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Butcher fast or hang???

Old 05-20-2009, 07:28 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Butcher fast or hang???

I know a lot of hunters that hang their deer regardless of weather. I've found that if you butcher as soon as the blood drains the meat tastes the best, with the least amount of waste. What do you think?
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:31 AM
  #2  
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Default RE: Butcher fast or hang???

I think hanging for as long as you can will bring out a better flavor provided the meat has been properly dressed and cleaned up. Hanging definitely makes for more tender meat. The worst thing someone can do is shoot it, dress it and butcher it.
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:12 AM
  #3  
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Default RE: Butcher fast or hang???

I think a lot depends on the age of the animal, how well it was taken care of in the field, how far you are from home, and how you like your meat.

Personally I lik to take out the loins and backstraps, and fry them up for dinner in camp.


Here are some tips from my Venison Lover's Cookbook which may help you:

Field Preparation
There is no question that venison from all big game, especially a buck or bull in rut, can be tough and gamy. The way to prevent this is to field dress the game as soon as possible, removing all the entrails. Be sure to split open the pelvis to remove the entrails, and reach up into the neck as far as you can and cut off the windpipe. Then prop the chest cavity open with a stick. All these tricks help cool the meat and keep it from spoiling. As soon as you can, skin the meat to help it cool even more. Be sure to keep your hands and the meat clean. If the meat gets soiled with hair or dirt, or hair or sweat from a horse, wash it with clean water as soon as you can.

Before you quarter the animal take a fish fillet knife and remove the back strap, along either side of the outside of the backbone, from just in front of the pelvis to the shoulders. Then remove the meat along either side of the backbone inside the body cavity. These are the best tasting most tender cuts of meat on the animal. They should be placed in zip lock bags and cooled immediately. Wash thoroughly before cooking or freezing.

For the best camp meal you’ll ever eat slice the backstrap or loin meat diagonally into one inch thick medallions, and broil them over an open fire. Serve the meat with baked beans, and thin-sliced potatoes with the skin still on and fried in bacon grease (Bachelor Potatoes). Season them with your favorite seasoned salt. The big game marinades in this book will remove any gamy flavor from the other cuts of meat.

Storage
In camp you should cover fresh meat with a game bag and hang it in the coolest place you can find. Then get it to town, and have it aged, wrapped and frozen as soon as you can. If you are going to take care of the meat yourself keep it cool until you get to the locker plant, or get it home. Trim all the fat and silver skin from big game meat when you cut it up. Dry-age the meat as soon as possible; ideally it should be hung and stored at 38 degrees for one to two weeks. Then cut off the dark layer of outer meat and wrap it and freeze it. If you can’t age the meat immediately, but do have it cut, wrapped and cooled, you can age it later. When you are ready to store the meat, double wrap it in freezer paper and label the outside with the date, type of meat, and the cut. Trim all the fat and silver skin from the meat before freezing or cooking.

Cooking Preparation
Before you cook the meat unthaw it, still wrapped, in the refrigerator at 36-38 degrees over two to three days. If you weren’t able to dry-age the meat earlier you can do that now. After the meat has thawed remove it from the wrapper, dry it with a towel and place it on a rack in the refrigerator, turning once a day. Allow another three to four days for aging, then cut off the dark outer layer off meat and you’re ready to cook.


God bless and good cooking,

T.R.
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:22 AM
  #4  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Default RE: Butcher fast or hang???

I like to skin them asap then put themin a cooler for about 4 days changing the water daily.
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:57 AM
  #5  
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Default RE: Butcher fast or hang???

ORIGINAL: Champlain Islander

I think hanging for as long as you can will bring out a better flavor provided the meat has been properly dressed and cleaned up. Hanging definitely makes for more tender meat. The worst thing someone can do is shoot it, dress it and butcher it.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:01 AM
  #6  
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Default RE: Butcher fast or hang???

I butcher as soon as I can. Sometimes I let the deer hang for days but only because I can't clean them right away. I never try to age meat. Proper aging requires a controlled environment. Hanging a deer outside in changing temps and sun / shade will never age meat properly.
I might be wrong but I don't think aging meat has any effect on the taste. I believe aging only tenderizes the meat.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:44 AM
  #7  
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Default RE: Butcher fast or hang???

I have from day 1 thouroughly cleaned and processed my venison ASAP. Probably that habit was because I started deer hunting in south Louisiana back in the 1960's. Most years our winters are not what one might refer to as cold. And it was not unusual to be hunting in 85F+ weather week afet week. So hanging was not an opition.

As another mentioned,weather conditions and hunting location do matter when it comes to what I do. About 95% of my deer huting is on property whereI have ready access to fresh clean water, a skinning rack, and in one camp, a walk in cooler.I will return tocamp ASAP, where I will in short order gut and wash off the the deer. If the air temperatureis not going to exceed about 35F, and I am tired, I might leave the carcass hanging outside half a day or so ... or overnight while I rest up. However, most of the time I skin and quarter out the deer, and get it on ice ASAP ... or at the camp where iIhave access to a walk-in cooler, I'llthen hang it until I head to the butcher shop.I'll have the carcass at the butcher shop no later than3-5 days after I killed the deer. I used to do my own butchering, but now I am old and lazy!

Many times my buddies and I will strip out the tenderloin and back strap, and cook that for a dinner meal. Not much better eatingafter a tiring day of hunting that marinated back strap steaks wrapped in bacon and cooked on a grill !!
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:03 AM
  #8  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Default RE: Butcher fast or hang???

I think the key is in the cooking. I doubt anyone would know the difference between venison that was processed immediately in comparison to some that was properly aged if you do a lousy job of cooking it. Although one surely would NOT want to eat any meat that has almost spoiled due to aging it improperly. I have never found venison to be tough even if butchered right away. Some parts are tougher than others, but that goes with beef, pork or anything else as well. Those parts one should then use in stews or ground meat. I also find it funny how some people insist on aging venison and then turn most of it into ground meat or jerky. I can assure these people that their aging efforts were a complete waste of time! I think the best way to assure yourself of good eating is to process it as soon as possible. The meat will be plenty good and you won't risk spoilage.



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Old 05-20-2009, 10:05 AM
  #9  
Spike
 
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Default RE: Butcher fast or hang???

My dogs seem to prefer their venison hanging for a couple of weeks.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:06 AM
  #10  
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Default RE: Butcher fast or hang???

ORIGINAL: magicman54494

I butcher as soon as I can.

Proper aging requires a controlled environment. Hanging a deer outside in changing temps and sun / shade will never age meat properly.
I might be wrong but I don't think aging meat has any effect on the taste. I believe aging only tenderizes the meat.
That's the reason that people buy "28-day aged Angus beef".
Yes, it does have to be done a careful temperature and environment, in which the connective tissue/muscle tissues will break down, hence, forming a type of natural tenderizing...
After the beef has been aged, the butcher will then chisel all the outer brown cukka meat to divulge the yummy flesh we all love to eat!!!

Yes, I stayed at a Holiday Inn express last night.


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