or two. They just don't have the cooler space and need to turn the deer out fast. If you guys ever ate a deer that was aged a couple weeks properly you would not want to go back to immediate processing.
    Never,I repeat, never eat a deer or any other meat that has been out in 70 degree temps for more than just a few hours. You are asking for any one of a number of diseases.
     
  17. lance

    lance New Member

    Messages:
    2,658
    State:
    kentucky
    WE take out racks and stackit up in the bottom no less than 4 days and leave it tillwe cant stand to look at it no more.
     
  18. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Messages:
    6,598
    State:
    Iowa
    Just what does it take to have some common sense?

    5 years ago I had a young man I worked with installing furnaces. He was a novice but wanted to bow hunt my property early season. Sure, go ahead I told him. Told him where to put his stand and to take only a doe.

    He came out one early morning and sat his stand. Poked a doe about 8:00 AM. She ran about 60 yards and got hung up in a fence and died. Fine and dandy, the man got what he wanted.

    But here's the rest of the story. I did not know this till later and I feel really bad.

    He walked up to that doe, saw she was dead and here is where it get's bad. He was going to be late for church so he walked away from the doe and headed to town to get religion. He never stuck that deer and he never opened her belly. It was 75 degrees and he left her in full sun. About one o'clock in the PM he come's back, guts her and hauls her to town happier than a dog in the bag of dog food you left open. Has her processed at a locker, mostly sausage. A month later he gets sick. Head problems, headaches, dizzy, can't think. He gets hauled to every local hospital, the Iowa University Hospitals and finally to Mayos. Spinal taps, x-rays, buckets of drugs. They never were able to make a definitive diagnosis. I have an idea but that is neither here nor there. To this day he is not "normal" , but I will guarantee you on a stack of freshly fried Okra that that deer and his lack of commonsense created his problemo.

    If you have no experiennce or are not sure or just stupid get the advice you need from people who know how to do it.

    Anybody want a stick of deer sausage?
     
  19. lance

    lance New Member

    Messages:
    2,658
    State:
    kentucky
    bottom of the fridge that is computer gliche !:embarassed:
     
  20. Scott Daw

    Scott Daw New Member

    Messages:
    2,002
    State:
    Allentown, Pennsylvania
    alton brown on the foodnetwork did a show on how to age beef in the fridge. It was pretty good but I dont remember it entirely.