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Hanging Your Deer to "Cure"



By: asatguy
Posted: 15-Aug-07

I know some guys that panic to get to the store to get bags of ice for the chest cavity and some that will hang their animal to "cure" until it is like beef jerky.

Dad huste to hang deer in Texas with a bug fabric around them for two days in 70 degree temps!

What is the consensus here regarding this. hang until Beef jerky or fresh bleeding meat cut to perfection, straight to the freezer, or grill? When will it spoil?


By: split_toe
Posted: 16-Aug-07

below 45 degrees for 2 days or until the muscles loosen up again to age deer 70 degrees will spoil your meat in a few hours


By: pav
Posted: 16-Aug-07

I'll let my deer hang (hide on) for up to a week if the weather permits. Makes for much better tablefare. Give the natural enzymes a chance to break down the tissue if possible. When I'm shopping for beef in a store, I don't look for the bright red steaks. Much rather buy the steaks that are already turning brown.

Worked as a butcher for ten years right out of high school. There were a couple "high dollar" steak houses in the area that bought meat from us. They would buy whole beef loins and have us leave them in the cooler for long periods of time. Like Elfking said, they wanted the loin to be molded before it was processed. Meat was so tender you could cut it with a fork.


By: Trebarker
Posted: 16-Aug-07

2-3 days hide on IF temps are cool enough and flies arent a problem yet. Nothing worse than finding mobile rice on your meat.


By: carcus
Posted: 16-Aug-07

Aging deer meet gives it that wonderfull gamey taste that causes most people to be turned off deer. Years ago I stopped this practice and the meet goes straight to the freezer or butcher.


By: Jax07
Posted: 16-Aug-07

I let mine hang for a week eithr in the cooler at the club or if the temp is under 40.....

I am firm believer it is more tender when you do JMO


By: JTV
Posted: 16-Aug-07

If its cool enough I'll let mine hang for up to a week +. Temps must be from 36-42 degree's for me to do so and stay there. It's tough when you only have a garage and no walk in cooler. If I nail a deer in warm weather, I cut it up ASAP or get it straight to a processor once its checked it. Ive passed on deer because I knew I would have a problem getting time to process it. Sometimes its better just to watch 'em instead of kill 'em :0) ......Jeff


By: tonyo6302
Posted: 16-Aug-07

Hide on - 45 degrees or less you can hang them for a week.

Hide off - 45 degrees or more, two days to 5 days if you have to. But it is best to get the meat into your refridgerator to age there.

Having hunted Zone A in California, July archery, I have hung a deer for three days, hide off, 120 degrees, and still saved most of the meat. The air will dry the outside of the meat creating a leather like texture and hardness that will keep out bacteria. You also HAVE to get all blood out of the cavity, as the cavity of the deer should be as clean as the skinned outside of the carcass. It is bacteria that spoils meat, and not necessarily heat. Of course heat is very condusive to growing bacteria. But it was by necessity that I hung the carcass in the heat. My choice of course would be to get the meat into a fridge ASAP, and age it there for a week.

Tony


By: tonyo6302
Posted: 16-Aug-07

Hide on - 45 degrees or less you can hang them for a week.

Hide off - 45 degrees or more, two days to 5 days if you have to. But it is best to get the meat into your refridgerator to age there.

Having hunted Zone A in California, July archery, I have hung a deer for three days, hide off, 120 degrees, and still saved most of the meat. The air will dry the outside of the meat creating a leather like texture and hardness that will keep out bacteria. You also HAVE to get all blood out of the cavity, as the cavity of the deer should be as clean as the skinned outside of the carcass. It is bacteria that spoils meat, and not necessarily heat. Of course heat is very condusive to growing bacteria. But it was by necessity that I hung the carcass in the heat. My choice of course would be to get the meat into a fridge ASAP, and age it there for a week.

Tony


By: pav
Posted: 16-Aug-07

"Aging deer meet gives it that wonderfull gamey taste that causes most people to be turned off deer."

Heard that said before...but it is an old wives tale. Properly cured deer meat is the best deer meat you will ever eat. If you want to eliminate most of the "gamey" taste, bone out the meat rather than processing it bone in.


By: BR Stinger
Posted: 16-Aug-07

I've never aged mine because I've always heard that deer do not have the same types of enzymes or chemical makeup that beef has, and that aging deer doesn't do anything. Maybe there's no truth to that though. I have let a couple deer hang w/ skin off in 70 degree weather for 24 hours and they were fine.


By: Thunderthumbs
Posted: 16-Aug-07

If the weather permits I'll hang mine with the hide on for several days to a week. Do not rinse the body cavity out, the blood in there that dries acts like a scab and will help prevent the meat from spoiling, if you rinse it out you loose that natural protection. The only time I ever rinse it out is if I gut shoot it or puncture the stomach when field dressing.

All this talk of nicely aged venison is making me hungry...tenderloin tonight, cut into medallions, marinated in wishbone italian dressing for a few hours, and wrapped in bacon, and grilled to rare/med. rare with some mashed potatoes and green beans.


By: hobbes
Posted: 16-Aug-07

I've let a lot of deer hang and a lot of deer were put straight in the freezer due to the temps. Never noticed one bit of diffence. I think BR is correct in that the structure of wild game and beef are not the same, so comparison to what the butcher does in the meat market is useless.


By: Shuteye
Posted: 16-Aug-07

Mine are normally in a walk in within an hour of being killed. They are skinned right away and hung in the cooler for a few days. Aging actually does make the meat more tender. There are enzymes in all living things that go to work when the animal dies. It doesn't sound too appetizing but the meat actually starts to decompose the minute the heart stops beating. The decomposition is what tenderizes the meat.


By: Gene
Posted: 16-Aug-07

"The decomposition is what tenderizes the meat."

I think I will do the decomposing IN my body, instead of before I eat it....As someone mentioned earlier, deer do not age like beef will because it is a very lean meat and will not act like beef will when being aged. There was a long article in one of the hunting magazines a couple of years ago about trying to age venison. It was their opinion that it is very much advised to cut meat as soon as possible and get it frozen. If you have cool or cold temps it does not hurt them to hang for a day or two but it does not age them as it does beef, according to the article.

Good Hunting Gene


By: JayG
Posted: 16-Aug-07

For the past 6 years, it has been less than 4 hours from the time the deer was shot, 'till the time the deer was processed and in the freezer,, eccept for my hunting trip to Ohio last year.

All the deer I have done tasted excellent.. I evn have people over who WILL NOT EAT VENISON,,, and the first thing I make them is a nice "roasted beef". They all love it.. LOL

Last year I took a deer and packed the chest cavity with ice while waiting for the processor to get home,, the camp had 1 tiny fridge and I thought my deer would be dropped off ASAP,, instead it was 6 hours later. That deer tastes like garbage,, actually, it tastes like liver.. I will probably toss it out.

Deer don't age like beef cattle. Letting them hang for more than a day or so is actually going to make the deer taste bad.... In my opinion.

Jay


By: W
Posted: 16-Aug-07

We have a walk in cooler at the camp. I'll try to take two or three at a time to the processor. I know some who hang them up to three weeks.


By: Rick McGowan
Posted: 16-Aug-07

When they hang prime beef to age its in a cooler with a constant temp of 38 degrees. Very few of us have access to a walk in cooler like that. If you HAVE to hang it outside a while, the best thing is to wipe of the blood etc, with paper towels, if you wash it you are adding moisture that bacteria need to thrive, they also thrive in blood, which spoils very quickly. I skin cool off and bone out my game as soon as possible now and I have never had better eating meat. I can't really see a reason to age it, since it seems to be plenty tender and excellent eating without it. I have hung water buffalo in a walk in cooler for several weeks until it looked like jerky on the outside and it seemed to be just as tough as when we hung it!


By: hmaxims
Posted: 16-Aug-07

There are alot of different preferences and opinons here, hopefully asatguy acn take what he wants to from all this and it doesn't end up where it usually does...LOL Here's my $.02.

I always let my deer hang as long as possible if the temps allow it - preferably mid 40's. I was told by a former butcher that the longer it hangs the better. Thats why you pay more money for a better cut of steak in a nice restaurant. You are essentially paying for the electricity it took to hang that beef in a cooler for a longer period of time. To me, red meat is red meat.

Remember that you can always "age" your deer on the other end too - that is after it comes out of the freezer. Let it age in the fridge after it thaws. Right before I marinade or use the venison, I quickly rinse the meat in a large bowl of COLD water to rinse the blood out/off. That seems to work wonders on getting the gamey taste out. Seems to me its the blood that gives it the taste. Rinse most of it off and you are good to go!


By: Shuteye
Posted: 16-Aug-07

My new Food Saver will let me marinade meat in 20 minutes.


By: asatguy
Posted: 16-Aug-07

The consensus of around 40-45F is what I have believed for a while. Thanks for the information.

Always have packed the chest with ice if a long drive home. Thank All for the Info.

Mark


By: hoosier152
Posted: 16-Aug-07

Temp and type of shot dictates whether we hang our deer for any length of time.

Got my Dad a new bow last year and talked him into hunting w/ me again after 7 yrs away from it. He shot a doe in Nov and absolutely smoked her. Bled out in 40yds. We butchered her the next night and the steaks had that nice almost copper-metallic sheen when you cut across the grain. He said it's the best deer he and Mom have had and he's been taking whitetails since the 70's here in IN!!!

Next time you butcher look for that shine on the steaks... to me that's where it's at!!! Let's me know that there isn't too much blood left in the meat.

Good hunting and good eatin' to ya!


By: Z-Max
Posted: 16-Aug-07

I always cool the meat as fast as I can. Hide off if possible, regardless of the temps.

When aging meat the temp range is very critical 35 - 38 degrees is ideal. Meat will definitely endure periods much higher than that. Ask any butcher, they will give you the low down on the aging process.

I like to get the deer processed asap when the temps are high. I've gotten to where I shoot my first doe of the year only in the evening to maximize cooling.


By: TD
Posted: 16-Aug-07

I'll age when possible. That "rind" that forms helps keep in the juices too. I've had the chance to age in a walk in, the guy told me "just above freezing" for quite a while, I think it was nearly two weeks. It was melt in your mouth tender. We hung some venison hindquarters and cured them like a ham too with a sweet salt rub. Great sandwich meat.

I don't think aging changes the flavor much, but definitely changes the texture, much more tender. ALL meat breaks down with enzymes. Beef, venison, all of them. If venison didn't have the same enzymes as beef it wouldn't spoil.

If you don't think there is any difference you're not doing it right. Go on line and order up an Allen Brothers dry aged steak. They do it right. If you do your part cooking it I'd lay money it will be one of the best steaks you've ever eaten. I've never failed to hear it after someone tasted them. (Just don't look at the price.) There is nothing like "dry aged" meat, beef or venison.

But each to their own. Taste is different for everyone. Some love chocolate, some hate it. Just my $.02 and worth every penny.


By: Onearcher
Posted: 17-Aug-07

Onearcher's embedded Photo

I'm just waiting for september 15 to cure these. one is a 10pt 165 to 185 pounder foreground and the other background is 200+ 11pt.


By: Mint
Posted: 17-Aug-07

I quarter it up and put it in the fridge for a few days or right to the freezer. I've never noticed a difference. If I had access to a walk in cooler i would use it.


By: Jakhammer
Posted: 17-Aug-07

I agree with Gene, living in Southern Illinois our temps vary greatly. I have found over the years that it is best to get the meat cut up and wrapped or vaccumed packed as soon as possible. Preparation and clean processing are the key. When you thaw out your frozen venison, do so in a colinder,(sp). Venison is not like beef and SHOULD NOT be thawed in it's own blood. Let that run off through the colinder and you will have much better tasting venison. This methaod works on all wildgame. Headin to the Barby to put the backstraps on!! Have a great season!!!


By: Thunderthumbs
Posted: 17-Aug-07

Dinner was DELICIOUS!!!

Thunderthumbs.


By: Bowdad
Posted: 17-Aug-07

Penn State has an excellent brochure on the subject in the link.


By: 9 point
Posted: 17-Aug-07

I hang mine with the hide on for 16 days at 37 degrees in a walk-in cooler. If the cooler is full or not available I quarter it and put it in game bags and then either hang it in a tree in the back yard, temp depending, or put it on shelves in the garage refridgerator. We have practiced this for years and find that it makes for much better tasting meat.


By: dennisomfs
Posted: 17-Aug-07

...after many years of trying different ways to do 'what is best' to insure the quality of the meat, one rule has shown to have the best effect on the 'taste' of the meat....getting the hide off as quick as possible and de-boning the meat, as with the gutless cleaning method (been doing that since the mid-80's)..this is for everything from WT's to elk and caribou. The meat cools better,too. Aging, as mentioned before, can occur in your refrigerator, cleaner and more efficiently than while hanging...the hanging of meat with the hide on was from years ago when there was no other choice....beef 'hangs' to age after the hide and excess fat have been removed too...there's my .02 worth... :-)


By: TD
Posted: 17-Aug-07

Dennis, all ours is boned too, hide off. You're right field care probably has as much to do with how it all turns out than anything. Even hair on the meat can taint the flavor. I remember someone telling me antelope hair is really bad. Fat is the worst.

I just learned this tip this year. If you want to know if your game will be "gamey" trim off a bit of fat and burn it. Smell it as it burns, you'll know right away. I had several cuts from several different feral goats that was going into slim jims. Goats are known to get on the gamey side at times, especially old billies. You could really tell which ones to use and which ones not to use. Fast.


By: Genesis
Posted: 17-Aug-07

skin on in cooler for a month


By: DENNISomfs
Posted: 17-Aug-07

..good tip,TD..


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