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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I knew meat should be chilled before freezing, but I didn't know why.
Was doing some reading yesterday, and came across a website about rabbit meat, and the section on slaughtering, and it said to chill rabbits for 1 1/2 days before freezing to prevent a condition called "thaw-rigor." I had no idea what that was, so I looked it up....

http://ag.ansc.purdue.edu/meat_quality/mqf_temperature.html

Never woulda guessed that! Thought I'd share.....


Kyah
 

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Interesting. I've never heard of it either. But if the best range is 59 to 61 I'll bet I don't hit that one very often!

Jennifer
 

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I did not know that, either. Good info, but as cold as it's been here, I don't think we hit the optimum temp INSIDE the house. LOL!

Hope the rabbits I gave to a neighbor don't have freeze rigor... She's giving me some chickens in exchange for the rabbit meat. (The chickens will still be alive.)

Thanks for sharing the info!
 

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This article says "For optimum meat quality, meat should be held at 59 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 16 degrees Celsius) during the onset of rigor mortis.", but it doesn't say how long that is. Kyah mentioned 1 1/2 days, but I can't imagine leaving meat at 60 degrees for 36 hours. Does anyone know how long you should keep it at 60 degrees for the best results?

Kat
 

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This article says "For optimum meat quality, meat should be held at 59 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 16 degrees Celsius) during the onset of rigor mortis.", but it doesn't say how long that is. Kyah mentioned 1 1/2 days, but I can't imagine leaving meat at 60 degrees for 36 hours. Does anyone know how long you should keep it at 60 degrees for the best results?

Kat
I also didn't see anything on that link citing rabbit in particular.

We always allow our rabbit to complete the rigor mortis process
before eating OR packaging for the freezer. It's certainly not
practical for us to maintain at 59 to 61 F. My fridge is
maintained much lower.

I hope someone can provide more information as this
suggestion goes against everything the processors
are doing when handling rabbit.

I have the following file. Although not from the U.S., it specifically
discusses rabbit which *might* be helpful.

Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 5 (1): 01-05, 2006
ISSN 1680-5194
© Asian Network for Scientific Information, 2006

Results and Discussion
pH Changes: Lawrie (1991) reported that the lowering of
pH in muscles is due to the accumulation of lactic acid
after stunning and Hulot and Ouhayoun (1999) also
indicated that it is one of the most significant postmortem
changes that occur during the conversion of
muscles to meat.

Fig. 1 showed that, on the average, it
took the rabbit meat 4.76 hours to attain the ultimate pH
of 5.69 at 2±2oC. Dransfield et al. (1980) previously
reported that all slaughtered pieces of meat stored at 0
to 1oC after stunning reached ultimate pHs as early as 5
hours for rabbit, 20 hours for pork, 24 hours for beef, 28
hours for lamb and 30 hours for veal and this is in
agreement with this study.

Compared to other meat animals, freshly slaughtered
rabbit meat should be immediately chilled to tenderize
rabbit
meat because of the short time (4.76 hours) it
takes the rabbit meat to complete rigor mortis
development and reach the ultimate pH
 

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I keep mine in the fridge for 3 days. I have tryed less time and the meat is stringy.
 

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uh, is it the general consenus then, that one should butcher, leave in the fridge for a day or two, and then freeze?

I'm thinking I don't have too many 59-60 degree storage places.
 

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I wonder why they suggest to chill the meat for that long though?
It doesn't hurt to chill it for that long. I sometimes don't
get around to sealing for the freezer for two or three days.

My problem is with the *suggestion* that rabbit should
be chilled at 59 to 61F.

Thanks for providing the source. That explains a lot.

I'm thinking I don't have too many 59-60 degree storage places.
Be thankful for that!

Linda Welch
 

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It doesn't hurt to chill it for that long. I sometimes don't
get around to sealing for the freezer for two or three days.

My problem is with the *suggestion* that rabbit should
be chilled at 59 to 61F.

Thanks for providing the source. That explains a lot.

Linda Welch
That was the source for the 1 1/2 days, but the 60 degrees source was Purdue University! :eek:

Maybe because it was dealing with "Meat" in general is the reason it didn't give a specific time. As Linda's post shows, the ultimate PH levels occured at different times with different types of meat. So maybe what we've learned is that the best way for rabbit is to keep it a 60 degrees for 5 hours (at least?) before freezing? :shrug:

Kat
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My problem is with the *suggestion* that rabbit should
be chilled at 59 to 61F.
Yes, I know what you mean. My eyebrow went way up when I read that. It just doesn't sound right, does it?

I've cooked rabbit before and had it go 'stringy'. At the time, I thought I may have over cooked it, but in hindsight, and after reading about this, it may have been that the meat simply wasn't chilled long enough, as SquashNut pointed out.

So maybe what we've learned is that the best way for rabbit is to keep it a 60 degrees for 5 hours (at least?) before freezing?
I think that's what Linda was saying, but I'm not sure what temperature?
It says:
Fig. 1 showed that, on the average, it
took the rabbit meat 4.76 hours to attain the ultimate pH
of 5.69 at 2±2oC.
But what does the "2±2oC" mean? I don't understand the ± symbol, lol.
 

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So maybe what we've learned is that the best way for rabbit is to keep it a 60 degrees for 5 hours (at least?) before freezing?
I didn't learn that.

The research paper didn't suggest 60 degrees.
Doesn't their temperature translate to about 34 F degrees?

uh, is it the general consenus then, that one should butcher, leave
in the fridge for a day or two, and then freeze?
Works for me!

I saw nothing on the Purdue page that referred to rabbit.
Why are we assuming it refers to white
rabbit meat instead of red meat beef?
I find it hard to believe that one statement can be all inclusive.

This is the procedure to be followed by USDA rabbit processors
for safety purposes.

Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA

§ 354.244 Temperatures and cooling
and freezing procedures.
Temperatures and procedures which
are necessary for cooling and freezing
of rabbits in accordance with sound
commercial practice shall be maintained
in the coolers and freezers, and
chilling temperatures and procedures
shall also be in accordance with sound
commercial practice.

(a) Cooling. Immediately after evisceration
and washing of the carcass, it
shall be placed in a cooling tank containing
running cold tap water to remove
the animal heat from the carcass.
Carcasses shall not be allowed to remain
in the cooling tank for longer
than 1 hour.

(b) Air chilling. Immediately after the
initial water chilling, the carcasses
shall be placed in cooling racks and
thereupon placed in a refrigerated cooler
with moderate air movements and a
temperature which will reduce the internal
temperature of the carcasses to
from 36 °F. to 40 °F., both inclusive,
within 24 hours.
The 36 °F. to 40 °F. is in line with the temperatures
in our home refrigerators.

I'm sure you all will be glad :sing: that I have nothing
further I can add!
Very interesting discussion.

Linda Welch
>won't be holding a rabbit carcass
at 60 degrees for five hours<
 

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I saw nothing on the Purdue page that referred to rabbit.
Why are we assuming it refers to white
rabbit meat instead of red meat beef?
I find it hard to believe that one statement can be all inclusive.
You're right, it doesn't mention any specific meat, and another section talks about dry aging beef. It's probably about red meat.

Thanks for the additional input Linda. I will follow the USDA recomendations and keep mine in the fridge for a couple days before freezing.

Kat
 
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