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How long can meat stay in fridge?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by CoRoMo, Oct 5, 2007.

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  1. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    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?
     
  2. 308win

    308win Member

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    Freeze it. Fresh meat in a 40 degree fridge is going to get dicey in a few days.

    See here
     
  3. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    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?
     
  4. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    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.
     
  5. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    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?
     
  6. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    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.
     
  7. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    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.
     
  8. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    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.
     
  9. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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  10. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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  11. koja48

    koja48 member

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    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.
     
  12. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  13. koja48

    koja48 member

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    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.
     
  14. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    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.
     
  15. koja48

    koja48 member

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    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.
     
  16. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    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.
     
  17. MeekandMild

    MeekandMild Member

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    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
     
  18. Skoghund

    Skoghund Member

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    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.
     
  19. brasskeeper

    brasskeeper Member

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    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.
     
  20. brighamr

    brighamr Member

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  21. eliphalet

    eliphalet Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2007
  22. NRA4LIFE

    NRA4LIFE Member

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    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?
     
  23. eliphalet

    eliphalet Member

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    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.
     
  24. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    That is one big reason why I butcher my own deer. I don't even want my deer hanging next to something like that.
     
  25. 308win

    308win Member

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    I would venture to say that there is a good chance that your deer is exposed to worse on occasion.
     
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