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Opinion: How long will you eat game meat
Was going through my freezer looking for some stew meat and found a whitetail package from 2011. Wrapped in cellophane and freezer paper. I dug around and think that's the only one I have left from that deer.... probably best to chuck it?
Check it out, make a decision.. if I had to guess you’ll end up chucking it but maybe it’s still good
I just ate some 2011 wrapped the same, looked, tasted and smelled fine.
I try to rotate but occasionally something slips through the cracks
If it is in a chest freezer (or one that is NOT frost free-your freezer inside your fridge IS frost free), I wouldn't hesitate to eat it. I probably wouldn't eat it if it was int he freezer inside your fridge, though. It will likely be freezer burned.
I vacuum pack all of my game and fish. Two years is nothing but 2011...that may be a bit of stretch. Any that I think is too old, goes into dog food for The Libby and she has not complained, yet. If you have a dog, don't throw any meat out-use it.
As stated above if it is not a frost free freezer and turned down to 0% ( what I keep mine on ) it will last a long time. 6 years still could be good in this case .
If it's not freezer burned I would think it's fine. Especially for use in a stew.
They served 250,000 year old Mammoth meat at the Explorer's Club 47th Annual meeting in 1951.
Cut the freezer burn off until you see pink/red, and grill it up!
It's not going to go "bad" so to speak in the sense that it will be unsafe to eat. That old it will almost certainly have some of that extra "freezer funk". All you can really do is thaw it out and give it the smell test. Freezer burn has a distinctive smell you'll know right away.
I package my deer the same, cellophane and freezer paper and I try to eat it within a year or it starts to get a little freezer burn taste. Fish in water and vacuum sealed elk I've had 3-4 years old as good as it was fresh.
We just had a vacuum sealed roast from 2010 two nights ago that was awesome. Non vacuum sealed, anything over 2 years old would go right to the dogs.
The question might be...WHY??? Is there not any newer meat to eat. 2011 is either dog food or worm food.
Never had any that was around longer than 24 months, usually not 12 months.
As the old saying goes:
Old meat is not bad. No meat is bad!
Just this past weekend finally finished the wild buffalo I killed in 2014. It was vacuum packed and it was delicious.
I've eaten a lot of wild game meat that was over 5 years old, vacuum sealed and stored in a deep freeze (non frost free). I prefer to take it out of the package while it's still frozen and slice off the outer layer with a sharp knife or potato peeler for burger.
I vacuum seal stuff now but I used to use shrink wrap. I would without hesitation eat a 20 year old piece of meat that has been in a chest freezer shrink wrapped. I just ate a 5 year old elk backstrap the other day that was outstanding. It just takes too long to wrap that way so I moved on to vacuum sealing
I have eaten venison frozen up to 3-4 years. Trim off the freezer burn and good to go.
I've carved off the freezer burned portion of a roast before and it was still wonderful, don't know how old it actually was though. Stew meat is going to be different!
I found an elk steak from '13 last year. I wrap in celephane and freezer paper. Tasted fine :)
Ambush..... I seem to remember that saying differently...... but I get your drift.... =D
Like they said above..... it's not going to be spoiled and kill ya. But could have a good bit of freezer burn (I think it's mostly just dried out meat?) that could taste funky.... Like they said, thaw it out and cut until you see juicy and red......
Once had a well respected butcher shop owner with over 50 years experience tell me, cut off the freezer burn and nothing wrong with the meat.
While in the Navy 1960-1964, some of our frozen in the box meat was dated 1943. I was on the detail to load the meat aboard ship and I personally saw the label and date. I can also attest those steaks were delicious.
I have eaten many of packages of venison over 5 years old and I'm still here. I think ? LOL
What makes a frost free freezer taboo?
I've eaten vacuum sealed game meat from the freezer >2 years, double bagged in Ziploc > 1 year. Canned > 10 years
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Don't just assume it is bad though.
I we just ate a wooly mammoth steak last nice and it was fine!
We go by the "first in, first out" rule with game meat around here. I don't think we've ever had anything go past 12-18 months. Venison from 2011 may push it past the 'delicious' stage in to the 'experimental' category for me...
Eat it up and report back here; we all wan't to know how it tastes.
Had two moose in freezer vacuum sealed from 2012 and it is fine. Still at least a years worth left
Freezer burn is quite visible and tastes pretty bad but won't kill you. The good thing about stew is that all the other things mask any minor taste issues.
We always rotate our freezers each summer and that way we don't end up with old meat. Takes a bit of commitment but's worth it.
I defrost my deep freezer every August for the next seasons game meat.
I have about 10 packs of Elk burger left from my December Wyo cow.
I'll share with a few friends and eat a pack or 2 myself before the end of this month.
Not sure if I have ever kept any wild game meat for over 12--16 months though?
Good luck, Robb
db, to be honest, it may last far longer if not disturbed much. Two years ago I was digging through the depths of my freezer cleaning it out. I found a box on the bottom that I had overlooked with previous searches. It contained 14 packages of elk steaks from ....yes, 2004!. I thought, No Way. I resurrected it. It ALL was perfectly preserved and still tasted like a year old steak. It is chest freezer which I keep at the coldest setting, like minus 20F. It was covered with deer hides and an elk hide. It was the nicest surprise since I have not had much success hunting elk in New York State since moving back in 2005. So test it first before chucking it. Reminded me of the mammoth steaks they served up in NYC back a couple decades ago that was found frozen in some glacier...if that really is true.
That's called a "freezer fossil".
addendum: if your freezer is a NON self defrosting model, freezer burn is MUCH less likely.
To answer your question: "What makes a frost free freezer taboo?"
A frost-free freezer has a built in dehumidifier which removes the moisture and thereby prevents frost buildup. The dehumidifier also removes the moisture from the meat which leads to freezer burn.
Ever have a tray of ice cubes that sat in a frost-free freezer for an extended period and didn't get used...? In a month or so the ice cubes will be completely gone and the tray will be empty...
Thanks for the input everyone, I plan to cook it up this weekend and will report back (after the proper sniff test). Typically we are a first in first out family but with a moose in the freezer from last year I pull that whenever I want a good steak. This one just slipped through the cracks.
Had friends that had a package of caribou gravity settle to the bottom of their freezer and get overlooked. They eventually figured out what it was, thawed it, trimmed off the freezer burn, and ate it about THIRTY YEARS later. No joke.
'Ever have a tray of ice cubes that sat in a frost-free freezer for an extended period and didn't get used...? In a month or so the ice cubes will be completely gone and the tray will be empty...' Mike, that's a fascinating process (to me) called 'Sublimation'. Water goes directly from a solid to a gas without ever melting and becoming a liquid. Kinda like dry ice when you expose it to room temps. Cool (no pun intended). :)
As the old saying goes:
Old meat is not bad. No meat is bad!
I vacuum seal everything and store it in a chest freezer. Occasionally I end up with a package or two around 3 years old, never had an issue with it. 7 would be pushing it!
Cooked up some fajitas today. Obviously well seasoned being fajitas but tasted fine to me! Thanks for all the opinions
As long as it's not freezer burned the only thing I notice with old meat is that it tends to lose some flavor over time. Still good but relegated to chile, marinades and such. If freezer burned Fido likes it.
Put enough seasoning on a dog turd you could probably make it taste good..
Vacuum sealed 6 year elk steak was as good as when I packaged it. If you have freezer burn...meat will look brown or tan. If I was to attempt to eat it I'd do a healthy trim back to the pink/red meat after you thaw it out. Freezer burned meat is gross smelling and even worse tasting in my experience from back in the pre-Saran wrap or vacuum sealed days.
Cooked antelope doe from '14 last night with onions, peppers and mushrooms....YUMMY
South Farm, You've been on the farm too long... :) NOTHING could cover up that smell.
The way I understand a frost free freezer it actually cycles the freezer above freezing for short amounts of time to allow the frost to melt down and into the drain. It then "re-freezes. any large block of anything that is frozen doesn't thaw, but the edges do get it. This is why something like bread actually will go bad after a while in a frost free freezer, and meat that isn't properly wrapped would freezer burn quickly. The outside edges will actually melt and thaw repeatedly.
I bought a standup frost free freezer and after looking into it further (handle was damaged anyways) I promptly returned and went back to a chest freezer. Way more space, stuff lasts forever.