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Processing Meat After the Hunt

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  • Processing Meat After the Hunt

    When we get our meat back to town and start cleaning it, our typical method is to take knives and trim away all the dry/crusty/ugly looking stuff. I am always disappointed with how much waste that results in.

    I think I remember reading somewhere that some people will take a quarter and wash it with a dish scrubber. Have any of you tried that? What did you think about the results? Or, is there a better way to retain more of the meat that comes back from the field?

    Thanks,

  • #2
    I don't like seeing the pile of trimmings either, but the amount of waste you will experience in the future when your family turns their nose up at wild game due to getting a few off tasting pieces........will be much greater.

    Biggest thing I do to reduce the trimmings is a really sharp knife, usually use a fish fillet knife as it helps me just cut that thin rind off and leave most of the meat. That, and I treat it like dinner from the second the animal is down and wash the quarters before anything dries on them (If it's needed but I try to avoid it). Last year I got my moose on day two, and literally baby-sat it until we got our second one on Day seven and headed home, including multiple tarpings to avoid sun and or rain and two bag changes and constant fly avoidance and vinegar spritzing. Luckily, this is something you can do with a gin and tonic in your hand.

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    • #3
      Simply because the meat is dry, does not mean I toss it. If it is clean I toss the dry trimming into my grind pile and grind it with the other trimmings. One of the best ways I have found is to use an electric fish fillet knife with a serrated blade, it allows to skim off the thinnest of layers.
      "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"

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      • #4
        I'm with Stid. Dry does not necessarily = bad or spoiled. Mostly it is just dry and will be fine if mixed in with other grind material or pressure cooked in cases such as the ribs. For the stuff that is trimmed, it goes in two different piles. Really bad stuff is tossed while stuff that is okay but not quite something I want to eat will go into the dogfood batch and get ground and frozen. Later, that will get cooked up and mixed into the dog's meals. Very little total waste when all is said and done.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by stid2677 View Post
          Simply because the meat is dry, does not mean I toss it. If it is clean I toss the dry trimming into my grind pile and grind it with the other trimmings. One of the best ways I have found is to use an electric fish fillet knife with a serrated blade, it allows to skim off the thinnest of layers.
          Originally posted by anchskier View Post
          I'm with Stid. Dry does not necessarily = bad or spoiled. Mostly it is just dry and will be fine if mixed in with other grind material or pressure cooked in cases such as the ribs. For the stuff that is trimmed, it goes in two different piles. Really bad stuff is tossed while stuff that is okay but not quite something I want to eat will go into the dogfood batch and get ground and frozen. Later, that will get cooked up and mixed into the dog's meals. Very little total waste when all is said and done.

          ditto to both posts...often times the outer portion gets put into the grind mix - if not there, it goes to the dog mix. We work too hard to waste good wild meat

          Juli
          Taxidermy IS art!
          www.alaskawildliferugs.com
          Your mount is more than a trophy, it's a memory. Relive The Memory!

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          • #6
            Putting quarters into solid cotton bags reduces the amount of crust, too. Making your own out of sheets or buying TAG bags works well.

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            • #7
              Strange, I've never had to trim away dry/crusty/ugly meat. I had goat meat last year that stayed in a game bag for a few days in a wet environment and had no spoilage. The only trimmings I ever get off of my game meat (blacktail deer and mountain goat) Is blood shot meat, or excessively fatty portions. The rest has always been just fine... I like to rub my meat down with vinegar, it removes the blood and hair with ease, and leaves a light acidic crust on the meat; essentially helping preserve it.

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              • #8
                all the dry trimmings, goes into a freezer as dog food. If you ever know of trimmings that you feel terrible about wasting, my dogs will give it purpose! bring it on by next season.
                www.freightercanoes.com

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                • #9
                  This dos'nt apply to most hunts but if the weather is cool and the moose is not all that big I leave the hide on it, keep it dry and covered with air flowing for 5-7 days.

                  Contray to most reports it tastes the same and there is no waste. ( again if you have the right weather)

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                  • #10
                    I commend you for processing your own meat, I can assure you that nobody cares about your hard earned meat as much as you do - this includes the professional processor who has the seasonal hire in the back slicing and dicing. I hang meat for as long as I can, 7-10 days at least, I wouldn't want to eat the 'jerky' crust that forms on the outside.

                    I also like using a thin knife as others have stated, a fillet knife works great, to get real thin strips off the top only taking what is neccesary. Its a tedious and SLOW process, and I step away for a bit before I start cutting too deep and wide in an attempt to get done fast. I find that the loss to trimming is kept to a minimum this way, I dont have dogs, so it goes out with the bare bones. a little loss to form a protective barrier that will age and tenderize the meat is acceptable to me, and I love knowing EXACTLY how my food was handled before it goes on my families plate.
                    The Second Amendment.......Know it, love it, support it.

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                    • #11
                      When it gets a crust on it, if I skinned it right I can often hand-peel a super-thin layer from the top of the quarter on down. That gets rid of any dirt/hair I've missed previously. It goes in the garbage.

                      Once that's gone, the dry layer goes in with the burger. Easy, no waste, and you never know the difference.

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