Deer aged in cooler

Discussion in 'Food Preparation, Camp Cooking and Recipes' started by Pollcat, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. Pollcat

    Pollcat 8 pointer

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    Mar 29, 2005
    How long do you age (soak) your deer meat in ice water before grinding/freezing?

    How long is too long for deer meat in ice water?
     
  2. quackrstackr

    quackrstackr Welcome to Fantasy Island Staff Member

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    Nov 19, 2003
    The Island
    I have had mine in a cooler for up to 5 days. Just keep the water drained off of it and keep adding ice.
     
  3. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

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    Nov 27, 2004
    Jerkwater, KY
    I lay some ice in the cooler, some meat, some ice, another layer of meat. I pull the drain plug and tilt the cooler so it drains fully. Add ice each morning and evening as needed.

    I aged two deer this way last week, killed them Saturday morning and wrapped and froze them on Wednesday. Meat was in great shape, no blood to speak of.
     
  4. predator

    predator 12 pointer

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    Nov 23, 2006
    Leitchfield, Ky.
    These guys are right on. This is the only way I'll age one that I'm keeping for myself.
     
  5. DRS

    DRS Banned

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    Mar 3, 2010
    Kentucky
    Generally I leave my cut-up Deer in my large cooler for about three days. I add lots of ice to cover parts & also I add a quart of lemon juice & some water. Keeps venison cold & cleans it.
     
  6. kissey_branch_hunter

    kissey_branch_hunter 6 pointer

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    Sep 18, 2008
    I'll keep my deer in a cooler (deboned) with ice for 2-3 days, but I will NEVER soak it in ice water. I make sure there is no water standing in the cooler by draining it often (pull plug) and i wrap all the meat in plastic bags so it can't touch the water. Why do you all soak the meat in water? Do you all soak other meats in water as well? Just curious, thanks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  7. Cantmisum

    Cantmisum 8 pointer

    I with ya there, water causes bacteria grouth.I never heard of soaking in water untill I came to ky. Plus why would you want all the blood out , thats what makes it wild game.
    If I cant hang mine out doors for a week or better. quarter it and put it in an old uprigth frezzer set at 38 to 41 deg. to let it dry age and break down the protien to tenderize. I have hung deer out in the cold untill it was black and just cut away the hard stuff and it was the best deer I have ever eaten. No water on the meat except to clean any crap off it , then dry it with a towel. Just my .02
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  8. DRS

    DRS Banned

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    The main reason I soak my Venison in Ice water + Lemon Juice is to clean & soak most of the blood out of the meat. Been doing this for years & years and found it to be an excellent way to rid your venison of unwanted matter & debris.
     
  9. kissey_branch_hunter

    kissey_branch_hunter 6 pointer

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    Sep 18, 2008
    thanks DRS, i see. I'm with Cantmisum, i want the blood though. i guess all that really matters is that people like what they eat and they keep on hunting!
     
  10. DRS

    DRS Banned

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    That's the reason for adding a quart of lemon juice to the ice/water, to control bacterial growth. Also, soaking most of the blood out makes your venison less gamey. You only leave your venison in the icy solution for no more than a few days.
     
  11. Cantmisum

    Cantmisum 8 pointer

    I have tryed a hind quarter my neiaghbor gave me last year, that was soak as you all do.
    It almost reminded me of the texture of veal. Dont get me wrong its not that I dont like veal. It seemed to cook up pretty dry without the blood and I like my steak rare and bloody. maybe I cooked it to long. The rest I made into jerky and I realy could tell the diference. I actually think the water soaked jerky was more tender. Everybody enjoys differant things.
     
  12. Lester7009

    Lester7009 Fawn

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    May 24, 2010
    Nicholasville
    My neighbor has quartered and placed in plastic bags covered with ice. He put holes in bags to drain blood. water bottles in bottom of Ice chest to keep out of the water. Does this 4 to 5 days. he claims the best meat ever
     
  13. shogan

    shogan Cyber-Hunter

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    Aug 15, 2002
    Central, ky
    I take hide of immediately. If the weather permits I'll let my deer hang for at least 24 hours to let the meat go through the rigormortis stage. I then like to let it age for 4 more days. Temp and humidity allow (not raining). If it can't hang then meat comes off like in the KDFWR video, cool down on open rod iron table preferrebly over night and then goes into the extreme 5 day cooler. I add ice in 2 liter bottles or ice packs or in 1 gallon freezer bags.

    After aging Shave the browned edges off the roasts.

    If going into burger it doesn't need to be aged more than a day or 2 in my opinion.

    My least preferred method is to put meat in ziplock backs and age in fridge becasue the meat tends to get gunky and sit in it's own blood. Where as putting meat loosley in large cooler allows the meat to dry on the exterior most resembeling the natural hanging process.
     
  14. ecmbowhunter

    ecmbowhunter Elitist Bowhunter

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    at the Elite Level
    I keep mine in a cooler covered with ice for just a few days. I do not "soak" though. I keep the cooler propped with the plug open so the water drains.

    Do you guys soak your beef that you buy at the grocery too?
     
  15. DRS

    DRS Banned

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    Sometimes I do if the cut of Beef is tough or fatty.
     
  16. quackrstackr

    quackrstackr Welcome to Fantasy Island Staff Member

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    No.... but it doesn't get aged in an igloo cooler, either. :D
     
  17. tasaman

    tasaman Spike

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    Aug 10, 2009
    Woodlawn, TN
    No way I would ever soak my venison in anything but marinade. Not sure about the bacteria thing but it changes the flavor and texture of the meat too much. Tried it once didn't like it. I hang my deer at least a day even if it's hot out and up to a week or two if it's cool out like it is right now. Cut up one today that has been hanging since Black Friday and it's looking fine! Also, never even wash out the cavity of the deer with water...just gut and drain. Less chance of bacteria while it's hanging. If the paunch was busted then you will have to wash it out just like if you have a brain fart and bust the bladder. If I do rinse it out I try to dry it out with paper towels or a cotton towel and prop the cavity open to allow air flow. Since I've been doing this the venison has been much better than cutting it up the night it was killed.
     
  18. tasaman

    tasaman Spike

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    Aug 10, 2009
    Woodlawn, TN
    Oh I forgot, if it's going to be jerkey, skip all that I said and cut it up...it's supposed to be chewy! lol
     
  19. DRS

    DRS Banned

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    To each his own.:)
     
  20. MrFrequency

    MrFrequency 6 pointer

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    Sep 18, 2009
    Central Ky
    I soaked a deer up to a week before . Drain it every day added new ice . If it has bacteria I guess I would be dead right now , or really sick . I had some backstrap last weekend that was almost a very light pink . I rolled it in Kentucky colonel flour , best rancid , bacteria filled meat I've ever eaten , lol !!!!! My 11 year old daughter ate it , and she does not like most anything . Alot of people won't eat venison because of that gamey taste . Soaking it is a great way of getting rid of the gamey taste .
     

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