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Thread: Moose Meat Gamey after a year in freezer?

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    Default Moose Meat Gamey after a year in freezer?

    So we took a winter cow about a year ago. I bought a chamber vac sealer and bags from AK Butcher. We've added to our collection in the freezer with two caribou. So alternating between moose and caribou we finally ran out of caribou. I now have about 60lbs of moose burger.I noticed the last batch of moose burger was a bit gamey. The next bag was even more gamey. Today I could hardley stand the smell, when cooking it. I have pulled several bags from different batches of grind and they all are to some degree gamey. Before this I never had any probelms with the same animal and same burger meat. What gives?

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gokorn1 View Post
    So we took a winter cow about a year ago. I bought a chamber vac sealer and bags from AK Butcher. We've added to our collection in the freezer with two caribou. So alternating between moose and caribou we finally ran out of caribou. I now have about 60lbs of moose burger.I noticed the last batch of moose burger was a bit gamey. The next bag was even more gamey. Today I could hardley stand the smell, when cooking it. I have pulled several bags from different batches of grind and they all are to some degree gamey. Before this I never had any probelms with the same animal and same burger meat. What gives?
    Sounds like spoilage. Maybe got some bacteria at work in that meat, even at freezer temp. What is the temp of your freezer? Did the affected packages maybe not get frozen quickly when you put them in the freezer in the first place...?
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    I agree with above. Possible spoilage?
    How gamey is it? The moose from last winter was way more gamey than this years moose. I did let this years moose hang for almost a month.

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    If you stuff your freezer with unfrozen meat you will need to rotate it so it all freezes in a timely manner. Otherwise you may spoil the meet in the middle

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LOCALAK907 View Post
    If you stuff your freezer with unfrozen meat you will need to rotate it so it all freezes in a timely manner. Otherwise you may spoil the meet in the middle
    Yup. Chest freezers are good at keeping frozen stuff frozen, but not good at efficiently freezing unfrozen stuff, especially in large quantities. Also good to remember that ground meat offers a huge amount of surface area for bacteria to take advantage of. Ground meat + bacteria + slow freezing and/or insufficiently cold storage temp = spoiled meat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Yup. Chest freezers are good at keeping frozen stuff frozen, but not good at efficiently freezing unfrozen stuff, especially in large quantities. Also good to remember that ground meat offers a huge amount of surface area for bacteria to take advantage of. Ground meat + bacteria + slow freezing and/or insufficiently cold storage temp = spoiled meat.
    I don't disagree with you taiga but I feel compelled to point out that upright freezers are even worse than chest freezers at getting meat frozen. At least in a chest freezer you can dump stuff in loosely. In an upright freezer things need to be stacked and that means that the middle packages will take days to freeze and spoilage will be a problem. With any type of freezer you have to shuffle things up to get it frozen quickly. No shortcuts there. But I do think that the shuffling is much easier in a chest freezer than an upright.

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    I would have to assume that you left a little too much natural fat on the meat. And that fat has now turned rancid...

    really if it it strong you can make tacos, chili, any of your "highly seasoned" meals...
    and you shouldn't notice the ranciddity after the intial cooking

    good luck, and remember to trim well, freeze quick, cook through all ground meat,
    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by akgun&ammo View Post
    I would have to assume that you left a little too much natural fat on the meat. And that fat has now turned rancid...

    really if it it strong you can make tacos, chili, any of your "highly seasoned" meals...
    and you shouldn't notice the ranciddity after the intial cooking

    good luck, and remember to trim well, freeze quick, cook through all ground meat,
    Chris
    I was thinking the same thing. Did you purposely use some of the moose fat as suet in your ground moose burger? Game fat tends to get rancid and gamey after time much more so than beef.

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    Quote Originally Posted by safari View Post
    I don't disagree with you taiga but I feel compelled to point out that upright freezers are even worse than chest freezers at getting meat frozen.
    That only depends on how you use them. My parents have an upright freezer that they only use it for the initial freezing, not bulk storage (unless they have more than can be held in the other freezers at a particular time). By placing the items in a single layer across each shelf, the items freeze very quickly, even thick packages. You can freeze things up just about as fast as you can process them.

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    We did stack the packs in the freezer about 6 high. Maybe you guys are right. I've never had problems with caribou but we're talking a lot less meat.

    I've stacked fish like this before in a big freezer at -10 and it look several days for the stuff in the center to freeze.

    Thanks


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    Quote Originally Posted by safari View Post
    I don't disagree with you taiga but I feel compelled to point out that upright freezers are even worse than chest freezers at getting meat frozen. At least in a chest freezer you can dump stuff in loosely. In an upright freezer things need to be stacked and that means that the middle packages will take days to freeze and spoilage will be a problem. With any type of freezer you have to shuffle things up to get it frozen quickly. No shortcuts there. But I do think that the shuffling is much easier in a chest freezer than an upright.
    I disagree, at least when my upright is concerned, each shelf is built with integral cooling lines and is vastly more efficient than a chest freezer when it comes freezing down product.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akgun&ammo View Post
    I would have to assume that you left a little too much natural fat on the meat. And that fat has now turned rancid...

    really if it it strong you can make tacos, chili, any of your "highly seasoned" meals...
    and you shouldn't notice the ranciddity after the intial cooking

    good luck, and remember to trim well, freeze quick, cook through all ground meat,
    Chris
    +2. It's why I make sure my ribs are eaten up within 6-8 months of taking the animal. I have three year old roasts I found the toher day but they are all trimmed up and taste great.

    I think old beef tastes a little off as well (I received some 1.5 year old beef sausage that was inedible), but found game fat to be particularly more so....specially if it's exposed to air.

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    Mute point here, If it lasts past March I'm one lucky dog, lol. ( I do use the fat from the game animal mixed with beef suiet, and never had a problem, but as I said it don't last a year around here.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by gokorn1 View Post
    So we took a winter cow about a year ago. I bought a chamber vac sealer and bags from AK Butcher. We've added to our collection in the freezer with two caribou. So alternating between moose and caribou we finally ran out of caribou. I now have about 60lbs of moose burger.I noticed the last batch of moose burger was a bit gamey. The next bag was even more gamey. Today I could hardley stand the smell, when cooking it. I have pulled several bags from different batches of grind and they all are to some degree gamey. Before this I never had any probelms with the same animal and same burger meat. What gives?
    If you want, I'll take that meat from you. My malamute only have 20 lbs-30lbs of moose scraps left. all the shavings get saved, and mixed with their food, but it won't last till the chums/hoolies get in the rivers.

    I'll pm you my number.

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    I do the same for my dogs with all of the game meat trimmings. At a buck a pound for dog food why throw out the trimmings that they really like. When trimming I cut it up into small 1" or so pieces then I fry it in a cast iron dutch oven, then I bag it in sandwich baggies.

    I have experienced all of my game getting gamier after a year. The goat ribs that I saved are so gamey now that I could hardly eat them. While fresh, the goat meat was the least "gamey" of any game.......if that makes sense at all.

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    I personally don't like the flavor brought forth by grinding moose meat into burger. I honestly feel hamburger works better with cattle. I find large chunks of meat, offers a fresher flavor after extended periods in the freezer. You can always grind in a small batch at a time. With a little LEM grinder, it'll add all of 10 extra minutes to your cooking endeavors. Big difference between fresh ground meat from thawed chunks, than stuff already ground, and frozen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    I personally don't like the flavor brought forth by grinding moose meat into burger. I honestly feel hamburger works better with cattle. I find large chunks of meat, offers a fresher flavor after extended periods in the freezer. You can always grind in a small batch at a time. With a little LEM grinder, it'll add all of 10 extra minutes to your cooking endeavors. Big difference between fresh ground meat from thawed chunks, than stuff already ground, and frozen.
    I do this as well. I ground up a little bit of the meat then freeze big chunks. When i am ready for more, I just thaw and grind. I also grind my meat very lean.

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    do to the fact that we trim very close, and we normally use all burger with in first 6-8 monthes ... I do a massive grind session (150 to 200 pounds) and plastic tube bag it...

    Always been good so far..

    only fat normally left is from corn fed whitetails... and they field dress around 110 to 120 -- not a lot of poundage for the burger even at processing 8 or ten deer

    Chris

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    I've never noticed a problem. I am currently trying to finish off a few random packages of steaks from a 2006 moose (came across them when reorganizing the chest freezer and they had slipped down the sides) and a good bit of hamburger from 2010 and 2011. No problems with any of it. Like some others do, any excess fat was cut out during butchering so it is very lean when processed and frozen. I've never felt any need to add fat to hamburger like some do, so apparently that is a good thing if you are keeping it longer. Even ribs (packaged with bone-in) from 5+ years ago are fine. We package everything with a least a double layer of plastic wrap and then double layer of freezer paper, tightly wrapped to reduce/eliminate air pockets as much as possible.

    The only thing I have had trouble with is the more highly processed things such as hotdogs. I think just due to the fact that they have more added fats and also leave more air space when packaged the way I did, they didn't last as long. I have started vac-sealing those things this year to reduce the added air and am making sure to eat them before too long to reduce any risk of losing any of it.

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