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When I am in VA I leave let my deer hang in an apple orchard cold storage facility for up to 10 days before skinning and butchering. Never had any problems.

I have a couple deer hanging right now out side on a deer hang at our hunt camp. With the temps at 30 to 40 degrees, how long do you think the deer can hang and still be fine?

Karl
 

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You're good for 5-7 days with no problem providing the daytime temps don't rise. Try and maintain a more steady temperature like in a shed or something.

The biggest issue will be not letting it freeze, thaw and refreeze when it's cold and warms up during the day.
 

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Karl,
I took an eight-hour butchering class back in September. It was taught by a certified butcher that works for one of the major supermarket groups. First thing out of his mouth was concerning hanging meat to tenderize cure whatever. He highly recommended it if you like to eat rotten meat.
Quote:[ Hanging meat over a period of time to tenderize or cure it is totally a waste of time and does nothing more than allow the meat to rot. It will not help the meat in anyway. ] He went on to say that the meat does taste different after hanging for days because rotten meat does taste different from fresh. His advice was to not hang but process immediately. Meat is made tough by cooking. Cook your deer medium rare. Leave it pink on the inside and you will be amazed how much better it will taste and how tender it will be. I did try it and he was right on the money.
Bubba[angel][angel][angel]
 

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What he said is true to a degree, once an animal is dead, the meat begins to decay or rot. PERIOD. This is why the quickest cooling method that can be used should be.

The object is to control the amount and rate of rot or decay. Your best restaurants and meat suppliers will ALWAYS, ALWAYS age their meat 10-14 days. This has always been an accepted practice and will always be.

Do you honestly think that the meat that butcher is cutting in his superstore was living 10 minutes before he put it on the shelf?? BULL!!!!!!!!! His meat is aged whether he wants to admit it or not.
It may only be one or two days or maybe 5-6 but it is. He can't tell you to age it because of liability issues. How long does he let his meat sit in the cooler section of the store wrapped and waiting for us to walk by, look in the case and then buy it ??????????????????2 days, 3, 4, 5. The "use by" date is always a few days from when it was wrapped, which is a few days from when the steer was butchered. Please, how can he say not to age meat.

The difference is in how controlled the environment is.

There are two schools of thought on the subject and that is whether to age before or after freezing. One thought is to butcher the deer immediately and freeze it and if "aging" is desired, then do it in the refrigerator over a period of a few days while themeat slowly thaws out. The other of course is to let it hang for a few days before butchering.

Aging meat boils down to 2 things. Constant temperature and humidity. The more humid and the warmer the greater the chance for bacteria to grow. The colder and drier, the opposite. If I remember right and don't quote me on this, the ideals are around 36-38 degrees and 50-60% humidity.

The one thing I will agree with is to always leave the the meat a little pink on the inside. Since venison has very little fat, leaving it a little pink helps to maintain a certain moisture level.

There was this very same discussion on this board a few weeks ago and the exact same topics came up.
 

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I do commercial refrigeration and all meat prep rooms I have ever serviced wanted temps to remain between 34-38 degrees 40 is to warm.
The ideal humidity is 40%, but personally I think you waste time by letting it hang for more than a day, I will refrigerate it as quickly as possible, and buther it the next day if possible.
 

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One of my hunting buddies has been hanging deer for 50yrs. He has it down to a science and even watches the weather and figures out when we should shoot meat so we can hang it. You need to have low humidity and cold temps. The trick is to get the hide off as asap, as well as cleaning of and blood fat etc. People are shocked when the see how clean our deer are. The blood spots are what will sour the meat. Hang the deer the first night high in the tree to let a very thick dry film form. This film is what seals the meat. Then we take it in the shed and hang another 5-7days. I can promise that hanging makes the meat better. Not only the hanging but the preperation, cleaning etc. You are right in saying it starts to breakdown, the enzymes do the tenderizing. Last night I had a piece of loin i cut off a doe that had been hanging all week. It just melts in your mouth and has a great flavor. We just litely sprinkle pepper or garlic salt so the taste of the meat is still there. Better then any steak I have eaten by far. Good luck and watch the humidity when hanging.
Daniel
 

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Gentlemen, I am a meat cutter and my dad was a butcher for over 40 years. The difference between he and myself is a butcher goes out skins the animal and then cuts the meat right off the carcass. I asked him about hanging beef. The idea of hanging beef is to allow the natural enzymes and bacteria to begin breaking down the fat and tissue thus allowing a tender piece of meat and more flavor from the fat. Sorry but the supermarket meat cutter is incorrect. Also a many a person has paid premium price for hanging beef. Bottom line is it's a matter of taste and opinion. Also I can remember as a young boy going to the store to see him. My brother and I would put on heavy jakcet and play hide and seek inside the cooler surrounded by sides of beef. It all tasted good to me. If you do hang your beef please remember to get ALL THE BONE away from the tissue before you prepare it. The bone will hide some bacteria that will make you quite sick. Hope this helps you out.
 

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I have always prefered the taste of a 4-5 day hang, but if you're doing it on your own and w/o a walkin in box, you sometimes have to cut it up sooner. I have tried several methods through out the years. I used to sometimes quarter it up and stick in the fridge in the garrage, openning the door two times a day to allow fresh air inside. I've also just cut it up as soon as the temp. was too warm to hang and then let the meat age in the fridge a week prior to cooking it. I think that this gets the same job as hanging, but all comments are welcome. Another thing that I tried twice was to quarter it and placed it into a large cooler with ice and added water to make the temp. more uniform. I was concerned that it would saturate the meat, which I believe it did. The burgers had to be squeezed from extra blood, so I'm blaming the water. If I did it that way again, I would pass on the water and leave the drain plug open. As far as "rotting" is concerned, it's as natural as a fruit that gets ripe. Eventually that fruit will break down to a level that you don't want to eat it, but it sure taste a hell of alot better when it's "ripe."

Mike
 

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Hey Mike, if you do the cooler and ice thing again you may want to place your meat in a bag, you don't want it to get wet in any way. Hang it high guys, let that meat tenderize itself and stay away from the work place of the dude that says this is not so.....
Ever go into a realy meat market? Ever wonder why the best steaks in there are the ones with the off coloration, kind of graying..... well thre ya have it...... That steak will be a good one.....
 

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Thanks Keech! That makes a lot of sense. I think if I were to ever do it again like that, it would be for the purpose of transporting from camp or something. I would imagine that for extended periods of time in a bag, that fresh air can't get into the bags, which probably helps in the aging process. I guess you could open the bag(s) every now and then too.

Mike
 

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I've always heard that aging up to two weeks under 40 degrees is not a problem. I've also heard that 24 hours at 70 (personally, I wouldn't do it) accomplishes the same objective as 14 days at 40 or less. Its an issue of the speed of the enzyme activity. In fact, however, I'm too lazy to let one hang around. I've been cutting them up and floating 'em in ice water for a week or two for as long as I can remember. It always turns out good and I've never had a problem.

JK
 

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Jimmy, the article that I eluded to in my original response did mention "speed aging" at temps above 60 or so degrees. I would say a couple of hours or however long you would feel comfortable eating it after say a long tracking adventure.

Consider this late September early October scenario. Shot in the evening didn't find until the next early morning: 60 degrees overnight low, rising to mid 70's by mid morning. Only laid in the woods 12-16 hours since being shot.

Would ya' eat it?????? If yes then warm temp aging is ok, if no then you better buthcer pretty quick.
 

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I totally agree with you Chris. I like to chill 'em as soon as possible. I've been hunting the Ches. early season for the last three years (but no more as the Cavalier is now just a memory) and the morning shot deer sit around on the table for longer than I like, but it still really isn't too long in the scheme of things. I just get mine on ice as soon as possible after the draw. Also, not to create any disagreement of course, but soaking your meat in water certainly does not "waterlogg it" as someone else has mentioned. Actually, back in the day, it was the norm for a lot of the old dog clubs. Just my .02. I'll think about you guys as I head to Surry Thursday morning[wink].

JK
 

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In response to water logging the meat, the steaks and roast tasted just fine. The burger however, was too moist and I had to squeaze out the water/blood. They still tasted great. If you're saying that the water doesn't get into the meat, then how does marinating differ?

Mike
 

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Anything,

One thing I have noticed about the ground is that it seems to hold an extreme amount of water in and of itself. I butcher all of my own deer temps/time permitting and I seem to notice alot of excess moisture in the ground when I thaw it, even on slow in the refrig. None of it ever sits in water, ever. Maybe it's just characteristic of the ground meat.
 

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[Q]done workin originally wrote:
Anything,

One thing I have noticed about the ground is that it seems to hold an extreme amount of water in and of itself. I butcher all of my own deer temps/time permitting and I seem to notice alot of excess moisture in the ground when I thaw it, even on slow in the refrig. None of it ever sits in water, ever. Maybe it's just characteristic of the ground meat.
[/Q]

I've noticed in the past that sometimes it does seem to have more moisture than other times, but had even more the time it sat in water. I've wondered if those times the deer hung in a shorter time which may have left more blood in the meat or maybe it got too cold which would do the same thing. Either way, I enjoy cutting them up on my own when temp and time permits as you stated.

Mike
 

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Now that you mention it Mike, the deer burgers that I have had in the past do seem to be more watery than their beef counterparts. Especially after being frozen. My guess would be because of the leaness of the meat. Its just a guess. Happy huntin'.

Jimmy
 
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