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#3745275 - 08/26/14 02:36 PM Common Meat Care Mistakes
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Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 12713
Loc: Tennessee

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I got hit up to do a short piece on venison care. This is not for an Outdoor specific mag, but rather a social mag that does an Outdoor issue each October. It is just a very basic and general set of guidelines for meat care.

Based on that, what are the most common mistakes you see people making when it comes to meat care during the cleaning, skinning, butchering, packaging and freezing processes?

Current list:
-Unnecessarily using hatchets or bonesaws and getting bone shard on the meat as a result.
-Submerging meat in salt water solutions or similar prior to freezing.
-not immediately field dressing
-not immediately cooling or not giving priority to getting the meat cooled.
-not removing dirt and hair
-freezing meat that is wet and slimey
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#3745349 - 08/26/14 04:13 PM Re: Common Meat Care Mistakes [Re: Poser]
Brisco Darlin
10 Point


Registered: 04/24/12
Posts: 3111
Loc: East Tn.

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not removing dirt and hair. i remember one time many years ago opening a pack of meat that was covered in deer hair and actually had a few pine needles stuck to it. needless to say never took that guy another deer.
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#3745357 - 08/26/14 04:21 PM Re: Common Meat Care Mistakes [Re: Brisco Darlin]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 16278
Loc: Franklin TN

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Dirt, hair, blood and guts... What's wrong with salt water? Wouldn't that just be a preference thing?
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#3745382 - 08/26/14 04:44 PM Re: Common Meat Care Mistakes [Re: catman529]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 12713
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: catman529
Dirt, hair, blood and guts... What's wrong with salt water? Wouldn't that just be a preference thing?


As far as I can tell, the whole salt water thing appears to be a big mis-understanding. Some people think that they are brining the meat (you have to dissolve the sale for that process to work). Others think that they are removing the gamey taste by allowing the salt to "draw the blood out", but that process does not even appear to be backed up by science. Does salt know the difference between blood and water?
You may indeed lose some blood to dissolution which the salt, depending on how much you add (do any of the salt water advocated ever have an exact solution? no) may absorb some of. In the end, at the best you end up with a soggy piece of venison which, if you freeze it that way, is more prone to freezer burn and does not store as long. At worse, you have a piece of venison that is soggy on the outside (and more prone to freezer damage) and deprived of its precious moisture on the inside because the salt absorbed the blood. Blood doesn't make meat taste "gamey" and, depending on how long you cook the meat, evaporates during the cooking process.

The same outcomes that people by soaking meat in solution prior to long term storage can easily be accomplished during the cooking process by simply adding salt, vinegar etc when cooking. Doing this before freezer storage actually degrades the quality of the meat.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3745430 - 08/26/14 06:03 PM Re: Common Meat Care Mistakes [Re: Poser]
Vermin93
12 Point


Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 5639
Loc: Dallas, TX & Signal Mtn, TN

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Medium rare or less
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#3745477 - 08/26/14 07:08 PM Re: Common Meat Care Mistakes [Re: Vermin93]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 1205
Loc: Hardeman

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- If it's cold enough to hang a field dressed deer for a bit, leave the hide on vs. skinned to reduce dehydration.
- Prop the chest cavity of a field dressed deer open with a stout stick to accelerate cooling of the carcass.

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#3745565 - 08/26/14 08:52 PM Re: Common Meat Care Mistakes [Re: Boll Weevil]
TNRifleman
8 Point


Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 1338
Loc: Collierville

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I would say thawing in the vacuum seal pack is a big mistake. If you do that it will sucks all of the juices out as it thaws. I always cut away the vacuum seal plastic and put in a regular Ziploc for thawing.
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#3745603 - 08/26/14 09:25 PM Re: Common Meat Care Mistakes [Re: TNRifleman]
TN Whitetail Freak
8 Point


Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 1853
Loc: Bradford, TN (Gibson Co.)

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Poser how is your process when butchering a deer ive had trouble with freezer burn
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#3745711 - 08/26/14 11:19 PM Re: Common Meat Care Mistakes [Re: Poser]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 16278
Loc: Franklin TN

confused Online
 Originally Posted By: Poser
 Originally Posted By: catman529
Dirt, hair, blood and guts... What's wrong with salt water? Wouldn't that just be a preference thing?


As far as I can tell, the whole salt water thing appears to be a big mis-understanding. Some people think that they are brining the meat (you have to dissolve the sale for that process to work). Others think that they are removing the gamey taste by allowing the salt to "draw the blood out", but that process does not even appear to be backed up by science. Does salt know the difference between blood and water?
You may indeed lose some blood to dissolution which the salt, depending on how much you add (do any of the salt water advocated ever have an exact solution? no) may absorb some of. In the end, at the best you end up with a soggy piece of venison which, if you freeze it that way, is more prone to freezer burn and does not store as long. At worse, you have a piece of venison that is soggy on the outside (and more prone to freezer damage) and deprived of its precious moisture on the inside because the salt absorbed the blood. Blood doesn't make meat taste "gamey" and, depending on how long you cook the meat, evaporates during the cooking process.

The same outcomes that people by soaking meat in solution prior to long term storage can easily be accomplished during the cooking process by simply adding salt, vinegar etc when cooking. Doing this before freezer storage actually degrades the quality of the meat.
why is the meat soggy? I thought it was just brining the meat to bring out the flavor better. No it doesn't "draw out the blood" or "remove the gamey taste" but I never saw salt as a bad thing when it comes to meat
_________________________
Haven't been this excited about deer season

...since last deer season

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#3745845 - 08/27/14 08:11 AM Re: Common Meat Care Mistakes [Re: catman529]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 12713
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
 Originally Posted By: catman529
 Originally Posted By: Poser
 Originally Posted By: catman529
Dirt, hair, blood and guts... What's wrong with salt water? Wouldn't that just be a preference thing?


As far as I can tell, the whole salt water thing appears to be a big mis-understanding. Some people think that they are brining the meat (you have to dissolve the sale for that process to work). Others think that they are removing the gamey taste by allowing the salt to "draw the blood out", but that process does not even appear to be backed up by science. Does salt know the difference between blood and water?
You may indeed lose some blood to dissolution which the salt, depending on how much you add (do any of the salt water advocated ever have an exact solution? no) may absorb some of. In the end, at the best you end up with a soggy piece of venison which, if you freeze it that way, is more prone to freezer burn and does not store as long. At worse, you have a piece of venison that is soggy on the outside (and more prone to freezer damage) and deprived of its precious moisture on the inside because the salt absorbed the blood. Blood doesn't make meat taste "gamey" and, depending on how long you cook the meat, evaporates during the cooking process.

The same outcomes that people by soaking meat in solution prior to long term storage can easily be accomplished during the cooking process by simply adding salt, vinegar etc when cooking. Doing this before freezer storage actually degrades the quality of the meat.
why is the meat soggy? I thought it was just brining the meat to bring out the flavor better. No it doesn't "draw out the blood" or "remove the gamey taste" but I never saw salt as a bad thing when it comes to meat


Just mixing salt and water is not a brine. In order to have a brining process take place, you must dissolve the salt in water and it must be done in a proportional manner in order to be effective.

When you remove venison from water, the meat is wet because, well, it has been submerged in water. If you freeze it in this state, you will additional get ice crystals which cause additional damage to the meat at the cellular level through expansion. For ideal long term storage, you want the meat to have experienced a bit of moisture loss on the surface, producing a "dry to the touch" surface.

Exhibit A: If you venison looks like this when you freeze it, it will not store as well nor last as long in the freezer. It will be more likely to have freezer burn and the meat will be more damaged by the freezing process:



Exhibit B: In contrast, if your venison looks more like this at the time of freezing, it will freeze with less damage and last longer in that state before freezer burn sets in.



The key to achieving exhibit B is air flow. Whether you hang your meat in a walk in cooler, in the garage, put it in a refrigerator with a tiny fan or place it over ice and set up a tiny fan to move some air around indirectly, (indirect) air flowing across the surface of the meat is the key.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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