Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Meat care after the field?

  1. #1
    Member AKHunterNP's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    North Pole
    Posts
    902

    Default Meat care after the field?

    What do you all do with your meat after you get it home from the field if you process it yourself? Do you hang it and age it, do you process it right away, soak it in water? Most of the threads on here are about meat care in the field but what about at home?
    "...arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe...Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them." -Thomas Paine

  2. #2
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alaska - I wasn't born here, but I got here as soon as I could!
    Posts
    3,279

    Default

    "Aging" wild game does nothing. Get the meat home cut it/process it and get it in the freezer. Soak it in water? Not too sure what that's all about.

  3. #3
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Mat-Su
    Posts
    2,150

    Default

    Not saying that we do it the "right" way, but we cut it, process it and get it frozen asap. I hate having a chore like that hanging over my head...aging schmaging...we do rinse it off after cutting it up just to wash the surface clean...

  4. #4
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kodiak, Ak
    Posts
    3,175

    Default

    I guess I have a different opinion than previous guys, mostly from what I have heard from very High End Commercial Fish Marketers, there is a definite value to having Rockfish and Halibut laying on Ice, not frozen for as much as 72 hrs, they are Adamant about it. I have seen and can attest to the difference between a Fresh caught, Immediately Fileted and Cooked fish, to one that has Laid Encased In Ice for a while. Iced is better, in my opinion.

    I believe there really is a breakdown of the meat, tenderizing if you will, NOT controlled rotting as some suggest it is. IT HAS GOT TO BE COLD, so my commercially caught fish is on ice, recently measured at 32.9 F not over 35F AT ALL for this aging of Iced Product, usually for at least 24 hrs not more than 72.

    That being said, I do the same with game, as I hunt from a boat, I shoot some ice in the fishhold first, try to keep the meat on the bone as it is easy to hang, then have the quarters hanging over ice, less than 37F measured with a meat temp gauge for inside temp. For the duration of my hunt and return from the field. This is after immediate cooling in the field, usually hanging over ice within two hours of harvest.
    Then will continue sometimes at home if in fall where I know it will not be above 38F and still not freeze.
    I sometimes will rinse the quarters with cold seawater, to help in immediate heat removal (my deckhose is fresh from the ocean, not harbor) before hanging to get clean of hair, etc. but I think it needs to be drying from there on out.

    That's how I do it anyway, I believe in it, but not warm, "scrape off the green layer" stuff I've read about. It's GOT TO BE COLD

    This is kinda exclusive to my operation I admit, and if you do not have the ability to hold it COLD don't stretch it above 35F for even a few hours. Just Process and Freeze Immediately as mentioned above.
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  5. #5
    Member AKHunterNP's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    North Pole
    Posts
    902

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    "Aging" wild game does nothing. Get the meat home cut it/process it and get it in the freezer. Soak it in water? Not too sure what that's all about.
    I've seen people let meat soak in ice water for a few hours to a day to let the blood out.
    "...arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe...Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them." -Thomas Paine

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,246

    Default

    There are a lot of variables when it comes to ageing meat, caribou I do not age because they are small and you lose a lot of meat. Moose I like to age for a few days, it gives me time to cut up any pieces that need attention. Neck, ribs, front legs, I grind up so there is no reason to age. I also do not age tenderloin or back strap, I just wash and trim. If any meat is bloody I will wash before cutting it up.

    I do not cut across muscle so all my roasts are the same texture. Sticking your finger in the meat will tell you how tough it is.

    I remove all fat, because it does not keep and adds a strong taste to the meat.

    I do not like to hang moose for more than 5 days because itís very warm in Anchorage. The trick in keeping meat from going bad in warm weather is using several fans.

    The wife and I work as a team, I do all the hard work, and she does the final inspection and determines what the meat is used for and how much is put in each bag. The meat is placed in several cardboard boxes this keeps the meat together and easier to move if needed. Meat in a chest freezer will last longer than a standup freezer.

  7. #7
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Marshall
    Posts
    1,975

    Default

    I age the meat & eat the fat...does NOTHING to the taste of the meat...now, if you let the fat get racid, yes, it'll get a bad taste to the meat, but racid fat would take a lot of heat & a long time to do, that won't happen if you age the meat, fall time...2-3 days...fat ain't gunna get rancid in that amount o' time...MOOSE FAT is one of the best tastin' fats out there...next to Yukon River King Salmon fat! & right up there with beluga or seal! Matter O' Fact, I just fried me up a HUGE globular cluster of moose fat & some rice last night & boy was that some GREAT tastin' rice! Each & every bit o' fat that I cubed, was like a lil' piece o' chocolate that just melts in yer mouth! How people can just throw away all the fat is beyond me! But then, again, I don't see a lot o' people livin' in Anchorage, that solely depend upon fish & game for winter supplies...Fat is a vital part of the arctic & stayin' alive!

  8. #8
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alaska - I wasn't born here, but I got here as soon as I could!
    Posts
    3,279

    Default

    When aging beef, the enzymes released are from the fat within the muscle tissue (also known as marbelling) breaking down. Venison doesn't have marbelling, all the fat is on the outside of the fascia, so any breakdown of the fat would be localized outside the tissue. Perhaps there can be some breakdown of the muscle tissue itself in venison, thereby producing a limited amount of true aging. If that works, great. Personally, I prefer to process and freeze the meat as soon as I can. To each his own I suppose.

  9. #9
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Marshall
    Posts
    1,975

    Default

    Uhh...Frostbitten, I didn't know fat had enzymes...

  10. #10
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    pertaining to what gogolie had once mentioned about moose fat, it is the best. We saved it on the east coast in Maine too. The fat is the most tender suet you could ever add to your sausage. No fat cooks moose meat better than it's own fat. The drippings are then saved in a coffee can for cooking other things like squaw bread or potatoes. To prove a point, I cooked inner tenderloin in rendered moose fat in a cast iron skillet, and the two moose hunters who had been hunting moose since the 70's up here said it was the best they've ever had.

    I had at least 9 neighbors taste test my breakfast sausage yesterday, and every single one of em said it was great or the best they've had. It's 50/50 meat and moose fat. It just ended up being that the ribs have that ratio of fat/meat. People who claim that moose fat is gamey or gives a bad taste, are full of crap, and are wasting the most coveted part of the moose. You need healthy fat, so grind it all to add to your burger instead of nasty pork or beef crud to your pure meat made from willow n grasses!

    In reference to aging, there was never warm day up north in the past two weeks. Early season (pre-rut) bulls can see 12-14 days granted your field care was stellar under these colder conditions. The first three nights our bull was down, it got down to 28-30 degrees every night. Back here in anchorage, the meat's first night in town was during a heavy frost. From there on out, temps got down to the 40's every night. The meat is now 10 days old and in wonderful condition.

  11. #11

    Default

    Frostbitten, if i may add a correction:

    The process of aging helps tenderize the meat (muscle tissue). This process begins with Glycolysis, and it occurs within the muscle, not fat. When the animal dies, the glycogen in the muscles and bloodstream changes from sugar to lactic acid within the first 24 hours, which then builds up within the tissues and tenderizes the meat. Aging allows lactic acid to breakdown meat fibers, which results in a more tender muscle.

    Proper aging depends on temperature and moisture, as well as air flow. Good aging takes about 7 days, although some believe 14 days is best. If the meat is to be aged more than 7 days, the ambient temperatures should remain between 34 degrees and 44 degrees and have adequate air circulation to help crust development.

    Fat does nothing for aging, and fat also spoils quickly in warmer temps (>50 degrees).

    Hope this helps.

    larry

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    2,127

    Default

    I agree that moose fat is tops of all the wild stuff I've eaten, the last chunk of the backstrap under the hump is nearly marbled and can be an amazing piece of meat. However, the stuff freezer burns faster than regular meat and seems to take on a pretty strong flavor. I can eat this and smile, my wife cannot. I trim most of mine off but anything that's not (ribs, brisket, that tasty front chunk of strap) is always scheduled to be eaten within 3-4 months of harvest. I find lean roasts can last well over a year. Have not had a chance to talk the partners into putting the suet in the burger, but will finally pound it into their heads to try it one of these days. Old dogs, new tricks. But great guys nonetheless.

  13. #13

    Default

    Couple of my hunting friends are all about the "all natural" thing and don't add suet to their grind, they also aren't too picky about trimming fat off, not minding the flavor of the moose fat. I also go for a real lean grind, but I do add some suet to most cuts, preferring beef suet to pork suet. Anyway, with this years moose I am going to try quite a bit with the moose fat. I've been eating the fat off my backstraps the last couple nights and from what I can tell so far I have to agree with those who say it tastes good. Gonna keep trying it till it proves me wrong. Makes me wonder if I should have kept all that fat around the rump, or dug in for the fat around the kidneys? My moose was a unit 20 cow tag and she had a lot of fat in the booty. You guys might have convinced me on this whole moose fat thing.

  14. #14

    Default

    Kodiakrain- I forgot to mention that I really like your method of handling the meat

  15. #15
    Member LOCALAK907's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    222

    Default Meat care after the field?

    If you don't like the taste of moose and feel the need to add pork or beef fat then go get a pig or a cow and leave a few moose in the field for those of us who eat moose because it's delicious!

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    2,127

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LOCALAK907 View Post
    If you don't like the taste of moose and feel the need to add pork or beef fat then go get a pig or a cow and leave a few moose in the field for those of us who eat moose because it's delicious!

    Are you 10?

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •