How long can meat stay in fridge?


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CoRoMo
October 5, 2007, 03:46 PM
So, I shot this mule deer last Saturday (9/29/07) morning and had all 40+ lbs. of meat cold and in the fridge within 12 hours.

I then ordered an LEM meat grinder and plan to turn the whole thing into different sausages and jerky. Still waiting for the grinder to arrive.

How long can it stay in the fridge before it is no longer good :what:for even sausage or jerky?

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308win
October 5, 2007, 03:53 PM
Freeze it. Fresh meat in a 40 degree fridge is going to get dicey in a few days.

See here (http://bringhurstmeats.com/proper_care_and_handling_of_venison.htm)

ArmedBear
October 5, 2007, 03:54 PM
Aren't you supposed to age it for at least a week before freezing it?

Or does it have to be hung up whole to do that effectively?

Sunray
October 5, 2007, 03:57 PM
You know that deer have steaks and roast hiding on them too don't you?
In any case, game can stay in the fridge for the same amount of time domestic beef can. Three to four days wrapped or covered. Get it butchered and into a freezer ASAP.

ArmedBear
October 5, 2007, 03:58 PM
What about aging, though?

I talked to a former butcher I met hunting. He and a friend were field dressing a deer they'd shot. He said he had access to a meat locker and he'd hang the carcass for a while before butchering it.

Anyone else do this?

CoRoMo
October 5, 2007, 04:01 PM
I just popped over to the Field & Stream website and read an article where these chefs advise aging it in the fridge, without freezing, for a minimum of one week. And that was for burger. Sounds like it could easily go longer too. They don't advise freezing it until it is completely processed (ground, suet, spices, wrapped, etc.)

http://www.fieldandstream.com/fieldstream/columnists/article/0,13199,411533,00.html

If I'm just going to make smoked sausage and jerky, couldn't it age a little longer since those are heavily spiced?

The elk I had processed last year hang in the butcher's fridge for at least a week before they got around to processing it up. I just had to wait in line behind all the other hunters' meat. All tasted wonderful too.

CoRoMo
October 5, 2007, 04:05 PM
Sunray:

You know that deer have steaks and roast hiding on them too don't you?


Yeah. We made some fajitas on Monday and they weren't wonderful. I'm used to the sweet meat of elk though. Mule deer is new to me. I'll definitely try some backstraps and what-not before I'm done.

Oh, I forgot to add about last year's elk. It hang in my garage for the first three days before we took it in to be processed.

Sunray
October 5, 2007, 04:06 PM
Game meat isn't like beef. It doesn't need to be hung very long. 24 hours will do. The time it's been in the fridge is more than enough.

CoRoMo
October 5, 2007, 04:19 PM
This article seems to have some good information...

http://www.fieldandstream.com/fieldstream/outdoorskills/cooking/article/0,13199,455187,00.html

If I could have done it over, I certainly would have had it frozen by now. So tonight, I'm going to get after it and get that stuff frozen (and eat a little too). I'll post back later and let you know if it tastes like crap or not.

Thanks guys!!

Sunray
October 5, 2007, 04:21 PM
"...if it tastes like crap..." If it stinks, don't eat it. Go here.
http://albertadeer.com/markets/venison/recipes.htm

koja48
October 5, 2007, 05:10 PM
Shoud be fine, assuming your fridge is around 34 degrees or so . . . you'll know it if it's bad. I hang everything as long as I can . . . makes for more tender, favorful meat & I ain't been sick yet.

Larry Ashcraft
October 5, 2007, 05:17 PM
Aging beef makes it more tender. Aging venison does nothing (venison isn't marbled with fat). Cut up and process venison as soon as it is cooled out.

koja48
October 5, 2007, 05:35 PM
Sorry, Larry . . . I've harvested some fat venison, but, to each his own . . . obviously, the latitude in which one lives is a factor, as is the diet of the critter. I'll keep hanging mine.

Kingcreek
October 5, 2007, 05:43 PM
The fat on a fat deer is not marbled throughout the muscle like beef. It is between the meat and the hide and around some of the organs.
Anybody that wants to hang their meat should feel free to do so, but it ain't making it any better IMO.
Mine will "age" in the freezer.

koja48
October 5, 2007, 06:09 PM
50 years of hunting, no complaints/issues, "Don't fix what ain't broke." No charge for "hanging" . . . to each his/her own preference . . . individual asked for advice, and that is what we provided.

CoRoMo
October 5, 2007, 06:26 PM
You guys are great! I'm just glad to have filled my tag and to have some more meat.
If I could do it over again, I'd leave the carcass hanging overnight. I cut it up right away, during rigor mortis, and I read in that article above that it is not recommended. I'm sure it will still fill my belly well enough.

MeekandMild
October 5, 2007, 08:27 PM
I think armedbear is right on this one. I used to process my own deer and froze them as soon as possible but last year I had them done at a meat locker where they hung them at 40 degrees for what to me seemed like a long time. They're better when they're aged a while. :p

Skoghund
October 6, 2007, 12:23 PM
Venison is much better if hung before butchering. I have a old fridge in my barn and i hang roedeer for up to 10 days at 5 degrees. I always leave the skin on so the meat does not dry out. Have done the same with fallow deer.pheasants,hares and rabbits.

brasskeeper
October 6, 2007, 12:34 PM
I used to cut up my own deer in steaks and roasts and what I wanted ground into burger I would take to the processer. Most times the processer was already over welmed so I froze that meat for a couple of weeks then dethawed and the had it ground.

brighamr
October 7, 2007, 02:37 PM
haven't any of you guys seen "old yeller"? Even back then they aged venison on the porch for a while before buchering it :neener:

For anyone interested in buchering there own harvest, I suggest the book "making the most of your deer"

http://www.braintan.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=1&Product_Code=WALROD&Category_Code=CRITTER

eliphalet
October 8, 2007, 08:44 PM
We hang em in the garage and depending on the temps will let game hang a couple of days to 4 or 5. Been doing that several decades, we cut and wrap all out own with no problems.
I have seen elk left in a refrigerator for a week before being cut up. Kinda worried me but I helped cut and eat it, it was fine.

NRA4LIFE
October 9, 2007, 04:08 PM
I see you posted the question on Oct. 5th. The meat would still be fine, but I'd get it frozen fairly soon (you most likely have by now).

Not a hanger/ager here. Some people like the flavor of some aging. To each his own. I have never believed it made the meat any more tender. I prefer to get them out of the hide, de-boned and into the cooloer ASAP. The only way I even let a deer hang is if the daytime temps are below about 40 degrees. But that would only be overnight until I can get it in the cooler the next day. Of course, I have personally witnessed how some people take aging to an EXTREME. Was in a meat locker last year in Belle Fouche, SD when the owner showed me a deer carcass a guy had brought in. It had been skinned and hung for a looooooong time, in some fairly warm temperatures. The entire carcass was nearly jet black and covered with pea sized patches of white and gray mold. The guy told the owner it was the only way he'd eat venison. The smell of it was indescribable. Has anyone ever seen that before?

eliphalet
October 9, 2007, 05:18 PM
The entire carcass was nearly jet black and covered with pea sized patches of white and gray mold. The guy told the owner it was the only way he'd eat venison. The smell of it was indescribable. Has anyone ever seen that before Yep, knew a guy that would hang deer till it looked black on the outside and had a mold spot here and there, not quite as bad as what you describe, but almost. I helped him cut meat up once and I was concerned but it ate fine. Longer than I would do or advise but thats how he said he always did it.

Kingcreek
October 9, 2007, 07:04 PM
That is one big reason why I butcher my own deer. I don't even want my deer hanging next to something like that.

308win
October 9, 2007, 07:39 PM
I would venture to say that there is a good chance that your deer is exposed to worse on occasion.

Kingcreek
October 10, 2007, 09:54 AM
[QUOTE][I would venture to say that there is a good chance that your deer is exposed to worse on occasion./QUOTE]
:confused:
I'm pretty fussy about the meat I eat and I've been butchering game and farm animals for many years. I've got space set up with cutting tables, double utility sink/hot water, floor drains, etc.
This thread has wandered- I'll stay out of it from here on.

Congrats CoRoMo, enjoy your sport and your harvest.

CoRoMo
October 11, 2007, 06:01 PM
Well, the meat grinder came in the other day, and I bought some suet to grind with it. The venison turned out fine. I guess my next meat will hang overnight if the temp is cool enough to bypass rigor mortis. If not cool enough, I'll just store the quarters and large parts in the fridge until I can process & freeze. I probably should have bought beef fat instead of suet, or at least that is what the instructions of the grinder told me. No suet, only fat. I've been grinding and jerking it up, and eating it too!! The one thing that made a difference was having it refrigerated within 12 hours of the gun shot. It kept nicely in the fridge until I started getting into it. Well I'll have to eat some more tonight, and I'll be thinking of you all. :D hee hee :D
A week from Saturday my dad and I will try to harvest a couple elk. If unsuccessful, we'll try again the following weekend. Hopefully my chest-freezer will be full for the coming winter. Wish me luck!! :cool:

glockman19
October 11, 2007, 06:05 PM
I say freeze it. Get a Food Saver and you can save it for a long time.

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