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Old 10-10-2018, 09:56 PM   #51
jnd1959
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Wait. I'm confused. Y'all don't rip it open and eat it where it lays? Evidently my brother and I were taught wrong.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:09 PM   #52
mjhaverkamp
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Dry and cool is the best way, if you cannot do that then in a cooler with ice with the drain plug open, if you are making sausage I am not sure if it even matters.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:22 PM   #53
32drawlength
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blatallic View Post
I've let the meat sit in an ice chest for 3-5 days. Drain and add ice as needed. The more blood I drain, the lesser game taste it will have.


This works great

My deer meat taste better than elk meat bc of his process

The meat question at hand is like asking how should I kill a deer?....thereís plenty of methods to do both
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:00 PM   #54
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Team Keep-It-Dry here! Once the hide comes off, I break it apart into primary cuts (quarters, straps, ribs, neck) and plastic-bag everything. I use two-gallon ziplocks or even trash bags in a pinch, then it goes in the garage fridge if I’m at the ranch, cooler with ice packed around if I’m out somewhere else. Get it cooled down, but it’s gotta stay dry!
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:03 PM   #55
critter69
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when people dislike deer meat it is because the blood has been left in it,,, when cattle are killed and processed they are usually shot in the head, throats cut and blood drained,, that does not happen with wild game,,, ice water draws the blood out, so keep it changed every couple days for 4-7 days,,, it also has parasites and crap beef do not,, so above 40 is really not all that safe..bacteria and all things nasty grow faster in warmer temps than they could ever do in near freezing water,,, why is aged beef tender? because it has started to rot!!!! simple fact, the bacteria is growing and breaking down the meat,,,,

but what do I know I am just an old guy raised by a hog and dairy farmer who killed and processed animals almost daily for half his life,,,
Did you raise venison, there is not the fat content in venison there is in beef. Totaly differant animal.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:06 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by mjhaverkamp View Post
Dry and cool is the best way, if you cannot do that then in a cooler with ice with the drain plug open, if you are making sausage I am not sure if it even matters.
Even with sausage, it's only as good as the worst piece of meat you put in it. And yes meat, not water logged tofu.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:08 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by jnd1959 View Post
Wait. I'm confused. Y'all don't rip it open and eat it where it lays? Evidently my brother and I were taught wrong.
And yes we have eaten a lot of our game as we brake it down in the field, over fire though of course, can't get my self to try it raw, others in camp have.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:10 PM   #58
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I cannot stand water damaged meat. I hate the color and texture of meat that's been soaking in water for days.

Ours hangs in a cooler for 7 days before it gets processed and vaccum sealed.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:16 PM   #59
critter69
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Originally Posted by xman59 View Post
when people dislike deer meat it is because the blood has been left in it,,, when cattle are killed and processed they are usually shot in the head, throats cut and blood drained,, that does not happen with wild game,,, ice water draws the blood out, so keep it changed every couple days for 4-7 days,,, it also has parasites and crap beef do not,, so above 40 is really not all that safe..bacteria and all things nasty grow faster in warmer temps than they could ever do in near freezing water,,, why is aged beef tender? because it has started to rot!!!! simple fact, the bacteria is growing and breaking down the meat,,,,

but what do I know I am just an old guy raised by a hog and dairy farmer who killed and processed animals almost daily for half his life,,,
A lot of why they bleed beef, is to make it more presentable to the public. The biggest buyer of groceries are women and it needs to be presentable, and blood turns people off. We processed our own animals, and sold meat to many people, and when I was young supplied a butcher shop with fresh and smoked meats. And when you buy ( used to buy) fresh meat, there was blood in the package. Now days they put those cotex pads on the bottom of the package to soak up the blood, so it looks better, that's the only reason.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:18 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Sika View Post
I cannot stand water damaged meat. I hate the color and texture of meat that's been soaking in water for days.

Ours hangs in a cooler for 7 days before it gets processed and vaccum sealed.
Exactly, I don't understand the water part of it, it must be bland meat they like. It gives me the willies just thinking about it.
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:20 AM   #61
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I soak mine. Wait wait for it. In cider
Just to be clear, you soak it in cider or inside her?
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:48 AM   #62
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Keep the meat out of the water! Cool and dry is best
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:58 AM   #63
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I guess my question is how does everyone seem to have such easy access to a walk-in cooler??? Or are the walk-in folks mostly using a processor?

Iíve done the ice in the cooler with the drain open thing just because I donít have an option at the house and Iím not giving my deer to a processor.
Seriously you don't need a walk in cooler, unless you have more meat then you have freezer space for. Get a reg. cooler same one as you would use to soak in ice. But instead use milk jugs filled with water then freeze them. Lay a few of these in there with the meat and change out as they thaw. Then get meat frozen asap, and you have the same cooler ready for the next animal. You can thaw the meat to process further it at a later date, and then refreeze it. I Unless I was killing a lot of ( big) animals every day, I will not own a walk in cooler again.
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:39 AM   #64
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Lets settle this, we can swap some backstrap from my cooler for some backstrap kept dry and see if there is a noticeable difference. It's that simple. I'm willing to bet no one could tell the difference but hey, I've been wrong before.
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:59 AM   #65
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Gameíy taste comes from improper gutting/skinning/deboning/butchering. Soaking meat is no bueno.


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Old 10-11-2018, 10:01 AM   #66
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Dry at 39 deg . Never soak red meat in water, ever.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:12 AM   #67
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Agree with Bish, we have done the same for many years and never had an issue. The meat is always great, but to each his own, everybody has their opinion and preference.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:13 AM   #68
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Find and old french door refrigerator and take the shelves out and hang your deer in it to age it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalMan2004 View Post
I guess my question is how does everyone seem to have such easy access to a walk-in cooler??? Or are the walk-in folks mostly using a processor?

Iíve done the ice in the cooler with the drain open thing just because I donít have an option at the house and Iím not giving my deer to a processor.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:20 AM   #69
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If I can I bag mine up in cheesecloth and hang in a cooler for two weeks!!! The biggest key to good venison is getting the animal cleaned and cooled off as quickly as possible. I cringed and will never take deer to a processor just because all the deer I see riding back in the bed of a truck or even worse the rack that inserts in your trailer hitch every weekend during deer season. Seeing this makes you understand why many people say venison taste nasty and I would agree when eating one that wasn't treated correctly.

Last edited by Hardware; 10-11-2018 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:21 AM   #70
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Definitely dry and cool. Soaking in water (macerating as it's called) has a negative effect on flavor and makes butchering more difficult in the sense that fat and sinew removal is harder and the muscle groups won't "peel" off and apart nicely like they do when butchering dry aged meat.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:25 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blatallic View Post
I've let the meat sit in an ice chest for 3-5 days. Drain and add ice as needed. The more blood I drain, the lesser game taste it will have.


This for me too!


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Old 10-11-2018, 10:27 AM   #72
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Iíve been icing the meat down for several years and the quality of meat is great. I donít let it soak in the water, I keep it well drained.

I process all of my own meat and it is definitely never grey. The meat stays in great condition and eats very well.

To each their own. Find what works for you. If I had a walk in cooler Iíd let it hang for a week.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:32 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by BigThicketBoy View Post
Find and old french door refrigerator and take the shelves out and hang your deer in it to age it.

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This is kind of what I'm wanting to try, only I want one with wire racks that I can lay the meat on. Put a catch pan in the bottom. Once I've processed it, just bleach and hose out. Not sure how it will work, but it sounds good in my head.
Before I knew better, the guys on my first lease taught me to put it in a cooler with ice, water, and vinegar. The outside of the meat was always gray and kinda slimy. Several years ago I started doing like many above have said, and only use ice in a cooler and keep the plug open.

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Old 10-11-2018, 10:33 AM   #74
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Interesting thread..
Dry is always best but that's not possible in most cases.. Not many ranches/leases have walk ins. Storing in Ice Chests on ice has been done for more years than some on here have been alive with good results. I'm not a fan of soaking deer meat in ice water. Keep the plug pulled and get it processed ASAP. Deer meat should be red not pinky/white.
If your soaking your deer in water you run a risk of sliming your DEER meat.. Once it gets that slime on it you've waited to long. That's bacteria.. Do do that.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:36 AM   #75
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Whatever works for you
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:42 AM   #76
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I just let my deer stay on the hitch cargo hauler of the van for the duration of the drive home in 75-80* temps, till I get to the house and unload everything. Then I take it to mama n em's to show it off. If it a really big buck, like a 4-5 point, I'll strap it to the hood of the truck and cruise down the main drag of town. But if its just a doe, I just leave it on the hitch rack. I figure that being behind the exhaust helps to smoke it like I hear talk of round here

jk I'd much rather have it hanging in a walk in cooler, but if that isn't an option, its into thew ice chest with a rack under the meat to let ice drain, and packed down with ice, and tilted with the drain cracked open to let the water drain out. But I'm keeping my eyes out for a fridge that I can get cheap, to at least hang the quarters for a few days to let them age (even tho someone said its useless and a waste of time )
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:50 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backwoods101 View Post
Lets settle this, we can swap some backstrap from my cooler for some backstrap kept dry and see if there is a noticeable difference. It's that simple. I'm willing to bet no one could tell the difference but hey, I've been wrong before.
No, you're not wrong.

Last edited by Traildust; 10-11-2018 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:53 AM   #78
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So when you shoot a hog or a deer and you say to yourself "I want to hang this meat and dry age it"... and you look around and you don't hunt on a ranch with a walk in freezer... and you just keep looking around.... But drying aging is best!!!! (I won't disagree) What do you do???

You do what everybody else who doesn't have those facilities does... you put it on ice in a cooler and keep it drained!

But let's not just leave it there, because there are a ton of ways to approach this very common and successful method of cooler + ice + meat.

1) When you put your meat in a bag and then put it on ice... you are not dry aging it. You are using a method that butchers in the modern area have been using for quite some time now... you are wet aging it in it's own fluid. The tissues are still breaking down and they are doing it in its own fluid because you are not allow it to drain. In a real dry aging situation, all that fluid evaporates or drips to the floor.

2) #1 out of the way, I bag up straps and tenderloins and any other trimmings and put them in a ziplock bag in the cooler and let them wet age for a few days in their own fluid. This is not "water" logged... it is actual wet aging. The meat is bright, red, etc. These cuts usually then trimmed again and vacuum sealed or put in a ziplock bags if going to be consumed quickly.

3) Whole quarters have a crap ton of silver skin/fat on them that protect the meat underneath. You don't have to bag these up.... unless of course you are really bad at skinning out your critter and you have a bunch of knife slices through the meat where water can get in. For shoulders and rear quarters... I prefer to let them sit on/under ice for up to 7 days or so and let them drain until the water coming out is no longer bloody.

4) Prioritize your meat. If you can't put a spacer on the bottom of your cooler... put in the shoulders on the bottom. These are typically the ones with pooled blood and wounds, etc that will benefit from being rinsed by the melting ice...layer ice on bottom first, put on shoulders, another layer of ice and then quarters on last with ice on top of them.

5) Keep the cooler tilted so the water accumulates near the plug end near the worst shot shoulder. You could keep the drain plug open... or just drain it often.


If you follow these steps, your best meat, the hind quarters should be nice and red on inside without any water logging of meat. They will have had water drip around the outside of the silver skin and will just collect the fluid that drains from them and carry it out through the drain. One of your shoulders on the bottom might have a tad bit of water logging up where it attaches to the rib cage if you didn't drain properly, but I usually trim that up. (another tip is to face that exposed side UP in the cooler.)

That's it. There are ton of ways to age meat... and while I'd love nothing more than have a place to hang and dry age my kills... I just have a garage, a cooler, and a convenience store that sells ice.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:15 AM   #79
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No matter what anyone says, red meat should never be wet. A brine for fowl is OK, but beef and venison should always be dry aged. I've even had a lot of success in dry aging ducks. You'll get plenty of guys on here who disagree, but that's OK....the world needs wrong people too.
This right here. What types of ducks have you tried dry aging? Puddle ducks only or some divers too?
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:19 AM   #80
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Question for those that dry age: When it is done hanging, do you wrap in cheese cloth or trim off the outside layer? When they dry age beef, they typically wrap the meat in cheese cloth that gets discarded every so often and trim off the discolored "rind" pieces on the outside that have formed. I have been intrigued to try this with a backstap, but don't like the idea of cutting away the outer layer...
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:27 AM   #81
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So let me get this straight... placing meat in a cooler with ice that is allowed to drain when melted is considered 'soaking'? Seems more like prolonged 'rinsing' to me.

I've done both, and have to say the ice-chest meat has ALWAYS tasted the best.

Tenderloins and heart (on lung shots) never make it to the cooler- straight to the frying pan! The ribs get doused in season-all or fajita seasoning and placed in the pit from that night's bbq to cook overnight (amazing jerky breakfast next morning). Everything else- into the ice chest for a few days.
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:35 PM   #82
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This right here. What types of ducks have you tried dry aging? Puddle ducks only or some divers too?
Puddle ducks. I donate divers to a few of the guys that work for me.
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Old 10-11-2018, 02:00 PM   #83
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I like to wet age in trash bags. Trash bags keep the meat from direct contact with ice in the ice chest. Drying invariably leads to some waste as outer of muscle tissue turns into jerky.

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Old 10-11-2018, 02:26 PM   #84
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Spacers in a cooler is the poor mans walk in and your best bet for flavor. Keep the meat out of the water. My dad always told me to leave it in ice and let water run out. Decided to try something new a few years back and havenít gone back since


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Old 10-11-2018, 02:31 PM   #85
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Puddle ducks. I donate divers to a few of the guys that work for me.
Did they make duck fajitas out of them
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Old 10-11-2018, 02:43 PM   #86
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cooler with ice seams to help drain all the blood
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Old 10-11-2018, 05:32 PM   #87
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Bed of ice with drain open. Meet on top. If available use some burlap between ice and meet. Keep enough ice to maintain max temp of 40. Add ice as needed. Age for 4-6 days.

Do not soak in water! Dry is best if available to hang dry, most do not have this option. Putting in plastic bags is no good as the meet will sit in the drained blood, which defeats the whole reason it is aging.
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:56 PM   #88
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Do most of you that place your game meat on ice, process your own animals or take it to a processor ?
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:59 PM   #89
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Mines taken to the processor so i know big grinds it doesnt matter what i do i could get someone elses badly treated meat. But its an OCD thing knowing at least i tried to bring mine in nice.

Does CCR do joint grinds or is it deer in deer out?



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Do most of you that place your game meat on ice, process your own animals or take it to a processor ?
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:15 PM   #90
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Cool and dry. If temps are warm, we bone and lay on freezer paper in the fridge for a day or two.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:29 PM   #91
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CCR processing is a mass mess. Quit going there years ago.

Gary
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:22 PM   #92
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Anyone ever tried to use dry ice? Seems to be an easy solution to the dry cold required to age the deer without being soaked.


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Old 10-11-2018, 11:49 PM   #93
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I do not have a walk in cooler. I have personally over the years discovered that the meat taste better when left in the cooler for 5 to 7 days with ice. I usually leave the drain closed and periodically open to let out the bloody water. People that have tried deer meat for the first time or first time in a long time have all mentioned how the meat taste good and is not gamey. I read through the thread and there is a lot of strong opinions against the cooler ice method, but I as many others on here have testified it works. I would not want it sitting in luke warm bloody water. Basically you add ice, it soaks the blood out of meat which takes the gameyness out(at least for me it has over the last 10 years) I drain periodically and continue to add ice.
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:00 AM   #94
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My friend Bob swears by the cooler with ice method. He layers the meat with ice and adds a cup of salt. Keeps the plug closed and drains everyday. Keeps adding ice until the water that drains is clear. He will then freeze and then at the end of the season will take all his meat to Hudsonís on South Congress in Austin. Bob says the owner always compliments him on the quality of the meat.

I tried this method last year but my cooler wasnít letting the ice melt very fast so I wasnít getting much water to drain the blood away. I did it for about a week and then took the meat to get processed. It came out fine.


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Old 10-12-2018, 05:04 AM   #95
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Hunt In: Fredericksburg TX
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Originally Posted by curtintex View Post
No matter what anyone says, red meat should never be wet. A brine for fowl is OK, but beef and venison should always be dry aged. I've even had a lot of success in dry aging ducks. You'll get plenty of guys on here who disagree, but that's OK....the world needs wrong people too.
This x100000000000

I only do it when I am putting off handling it for a few days. I always take the blackstrap out and put them in the fridge if I do have to ice it for a few days

Last edited by Wiley64; 10-12-2018 at 05:06 AM.
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