Camp Cooking and Game Processing Trade recipes and other tricks of the trade for cooking wild game.


Old 11-28-2020, 09:14 AM
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Default Aging

I’m new to this all and had a question. After field dressing a deer or hog. You would want to age it to lessen the “gamey” taste, correct? I have mostly heard of doing this in coolers of ice for 7-10 days. Would buying a old fridge and doing it in there he just as good?

is hog 7-10 days also?
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Old 11-29-2020, 03:18 PM
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Hanging Time

65-70 degrees 24-36 hours

50 degrees 3-4 days

35-40 degrees 7-10 days

I took these from a book on butchering. I’ve been following these guidelines for over 19 years as I do all my own butchering.
I've shaved a little time off what was reccomended to be on the safe side and hasn't failed me yet. I do pack the chest cavity with ice if it's above 40

Last edited by jerseyhunter; 11-29-2020 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 11-30-2020, 04:04 AM
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I have my deer hung in a walk in cooler for 6 days. No need to age pork. Aging improved the flavor and tenderness, however there is no such thing as venison tasting Gamey, it tastes like venison, bad tasting venison was poorly handled after the animal was killed.
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Old 11-30-2020, 02:44 PM
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Agreed OT. I think hanging helps to tenderize the deer, elk and moose. I always take care to handle my kills and do all my own butchering so I control all aspects of the hang time to freezer.
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Old 11-30-2020, 06:19 PM
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Thanks for yalls input
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Old 12-01-2020, 01:11 PM
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I've heard the same thing about aging the meat before processing and putting in freezer. My deer usually sits in a cooler for a week before I can get it all processed because I do a little at at time. I would say some of my deer is aged and others is not. I have noticed no difference in taste or tenderness. I find that whether its a young one or an old buck make more difference in taste. The young ones taste much better and are much more tender. An old buck is going to be tougher regardless of what you do IMO.
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Old 12-02-2020, 09:03 AM
Nontypical Buck
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The gamey taste is in the blood. The more blood you remove, the less gamey the meat tastes. Meat flavor depends a lot on the animals diet. Acorn fed will taste different than grain fed. Sage fed antelope tastes like sage.

I don't "age" my venison after the harvest. If destined for the grill or pan, I will soak meat in salt water prior to cooking to remove blood.
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Old 12-05-2020, 01:33 PM
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Worth mentioning is aging also helps promote tenderness. It allows natural enzymes to break down the muscle tissue and makes meat less tough. (This is distinct from rot which is the result of bacteria).

You certainly want to allow it to get past the rigor mortis stage.

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Old 12-13-2020, 07:16 AM
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I have always cut my own and hang them according to the outside temps. I did used to buy beef by the side when our kids were growing up. He hung them at 45 degrees for ten days before butchering them. He had stated that 45 degrees was the perfect temp for hanging. I have always used that to go by and let my deer hang for six days if temps allowed it to. Always tasted great using that method..
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Old 07-22-2021, 08:53 AM
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Not disagreeing completely oldtimr but yes there is such a thing as a gamey taste in venison. And it isn't all just from mishandling. It's from lactic acid in the meat. If a deer ran after it was hit, it will have a buildup of lactic acid that didn't have a chance to dissipate before it died. And yes lactic acid has a very distinct "sour" flavor often called "gamey". It is why most deer in general that were taken with a bow will have a bit of gamey taste to them. If every venison meal you have eaten has had that flavor you will of course assume that is the general flavor of venison. I have eaten meat from many kills that were dropped on the spot and do notice a difference in the flavor. It's not a huge difference but it's fairly easily noticed.
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