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Thread: aging bison meat

  1. #1

    Default aging bison meat

    When you hunt in an area and the temperature is sub-freezing, how do you "age" the meat? Or do you?
    Typically, mine hangs in a cooler for 3-4 days around 40 degrees, ​(I'm in Georgia) but if one harvests a bison or caribou and sub freezing temperatures, then it seems to me the meat would not have time to age. Any input on not aging or meat quality?

    I'm just curious, that's all, thanks,

  2. #2
    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    I harvested a caribou last December in subfreezing temps.

    Simply hung it in my insulated garage and used a monitor heater to regulate the temp. I'd bring the garage temp up to around 50, shut off heater, 24-36 hours later when the garage temp dropped below freezing... I'd do it again.

    Cut her up 19 days later... nom nom nom...

    I will say the garage temp dropped to 40 within a few hours, then another day or so to drop another 10 degrees.
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM2K7sV-K74

  3. #3

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    Are you the AK Wilderness Guide/outfitter? If no t you and him must be half the population of Two Rivers, LOL
    Thanks, that's what I figured, but thought I'd ask anyway.

  4. #4
    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    I am not.

    Heck most of the time I can barely keep my own freezer full! LOL!
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM2K7sV-K74

  5. #5
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Tons of threads here already on the very same question...

    I never age my meat; can't see any need/benefit. I always got my caribou after the rut, typically in sub-zero temps, so the meat was frozen solid within hours of being caught. Moose have always been treated the same way. (Have never caught a Bison). End product was always fabulous. IMHO, aging meat is a solution to an imaginary problem.
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  6. #6
    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    Try it, you'll like it
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM2K7sV-K74

  7. #7
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Most studies related to aging of meat are for beef. given the leaner cut of wild game the aging is less noticeable, but IMO stil valid.

    Texas A & M University has done a lot of professional studies on the aging of meat. Google it and you will have hours and hours of reading enjoyment on aging meat.

  8. #8
    Member Hoss's Avatar
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    I would be more worried about cold shortening in the conditions that you are referencing than I would be about aging it. I do not think that you will notice any difference in taste between meat that has hung 3 or 4 days and that which has simply been kept thawed long enough to prevent cold shortening. I personally would not consider a 3 - 4 day hang "aging." I would think the primary benefit of that would be to cool it out completely and make it easier to process.

  9. #9

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    I agree with the cold shortening fact. If we're talking "aging," storage temperature is the number one rule that governs the behavior of autolysis, which involves the process of glycolysis (changing sugars to lactic acid which tenderize meat and allow "relaxing effects). If meat freezes within the first 72 hours, aging wont make a bit of difference because the glycolysis process was retarded by freezing temperatures.

    Aging game meat is NOT the same as with beef or pork. A storage temperature for best tenderized game meat is about 44 degrees for 3-5 days max. If its cooler than that, "aging" will not be achieved to the same affect do the speed at which glycolysis occurs.

  10. #10

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    If it were me, i'd harvest the meat, prevent freezing during the first 3 days until rigormortis sets in and then relaxes. From there if you want to tenderize the meat cuts, store the meat for 3 more days at 50 degrees F with lots of airflow around the meat...then process for freezer. You'll get the same glycolysis affects with 3 days at 50 degrees as you would for 6 days at 40 degrees. The warmer and dryer the storage temps and conditions the faster aging (autolysis) occurs.

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