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#2996645 - 10/24/12 10:09 AM Re: aging venison [Re: catman529]
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Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 11865
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: catman529
have you seen the footage of "factory farmed" cattle... basically they live knee deep in their own manure and are usually covered in it when the cow is slaughtered. honestly I think gutting a deer and processing yourself would be a bit safer since you know exactly what happened to the animal.


I agree and I think that venison is a far safer product than industrially produced beef, but, in the slaughterhouse, a cow is killed, butchered and held at temperature in a matter of minutes and always in a consistent manner at consistent temperatures. With a deer and the circumstances under which it is killed, there are a vast amount of variables. A gut shot deer, for example, should probably not be aged. A deer coming out of the woods on a hot humid day and a deer killed on a cold, dry morning may have a wide swing of difference in bacterial growth, even if they both dropped dead. Furthermore, I often see deer laying in truck beds in the direct sun. All of this probably fine and you seldom hear of people getting sick from eating venison and, if they do, it was probably rancid meat or mishandled gut shot. But, if you are looking to get the most out of your venison, you should take all of these circumstances under consideration and realize that aging at 38 degree for just a few days will not age the meat much (50 degrees will, however). In other words, you can't say "they age beef at 38 degrees for 14 days, so you should do the same with wild deer."

Again, you'll get varying opinions on this matter, often very strong opinions, but before you come to any on conclusion on aging venison, I would encourage anyone to do some research on the aging process and the temperatures associated with such. You have to take the available science out there and combine it with some empiricism with wild game. Nobody is going to formally advise you to age your venison at 50 degrees for example because its not USDA standards and, if you were to get sick, that person could potentially be considered liable for such advice. 36 to 38 degrees is indeed a safe temperature to age meat, but will you get tangible aging results in a matter of 5 days? Likely not so much.

Here is a link to a PDF file put together by A. Estes Reynolds, Extension Food Scientist & James A. Christian, Former Extension Food Scientist
The University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences
Cooperative Extension Service

http://www.askthemeatman.com/pdf%20files/Venison_From_Field_To_Table_010504.pdf
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#2996963 - 10/24/12 01:23 PM Re: aging venison [Re: Poser]
htnseymour
8 Point


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 1514
Loc: sevier county Tn

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Personally, being a chef and learning from my grandfather, once I quarter the deer, I let it sit in bags sealed in my single door cooler in the garage for 1-3 weeks depending on the age and if it is a buck or doe. Never had any go bad and it does wonders for the taste and tenderness of the meat. Not saying everyone should do this, but it's how I was taught and how I still handle the meat.
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#2998493 - 10/25/12 10:47 AM Re: aging venison [Re: htnseymour]
StalkingWolf
8 Point


Registered: 05/08/01
Posts: 1328
Loc: Dyersburg, TN, USA

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I like to age mine about 4 years then shoot em.
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#2999094 - 10/25/12 05:51 PM Re: aging venison [Re: StalkingWolf]
blountcountyboy
8 Point


Registered: 03/30/03
Posts: 1368
Loc: Blount CountyTN ya know over n...

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I have aged deer meat for as long as 3 weeks in a fridge that I'd made into a "quarter cooler". The "secret" is to have air flow AROUND the meat. When you age meat the meat looses weight by dehydration but, increases in flavor the longer you age it. The meat will turn a darker color and some even turns black but, once you cut into the meat it will be a beautiful dark red. There is nothing wrong with the outside darker part of the meat. I like aging meat because I believe the flavor is superiour and (for me atleast) it makes removing silver skin and seperating individual cuts of meat easier.

For those that are worried about the "cattle farmed" slaughter house cattle buy local beef. It may cost you more up front since most times you must buy atleast 1/4 of a side of beef but, it's worth it. I have 22 head of beautiful, clean, healthy, hormone free, fat, grass fed Angus X Semental heifers and steers that I'll sell you.
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#2999744 - 10/26/12 06:46 AM Re: aging venison [Re: blountcountyboy]
BlountArrow
8 Point


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 2340
Loc: SouthEast Tenn

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I know we all dismiss the hunting shows (to some extent), but recently on Deer & Deer Hunting they talked about aging venison and the gentleman said that while aging venison will make it more tender it also tends to make it taste a little gamey. Any truth to that or just more propaganda from the T.V. hunters?
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#2999821 - 10/26/12 07:44 AM Re: aging venison [Re: BlountArrow]
blountcountyboy
8 Point


Registered: 03/30/03
Posts: 1368
Loc: Blount CountyTN ya know over n...

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BlountArrow... It will indeed make it much more tender but, I would have to disagree with it making it have a more gamey taste.

The longer you leave meat to age the more tender and more flavor the meat has.
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#2999845 - 10/26/12 07:57 AM Re: aging venison [Re: blountcountyboy]
DOC1187
16 Point


Registered: 06/14/08
Posts: 11163
Loc: east tn

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3 days for me
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#3000604 - 10/26/12 04:06 PM Re: aging venison [Re: BlountArrow]
JimFromTN
8 Point


Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 1385
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: BlountArrow
I know we all dismiss the hunting shows (to some extent), but recently on Deer & Deer Hunting they talked about aging venison and the gentleman said that while aging venison will make it more tender it also tends to make it taste a little gamey. Any truth to that or just more propaganda from the T.V. hunters?


I agree 100% with what they are saying. I never age the deer I process and it never tastes as gamey as the stuff I have gotten from the processor. Its the main reason I butcher all my own deer. The meat just tastes better. It makes perfect sense. Deer has some gameyness to it and if you concentrate the flavor, you are going to concentrate the gameyness as well.


Edited by JimFromTN (10/26/12 04:08 PM)

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#3000673 - 10/26/12 05:21 PM Re: aging venison [Re: JimFromTN]
FULLDRAWXX75
12 Point


Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 6180
Loc: Adirondack Mtns, NY

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 Originally Posted By: JimFromTN

I agree 100% with what they are saying. I never age the deer I process and it never tastes as gamey as the stuff I have gotten from the processor. Its the main reason I butcher all my own deer. The meat just tastes better. It makes perfect sense. Deer has some gameyness to it and if you concentrate the flavor, you are going to concentrate the gameyness as well.


If you wind up with a gamey tasting deer, it had nothing to do with how long it was aged. The meat will have it's own taste,due to feed and conditions upon how the animal was taken and handled immediately after the shot. I have always wondered what people consider "gamey"? I have never once had a deer processed by someone else or a so called processor. I have helped drop off deer at such places,only to see 25-30 deer piled up on the floor in unsanitary conditions to ever want to do that. And who is to say the meat you get back is even yours.......or that you even got all yours back.
In all my 33 yrs of hunting I have only had one deer that was considered unfavorable in taste, it was a 7 y/o nasty in the full rut buck that was covered in his own urine and feces, he smelled so bad I was gaging while gutting him. The meat was horrible. I have always hung or refridgerated the meat for at least 7-10 days with no problems of spoilage or gameyness.

FDXX75
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#3000726 - 10/26/12 06:07 PM Re: aging venison [Re: FULLDRAWXX75]
JimFromTN
8 Point


Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 1385
Loc: Nashville, TN

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You don't know what gamey taste is??? It could be because you enjoy it and don't realize what it is because you have grown up with it all your life and you think it is the natural flavor of the meat. Its why some people say they don't like the taste of deer and other wild game. Do you crock pot allot of deer? If you do, you have probably tasted it but did not realize thats what gamey meat tastes like. Do you like liver and other organ meat? If you do then gamey flavored meat might not bother you. Do you eat goat? Goat can be gamey when not prepared correctly. Squirrel and wild ducks are very gamey and need allot of care to get rid of the gameyness. Wild geese are one of the worst in my opinion when it comes to requiring allot of care to make sure they don't turn out really gamey.

I am not trying to offend you. I know several people who don't notice such things. I have a friend from Maine and a friend from Newfoundland and both of them can eat the guts straight out of an animal and thinks its the best thing they ever ate. My brother has similar tastes when it comes to fish. Me, I have to fillet everything and cook it just right. My brother can eat anything when it comes to fish. He makes an awful fish stew where he just throws the fish straight in and its the fishy, slimiest thing I have ever witnessed. My friend from Newfoundland took canned smoked mussles out into the duck blind once and I tried those. I about projectile vomitted. I don't understand how human beings can eat such things but thats just me.

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