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Old 10-24-2007, 11:30 AM   #1
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ISO-help on preparing wild game

I am doing some research on preparing wild game. In the last few years I have always skinned and quatered my deer and put the meat in a cooler full of ice water, I then would drain/change the water 1 or 2 times a day for 2-3 days. To improve quality, taste and tenderness of the meat. I have not found much information on this topic. So here I am looking for some insight from you fine folks. Thanks in advance for you help!!!

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Old 10-24-2007, 12:38 PM   #2
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Any game taste gamy. No pan intended. So the idea is to get rid of that gamy taste. I've never heard water to be used for that purpose, not to say that it is wrong, just that I did not hear about. I recommend vinegar based marinade to kill the gamy taste. There are tons of marinade recipes out there. I'd prefer the one that would include garlic, but that is just me. I'm sure there are people who cook game on the regular bases who would have better advice. I only like to eat game, not cook, well, mostly because I can't get any.
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:47 PM   #3
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Welcome to DC JKP...

I have heard the topic "to soak or not to soak, it doesn't make any difference" debated for years. It seems each veiwpoint can produce "experts" with scientific evidence to back up their claims. IMHO, what goes/went on right prior to the kill and immediately following has more impact on the quality, taste, and tenderness of the meat. I have a friend that will not harvest an animal that is/was running/excited etc. Rather he only takes an animal that is "cool, calm, and collected. Excited animals can produce tight tough muscles/meat that are also more gamey. The beef industry figured this out years ago.
If by chance I take an excited, running animal I field dress it ASAP and try to wait 24 hours proir to processing to allow the muscles to relax. To your soaking issue, I personally do not soak in salt water for extended periods of time. Only portions that are blood-shot get this treatment. Anyway, it is a deep subject. Again welcome to DC and good hunting!

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Old 10-24-2007, 01:37 PM   #4
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Thanks!

Thanks Uncle Bob,

I agree with you 100% and I am starting to come to the conclusion that their are about 4 different ways to discuss this 1. skin/quarter/freeze ASAP 2. Hang the deer and let age if this is possible 3. age the deer in the fridge 4. Use the Icewater / brine method.

I realy think it just depends on the situation, age, sex,cirumstanes and so on!

Debating these four topics and picking out the best is not possible, they all be correct in the right situation.

What is your thoughts on aging deer in a fridge for say 5-7 days if it is a narly old buck or mature doe.

I appreciate you input!
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Old 10-24-2007, 02:01 PM   #5
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Aging meat will definitely tenderize it. Again a lesson from the beef industry.

Aging deer for 7-10 days is a good thing. Two important points. 1. The carcass temperature must be maintained between 35*-40* Never above 40*
2. It is best to leave the hide on during aging to prevent the meat from drying out. If you remove the hide prior to aging the meat will turn dark on the surface and you will remove this dry, dark meat resulting in less yield. I think all animls, whether old bucks or young does benefit from aging.




Edit. I can't spell!! Arrgh!!!
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Old 10-24-2007, 03:41 PM   #6
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I just ordered some beef that needed slaughtered first (that should be fresh enough ) and they told me it would be a two week wait because that's how long they let it age. Almost to the point of molding he said. I didn't realize it was aged such a long time (it seems).

Whenever I got a deer I always had it processed, so I figured the day or two or three before I got it to the processor, then however long it took them, as they usually had two dozen other deer waiting ahead of mine... that was aged enough. Some tasted gamey, some didn't. And I always field dressed the same way. Some deer were running, some were not BTW, but adrenaline is supposed to not be good for the meat, like Bob said.

I just read an article on processing your own deer and it said to remove as much fat as possible because the fat adds to the gamey taste. It also said it was OK to rinse the meat off, but to then dry it because wet meat spoils more quickly and cultivates bacteria more readily. Pack the carcass with ice if above 50F until you can get it to the butcher or refrigerate (by quartering).

My neighbor turns his whole deer into oxroast, something near and dear to my area (shaved beef in juice) and it tastes fantastic. I don't think they let the deer hang and age, but I could be mistaken. He's got quite the little setup in his garage for butchering and cooking the meat.
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Old 10-25-2007, 10:10 AM   #7
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I have prepared venison about every way described here. I have found that the sooner the hide comes off the better. The more fat you can remove the less gamey it tastes. When you get it back to camp or kitchen and hang it up hang it by the hind feet, skin it, thoroughly rinse out the gut cavity and make sure nothing is left in there. Remove all the visible fat you can. Then as time and/or weather permits quarter it and process it for the freezer/fridge or canner. A professional chef told me a long time ago that the best was to cook venison was immersed in a tomato based sauce with appropriate vegetables a long time over low heat. Charcoal grills and venison just don't mix. I have found he is right and most fo the time I will cook venison in something with either citric (tomatos or citrus fruit juice) or acetic (vinegar) acid.
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Old 10-25-2007, 10:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKP View Post
I am doing some research on preparing wild game. In the last few years I have always skinned and quatered my deer and put the meat in a cooler full of ice water, I then would drain/change the water 1 or 2 times a day for 2-3 days. To improve quality, taste and tenderness of the meat. I have not found much information on this topic. So here I am looking for some insight from you fine folks. Thanks in advance for you help!!!
different soaks before you cook... I have heard of doing all of these. Not sure which is the best, but the apple cider sure has promise....

soak a few hours prior to cooking....
Buttermilk....
sliced apples, water, a little salt.
wine/vinegar mix
apple cider
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Old 12-17-2007, 11:50 PM   #9
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I am very new to wild game, especially deer, I know people who soak it in cold ice water, or salted water, or vinegar and water, but the butcher my other friend uses, just cuts it and packs it, then freezes it and it's come out just fine. I really don't know which way is better, I do trim all the fat out, and before I cook it, I take out anything that is tough. But it seems the soaked meats seem a little drier than the meats taken out the packages the butcher makes.
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