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Old 01-23-2019, 08:06 AM   #1
Txprowler
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Default Processing your own meat

How long do you let your meat set on ice before processing it? We always let it set and drain the blood out for 3 or 4 days.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:07 AM   #2
Bowhuntinonly
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About a week
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:13 AM   #3
Stoof
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I do not like ice or water to touch the meat. If it needs to sit in the cooler, I dry the quarters off, bag them up in scent free trash bags and try my darndest to keep it dry until I have time to cut it up.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:19 AM   #4
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I do not like ice or water to touch the meat. If it needs to sit in the cooler, I dry the quarters off, bag them up in scent free trash bags and try my darndest to keep it dry until I have time to cut it up.
Same here, weíve gon up to 10 days. The longer you wait the more of wet aging you are doing which is not a bad thing. 100% about the water not touching the meat though, no need turn the outside grey and discolored. Plus, no processor soaks deer meat in ice water when you take a deer to them.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:23 AM   #5
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I do not like ice or water to touch the meat. If it needs to sit in the cooler, I dry the quarters off, bag them up in scent free trash bags and try my darndest to keep it dry until I have time to cut it up.
But in reality, you are still wet aging it... just wet aging it in its own fluid. I think in order to dry age it, you really have to hang it.

I don't like mine sitting in water... but water dripping over the outside and dripping down to the bottom of the cooler, and the cooler being drained works well for us. The meat doesn't looked "soaked" or "soggy"... which can happen if you let it sit in fluid like water for an extended period of time.

The key is to keep the meat towards the top of the ice...

If I happen to have a blood shot shoulder... that one goes on the bottom so that the blood has a chance to drain out.

That being said, if I could hang it... I sure as hell would... I like meat that is hung better... but we obviously don't all have walk in coolers.

To the OP... How long I keep it on ice depends on how busy I am and how old the critter was. If it was young and tender... I might just let it go a couple days if I have the time in the early part of the weak to deal with it. If not, it might wait until closer to the weekend.

I let the "draining" fluid tell me about the readiness as well. If I am getting a lot of blood in the draining fluid... I want more to be purged... once the fluid runs very light pink/clear... then the meat for the most part has drained a bunch of the blood, etc.

So anywhere between 2-10 days... average is about 5-6 days.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:24 AM   #6
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About a week, have gone longer though.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoof View Post
I do not like ice or water to touch the meat. If it needs to sit in the cooler, I dry the quarters off, bag them up in scent free trash bags and try my darndest to keep it dry until I have time to cut it up.
^^^This
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:35 AM   #8
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About a week, drain water every day and add ice as needed. I take the backstraps and tenderloins out at day 2 or 3. Nothing better than processing it yourself.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:39 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ladybluearm View Post
About a week, drain water every day and add ice as needed. I take the backstraps and tenderloins out at day 2 or 3. Nothing better than processing it yourself.
Good point about the Backstraps... I've seen some fellas throw these right in with the ice... no bag or anything. They have WAY too much surface without sinew to soak up water from the ice. For those, I will put them in ziplock bags and put in the ice chest and pull them, like you said, at 2-3 days, cut and package for the freezer.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:44 AM   #10
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I do both just depending on when Iíll have time to process it.

If I wonít be able to get to it right away I like to let it sit in ice and drain water off daily for up to 5 days, this way IMO gets a lot of the games taste out but itís kinda messy when deboning.

If I can dry age it I will do that for a few days then continue processing.


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Old 01-23-2019, 08:44 AM   #11
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Never, I process everything immediately. It's rare to take 2 hours from shot to deep freeze. If I'm going to age a cut of meat I do it in the (redneck) curing chamber later.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:48 AM   #12
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I am always up to trying something new... so for the guys that put their quarters in bags... do you do this immediately after you have quartered the animal? Or do you put them on ice to chill some, then dry them, then put in a bag and then on ice. I was confused by Stoof's statement hat he "dries them" and puts them in a bag. Not sure how they got wet in the first place - unless you spray them down on the rack?

Do you loosely put the quarters in a bag, or are you trying to get it air tight as well. Do you drain the liquid out of the bags from time to time?

One additional comment that makes me decide how long to keep quarters on ice... the whole "aging" processes is letting the meat break down. Aging happens faster the warmer the temps are. But even frozen in a the freezer, the meat ages. Backstrap that has been in my freezer for 2-3 years is always more tender than 6 months. So, how long I plan on keeping meat in the freezer determines how long I will let the aging happen up front, vs in the freezer, vs back in the fridge when it thaws. If I know I am going to process it later, I don't let it age on ice for very long. I debone and freeze within a couple days as it is going to age some in the freezer for the next 6months to a year before I get around to it.

If I know I am going to consume it within a year most likely after freezing... then I will let it age on ice (32-36 degrees) for longer.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:48 AM   #13
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I set it in the cooler with ice on top.. Crack drain plug with opposite end up higher to help drain in yard.. Never sets in a pool of liquid. Check ice twice a day. Love it when it is cold outside doing this because the ice stays. I go 4-5 days but have gone up to 9. Depends really on when I can get to it. We have three deer in a 110 quart cooler right now about to be cut up tonight.

Last edited by Smart; 01-23-2019 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:49 AM   #14
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I've got some in the ice chest going on 9 days. Got to half of it last night and hope to finish it up tonight.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:51 AM   #15
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Anywhere from 2 to 10 days. Keep it cold and it’ll be fine. It’s not rocket surgery.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:53 AM   #16
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If able between 7-14 days
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:56 AM   #17
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7-10 days. In a cooler with ice on top. Drain open and cooled at angle to keep water from collecting. Add ice as needed. keeping the cooler out of any direct sunlight helps the ice last longer.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:57 AM   #18
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I try and process the day of the kill.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:00 AM   #19
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Usually a week.

I process everything except the backstraps at home. My processor charged me $15 to slice, tenderize, and vacuum seal the backstraps from my last deer.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:06 AM   #20
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I've has some hang in the walk in cooler for a week then directly on the ice for 5 days.

I've never bagged any portion of the deer and it turns out great. You can go to all that trouble if you want. I'm willing to bet my bank account that once my backstrap is processed and vacuum sealed that you can not tell the difference from one that was bagged. Appearance or taste. The light coloration of the meat goes away shortly after you pull it from the cooler. You don't have to believe everything you see on the internet
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:07 AM   #21
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Usually 7-10 days. Have gone up to 16-17 with a doe a couple seasons ago. If it's cold enough outside I will just let them hang as long as possible. If not, on ice in cooler. I let it all age the same amount of time, however the tenderloins, liver, and heart usually get eaten withing the first 2 or 3 days of kill.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:10 AM   #22
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We will process it within the next day or two, but I thaw it out and age it for about a week prior to cooking. Seems to get the same results. No so called "wild" taste and tender.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:11 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smart View Post
I set it in the cooler with ice on top.. Crack drain plug with opposite end up higher to help drain in yard.. Never sets in a pool of liquid. Check ice twice a day. Love it when it is cold outside doing this because the ice stays. I go 4-5 days but have gone up to 9. Depends really on when I can get to it. We have three deer in a 110 quart cooler right now about to be cut up tonight.


Exactly what I do.


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Old 01-23-2019, 09:15 AM   #24
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7-10 days. Drain the water every day and put more ice in.
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:18 AM   #25
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5 to 7 days for me .
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:22 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoof View Post
I do not like ice or water to touch the meat. If it needs to sit in the cooler, I dry the quarters off, bag them up in scent free trash bags and try my darndest to keep it dry until I have time to cut it up.
This. I used to "soak". Now I keep dry and it's a much better meat IMO.
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:23 AM   #27
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I never soak them in water! Only dry age them anywhere from 5 to 14 days.

either in the walk in or in my fridge.
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:41 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampRabbit View Post
I am always up to trying something new... so for the guys that put their quarters in bags... do you do this immediately after you have quartered the animal? Or do you put them on ice to chill some, then dry them, then put in a bag and then on ice. I was confused by Stoof's statement hat he "dries them" and puts them in a bag. Not sure how they got wet in the first place - unless you spray them down on the rack?

Do you loosely put the quarters in a bag, or are you trying to get it air tight as well. Do you drain the liquid out of the bags from time to time?

One additional comment that makes me decide how long to keep quarters on ice... the whole "aging" processes is letting the meat break down. Aging happens faster the warmer the temps are. But even frozen in a the freezer, the meat ages. Backstrap that has been in my freezer for 2-3 years is always more tender than 6 months. So, how long I plan on keeping meat in the freezer determines how long I will let the aging happen up front, vs in the freezer, vs back in the fridge when it thaws. If I know I am going to process it later, I don't let it age on ice for very long. I debone and freeze within a couple days as it is going to age some in the freezer for the next 6months to a year before I get around to it.

If I know I am going to consume it within a year most likely after freezing... then I will let it age on ice (32-36 degrees) for longer.
I wipe the quarters down good and let them air dry for an hour or two. Depending on the outside temps and the number of fly's and bugs cruising of course. Then pack them up in bags and try to get the air out.

I would much rather hang them in a walk in but most of us don't have that luxury. I do wet age individual cuts in the fridge.
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:45 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by macguyverberry View Post
7-10 days. In a cooler with ice on top. Drain open and cooled at angle to keep water from collecting. Add ice as needed. keeping the cooler out of any direct sunlight helps the ice last longer.
This is exactly how we do it. 5-7 days is normal for us. I put a brick under one side of the cooler and leave the drain plug cracked on the other end. Meat bleeds out and never sits in water. Just keep adding ice as needed.
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:54 AM   #30
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if you cant hang in a cold, dry and dark place, this is what I do...
1. leave the drain open on you ice cooler
2. put the skinned, quartered and cleaned deer in the ice cooler
3. cover with ice
4. add more ice everyday or other day (depending on the outside temperature)
5. Let the ice melt through the meat and drain from the bottom for a week rotate or move the meat so that all parts are exposed to the moving water.
6. take the meat out, wash/rinse, cut up and refrigerate/freeze the way you want.
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:13 PM   #31
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I have always let quarters sit 7-10 days in ice bath, no bags. It will discolor meat exterior because it draws blood out, which you'll notice when draining. Ice bath does NOT make it "soggy" or water-logged or anything else claimed by the dry people. It's delicious. I have converted many non-venison people at my table.

I never heard of avoiding meat contact with water until a year ago or so on that Meat Hunter TV show. Since then, it's now taboo. Sounds Band-wagon to me.

If you wanna go dry then go dry, each to his own. I've had other hunters "dry" meat that was delicious also. But I assure you there is no problem with ice bath. That's about 10 doe per year for the last 15 years talking.
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:16 PM   #32
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Generally next day. However, we have left a deer hang for days, but we hunt in sub 30's.

Once we skin the deer, we will process it down to quarters for travel, freeze the quarters, then once we get home, cut it up into roasts and whatnot. I still have a quarter in my freezer I am going to try to cut up this weekend.
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:22 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Top Of Texas View Post
I have always let quarters sit 7-10 days in ice bath, no bags. It will discolor meat exterior because it draws blood out, which you'll notice when draining. Ice bath does NOT make it "soggy" or water-logged or anything else claimed by the dry people. It's delicious. I have converted many non-venison people at my table.

I never heard of avoiding meat contact with water until a year ago or so on that Meat Hunter TV show. Since then, it's now taboo. Sounds Band-wagon to me.

If you wanna go dry then go dry, each to his own. I've had other hunters "dry" meat that was delicious also. But I assure you there is no problem with ice bath. That's about 10 doe per year for the last 15 years talking.
I don't think it's taboo or a problem. It is a preference. At the end of the day it usually comes down to how well an individual can cook but that's a whole other can of worms.
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:25 PM   #34
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pack with ice for at least 5 days usually 7 draining everyday and adding more ice when necessary
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:29 PM   #35
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Soaking has no benefit, the potential drawback, other than just butt nasty looking meat is if you have gut contamination then you are soaking your meat in gut fluids. Yum.

Fresh water does not, and cannot, draw blood or anything else out of meat. Osmotic pressure pushes water into the cell membranes on the outer layer of meat, pops them and the heme and cell fluids turns the water red which makes folks think blood has drained out of the meat. If you cut that 16th of an inch or so grey layer off then put the meat back in the water it will do the same thing and you will have more "blood drained out of the meat" and more red water so yeah. Don't soak meat in ice water, it either does nothing or potentially spreads nastiness.

With that said, I've left meat on ice with the drain plug open for a week and a half with no problem. Yanke... I mean people in cold climates hang deer for a few weeks dry aging so a you have a lot more time than you think.
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:36 PM   #36
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I have no specified amount of time I plan on leaving on ice. I usually put off butchering for 2 to 3 weeks. I drain the melted ice and repack as often as necessary.
I've never had a problem or bad taste, and I cut up much more of the deer into steaks than most folks.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:08 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoof View Post
I wipe the quarters down good and let them air dry for an hour or two. Depending on the outside temps and the number of fly's and bugs cruising of course. Then pack them up in bags and try to get the air out.

I would much rather hang them in a walk in but most of us don't have that luxury. I do wet age individual cuts in the fridge.
I am going to have to try this once to see how it goes.

I forgot to mention that lately, at least the last couple of hogs/deer I have tried something different with the ice.

I used to put a layer of ice on the bottom and then layer meat/ice on top of that. The idea is that I wanted the meat to cool down quickly. But after a day or so, all the meat ends up at the bottom and if you want to keep the meat up high, you have to keep re-arranging. Usually I tilt the cooler and drain often so the meat doesn't soak.. but can be a pain.

Now what I do is I still break open a bag of ice to put on the bottom and drain... but the ice on top stays in the bags and I just keep it like that. The bags hold the water and the meat still stays relatively dry. This also lets me not have to drain as much since the ice cold water still stays in a bag.

I had been thinking about trying something different where I put the ice in sealable bags that stay on top of the meat and just replace them when the ice has nearly all melted. The honest truth is when you drain out that ice cold water... you are draining something that is keeping the cooler cold... While Ice on my way home from the lease is cheap... the ice at the corner store is not.

I just need to find a good set of re-usable bags that can hold the ice/water/slurry.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:29 PM   #38
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7 days in a cooler for me. Don’t let meat get wet.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:34 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smart View Post
I set it in the cooler with ice on top.. Crack drain plug with opposite end up higher to help drain in yard.. Never sets in a pool of liquid. Check ice twice a day. Love it when it is cold outside doing this because the ice stays. I go 4-5 days but have gone up to 9. Depends really on when I can get to it. We have three deer in a 110 quart cooler right now about to be cut up tonight.
Same here. Ainít nothin wrong with ice touching meat. Never had a bad result.
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:10 PM   #40
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As soon as I have time to do it. Anywhere from 1 day to 7 days. Quarters go on ice immediately back strap and tenderloins and hearts go on top of the stack, or in plastic bags. Meat is layered in cooler ice on the bottom, meat, then more ice.drain plug always open with cooler angled so all water drains at,all times. Replace ice or repack layers as needed.
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:24 PM   #41
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Wow thanks for all the input, My son shot a doe Sunday and I haven't had time to process yet. I have it in a ice chest with drain open and elevated on opposite end. It's been a very busy week so I'll get it processed this weekend.
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:33 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NaClH2O_therapy View Post
As soon as I have time to do it. Anywhere from 1 day to 7 days. Quarters go on ice immediately back strap and tenderloins and hearts go on top of the stack, or in plastic bags. Meat is layered in cooler ice on the bottom, meat, then more ice.drain plug always open with cooler angled so all water drains at,all times. Replace ice or repack layers as needed.
Nailed it! Next best thing to dry aging!!!
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Old 01-23-2019, 03:08 PM   #43
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Wow thanks for all the input, My son shot a doe Sunday and I haven't had time to process yet. I have it in a ice chest with drain open and elevated on opposite end. It's been a very busy week so I'll get it processed this weekend.
You're good...as long as you're keeping it iced down and draining the water off, I wouldn't get in too much of a hurry until you're approaching 10 days
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Old 01-23-2019, 03:31 PM   #44
LeanMachine
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7-10 days in ice water for me.
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Old 01-23-2019, 03:35 PM   #45
WamBow
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If going to grind I don't worry about wet or dry, but always take special care of the BS and tenders to not get wet.
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Old 01-23-2019, 03:36 PM   #46
texan4ut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smart View Post
I set it in the cooler with ice on top.. Crack drain plug with opposite end up higher to help drain in yard.. Never sets in a pool of liquid. Check ice twice a day. Love it when it is cold outside doing this because the ice stays. I go 4-5 days but have gone up to 9. Depends really on when I can get to it. We have three deer in a 110 quart cooler right now about to be cut up tonight.
This what I do. I shot a large doe 1/9 and just finished cutting up and packaging 1/19 meat was in great shape and going to be some good eats.
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:48 AM   #47
Top Of Texas
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7 days in a cooler for me. Donít let meat get wet.
Meat touching ice or getting wet is NOT a problem. I've done over 100 deer, all soaked in ice chest for 7-10 days. Delicious. Family and friends all love it.
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:49 AM   #48
Top Of Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WamBow View Post
If going to grind I don't worry about wet or dry, but always take special care of the BS and tenders to not get wet.
Meat touching ice or getting wet is NOT a problem. I've done over 100 deer, all soaked in ice chest for 7-10 days. Delicious. Family and friends all love it.
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:58 AM   #49
Dusty Britches
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The problem for me to dry age is keeping the temps of the meat below 40 degrees, actually I prefer between 32 and 34 degrees to dramatically slow the growth of bacteria.

Therefore, I throw ice in a cooler, put my meat on top and top off with more ice. I prop the non drain side up about 4-6" and open the drain to drain the water/ liquid. I keep adding ice as needed to keep the temperature of the meat cold for about 5-10 days.

If I had a way to keep it between 32-34 degrees without ice and in fabric meat bags, I would go that route.
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Old 01-25-2019, 08:00 AM   #50
Rick
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I don’t want the meat soaking in water. It does not get waterlogged with ice touching it as long as it is not soaking. I made a wooden rack that sits in the bottom of my cooler to keep the meat off the bottom. Leave the drain open and add ice as needed. I have done it from 2 days to 2 weeks, it depends on what I have going on

I do not think putting it in a bag is a good idea. The point is to “age” the meat. Hanging it in a cooler is the best way, keeping on ice is second best. But if u put it in a bag you are cutting off all the air, and therefore not aging it at all. At least that is my theory...
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