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#5552954 - 01/19/15 09:15 PM Preserving deer meat before making sausage yourself
gasman777 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 08/11/14
Posts: 41
I'm interested in processing my own deer next year but I'm stuck. How should I preserve the meat from the time I shoot, clean, and quarter the deer until the time I process the deer? Due to work schedule I might not be able to start processing for a month or two after I shoot it. Would I have to quarter it, wrap it with paper, freeze it, then thaw, then debone and start processing? Or is this timeline not feasible and I need to stick to dropping it off somewhere else?


Edited by gasman777 (01/20/15 05:59 AM)

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#5553074 - 01/19/15 10:16 PM Re: Preserving deer meat before making sausage yourself [Re: gasman777]
kmon1 Online   content
junior

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 20311
Loc: Texas
Often freeze it until after season then thaw for making sausage. Having a vacuum sealer helps keep it fresher.
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#5553270 - 01/20/15 05:57 AM Re: Preserving deer meat before making sausage yourself [Re: kmon1]
gasman777 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 08/11/14
Posts: 41
Do you thaw in a fridge? That's where I'm getting hung up because it seems hard to fit 1-2 deer in a fridge (not deboned yet). Freezer would be easy bc I have a chest freezer.

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#5553334 - 01/20/15 06:49 AM Re: Preserving deer meat before making sausage yourself [Re: gasman777]
kmon1 Online   content
junior

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 20311
Loc: Texas
I debone it before bagging and freezing. Freeze in flattened bags makes it easy to stack in the freezer then break apart, it will run through the grinder when still partly frozen. Have also froze quarters wrapped in heavy plastic wrap then thaw on a cold day for the processing.
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#5553388 - 01/20/15 07:32 AM Re: Preserving deer meat before making sausage yourself [Re: gasman777]
redchevy Offline
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Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23463
Loc: Texas
I would suggest giving it a try at deboning it yourself and freezing in gallon bags etc. till ready to make sausage, hamburger etc.

It doesn't take long at all to cut up a deer, especially if it is all going for sausage/burger.
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#5553573 - 01/20/15 09:20 AM Re: Preserving deer meat before making sausage yourself [Re: redchevy]
gasman777 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 08/11/14
Posts: 41
How long does it take to debone a deer and package it considering this would be my first time to debone one? Ballpark?

Something else I thought of, if I debone and freeze the deer right after it's cleaned I won't have time to "flush" the blood from the meat. Meaning, way back in the day I was told by an old timer, always keep your meet in a cooler a week, constantly adding ice and emptying the water because it will help the taste of the meat. Is this bogus because I'd obviously loose that part of the process now?


Edited by gasman777 (01/20/15 09:24 AM)

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#5553617 - 01/20/15 09:39 AM Re: Preserving deer meat before making sausage yourself [Re: gasman777]
driedmeat Offline
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Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 641
Loc: Hondo, TX
Time it takes depends on how handy you are with a knife. Give yourself a couple of hours. try to trim off as much of the while stuff as you can. Debone the hind quarters by parting out the individual muscles. This makes trimming off the junk much easier. As the guys above have already stated, definitely debone it and then freeze it in zip locks. I usually thaw meat in an ice chest. You don't need to bleed it out.. the meat will bleed out as it thaws - can make a mess in the fridge. Takes a couple of days to thaw.


Edited by driedmeat (01/20/15 09:40 AM)

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#5553688 - 01/20/15 10:12 AM Re: Preserving deer meat before making sausage yourself [Re: gasman777]
bill oxner Online   content
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Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 32686
Loc: Richmond
You can leave the ribs and the backbone in the field or wherever. It takes about a total of 5 minutes to strip out the backstrap and pull out the tenderloins.
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#5553716 - 01/20/15 10:22 AM Re: Preserving deer meat before making sausage yourself [Re: driedmeat]
kmon1 Online   content
junior

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 20311
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: driedmeat
Time it takes depends on how handy you are with a knife. Give yourself a couple of hours. try to trim off as much of the while stuff as you can. Debone the hind quarters by parting out the individual muscles. This makes trimming off the junk much easier. As the guys above have already stated, definitely debone it and then freeze it in zip locks. I usually thaw meat in an ice chest. You don't need to bleed it out.. the meat will bleed out as it thaws - can make a mess in the fridge. Takes a couple of days to thaw.


Sound advice, first few times it will take you some time, but after a few you will get faster at it. Like said above the freezing and thawing process will release more blood than several days of soaking.

You can speed up the process of removing the silverskin by freezing it then when taken out while still frozen it will pull off the muscles with fish skinning pliers real easy. I never try to remove the silverskin until after removing a muscle from the freezer since it is so easy to do when frozen and helps protect from freezer burn
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#5554051 - 01/20/15 01:13 PM Re: Preserving deer meat before making sausage yourself [Re: gasman777]
redchevy Offline
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Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23463
Loc: Texas
I wont debone warm meat, this is our process for deer.

Weigh whole, gut, weigh without guts(field dressed), skin, cut off head and feet(leg below knee), remove front quarter put in ice chest, cut flank tender loins, backstraps and ribs off while deer is hanging, then split back legs and put all in ice chest and cover in ice.

Eat breakfast/dinner depending on what hunt you had success on and give the meat a chance to get cold/stiff. Then trim and cut the desired cuts. Will take a little time the first time around, but you will get much faster as time goes. Got one waiting on me for tonight sitting on the back porch on ice, will see how long it takes... however ill be cooking dinner and helping tend to a 3 month old during this time as well loco_too
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#5554226 - 01/20/15 02:31 PM Re: Preserving deer meat before making sausage yourself [Re: gasman777]
gasman777 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 08/11/14
Posts: 41
This is all very helpful information, thanks guys!

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#5556733 - 01/21/15 07:16 PM Re: Preserving deer meat before making sausage yourself [Re: gasman777]
Slimpickin Offline
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Registered: 12/14/07
Posts: 853
Loc: DFW, Texas
If you freeze the meat, thaw out to make sauage or burgers later, is it OK to refreeze?
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#5556793 - 01/21/15 07:40 PM Re: Preserving deer meat before making sausage yourself [Re: Slimpickin]
skinnerback Offline
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Registered: 05/30/11
Posts: 10697
Loc: Rockport, Tx.
Originally Posted By: Slimpickin
If you freeze the meat, thaw out to make sauage or burgers later, is it OK to refreeze?


Absolutely. Most of the time (time permitting) my meat will come out of the cooler, get de-boned, scaled and packaged, then into the freezer until it's time to make sausage or whatever you are doing, then packaged and put back in the freezer. As long as you keep your meat cold during the process you will be just fine.
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#5557153 - 01/21/15 11:18 PM Re: Preserving deer meat before making sausage yourself [Re: gasman777]
scruboak Offline
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Registered: 09/23/04
Posts: 801
Loc: cisco,Texas
On your schedule I would say keep paying
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#5557588 - 01/22/15 08:29 AM Re: Preserving deer meat before making sausage yourself [Re: gasman777]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23463
Loc: Texas
I had a 130lb cull buck on ice 4 legs backstraps tenderloins and the flank and ribs. I worked on it 2 nights for 2 hours a night total to get it all deboned trimmed packaged and in the freezer. This also included cutting marinading seasoning and grilling steaks out of it both nights for dinner smile

Not a great measure of how long it takes because the extra, but its not too bad once you get a routine down.
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