Aging rabbit meat

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by dcpac, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. dcpac

    dcpac Well-Known Member

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    I know a lot of people age rabbit meat in the frig for 3 days. Do you heep it under water? How do you store it while in the frigerator?
     
  2. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I just bag mine for the freezer and then put the bags in a plastic bin in the fridge. One the third day I pop them into the freezer.
     

  3. Bamboorabbit

    Bamboorabbit Well-Known Member

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    I soak the rabbits in salt water for a day and then drain the water and put them in plastic grocery bags double bagged and back in the frig for 3 days. I then cut them up and place enough for a meal on the flat styrofoam trays (like you would get hamburger on from the store) and vacuum seal and in the freezer they go. The foam trays are very cheap.....like $1.50 per hundred?
     
  4. dcpac

    dcpac Well-Known Member

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  5. rabbithappy

    rabbithappy Well-Known Member

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    I thought it was only to age 24 hours. What is the reasoning for the 3 days in the fridge? Does it make it more tender?
     
  6. smilesnsunshine

    smilesnsunshine Well-Known Member

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    Bamboorabbit, would you please share what kind of vacuum sealer works with cheap styrofoam trays? )We use the FoodSaver type, which is effective but not so cheap.) Thanks!
     
  7. vikav

    vikav Well-Known Member

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    I usually first cut them up into different parts, pat them dry, and flash freeze the pieces on a baking sheet in our upright freezer. When frozen, I quickly pack them into Food Saver bags, vacuum seal, and put back into the freezer. That way, if I just want to thaw out a couple of pieces, they are not stuck together, and I can easily remove just a couple of pieces out of the bag for a meal. I age them for 3 days right before I cook them. Just put however much I want from the freezer into the fridge, and leave it there for 3 days. I was always wondering if it makes a difference in the meat quality if you age them before freezing as opposed to aging them after freezing. I've never tried doing it the other way. Anybody knows if there is a difference?
     
  8. smilesnsunshine

    smilesnsunshine Well-Known Member

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    Aging them in the fridge for a day or so lets the rigor mortis pass, for more tender meat. Definitely helps if you're grilling, but after several hours in a crock pot I doubt most folks would be able to tell the difference.

    I've only worked with wild cottontails, not domestics so far.
     
  9. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The important thing is that rigor mortis has a chance to completely pass. Some people age one day, some two, some three. You could experiment and see if there is a difference in the tenderness.
     
  10. Bamboorabbit

    Bamboorabbit Well-Known Member

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    If I am understanding right:) I should have said the rabbit goes on styro trays THEN in bags and vacuum sealed.
     
  11. pfaubush

    pfaubush Well-Known Member

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    Where do you find the styrofoam trays?
     
  12. Bamboorabbit

    Bamboorabbit Well-Known Member

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    It is just the way my folks always did it, same reason beef is aged I guess. The longer you let the rabbit sit the better it will be......to a point of course. For us it is a minimum of 4 days..sometimes 5 but never more than 7. Bear in mind the longer you let it sit now the less time you can let it sit when you thaw it. IMHO it improves the texture and the flavor.
     
  13. Bamboorabbit

    Bamboorabbit Well-Known Member

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    The grocery store, ask for the meat manager. The style we use is 20S which is what the store uses for the ground beef of less than 2 lbs. but they will have many tray options. They sell them by the pound and it takes a LOT of trays to make a pound. I believe he said it was like $8 per 500 which is a case I believe but we always buy half a case at a time.



    [​IMG]
     
  14. Briza

    Briza Well-Known Member

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    If you need to eat a larger older rabbit try aging in the bottom of the fridge (coldest part) with a wash of vinegar or lime juice- just brush it on and leave covered lightly with a paper towel or freezerpaper to prevent drying- do not seal in plastic or it will get slimy. You can do this for as long as a week and we have done 10 days with goat meat. The vinegar or lime will keep bacteria from colonizing and the result is fork tender at any age. This works much like hanging a larger carcass to age. Check periodically for drying and brush with more vinegar or lime. The meat will darken some like really expensive aged meats do.
    B~
     
  15. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    I butcher and section, then put the meat in a pot and cover it with salt water and stick it in the fridge for two days. Then I vac-seal it and freeze it.

    I used to just put it in the fridge in a bag for two days, but the salt water helps draw out the blood an amazing amount and the result is "cleaner" meat.
     
  16. smilesnsunshine

    smilesnsunshine Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that's a great looking display, Bamboorabbit!

    I was thinking the vacuum sealer would just crush the cheapy styrofoam, obviously not.

    And the reason for the tray at all - obviously better retail sales. The person who's going to cook it would have a MUCH better understanding than if the pieces were just tossed into a bag and sealed into a generic block o' meat and freezer wrapped.

    Lightbulb moment - you don't have to only sell one rabbit per pack. Combining certain cuts of meat per pack makes makes perfect sense from a cook's point of view. Buffalo rabbit legs, anyone?

    I'm totally sold. Well done Bamboorabbit!
     
  17. rabbithappy

    rabbithappy Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that was a very professional looking package of meat! I now want a vacuum sealer!!!!! And I think I'll ask the meat dept guy about the trays too. That looks fantastic! (It also made me quite hungry for a nice rabbit dinner! )
     
  18. Bamboorabbit

    Bamboorabbit Well-Known Member

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    It does bend the trays a bit but that is it. I don't sell any of the rabbit, we eat it and it is part of the BARF diet for our 3 Italian Greyhounds. I started using the trays with the grouper and snapper fillets and so used them for the rabbits as well. The trays do help to keep the bones from one pack pushing down and puncturing the next tray and losing vacuum, plus it makes the fillets look better when I give them to neighbors and friends.
     
  19. 5050

    5050 Well-Known Member

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    We read some where, although I can no longer find the link, that thaw rigor is overcome with just 30 hours of chilling before freezing. We have used this time frame on every rabbit we have processed and they have all been tender and delicous. We process them from age 9 weeks to 20 weeks and anywhere in between. I like older rabbits now more than the young ones .
    3 days is fine, but we have limited cold storage space and 30 hours really helps us work through the rabbits and get them to "camp". If they chill longer than 30 hours we do not worry about it, we pack and freeze them as our schedule allows.
    It will ultimately boil down to personal preference, but some chilling before freezing is certainly advised.
    BambooRabbit the styro plates are a great idea, thanks.
     
  20. dcpac

    dcpac Well-Known Member

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    As soon asI I saw your post I thought what a great idea for not only looks but for helping keep the bones from puncturing the bag, which I have had problems with in the past Thanks for the idea