Sitka Mountain Gear
Rinse your meat?
Contributors to this thread:
Ucsdryder 09-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 09-Sep-20
cnelk 09-Sep-20
elkmtngear 09-Sep-20
Lark Bunting 09-Sep-20
Buck Watcher 09-Sep-20
smarba 09-Sep-20
Glunt@work 09-Sep-20
LBshooter 09-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 09-Sep-20
deerslayer 09-Sep-20
Norseman 09-Sep-20
IdyllwildArcher 09-Sep-20
leo17 09-Sep-20
butcherboy 09-Sep-20
Shawn 10-Sep-20
Bentstick54 10-Sep-20
ElkNut1 10-Sep-20
GF 10-Sep-20
APauls 10-Sep-20
Pop-r 10-Sep-20
Wild Bill 15-Sep-20
Adventurewriter 15-Sep-20
HiMtnHnter 15-Sep-20
Bigpizzaman 16-Sep-20
Scar Finga 16-Sep-20
Thornton 17-Sep-20
drycreek 17-Sep-20
Ollie 17-Sep-20
From: Ucsdryder
Assuming you have taken excellent care of the animal from the field to your butcher table, do you feel the need to rinse it off? This is assuming you’ve picked any hair/leaves/dirt off already. Does it make a difference if it’ll be meat that’s ground vs cut whole muscle?

From: Ucsdryder
Double post...soon to be triple.

From: cnelk
Wipe meat down with vinegar. A natural disinfectant

From: elkmtngear
I don't really feel the need to rinse it, if it's completely "clean" as you stated...but, that's just me.

That being said, I'm sort of a collector of antigens (a little dirt won't hurt, IMHO)...I may have even been known to go out of my way, to collect a little Covid 19 ;^)

From: Lark Bunting
I had to hose off a quarter one time. I believe it was the side my son worked on and he must have kicked some dirt on it when it was on the ground and skinned. I'm sure it was accidental. Regardless, when I got ready to butcher I noticed it and tried rubbing it off but got to a point quickly I figured it'd be easier to hang in the front yard and hit it with the hose. Afterward, I used paper towels to dry it. Worked really well, for me.

From: Buck Watcher
No water ever touches any of my red meat. Do you rinse a T-Bone before you cook it? A pork chop?

From: smarba
Generally I try to keep meat clean enough it doesn't need a rinse, but if necessary I won't hesitate to rinse off in our laundry tub sink. Getting meat wet doesn't harm it in the least as long as you can keep it cold, or it's ready to be processed.

From: Glunt@work
I only rinse if its really dirty. But, on a caribou hunt in NWT we kept all the meat in the lake for days with no problems.

From: LBshooter
Yes, rinse away, butchers do it and getting it clean is key. Isn't going to hurt, pat dry or hang in cool conditions.

From: Ucsdryder
I don’t think rinsing hurts at all. Especially on the outside when most of it will be trimmed anyway. My question is “do you NEED to rinse?” Or is picking off any debris good enough?

From: deerslayer
I do! I try wring or squeeze when done to help get blood out. I'm sure everyone has different opinions, but I feel less blood helps take out any gamey flavor it might have. Although, I also believe a lot of that has to do with cooling the meat quickly and getting the hide off so it doesn't hold in heat or taint the meat. I am actually a fanatic when it comes to washing. I don't want a single hair on my meat when it goes into the freezer.

From: Norseman
No! As long as meat is clean and my table iS clean. Why would you? Venison needs all the original juice it can keep. Why do you think people sear their meat when cooking?

They're never completely clean. There's always some hair and often some dirt/grass.

I've rinsed off every single animal I've ever killed and I process everything myself and have never had a problem with my meat. Usually I do it right before I do the processing and get the meat right into the vacuum sealer and in the freezer, but I've used a car wash sprayer to clean off multiple deer, multiple times, and an elk that were dirty and not getting processed for a couple days - I've always always thoroughly dried off the meat right after though, with towels and then wind and it's back to having a skin on it before it goes in any kind of plastic bag or cooler.

Never had a problem. Some people say not to do it, but I've done it on dozens of animals without a problem.

From: leo17
That’s what she said

From: butcherboy
If it’s really clean I see no need in rinsing it. You can if you feel like you need to as it won’t hurt anything. If it’s just some dirt on the outside of a dry skin then it will usually come off as long as you rinse before deboning. There is definitely no need to rinse after deboning because the inside is clean and if you rinse then you risk spreading more into places where it wasn’t before.

The reason butchers rinse, let’s say a beef carcass, is to get rid of bone marrow from splitting and any extra blood we don’t want on the carcass. USDA doesn’t want domestic animals washed. We learn different skinning techniques so no hair or fecal matter gets on the carcass. If it does, we trim it off because washing spreads bacteria. It’s usually sprayed with an anti microbial wash before it goes into the cooler. Big plants will wash carcasses in a giant washer that sprays 180 degree water from top to bottom killing any leftover bacteria.

From: Shawn
Never! Shawn

From: Bentstick54
I’ve rinsed on occasion on rifle shot deer, more for convenience. No it’s is not “Needed”.

From: ElkNut1
I only rinse if needed, it's not a habit or a must. It's a rarity when I do.


From: GF
I know a guy who has shot literally thousands of deer for the Market in the UK, and he’d no sooner wash down a carcass than roll it in manure. And regulations don’t allow for it, and he would not care to eat an animal that had been treated in a way that makes it illegal to sell.

As butcherboy said, it just carries bacteria into places that would otherwise be bacteria free, and if you’ve been careful in your work there is simply no need.

But of course, when you’re supplying the market with meat, the rules are going to be different than when you’re talking about being allowed to take one or two animals a year on your tags; it was literally his job to just go out and shoot more anyway, so the only loss on that deal was a loss of profit. Don’t get me wrong - his landowners would not have appreciated taking the hit to their business, but business is business.

For myself? If I was reasonably sure that I was dealing with a gut-shot animal, I’d simply go with the Gutless approach; Maybe you can salvage the tenderloins once everything else is safely away from source of the contamination or maybe they would smell “off” and you’d have to let them go, but at least the quarters and backstraps would be in good shape.

From: APauls
I've rinsed about 3 animals, and it was a very satisfying experience to rinse an early season animal while my hose still works (not frozen) and seeing that rib cage so beautifully clean. Other than that, no. Rinsing meat is fine. I'll also thaw and refreeze meat which makes some people feint.

From: Pop-r
I've sprayed most every piece of meat I've ever killed off. Literally

From: Wild Bill
On occasion I rinse a gritty spot and most definately inside the ribcage when the tenderloins and hams are gone.

Hairs are much easier to eliminate with a torch pass over the surface. Also, ash is easier to digest.

Mine never ends up clean.. I'm sure some of the surgical clean guy will cringe when I tell em I shot and elk in NM with no shade and barely trees...80 degrees...I stuffed bare meat into a tree limbs of a christmas tree pine spider webs and pines needles galore...but I got it cool got it home green padded it and a rinse and tasty...getting the natural body heat out if the key...hunted with a guy once and we were cleaning and animal and some touched the ground and he squealed like a little girl,,.I always rinse with ZERO problems...why would there be a problem???

From: HiMtnHnter
In the most perfect case, my quarters are hanging dry tacky. I never rinse unless it's low pressure, most typically the inside loins just before trimming or the heart, sometimes some coagulated blood. Other than that no water ever hits the meat for reasons described above.

From: Bigpizzaman
Rinse, throw in an ice chest let soak in ice water for up to a week. Ice water seems to pull blood and any gamey flavor that might be in the meat.

From: Scar Finga
I always wash it off, but just a damp rag with clean water, and on occasion a hose and a cloth if it got really dirty! Never hurt a thing!

Once I washed an entire elk in a shower with a shower head. It wasn't mine but a friends that got caught in a rain/ sleet/ snow storm, 4 miles in after killing the bull. He packed it out by himself... it was covered in dirt and pine needles. We lost less than 2% of the meat!

From: Thornton
Studies prove rinsing causes bacteria spread and proliferation. I usually scrape hair with a knife and cut out congealed blood and bloody fascia.

From: drycreek
I have lost count of the animals that have ridden in an ice chest full of ice and ice-cold water, drained a couple times a day, replenished with ice. From 15 miles from home to 1500 miles from home. Never had any ill effects on the quality or taste. You wash your fish ? Hell, I freeze mine in water.

From: Ollie
Meat processing plants rinse carcasses with water. I do the same when processing game to help remove dirt, debris, blood, and body fluids. After rinsing I let the carcass hang and permit the residual water to evaporate. Never had a bacterial problem that I am aware of.

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