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  #1  
Old 07/18/13, 08:25 AM
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Butchering ?

I have 2 bunnies that are the survivors from my survivors from my little I lost in the heat a few weeks back. I am planning on butchering them today. Can we eat one for supper tonight? Or is it best to let them rest a day or two?

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  #2  
Old 07/18/13, 08:36 AM
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i'v always heard either straight from the butcher block into the pan or let them rest in the fridge for 2 days; or they will be tougher .i'd like to hear other peoples theroys on this question also

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  #3  
Old 07/18/13, 12:09 PM
 
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What is their age? I would think if no more than 8 weeks old, you could go straight to the frying pan. If you're going to boil them and/or use the crock pot, then I definitely think you could cook it today. I have no idea if it makes a difference for sure, but I have found that brining in salt water great to use for turkey and for chicken, so I am in the habit of brining the rabbits too. It is convenient for me as I can put them in the fridge and let them sit a day or so and then package them for freezing. This allows me to split the work of butchering to a different day than getting them to the freezer.

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Old 07/18/13, 01:26 PM
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I always let mine rest for a target of at least two days in salt water in the fridge. So far, none have made it out before 2 1/2 days though. Most are in there for > 3 days.

I've tried soaking them in milk as well, but the salt water works well for me.

I've heard somewhere that if you're very quick, you can go directly to the grill or fryer. I seem to remember <=20 minutes to be the target for that.

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Old 07/18/13, 01:47 PM
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I've never taken them straight to the pan, but I've heard if you cook them within an hour of dispatch you'll beat rigor and they'll be fine. I give mine 3 days.

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  #6  
Old 07/18/13, 02:13 PM
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I have one on the butcher list for today and for sure it will be on the plate tomorrow.
I have never tried any artificial soaking methods but I have kept them in the freezer when needed.

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Old 07/18/13, 03:23 PM
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The reason for resting is to let the process of rigor reach it's end. Freezing before rigor passes can produce a tougher carcass.

What's artificial about brining (I usually don't)?

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  #8  
Old 07/19/13, 02:43 PM
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I let the rabbits hang out in the fridge for 24 hours, then I vacuum packed them with a home made BBQ sauce, one went to the freezer and the other is still in the fridge for tonight.

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  #9  
Old 07/19/13, 04:49 PM
 
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If you can get the rabbit into the pan while it is still limber (before rigor mortis sets in) it will be fine. Process it asap and rinse in warm water instead of cold... and then into the pot. If rigor sets in before you can cook it, it is best to let it rest in the fridge for 2-5 days, until rigor has passed.

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  #10  
Old 07/22/13, 11:05 AM
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What's artificial about brining (I usually don't)?
Does any meat in Nature gets brined before being eaten?
Maybe only if there is a big qty of meat the Indians and other native people developed ways of preserving it with salt/smoke/dry .......
I just butchered and wife cut it in pieces and cooked it for dinner.
But I do want to brine pork and we brine fish.
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  #11  
Old 07/25/13, 09:43 PM
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I have heard the sooner you eat them the better they taste so yeah you could probably have one for dinner. Yet I'm no expert

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  #12  
Old 07/26/13, 07:06 AM
 
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What is the salt to water ratio for the brine?

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  #13  
Old 07/26/13, 09:30 AM
 
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Ive eaten my first couple shortly after butchering and the others several days later. Didn't really notice much difference

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  #14  
Old 07/29/13, 09:49 AM
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I've grilled them shortly(within 30 minutes) after hubby has dressed them.
I've cooked them after they've been in the freezer 2 days, freezer 4 months(only because I wasn't going to eat them right away, not for meat taste difference).
I've never noticed a difference.
I don't brine or soak mine in milk.When I was a kid and my dad hunted we did this to get the "gamey" taste out of meat, however mine are raised on pellets,hay/straw, and occasional vegetation and they don't taste gamey to me(they taste more like chicken breast).

So this thread is interesting,I didn't know it made a difference.

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  #15  
Old 07/29/13, 11:42 AM
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From a strictly culinary point of view I like to brine to make sure the meat is really nice and juicy and if I want to infuse a flavor before smoking. Though I do it before I cook instead of before I freeze. I had always heard you want to either eat it right away (which I've never done) or let it rest 24hrs to beat out the rigor mortis (which is what we do with chickens or our rabbits we hope to get someday soon).

So you can brine while you let it rest and then it's all nice and ready when you defrost it later? I might be changing my procedure...

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  #16  
Old 07/29/13, 12:29 PM
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I find that brining while it rests enhances the flavor and the meat is ready to cook right out of the freezer. I could brine after freezing, but brining while it rests seems like a more efficient use of time.

For me, deboning and cubing is easier when the meat is slightly frozen. I like to grill mine on skewers with various veggies. The bones, ribs and leftover meat bits go to the dogs raw.

Otherwise, the whole thing goes in a pressure cooker prior to deboning for casseroles and whatnot. In that case, the bones go in the trash.

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  #17  
Old 07/29/13, 02:43 PM
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Could someone tell me what the taste difference is, if any of a brined rabbit vs. a non-brined rabbit?

Is their any taste difference or just ply-ablility difference? Any experience with brined vs. not brined info would be great, Thanks!

I do have a customer who infuses our roasters with cajun injectables.

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  #18  
Old 07/29/13, 04:22 PM
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I soak my rabbits and squirrels in salt water over night just to get the blood out. Other than that there is no reason to soak them in salt water (brine). When you butcher a tame rabbit you are bleeding it out when you cut it's head off, right after stunning it. That doesn't happen when you shoot wild game, so you soak it. The difference in salt content inside the animal as compared to the salt water draws out the blood.

You can also soak venison if it wasn't bled out well and is real red. Also, don't mind soaking some of the blood and other bad stuff out of liver before I cook it.

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  #19  
Old 07/29/13, 04:38 PM
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I have tried brining once or twice a long time ago. Didn't make any difference in flavor, just was more trouble and took up room in our fridge. Now we process and freeze immediately. Usually if we're going to eat what we butchered, we do so when we're all done with butchering all the , and then start cooking after we're all cleaned up. No texture or taste problems whatsoever. We bleed them out so no issues with too much blood in the body to require a brine soak, unlike hunted animals.

We usually butcher in the 20-30 of rabbits per butchering day, and usually around 50 chickens when we do a batch. Usually we have rabbit or chicken for dinner that night. Depending on when we get done with clean up and butchering, some of those carcasses could be anywhere from half an hour to a couple hours after death.

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  #20  
Old 07/29/13, 04:59 PM
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Good lord, MyGoat, we are a tiny operation compared to you! I hope to get there though.

I always have brined to maintain moisture in the finished product, like before smoking a big pork butt or something like that. I actually did not know doing such was a guard against a 'gamey' taste or blood in the meat. Similar to rinsing fresh catfish in buttermilk I guess?

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  #21  
Old 07/30/13, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by mygoat View Post
I have tried brining once or twice a long time ago. Didn't make any difference in flavor, just was more trouble and took up room in our fridge. Now we process and freeze immediately. Usually if we're going to eat what we butchered, we do so when we're all done with butchering all the , and then start cooking after we're all cleaned up. No texture or taste problems whatsoever. We bleed them out so no issues with too much blood in the body to require a brine soak, unlike hunted animals.

We usually butcher in the 20-30 of rabbits per butchering day, and usually around 50 chickens when we do a batch. Usually we have rabbit or chicken for dinner that night. Depending on when we get done with clean up and butchering, some of those carcasses could be anywhere from half an hour to a couple hours after death.
So you don't rest rabbit or chicken between butchering and cooking or freezing and have not noticed any toughness due to rigor mortis?
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  #22  
Old 07/30/13, 08:38 AM
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Yup, no toughness issues here. Or flavor. I do rest them sometimes still,but only on accident as they thaw in the fridge for cooking. Sometimes I don't get to them when I should, so they 'rest'.

We're not huge, lol. I breed several does so that I have usually upwards of 40 kits born at a time. I sell some and keep some. Usually takes me a couple hours of buchering to put 30 in the freezer - I do the stuff outside, and dad takes them inside, rinses them, bags, and freezes them. Our breeding schedule is such that one group of does is kindling when I breed the next group. This results in litters born the first week of every month. I wean at 6 weeks, and butcher at 10-12.

Chickens is a team thing too. Dad beheads, scalds, plucks. I eviscerate. We can do 50 in a couple hours, with most of the time going to setup and cleanup. I *hate* cleanup.

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Last edited by mygoat; 07/30/13 at 10:25 AM.
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  #23  
Old 07/30/13, 08:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CraterCove View Post
Good lord, MyGoat, we are a tiny operation compared to you! I hope to get there though.

I always have brined to maintain moisture in the finished product, like before smoking a big pork butt or something like that. I actually did not know doing such was a guard against a 'gamey' taste or blood in the meat. Similar to rinsing fresh catfish in buttermilk I guess?
Yes sir, as for me those are the only two reason to brine to get the blood out (as i soak all my fish i catch in salt water for 12-24 hours then freeze i can pass catfish for walleye =P.) And for smoking. But too each there own I personally like wild game and fishy flavor but no one else in the house dose!
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