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Cooling off meat in Florida

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Cooling off meat in Florida

Old 10-19-2005, 09:47 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Minneola, Central Florida, USA
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Default Cooling off meat in Florida

I am new to Florida (Just west of Orlando) and my first question is how you do cool off the meat quickly here? I haven't seen any game processing places around, and I usually do my own butchering. While it may be cooling of a little, it is still 85+ most of the day. I don't want my meat to spoil and at those temps it may only take an hour.

Big ice chest full of ice and just quarter it into there as fast as possible?
I have a freezer but it will have to be quartered to get it in there.

Any other tips someone can give me?


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Old 10-19-2005, 10:51 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Georgia
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Default RE: Cooling off meat in Florida

ice chest will work...after quartering...I try and get it cut up and packaged soon in that heat...but the ice chesst will hold it cold for a while. just keep checking the ice and take care of business of cutting up as soon as time permits...
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Old 10-19-2005, 11:48 AM
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Default RE: Cooling off meat in Florida

I live in south Alabama and weskin out andquarter our deeras soon as possible, thenstore the quartered animal in ice chest. I personally like to age my deer in ice for a week prior to butchering and freezing. I have never had a complaint about "gamey" meat this way. Just cover the meat in ice inside your cooler. Keep extra ice on hand to refill cooler every day, place cooler ona slope (the top of my doghouse works great)to let water and blood pour out the drain cap. Sprinkle salt on top of ice with every refill. Venison will be nice and tender with no wild taste, before freezing, I also trim all gristle and fat when butchering andplace cuts of meat ina ziplock bag withmy favoritemeat marinade. Tip: always carry a cooler and at least two bags of ice and a sharp knife and flashlighton every hunt.
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Old 10-19-2005, 04:58 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: chiefland Florida USA
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Default RE: Cooling off meat in Florida

I live in north central Fl. and I do about the same as said.
I skin and cut up (take sholders and hams off;remove bone from ham ,take backstrap and loins out, then the burger meat off the ribs , belly , take neck off)ASAP and put into ice chest,cover with ice. drain and reice every day for a few days, (4 or 5). then cut up and vacume. grind the burger with a little fat added.

Done ; and great eating.
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Old 10-21-2005, 09:25 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Miami, Florida
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Default RE: Cooling off meat in Florida

I live in South Florida and hunt in the Big Cypress Preserve (in between hurricanes). It is mostly always hot. I have a 30 minute drag out of the woods after field dressing and a 30 minute drive to the check station. Depending on the wait, it might be another 30 minutes before I can get out of there, and an hour drive home. That's 2 1/2 hours between gutting and starting to skin the animal.The biggest challenge for me is keeping the deer cool while I get it home. I take a cooler full of2 litre soda bottles with frozen water in them. They will last all day in there, and I can pack them in the body cavity during transport without worrying about spoilage. Afterwards I just wash them off and use them again.
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Old 10-21-2005, 09:28 AM
  #6  
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Location: Minneola, Central Florida, USA
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Default RE: Cooling off meat in Florida

ORIGINAL: danowak

I live in South Florida and hunt in the Big Cypress Preserve (in between hurricanes). It is mostly always hot. I have a 30 minute drag out of the woods after field dressing and a 30 minute drive to the check station. Depending on the wait, it might be another 30 minutes before I can get out of there, and an hour drive home. That's 2 1/2 hours between gutting and starting to skin the animal.The biggest challenge for me is keeping the deer cool while I get it home. I take a cooler full of2 litre soda bottles with frozen water in them. They will last all day in there, and I can pack them in the body cavity during transport without worrying about spoilage. Afterwards I just wash them off and use them again.
When hunting in VA before during a late November warm snap I had the same situation. Instead of getting soda bottles I just bought 15 or 20 lbs of ice and tucked the bags into the body cavity.

I figured this was the way things were done. I am just amazed that there aren't any deer processors around here. Does Florida have some regulation about processing third party or wild meat?

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Old 10-21-2005, 11:37 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Georgia
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Default RE: Cooling off meat in Florida

I don't know about Florida but there are a couple up here in Ga. But I butcher my own anyway...The wife aint giving me money to process it...lol
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Old 10-27-2005, 03:45 PM
  #8  
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Location: Lake Wales, FL
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Default RE: Cooling off meat in Florida

Chubber, head west on 50, and then south on 33 towards Auburndale.... just outside of Polk City (can't remember if it was north or south of Polk City) there is a butcher that advertises his services for wildgame... big ol sign on the right hand side as you head south on 33..... its on a right hand curve too...

Also, check with the butcher at Winn-dixie in Clermont (can not remember her name) but I believe she used to process deer.

The bait shop just off 27 south of 50, should also have some information for you....

sorry I couldnt be more specific, buts its been a few years since I lived in Clermont.
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:50 PM
  #9  
 
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Orlando, Florida
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Default RE: Cooling off meat in Florida

Chubber, the bags of ice are the easiest till you get them to a processor. It's not as critical as you would think. I have found deer the following morning after a late hit and by the time I got them out and to the processor, many hours had past and it was still excellent meat. Of course, I would love to get them there as fast as possible, unfortunately we deal with the heat down here. Just don't drive yourself crazy. I have found that as long as they are not in direct sunlight, you do have a little time. If you need a good processor in Orlando, I have a great guy. I have been dealing with him for manyyears now and heis the best around. Not only does he age the meat for a better taste, his prices are excellent. He's also a straight up guy who won't cheat you on any meat. (A common thing with some processors). Hedoesn't require you to quarter it first either. I've hear of guys having to do that too! Just drop it off and he'll skin it and process it for you.Just go to my links page on my webpage below and you will see the info for Rick's Ten PointProcessing. I promise you you won't be dissapointed. He's right in downtown.


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