Processing deer meat

How long is best to hang deer meat before breaking it down I have never delt with deer and am going to go hunting them soon and would like to know how to handle the meat for best eating I butcher my own meat so know my way around beef but I’ve heard that deer are best left to hang for a longer period is that right or can it be cut up early for the same outcome in texture and taste I normally hang beef quartered for anywhere from 1week to 3weeks depending on the time I have thanks

I would think you are right treating it the same as lean beef. So far when I have butchered it, it has not been allowed to hang purely because I didnt have a cool room. The results were still more than acceptable.

Just get the skin off and get the meat temperature down as quickly as possible

I’m lucky and have access to a mates walk in cool room. The main thing to avoid is contamination. Gut it or do the no gut method. Remove the skin, get it cool as quickly as possible. Young deer only need to be hung in a cool room for a week or so but the longer the better especially for the older deer. The cool room I use it set at 4C I think. Don’t hang them high, the lower the better. Don’t open the cool room door and look at it, just leave it be. And cryovac the meat if you can.

Thanks gents the trip could happen in a month or so we have to wait for the ground to dry up as I can’t walk too far with me feken knees. cheers :+1:

Two options @anon19591382. Hanging, below 16C - few days to a week.

Personally, I can’t do that. So the other option is to process it and keep it in a big stainless steel bawl in your fridge. Once a day, drain blood. If you can have it separated from the bottom so there’s no contact between meat and drained blood, that’s good, but not a necessity. I just drain it once a day and then vacuum pack and freeze within 4 - 5 days.

16C isn’t cold enough, It has to be well below that. 3C-4C is ideal.

Thanks JS

Yeah I have always run my cold room on 0 to 3 degree

The trick is getting it to the cold room fast enough. If your lucky enough to have one.

I’ve got an esky big enough to carry a deer or 200lb of meat and ice so we’ll throw the deer in it then when we get home i’ll hang it in the cold room for awhile do you reckon that’ll do? because it’s about 4hrs away from home

Will work perfectly methinks. One thing, use old pillow cases or new el cheappo from target or something as meat bags. Don’t throw meat directly on ice.

Also, try not to skin as much as you can, it will protect the meat. Skin after it’s hung and trim off all the dry and dirty meat then.

If you’ve got a big carry out, and your not up for it, I’d suggest the gutless method and take the legs, back strap, neck and chest meat. FWIW, I always take the skin off and put the cuts straight into cotton meat bags. Yes the skin protects the meat, but it also holds the heat in, which you want to get out. If putting meat into an esky for travel or temporary storage, I use 2 or 3 litre milk bottles full of frozen water. Don’t use bag ice as it inevitably leaks. I don’t have a cold room, but I have a large spare fridge I use for aging meat.

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For those who don’t know the gutless field dressing method. Note the knife used, Havalon. An Elk in Colorado.

Havalon, replaceable blades.

That looks like the way to go and stick it in bags like JS suggested we won’t have to carry it we can drive around and take our pick as they don’t get shot at much only by the farmer and his close family once in awhile

Only downside is you miss out on the eye fillet steak. They are pretty small anyway.

Actually… You don’t have to if you’re happy doing it by feel. Shove your hand in there, find it and then second hand with a knife and cut them out. Don’t really need to make a big hole for that. But yeah, they are quite small, but alright for a 2 person roast

Watch part 2.