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Hanging/Aging a deer prior to processing and freezing #7413785 01/24/19 06:08 PM
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Jon Offline OP
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This has probably come up before but for you guys who do your own processing, how long do you let one hang in a meat cooler or age in the fridge before you cut it up and freeze it?
Also, what temp do you like to use?
In the past i have often quartered mine out and left in the refrigerator to age. For that method, I can safely say that 10 days is about too long!
I think I've heard 34 to 38 degrees but not sure.
Our outside cooler would cycle on at 42 and off around 32.
I just adjusted it a half a notch colder so it will cycle on at around 30 and off at 40.
It seemed like it was spending too much time up at 40 or above and I didn't really think that was good.
Of course the carcass doesn't change temp that quick so i think it's an averaging thing.
The meat is 37.4 right now.
But back to the question, what temp range and actual meat temp and how many days would be recommended?
Thanks!

Re: Hanging/Aging a deer prior to processing and freezing [Re: Jon] #7413798 01/24/19 06:17 PM
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Simple Searcher Offline
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We age for one to two weeks in the walk in, we have done three weeks and the meat was fine.
Our cooler cycles 36-38 degrees.
Makes a big difference in the meat.

Last edited by Simple Searcher; 01/24/19 06:21 PM.

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Re: Hanging/Aging a deer prior to processing and freezing [Re: Simple Searcher] #7413803 01/24/19 06:29 PM
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Jon Offline OP
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Thanks for that info.

Re: Hanging/Aging a deer prior to processing and freezing [Re: Jon] #7414105 01/24/19 10:50 PM
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I ice age, always replacing ice daily, allowing the melt to drain off on demand. 1 week max and I'm processing.


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Re: Hanging/Aging a deer prior to processing and freezing [Re: decook] #7414147 01/24/19 11:30 PM
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Jon Offline OP
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Originally Posted by decook
I ice age, always replacing ice daily, allowing the melt to drain off on demand. 1 week max and I'm processing.

Thanks for that info. I never tried ice but will sure keep that in mind.
At 32.5 or whatever degrees ice is, does the meat seem to get plenty tender?

Re: Hanging/Aging a deer prior to processing and freezing [Re: Jon] #7414412 01/25/19 04:17 AM
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"Man is still a hunter, still a simple searcher after meat..." Robert C. Ruark
Re: Hanging/Aging a deer prior to processing and freezing [Re: Simple Searcher] #7414708 01/25/19 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Simple Searcher

Thanks for that - good info in those links. This one is a young spike and today is day 6. He was probably tender to start with and he's also probably going to get some backstraps sampled today.
I have a question that i haven't seen the answer to anywhere. From past experience deer meat has a certain smell when you're cutting it up. Of course some old bucks always smell stronger. But say a nice doe that smelled fine when you got her in the cooler or fridge. If you have let them get too hot along the way before cooling down or you age too long quartered out in the fridge, my experience has been that the meat can start to have a sweet smell. Is that smell a sign that you've waited too long? This current one is going to be just fine but I'm speaking about past and maybe future experiences. I think a lot depends on how quick you get them cooled down and how hot it was when you killed them but I'm mainly asking about that sweet smell. Maybe sweet is not the word but that's how it smells to me and it's definitely a different smell that will eventually happen some time along the way if you wait long enough. the question is if that meat is still OK at that point?

Re: Hanging/Aging a deer prior to processing and freezing [Re: Jon] #7414851 01/25/19 06:21 PM
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I aged a ham on thi last buck. Hung in fridge for 10 days. I then packaged and froze. Havenít tried it yet.

Re: Hanging/Aging a deer prior to processing and freezing [Re: Jon] #7414869 01/25/19 06:36 PM
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The strong, fowl or rancid odors from other carcasses or from the cooler itself can taint the smell & flavor of everything in it.

I age 34 - 37 degrees 2 - 7 days depending, up to 14 days for an older buck. I know folks that swear by up to 17 days for older doe & rutted up bucks.

Then of course the decision of dry or wet aging the meat.
I wet age backstrap, tenderloin, steaks & roasts, dry age meat for sausage or burger grind.

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