Curing Deer?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by big rockpile, Dec 5, 2003.

  1. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    I was told years ago by a Guy that durring cool weather you could take a Deer hang it,wash it out with Salt Brine,pack Salt in the Bullet Holes,leave the Hide on.Just go out and cut what you need off it.

    Has anyone else done this?

    I know durring cold I would just gut Rabbit leave the Hide on,when I wanted Rabbit I would get one skin it out cook it up.

    big rockpile
     
  2. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    depends on your taste... or if you really can taste the difference in an aged piece of meat and a fresh one. I break with all advice and butcher while the corpse is HOT and the blood will drain as ya butcher. Ive let them hang and besides having a hell of a time removing the hide off a cold corpse, I didnt find any difference in the meat. I process the meat and can it so perhaps it really wouldnt make a difference in taste then.
    if I was in a colder climate and a hanging corpse would stay frozen, id skin it salt it and save my labor, and let nature be my freezer.

    I know people who age deer by hanging them in a cellar at 40-50 degrees for WEEKS. the meat smells odd, but they aint dead from eating it and say its "wonderful". Aged meat may be, I will err on the side of caution.... me and gut cramps dont get along.

    I have eaten aged moose...I do admit it was really good as steaks go.

    as far as the real reason you are "suppose" to hang a deer to age out, I dont know. ive heard it sets the blood up in the tissue and makes more flavorful meat...

    I DO know, before the refigeration age, aging meat wasnt antetional move, meat just went bad slowly after it was butchered, andsomeone too it to the edge with "aged" beef... this is also where heavily spiced meats came into being, to hide the rotten taint of the meat.

    on the extream other side, you have the norweigians, who delight in eating absolutely putrifed shark meat... not aged... putrified. I had the displeasure of smelling a plate of that once and thought.. "if only they would slather it in limburgher cheese to make it a wee bit edible.."
    :haha:

    That probably didnt help at all but... your welcome.
     

  3. I was either told by someone or I read it somewhere that the hide is already full of bacteria even before you kill the animal. Therefore you need to remove the hide as soon as possible before the bacteria has a chance to makes its way into the meat.

    When I was processing deer for people I had a cousin who killed two deer in the same day. He brought both of them to me and we made the deal that I could keep the old buck deer for my own use if I process his doe deer for free. Plus I give him the head and horns back from the buck. I agreed and I ended up letting my deer caarcass hang in the cooler for 16 days while I processed everybody elses deer. When I finally got to process my deer there was not a thing wrong with it. I made steaks, roast, and hamburger out of it and it was the tenderist old buck deer that I have ever eaten. So tender that you could cut the steaks with a fork. No knife needed.

    This is called aging a deer. The temperture is kept between 33 degrees and 40 degrees. The longer the meat ages the more the muscle tissues break down without spoilage. Thus giving you a more tender steak and some people claim to have a better flavor.

    I do need to mention that I had to rehydrate the deer caarcass after leaving it in the cooler for 16 days. The longer you age the meat the more jerkedtified the meat will get. I cut the aged deer up in large peices and let stand in cold water for about 4 hours before I cut it up into steaks. After soaking the meat it looked as if it had just been harvested that morning.
     
  4. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    so why do these nutters hang their deer in the basement till it smells odd? why dont they get sick? it sure isnt 30 degrees in a basement. Are they doing something right or are they just being misin=formed and careless?
     
  5. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We hang ours for a couple of weeks in the garage :) But it stays cold cold cold in there.

    It does make the meat a lot more tender. We have always skinned them first and then trimmed the dry stuff off, but I was talking to the butcher who we take our livestock to, and he said the best thing was to just hang them with the hides on and save the trouble of trimming. Since he's been in the business 40+ years, we'll take his advice next year and save some work!

    I also called around to the taxidermists and found out we can sell caped hides for $30-50 each! It'll be a bit more work, but hey!

    Tracy
     
  6. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We hang ours for a couple of weeks in the garage :) But it stays cold cold cold in there.

    It does make the meat a lot more tender. We have always skinned them first and then trimmed the dry stuff off, but I was talking to the butcher who we take our livestock to, and he said the best thing was to just hang them with the hides on and save the trouble of trimming. Since he's been in the business 40+ years, we'll take his advice next year and save some work!

    I also called around to the taxidermists and found out we can sell caped hides for $30-50 each! It'll be a bit more work, but hey!

    Tracy
     
  7. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    I'm totally convinced aging a deer is not needed. Todays deer are no longer the wild foragers of the past. Most deer have a diet which includes corn or some other flavor enhancing staple.

    They no longer age beef.....it isn't necessary.

    I do know one person that does age his deer, but he has a walk in cooler with a temperature controled climate, which he keeps at 40 degrees for aging. I can't see how hanging a deer in a non temperature controled climate would do much of anything.

    My theory on venison is that butchering should proceed while the animal is still warm. The hide peels 50 times easier....and no cold half frozen hands from working with cold meat.
     
  8. little mom

    little mom Active Member

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    they let our beef hang 2 weeks up here in the butchering shop
    we think a week is plenty for us
    we would rather leave the hide on a deer till we get ready
    to process the colder the better we think it skins a lot eaiser hide just pulls right off, if it would happen to warm up the hide protects it from flies

    got neighbor that cures deer like ham its good
     
  9. Grizz

    Grizz Well-Known Member

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    The VERY BEST DEER MEAT is canned SOOOOOOO Tender
     
  10. Carol O

    Carol O Active Member

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    We let our deer hang, hide on for a few days and then process it. With the hide on there's little drying out, and little waste. We had no trouble getting the hides off our deer, and we save them and tan them ourselves. Dh hunts with a big hunting party for shotgun season and they all hang their deer for a week while the tags get filled, then they all butcher them together.
    Carol
     
  11. poppy

    poppy Guest

    Don't know about deer, but aged beef is the best. Our local butcher shop ages beef, and the hamburger even tastes like steak. The big outfits kill it in the morning, and by afternoon, it is on its way to the store. Omaha Steaks and the other high end sellers all sell aged beef.
     
  12. I generally hang a deer for 3 or 4 days- depending on the weather.If I'm hanging indoors I skin it right away- if outdoors in the cedar tree, I leave the hide on.Skinning immediately while the carcass is warm is a lot easier, but leaving the hide on keeps it cleaner .A lot depends on the weather and how busy I am.I did kill a big old mule deer right in the rut one year- he was the rankest buck I ever smelled.I unfortionately came down with the flu and was in bed for the next week, so it was a good two weeks before I even got around to skinning and butchering him- and that meat was untainted and as good a piece of venison as I ever had.
     
  13. Explorer

    Explorer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As comfortablynumb observed,

    "on the extream other side, you have the norweigians, who delight in eating absolutely putrifed shark meat... not aged... putrified. I had the displeasure of smelling a plate of that once and thought.. "

    As a member of that Northern clan, what you probably thought was rotten shark meat was actually cooked FRESH lutefisk! :haha: :haha: :haha:
     
  14. swamptiger

    swamptiger Active Member

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    I always try to get the hide off right away - when the animal is still warm. Much easier to skin, and helps the animal cool faster. Then, I hang it for a few days - if it's cool (close to freezing or freezing). If it's warm, I hang it for maybe a day (in the shade) and then cut it up.

    Never heard of the salt treatment, but they tried a lot of different things back in the days when they didn't have refrigeration.
     
  15. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    no explorer... they said it was fermented shark. After that i saw somrething about it on a travel show on the tube.
    unless fresh lutefish is old sharkmeat.. lol
     
  16. swamptiger

    swamptiger Active Member

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    Just had a plate of lutefisk the other day...mmmmm :worship:
     
  17. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    We had a deer ham given to us by someone. It was from a young deer, born this year. It was not aged at all. It was SOO tough.
    Then my dad killed a thooster, probably 4 1/2 or 5 1/2 years old. We let it age for 2 days before freezing/ cooking it, and it was quite tender! You have to let the rigamortis go away. I think it breaks down. So I have to disagree with those who say aging isn't necessary, it makes a big difference in ANY animal.
     
  18. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    In this neck of the wilderness [central idaho] we let the venison hang hide off for up to 10 days or so in an uncontrolled envioronment, unless it is raining, then a carcass can spoil in a matter of a couple dayz.... usually just 6 or 7 dayz depending upon the day we "harvest" one, kinda one weekend to the next if possible....

    never heard of putting salt on the carcass since the invention of the freezer around here..... salt beef/pork/venison were a contributating cause of boils on some folks bodies ages ago..... or so ive been told.

    Not all venison has a corn field to eat in..... here in these parts some get fat in wheat fields, or hay fields, but unless a fella is friends with a farmer we are put to hunting in the mountains where the fare is mostly browse, and a whole less fat on most animals, and hanging for longer periods of time surely does help tenderize venison.... and cutting off the "silvery film" on the venison will aid in reducing the "gamey" flavor alot of folks do not care for. Our mule deer eat a quit a bit of sage, and that in itself imparts a flavor many folks cant stomach which leaves a good portion left for me!

    I got a deer one thanksgiving day years ago when the temperature was hovering about zero.... that hide came off within an hour of shooting, however it froze as it was cming off, and my fingers would have loved to let it stay, but dad would not have it..... we had more than one spoil from not being able to cool out properly with the hide left on.

    AS for selling hides and such, Gary at Moscow hide and Fur http://www.furbuyer.com/ has links to last years sales and buys from all over the world..... Ive done business with them for a long time.
     
  19. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Well, we have just gutted them and hung them. Then we just salted the inside. There isn't really any salt what you eat (we do not normally eat the ribs), except the inside tenderloins. I suppose the dogs get quit a bit of salt. But venison is not the largest portion of our diet, or the dogs.
     
  20. Oregonsparkie

    Oregonsparkie Well-Known Member

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    I always hang our meat before processing. I'm told that it needs to hang for about 36 - 48 hours after death, this allows time for the rigamortise(?) to leave the carcass and the meat will be more tender. A family friend has a very successful resturant, he told me once that he wont by any beef unless it has aged for about 5 weeks.