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Dry aging venison

Posted By: Farmhand

Dry aging venison - 11/24/21 04:19 PM

I looked and didn’t see any threads for this. Has anyone tried it? If so, any better? I know there is a lot of thoughts around cleaning, “letting it hang”, prep, etc. Just looking for your thoughts on the dry aging. I have one deer ham aging in the shop fridge. Planning on 10-14 days.
Posted By: Paluxy

Re: Dry aging venison - 11/24/21 06:42 PM

I've had deer dry aged for 14 days, it was the best venison I've ever eaten. I've never done it myself.
Posted By: bill oxner

Re: Dry aging venison - 11/24/21 07:15 PM

Thanks a bunch.
Posted By: Blank

Re: Dry aging venison - 11/24/21 07:16 PM

I like to wet-age the steaks, if I can. It can be with a marinade, or just S&P. I'm not set up to properly dry age any meat, and frankly, don't want to go to the time or effort. Since the muscles are much smaller, I don't want all that extra loss either. Just by hanging a deer or elk in my garage in the 40's for 4-7 days, I see significant drying out and loss.

I season them, and place in plastic for the duration I am going to let them sit. 1-4 days for good tender-looking steaks, I am fine with just a Zip-Lock and squeeze all the air out (most important part). If they seem to be tougher cuts, like sirloin-round steak-petites-etc., I will vacuum pack and keep up to 10 days in the fridge. I think the vacuum really sucks the seasoning into the body of the meat. Sometimes, I will do that and freeze them seasoned. From reading, I think you have to age any meat for 4-10 days before the collagens/fibers actually start to break down in tissue.

The other thing I like to do is dry them off, and let come up to room temp for a half hour to an hour, before cooking. Tongs instead of a fork, to keep juices from running out while cooking. Really important when they are thin! Again, depends on your schedule.
Posted By: Flatlander84

Re: Dry aging venison - 11/28/21 11:08 PM

We always dress our deer in the field, get them hung by the rear legs and skinned right away, then let them hang as long as possible given the conditions. Not using a cooler but I'm in the Midwest so usually 14 days is doable. Makes all the difference in the world. Will also usually blow a fan on them while hanging. It helps them "skin over" faster. The weight of the carcass stretching the muscle fibers adds to the tenderness. The same is true of beef. I've done old bucks killed late in the rut this way and they end up tender. I've had situations where young deer were killed in warm weather (depredation shoots) and even a little yearling doe is tough by comparison with no hanging/aging. My $0.02.
Posted By: Wytex

Re: Dry aging venison - 11/29/21 09:35 PM

We dry age everything. Deer and antelope get about 8-10 days, maybe more if it's cold out. Elk, and lately moose, get 14 days minimum unless we have to cut sooner based on temps in the garage.
You loose some meat due to the rind that forms but the quality is improved.
We have hung elk for weeks when conditions were good and we didn't have time to cut right away.
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