I'm thinking of getting a deer soon. I have a grinder on order for sausage, patties ect...We currently have a food slicer, so that helps. I will be cutting alot of it into cubes(cooking), also small and medium steaks. I've heard people talking about vacuum bag sealers and other things which we dont have. My question is if I get a deer then how long would you trust the meat in the fridge until we wanted to grind the meat that we keep to the side for grinding later ? If I was to vacuum seal the meat and freeze it then wouldnt it be a bad idea to try and thaw and then grind it ? Any help
We freeze and grind both beef and venison as we need it, never had a problem. I personally wouldn't want to keep the meat in the fridge too long, maybe 3 days?! Although the food vac's are great especially if you are going to be freezing the meat for a long time, they aren't necessary.
R.D. actually you can keep the meat in the fridge for several days. The longer it stays in there the more tender it will become. You don't have to have a vacuum bag system. Roll the meat up tight in plastic bags and then roll up in freezer paper and it will keep as good as any expensive vacuum system.
I usually cut the backstraps and the hindquarters up for steaks or jerky slices. Cube the shoulder meat up for stew meat or for canning. Then grind the rest up for burger and sausage.
Most usually when the new deer season is getting close and I still have several packages of steaks left in the freezer, I will thaw them out and grind them up and make either breakfast and/or summer sausage.
Forgot to mention. I use to have my own little deer processing shop and during the heavey gun season I would sometimes have deer hanging in my cooler for up to two weeks. It would dry out and look hard, but after soaking for a couple of hours in water it would look like a fresh killed animal. They would turn out to be the most tenderist venison a person could eat and very tasty too!
The key to storing/aging the venison is the ability to control the temperature in the refigerated device. I have a two door supermarket type freezer that I have changed the thermostat to where I can maintain the temperature between 34 and 37 degrees. Under these conditions I can store venison up to 14 days as it ages. And alternate method of storing/aging venison can be accomplished in a large chest cooler using ice. Place the large pieces of the carcass on the bottom and the smaller pieces above these and cover in ice. Each day drain off the water and replenish the ice. You can continue this effort for up to 12 to 14 days and the meat will be fine.
If the deer is a buck you need to put it in frig for as long as 7 days before processing. Before you put it in frig, soak it in water with salt and vinegar added for 24 hours. Vacuum seal or can in jars. Jars are the best because it tastes better, is easy to fix a meal with and it will not ruin when Bin Laden turns the lights out. Also jerky is good and safe. I have done hundreds of deer so this is the voice of experience, not something I read in a book.
Thank you all very much. It sounds like we dont have to have a vacuum sytem. I will let the meat sit for a few days in the fridge before we grind and freeze it. I think its going to work out alright. Thanks, Randy