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Icing down venison #8009403 10/14/20 12:12 PM
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Have a couple of fallow on ice since Sunday. I can tell quite a bit of the blood is coming out. Never have done this but have heard of this to get better tasting venison when you can't hang them in a cooler at 35 degrees for aging. More of a wet aging this way. Not sure how true it is so I will let yall know.

Drained it yesterday and added more ice. See how it goes on Saturday.


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Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8009410 10/14/20 12:21 PM
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I let all my deer sit in a cooler for a while. Do you have the meat directly touching the ice or is it in a bag?

Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8009466 10/14/20 01:17 PM
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Pro tip, leave the drain on the cooler open and put a brick rock log etc. under the opposite end of the drain, add ice as needed.

I have done this off and on for years when I need to keep deer for a little time and have no other means. In my honest opinion it doesnt do much to change the taste of the meat or the tenderness of the meat. We kept them on ice for up to two weeks for years, now we completely process them, mostly the day they hit the ground and there is no discernible difference.


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Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8009489 10/14/20 01:33 PM
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Too late for me. I simply closed the lid and let them be.


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Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8009502 10/14/20 01:45 PM
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I do it. Try and keep water off of it. Leave the plug open and keep it propped up as mentioned. I definitely notice a difference in aging the meat. redchevy do you grind most of the deer? I find if I age I can get backstrap tender cuts off of the hind quarter.

Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8009507 10/14/20 01:51 PM
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I get backstrap tender cuts off the hind quarters too. Pick the muscle and cut it correctly.

We leave backstrap, tendrers, and top/bottom rounds whole vacuum pack and make what we want with them when we decide, roast/steak/etc. The flank/ribs/shanks/front legs etc. is ground for burger/sausage.


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Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8009557 10/14/20 02:31 PM
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I've been told the water can allow bacteria to grow. However, I know lots of guys that do it the way you have and I've never heard any of them say they had any issues. I have a 150 quart cooler that allows me to drop in my quarters and the body. I then add 4-5 2 liters that have been filled/frozen and then put a large beach towel over the meat. I switch out the frozen 2 liters as needed. This allows the meat to stay very cold and dry.

Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8009630 10/14/20 03:15 PM
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Fair enough, redchevy. I feel like I can notice a difference in tenderness between aged and processed right away. It's not much, but it's there. I cut everything into roasts and use mostly trimmings, flank, and ribs for ground. Shoulders, shanks, neck all get cut into roasts. The steaks out of the hind quarter are the only place I really notice if I cook them hot and fast.

Sparta, water can cause bacterial growth. It's important to not leave water on the meat and not have the meat submerged in water. The cooler should be tilted and open so it's constantly draining out. It's not the best method, but if you can't hang the meat it's about the only option.

Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8009661 10/14/20 03:30 PM
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I pack all of my meat in ice. Like mentioned before, no water. Pull the plug and prop the other end up. Layer of ice, layer of meat etc. Repack when you need to. Meat hooks are your friend. If you live somewhere where you really can’t leave the drain on the cooler open, you can always rig up a water hose or a piece of tubing with a clamp to your drain and route it out to the grass or wherever. I’m in the camp that can tell the difference in tenderness after aging (on ice or hanging in a walk in). If I’m not grinding it all up for sausage or tamales, I’ll age it for a week typically. I’ve gone 2 weeks several times. I went 3 weeks once but 3 weeks is pushing it IMO.

Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8009668 10/14/20 03:33 PM
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I’m draining it daily and adding ice as needed. I can not have it drain as it is enclosed in my garage. So in the evening I just drain all water and add fresh ice.

The meat is much more lighter colored then before. Like I stated, not sure what if any difference it might make. Figure it’s worth a few bags of ice though.

Last edited by 7mag; 10/14/20 03:34 PM.

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Re: Icing down venison [Re: Thisisbeer] #8009677 10/14/20 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Thisisbeer
Fair enough, redchevy. I feel like I can notice a difference in tenderness between aged and processed right away. It's not much, but it's there. I cut everything into roasts and use mostly trimmings, flank, and ribs for ground. Shoulders, shanks, neck all get cut into roasts. The steaks out of the hind quarter are the only place I really notice if I cook them hot and fast.

Sparta, water can cause bacterial growth. It's important to not leave water on the meat and not have the meat submerged in water. The cooler should be tilted and open so it's constantly draining out. It's not the best method, but if you can't hang the meat it's about the only option.

I haven't set up a double blind test with it or anything but I have deer every year that are processed 100% within 12 hours of their death and some that get brought home and sit on ice for a week or so before i get around to it and to me there is no glaring difference in taste or tenderness. I put them on ice if i need to to keep them cold but there isn't sufficient improvement for me to warrant keeping them on ice just to keep them on ice.


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Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8009682 10/14/20 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 7mag
I’m draining it daily and adding ice as needed. I can not have it drain as it is enclosed in my garage. So in the evening I just drain all water and add fresh ice.

The meat is much more lighter colored then before. Like I stated, not sure what if any difference it might make. Figure it’s worth a few bags of ice though.


Leaching some of the blood out for sure, which should help with fallow meat.

I’ve only killed and eaten 2 fallow deer before (white fallow), and the meat was darker & had a stronger venison taste to it than whitetail. It was still good, just different. Hope yours turns out well.

Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8009768 10/14/20 04:48 PM
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Here at home in Idaho, we are lucky to have cooler weather (and a lot less flies) and can afford to let our meat hang and dry-age a little. In Sept. when warm tho, I try to skin game out in a matter of minutes to a few hours in the field, get on ice in a big cooler, and upon return to the house I hang in my shop to dry and set up. Then process, wrap and freeze within 24 hours. For Oct and Nov, my garage and shop stays between 30-50 degrees, and sometimes they may hang for up to a week before handling.

Two years ago, when I was able to hunt Scimitar Oryx in Mason Mt, I needed to get it processed while I went on to Matagorda for a week or two. There was a processor in Brady who came highly recommended, so I took to him and let him do it for me, and it was packaged and frozen when I returned back by. He explained that oryx was his very favorite meat, and he used a lot of care to do it. He de-boned everything, washed and soaked in ice water for a day, then aged on hooks and racks to dry for 4 days in his 40 degree cooler before cutting and wrapping. I will admit I have never done that way, but was outstanding

Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8010346 10/14/20 11:02 PM
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Always quartered it, threw in ice chest, threw ice on top, then added cold water...
Drain & repeat...
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Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8010389 10/14/20 11:35 PM
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Have done it all ways listed above. These days unless I want to process it that day I just put the quarters on ice with water draining like RC said. Wish the state of Texas let you bone them out at the lease, to me the rear quarters are easier to separate the muscles when it is hanging. Really there is I think as much blood or more drains from the meat with freezing and thawing. Never noticed any having less blood when thawing be it soaked in ice, ice water or just boned out vacuum packed and frozen.


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Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8010408 10/14/20 11:51 PM
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I get the XXL ziplocks and put all the meat in one. Unless it's a really big buck, you can fit one deer in one ziplock. I pack the cooler with ice and situate the ziplock where the blood can drain out. Sometimes I have to cut the corners of the ziplocks to do that. I set that on top of the ice and keep the drain open. I notice a difference in meat aged a week vs no aging.

Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8010409 10/14/20 11:53 PM
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Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8010426 10/15/20 12:07 AM
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Hilarious story. I was so used to never taking bones out with deer and elk here in Idaho, that when I killed my first deer on the lease, I boned it out and took all the meat back to the stand. My friend about had a heart attack, and said "[censored], we have to eat this whole thing before we can leave!!" Never made that mistake again. smile

Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8010604 10/15/20 02:29 AM
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I guess I've been doing it wrong.

I skin and take off the quarters and
straps and neck and put everything in
2 gallon ziplocks and on ice ASAP
until I get it home and in the freezer

If I want it bled for whatever reason,
I'll shoot it with a bow instead of a
gun and let the deer pump the blood
out. Way faster than soaking the meat

Re: Icing down venison [Re: Blank] #8010659 10/15/20 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Blank
Hilarious story. I was so used to never taking bones out with deer and elk here in Idaho, that when I killed my first deer on the lease, I boned it out and took all the meat back to the stand. My friend about had a heart attack, and said "[censored], we have to eat this whole thing before we can leave!!" Never made that mistake again. smile



It was a pretty cool experience for me to shoot my first deer in Nebraska with a muzzleloader in the Winter. We killed a couple of deer, gutted them in the field and hung them in the garage for several weeks to age. I laughed when the deer and our beer froze in the back of the truck. The deer still froze in the garage. I was so used to HOT weather and packing everything in ice or hanging in a walk in cooler, it was pretty cool to just hang deer in the garage and forget about them. Go watch football and eat. It was cold AF so never any worries. I miss those days and those people......

Re: Icing down venison [Re: maximum] #8010928 10/15/20 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by maximum
I guess I've been doing it wrong.

I skin and take off the quarters and
straps and neck and put everything in
2 gallon ziplocks and on ice ASAP
until I get it home and in the freezer

If I want it bled for whatever reason,
I'll shoot it with a bow instead of a
gun and let the deer pump the blood
out. Way faster than soaking the meat


Contrary to what most people say, I don't think it has anything to do with bleeding. I'm not an expert, but my understanding is that enzymes break down and tenderize the meat while it ages. There shouldn't be a ton of blood in the meat to begin with. The color your seeing is from a protein called myoglobin and water. Myoglobin gives meat its red color. Allowing the meat to go through rigor mortis while still on the bone is supposed to help tenderize the meat. I try to keep water off of the meat, but I ice it down for a few days minimum.

Re: Icing down venison [Re: skinnerback] #8011061 10/15/20 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by skinnerback
I pack all of my meat in ice. Like mentioned before, no water. Pull the plug and prop the other end up. Layer of ice, layer of meat etc. Repack when you need to. Meat hooks are your friend. If you live somewhere where you really can’t leave the drain on the cooler open, you can always rig up a water hose or a piece of tubing with a clamp to your drain and route it out to the grass or wherever. I’m in the camp that can tell the difference in tenderness after aging (on ice or hanging in a walk in). If I’m not grinding it all up for sausage or tamales, I’ll age it for a week typically. I’ve gone 2 weeks several times. I went 3 weeks once but 3 weeks is pushing it IMO.


I had never done this before last year. I put my 2019 pronghorn in a cooler like above for 8 days. This year I got busy, and my 2020 PH stayed in the cooler 16 days. I took some out to make carne guisada, cubed it, and soaked it water for a few minutes, draining it and refreshing it a couple of times. It really took the taste out of it, you could hardly tell it wasn't beef, and it was extremely tender.


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Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8011068 10/15/20 02:59 PM
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Aging = decomposition.... controlled decomposition.


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Re: Icing down venison [Re: 7mag] #8011482 10/15/20 08:40 PM
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The last several deer I have taken have been field dressed and at the processor within an hour. I think this has made the biggest difference in the quality of the meat and thankfully we have an excellent processor (Jarrett's Meat Service, Madisonville) that close.

Like others I have done the whole soak it in a cooler for days and honestly I cannot tell the difference. If you kill a deer and then drive around for 3 hours showing all your friends, then it tastes funny soap

Just my .02,
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Re: Icing down venison [Re: LeonCarr] #8011575 10/15/20 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by LeonCarr
The last several deer I have taken have been field dressed and at the processor within an hour. I think this has made the biggest difference in the quality of the meat and thankfully we have an excellent processor (Jarrett's Meat Service, Madisonville) that close.

Like others I have done the whole soak it in a cooler for days and honestly I cannot tell the difference. If you kill a deer and then drive around for 3 hours showing all your friends, then it tastes funny soap

Just my .02,
LeonCarr



I would be willing to bet that the processor is hanging them in a cold storage until he can get to them. No?

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