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Thread: Treating meat with citric acid

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    Member Ben424's Avatar
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    Question Treating meat with citric acid

    It has been suggested that we treat our meat with a spray of citic acid in camp to help form a crust. I would like your opinions on the use of citric acid. What has been your experiences with it and meat spoilage, and is it easy to find in stores in powder form? Thanks!

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    I bought powdered citric acid on the advice of my long time Alaskan outfitter. It was easy to find and I put it in an empty spray bottle-I took two. After the game was bagged, we mixed it with water and sprayed it on the meat. I am not sure if it changed the rate of forming crust, but the flies did not like it at all. We lost zero meat on a hot hunt. It took alot of extra care to keep it clean and cool. Also the citric acid can be used to add a little ZIP in your drinking water-a little goes a long, long way.

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    Default Air

    Its been my experience that adeqaute ventilation is the only real factor in the rate at which meat will form a "case". If you have good meat bags you will not need anything else.

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    I used it last year on a very hot and buggy moose hunt. Flys were bad. I sprayed it directly on the meat ane left it unbagged. Not one bit of fly blow. I did not spray the head , just for a test. The heat got real bad. I used concentrated lemon juice from the grocery store. I'll always use it now.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Works Well

    I used it last year on an extented float hunt. I don't think it helped form the crust, but it kept the flies off and helped kill the surface bacteria. I kept my meat good even with daytime temps into the 70's for 8 days. I recommend it. Again as said above it will not make up for poor meat care. Keep the meat Dry, Dry, Dry and have good game bags.

    Steve

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    I've usedit for the last seven years, I get the premix from Indian Valley Meats. Akthough I don't know if it helps crust the meat but I agree with the others that is certainly seems to make a difference with with the flies. My meat was hanging on a pole next to another guys who didn't want to try the citrus mix. He had a lot of fly problems while mine did not. Good quality game bags are also a must to keep it clean and further protected. I would recommend it from personal experience.

  7. #7

    Wink liqiud smoke

    I have used liquid smoke for years and it works well to keep the flys off. It is good advice to have good heavy and big game bags. I have seen more meat wasted due to mud and dirt on the meat at the butchering table.

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    Default powdered mix

    How much of the powdered mix should one take along for a moose? What size packages does it come in?
    Thanks
    Never give a gun to a duck...

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    Cool air circulating around the meat will help it create a crust. The crust is developed by the meat itself, and it's a sort of protection for it. However, citric acid becomes important as a bacteria-growth retardant. All it does is to prevent bacteria from growing on the meat. That's all.

    It's a good idea to spray it over the meat right after the kill and when it's hung to cool and dry. Sometimes I use a salt/water solution, and this works well, but citric acid is much stronger, and it seems to bother insects. Meat bags are extremely important, too. The bags keep insects, dirt, etc., off the meat. There is nothing wrong with spraying citric acid over the bags with the meat inside. In fact, some folks prefer to soak the bags in a solution of water and citric acid, followed by drying. The citric acid stays in the material in a powder form after the water evaporates. I just don't like doing that because lots of the citric acid is lost in the process, and it could be expensive. For that reason, I just spray it over the meat, making sure that all the meat surface is sprayed. If you spray it over the bags with the meat inside, then it takes a lot longer for the meat to dry and develop a crust.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jreed View Post
    How much of the powdered mix should one take along for a moose? What size packages does it come in?
    Thanks
    The packages from Indian Valley are premeasured to mix with one quart of water (I believe). Here's the link to the product on Indian Valley's web site. I would use at least two on a moose, or at least heve it available.

    http://www.indianvalleymeats.com/gamesaver.htm

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    Member Ben424's Avatar
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    $3.19 for the product and $24.50 in shipping lightweight powder?!!! Dang, I would feel much better if they would just switch the product and shipping cost. That way I would feel like I was getting some kind of super secret hard to make recipe.

  12. #12

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    Check at your local pharmacy they some times sell it as well.

    the kids use it in homemade gummi bears to make sour gummis.

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    Default Cheaper

    You can get food grade citric acid at most drug stores much cheaper. I was told to mix a couple of ounces (about a film cannister full) with a quart of water. The prepackaged stuff is fine, but you pay a primium for the packaging.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskamokaiman View Post
    Check at your local pharmacy they some times sell it as well.

    the kids use it in homemade gummi bears to make sour gummis.
    You are correct. I buy citric acid at any of the local pharmacies, and it's pretty cheap.

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    Hey all, like the website, been lurking here a while and decided I'd register and put my 2 cents in on this.

    You're doin' it wrong!!

    Well OK, you're not doing it wrong but there is an easier way. Mix up the citric acid in a bucket of water. Use the taste test, if it tastes like really strong lemonade it is strong enough. Dip your game bags into the bucket then hang them to dry. Once dry put them into a zip lock and take them hunting. This way you don't have to carry anything extra into the field. I discovered this on a caribou hunt in the fine state of Alaska a few years ago and have been using it ever since. Hope it helps.

  16. #16

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    it works great for keeping the flies away.

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    I do soak my game bags before I leave and then vacuum pack them. But I also take the mix and spray the meat while in the field. I figure them more you do to avaoid problems with the meat, the better it tastes and the more of it at home.

    I mailed a couple packages to some one in Oklahoma, it only cost me two or three bucks.

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    We usually use vinegar and water on our deer...

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    Quote Originally Posted by OneLunG View Post
    We usually use vinegar and water on our deer...
    I have used straight vinegar on moose, and it has worked very well.

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    Default It's the acidity

    What works about it is the pH.

    Bacteria does very badly in acid. So do fly eggs.

    That's why folks make comparisons to strong lemonade or vinegar - they're also acidic.

    I haven't tried treating the game bags, but did very well with the citric acid spray on a warm-weather deer hunt. Seems to me, since you're trying to protect the meat, it makes the most sense to treat the meat, rather than the bag. Especially where bacterial growth is concerned...

    But that presupposes you have to pick either bags or meat. No harm in both.

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