Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors!!!' started by svk, Nov 19, 2018.
If the weather is cold IE below 35 degrees, how long do you hang your deer?
Only as long as I have to. Son shot one on the fifteenth and wish I would have quartered it up. Was 11°f Saturday night so it's pretty frozen I'm sure. We had to leave for the weekend. I did take its clothes off right away while it was still warm. That's a good thing.
Used to hang for 2-4 days but now with time constraints and the fact that the last several years have been warmer than I'd like for hanging deer we skin and process the same day or the next. I've started aging on the back side, pull cuts out of the freezer and let them sit in the fridge for 6-8 days. 1-3 days of thawing, 3-5 days of "aging". I have definitely noticed a difference since I started doing this. I've read some guys let it sit in the fridge for as long as 2 weeks before cooking, I'm nervous about letting it sit that long.
I have heard if you vacuum seal it and put in a drawer and cover with a towel you can age it for a month. Never done it myself.
I've heard something similar that its a "new thing" to dry age meat for months in some cases over a year and when your ready cook you cut off the outer layer and grill it up. Search "extreme aged steak"
Yeah, don't think I'm talking the Mrs. into either.
Years ago I shot a nice buck one evening and gutted it immediately as always. I got it home and hung it by it's horns. I intended to butcher it the next day but I waited, the temps were in the 40s daytime and 30s @ night. I loosely wrapped it w a tarp to keep the sun off it and let it hang for 5 days. Butchered the deer on the 6th, ate some backstrap and froze the rest. That was some of the best tasting venison I've ever eaten and nice and tender too. I checked it in the afternoons after work and the meat was much colder than the air. The hide insulated it and kept the cold from the nights in the meat all day when it was warmer. I have not had a chance/weather right to do it again but I will do it again when I can, maybe even 7 days.
Usually 3-4 days, have let them go as long as 2 weeks if it's cold out but they're pretty frozen by then. The best venison has always come from deer that have hung for at least a couple days.
I love venison and do enjoy sharing. People say mine is the best they have had. My rules:
1.Try to drop the deer in its tracks. A gut shot deer that you chase around for half the day will not be good.
2.Try to get a deer that is eating good stuff. Alfalfa, corn, wheat, apples even CRP etc.
3.Take off the hide while warm. It is easier to remove and starts cooling right away. Don't drive around all day with the deer "cooking" in the back of your pickup.
4.This is where people disagree with me but I always wash down the animal and get it real clean. That's what they do with the beef you eat. I go one step further and wash inside and out with a apple cider vinegar soaked clean rag.
5.Hang and age if you wish. I notice the longer aged deer is tender but gamey. The non-aged deer is tastier but a little tougher.
6.Cut off all the fat. That is where a lot of the "off flavor" comes from. If you grind your own try bacon in place of beef fat. The cheapest bacon has quite enough fat. I like 15-18% by weight.
There you have it from a 72 year man that has been eating deer all his life and killed more than 100 of them. Take a look at that avatar. That deer is in a CRP field and was 175# ready to butcher. That is a big mule deer! Great eating.
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