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Aging Duck Talk.... #2921445 01/11/12 11:40 PM
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I never tried it, know very little about it. I heard some say it helps and some say it doesn't. So let's hear what you think, how do you do it, best way, what are some do's and don'ts etc.... I got some questions but I want to see what some of you got to say first.


Does it make the meat better?
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Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: Guy] #2921858 01/12/12 01:38 AM
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I thought we were gonna talk about how older ducks have rasppy quacks?



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I'd ask him if he's pregnant. He missed a s__tload of periods.

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I'll take "things that look like a uterus" for $200 Alex.
Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: hoof n wings] #2970701 01/29/12 10:49 PM
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I been one aging duck son-of-a-gun lately...





Been aging them 5 to 7 days, just put them on their back over news paper. Then cut in cubes, clean real well, brine for 24 hours, and kabobo...

I can tell a big difference. Duck cleans easier, texture of meat is more like steak, and taste is better too. Pintail age very nice, have done a few of them. Cooked these today, pintail gadwall, shot 1/21.







You could tell big difference between pintail and gadwall. Gaddy still good, but pintail just awesome. Pintail has no smell at all after aging a week.

Here is a good artical on aging wild game, and duck. Need to keep temp between 34 and 37.

http://www.tpwmagazine.com/archive/2005/nov/ed_3/


Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: Guy] #2971227 01/30/12 02:08 AM
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me and the ducks had a nap after the morning hunt. their nap just last a little longer. should be interesting.

guess I need to check the temp


Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: Guy] #2971251 01/30/12 02:17 AM
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Originally Posted By: Guy


That was lunch today. I've been eating duck for 35 or 40 years and that was the best duck I have ever eaten. In fact, I think it's the best migratory bird I have ever eaten.

Nice job on the grill Guy!



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Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: J.P. Greeson] #2971310 01/30/12 02:37 AM
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better than sandhill crane?


Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: ndhunter] #2971412 01/30/12 03:13 AM
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I think if you aged sandhill crane and cooked it like this, it would be as good or better.



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Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: ndhunter] #2971415 01/30/12 03:13 AM
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This may be a dumb question but do the innards that have been hit with shot not leak into the meat and spoil it?




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Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: DWADR] #2971449 01/30/12 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted By: dwadr.com
This may be a dumb question but do the innards that have been hit with shot not leak into the meat and spoil it?

That is the reason for keeping duck breast up (if you can hang by the neck probably better). Also there is no spoil if temp is kept between 34 and 37. I have found the duck looks better, and smells better, after aging. I'm still learning, so not claiming to be an expert...


Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: Guy] #2971462 01/30/12 03:24 AM
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I read an article about aging ducks last year and wanted to try it, this article said go ahead and breast them out, it's all about the time and not about the feathers/innards.

Well I made a mistake. I was afraid to get the fridge smelling like duck or the onion smell into them so I put them on a wire cooling rack in a tupperware. When I opened it 8 days later, it was the nastiest smell ever. I marinated in a recipe I really like (huckleberry, orange, chipotle) and cooked 24 hrs later. Took one bite and threw it all away.

Went back and read the article... it said make sure the ducks have air circulation. So I need to try it again. Maybe I'll prp up the tupperware lid to keep spills out and air circulating.

I bet you're not actually gaining anything by leaving them whole, just losing fridge space, but I don't really know.


Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: Dave Speer] #2971492 01/30/12 03:35 AM
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I sometimes let them sit on the shop floor for a day or two. I like breasting them out when their body temp is cold. Seems easier to me. I always soak in water for 3-4 days before cooking the duck. I can tell a big difference between a bird that has soaked in water and one that went straight to the grill.


Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: J.P. Greeson] #2971650 01/30/12 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted By: J.P. Greeson
Originally Posted By: Guy


That was lunch today. I've been eating duck for 35 or 40 years and that was the best duck I have ever eaten. In fact, I think it's the best migratory bird I have ever eaten.

Nice job on the grill Guy!

Thx JP, that’s a real complement coming from a carnivore like you. grin

Other than what I describe above, just fresh cracked pepper and garlic salt. I'm more about preparation, and less about spice and marinades.


Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: Dave Speer] #2971678 01/30/12 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted By: Dave Speer
I read an article about aging ducks last year and wanted to try it, this article said go ahead and breast them out, it's all about the time and not about the feathers/innards.

Well I made a mistake. I was afraid to get the fridge smelling like duck or the onion smell into them so I put them on a wire cooling rack in a tupperware. When I opened it 8 days later, it was the nastiest smell ever. I marinated in a recipe I really like (huckleberry, orange, chipotle) and cooked 24 hrs later. Took one bite and threw it all away.

Went back and read the article... it said make sure the ducks have air circulation. So I need to try it again. Maybe I'll prp up the tupperware lid to keep spills out and air circulating.

I bet you're not actually gaining anything by leaving them whole, just losing fridge space, but I don't really know.

Dave I'm pretty sure you are one of the ones that talked to me about aging duck and got me thinking about it. Here is what you gain by leaving whole:

1) It is less work. Lets not forget this lol. And really, I don’t think it matters….
2) Important thing is get duck cool (34 to 37) as soon as possible, you want to do this whether you age or not.
3) I like to bring a cooler on my hunt, and when I get back to the truck, duck goes on ice. Unless I got a short drive home or it is already cold out side, not that big of deal, but for sure get duck to right temp ASAP.
4) But here is the deal, read article and make note of the “rigor” stage. After duck cools, it should not be processed.. So this is something I been doing wrong for a long time.... So if you are going to breast it, do it before or after rigor. But cleaning duck after it is cold, less of a mess because blood does not go everywhere. Plus I say the aged meat carves better off the bone..



Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: Guy] #2971704 01/30/12 04:45 AM
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Cool, interesting, I'll go see what I can find about the "rigor" thing...


Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: Ridn9high] #2971735 01/30/12 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted By: Ridn9high
I always soak in water for 3-4 days before cooking the duck. I can tell a big difference between a bird that has soaked in water and one that went straight to the grill.

I have soaked duck in brine too long where it turned brown, and went bad. More than once. I think cleaning duck very well is key, feathers punched into the meat from bird shot, blood clots, etc..running fresh water over duck till water goes clear, most important... Soaking too, I'm just not sold on more than 24 hrs.. That is one reason I like to cut in cubes and kabob. Cutting duck in cubes make soaking more effective (and less time required), and cleaning meat of clots etc…much easier. Leaving breast whole makes soaking much less effective. Also no circulation with soaking, to what Dave discussed, and I think the article I posted discusses that as well…


Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: Dave Speer] #2971742 01/30/12 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted By: Dave Speer
Cool, interesting, I'll go see what I can find about the "rigor" thing...

Per the artical I posted:

"Rigor and the Reaper

Tudor kitchens and cow sheds aside, the aging of game is perhaps best understood in terms of biology. Aging, or conditioning, of game begins promptly after the animal dies. All meat, game or otherwise, starts to lose its tenderness after death due to the onset of rigor mortis. Rigor is the process in which muscle fibers stiffen and contract. This condition lasts up to 24 hours or more, depending on the temperature of the meat. For instance, meat chilled quickly and kept at 34 degrees remains in rigor for a considerable period, returning to its original level of tenderness only after three days.

The beneficial phase of aging starts to work once the period of rigor ends. As the muscles lose their stiffness, enzymes that occur naturally within the cells, called lysosomal enzymes, begin to break down the muscle and its connective tissue (or collagen), further increasing the tenderness of the meat. This process, called autolysis, continues at a constant rate for up to 14 days, as long as the meat is held at a proper and consistent temperature, and then decreases thereafter over time. Despite health fears that have generated statements to the contrary, this process is not the same as allowing meat to “rot.” Rot is caused by a combination of warm temperature and the growth of bacteria on meat exposed to air. Bacteria consume the cells of the meat and release waste products in the process, emitting a smell not unlike the inside of a hunter’s vehicle or, more appropriately, his boot. Temperature, then, is the key to encouraging healthy aging and preventing unwanted bacterial growth and decay when hanging game."



Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: Guy] #2971795 01/30/12 05:29 AM
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Cool... now all my birds are already cleaned for the season but next year maybe I'll try to age them whole. I'm gonna have to find an extra fridge, though, no way the wife is going to go for whole ducks aging in the plain sight in the fridge laugh And I don't want to cover them up due to the circulation thing we already talked about.

I suppose I *might* could get it past her if I put them in brown paper bags and kept the bag openings facing the back of the fridge so she didn't have to see them.

As it is I'm taking a load of dove, rail, snipe, duck and pheasant... mostly ducks... to a processor this week to get sausage made. My extremely full freezer is becoming a bone of contention and I love sausage anyway.


Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: Guy] #2972090 01/30/12 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted By: Guy
Thx JP, that’s a real complement coming from a carnivore like you. grin



grill



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Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: J.P. Greeson] #2972300 01/30/12 03:11 PM
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Not knocking your theory but in my opinion a duck is already pretty easy to clean. I just dont guess i understand how letting it chill for three days would make easier cleaning worth the extra effort. Do you think the meat tastes that much better? Never tried this.


Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: ArkansasTraveler] #2973992 01/31/12 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted By: kar0154
Not knocking your theory but in my opinion a duck is already pretty easy to clean. I just dont guess i understand how letting it chill for three days would make easier cleaning worth the extra effort. Do you think the meat tastes that much better? Never tried this.

1) the meat seems to carve off the bone easier, and it is less bloody.
2) I wouldn't say it is more effort, but aging your duck is convenient. I use to feel like I had to immediately clean my duck, but not necessary. When you age your duck, more flexibility when you clean your duck.
3) yes, I think it does taste better.

Give it a try next season. I have only eaten a few ducks this way, so I'm still playing around with it. Read that article I post, they talk about a guy that ages his dove for 2 weeks.


Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: Guy] #2974002 01/31/12 12:22 AM
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I'm not too worried about how easy or hard the meat is to get off the bird. I worked a deal with the kid that she gets to sleep in in return for her cleaning all the birds. cool


Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: Fooshman] #2976548 01/31/12 09:00 PM
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I will have to try it next season.



Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: TexasEd] #2977865 02/01/12 04:01 AM
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Originally Posted By: TexasEd
I will have to try it next season.

The best time to try it is when you get home from a long day hunting, and you don't feel like cleaning your ducks, just throw them in the fridge. grin

I have aged some now for a week the longest, think I'm gonna push it longer for experimentation...


Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: ndhunter] #2978401 02/01/12 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted By: ndhunter
me and the ducks had a nap after the morning hunt. their nap just last a little longer. should be interesting.

guess I need to check the temp



Their still napping since Saturday. I wonder if I can leave them until the weekend or if I should breast them out this evening???


Re: Aging Duck Talk.... [Re: ndhunter] #2978746 02/01/12 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted By: ndhunter
Originally Posted By: ndhunter
me and the ducks had a nap after the morning hunt. their nap just last a little longer. should be interesting.

guess I need to check the temp



Their still napping since Saturday. I wonder if I can leave them until the weekend or if I should breast them out this evening???

Shot on Saturday, you are on day 4. Per the article I posted (also I posted in blue above), today is the first day you are past the "rigor" stage, and as such, this is 1st day your ducks are in the beneficial phase of aging. So I would recommend waiting till this weekend. I got a limit of ducks I shot last Wednesday, I plan on cleaning them this weekend, that will be 10 or 11 days.. I’ll see how those go, and I got more I will probably let age longer depending on what I learn from the Wednesday’s batch. Just check the temperature, make sure you are not above 37 degrees (could spoil if above 40), and not below 34 (if too cold it will just freeze, in which case aging stops).

Good luck, let us know how it goes and what you think. Always give the meat a smell test before you eat. up



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