MEAT CARE TIPS
Meat care post-harvest is important to maintaining the taste and integrity of the meat. What you do in the minutes, hours and days after your harvest will make a big difference when it comes time to eat it. Below are the six basic steps we follow in order to keep our meat fresh.
You want to be careful as you are gutting the animal to make sure you don’t puncture any organs in the digestive tract including the stomach, intestines and bladder. Fluids from inside these organs could taint the meat’s flavor.
2. Removing the Hide
Removing the hide is necessary in order to cool the meat down, so it doesn’t spoil. But, it’s also important to minimize the amount of hair and dirt that gets on the meat while skinning. Laying down a tarp or hanging it from a tree are a few ways to do this.
3. Game Bags
You’ll want to make sure you have the correct game bags for the way you are processing the meat. For instance, if you’re quartering the animal up you will use a different game bag system than if you are leaving whole.
4. Air Flow
It’s important to hang your meat in a cool, shady location where it gets adequate air flow. This is an essential part of cooling the meat down, so it doesn’t spoil. If you have to leave your meat overnight the best choice to maintain adequate air flow is to hang it from a tree. In a desert setting a large sage brush or bush may work as well.
Keeping the meat cool while you’re transporting it home will keep it from spoiling. You’ll want to keep it on ice or dry ice in a cooler for the duration, checking it periodically and removing any water from the melting ice as you go.
This is entirely preferential, but we find ageing to be a benefit to meat flavor and tenderness. What we mean by ageing is, we typically like to let our meat hang for at least a few days, sometimes up to a week depending on the temperature. If the temperature is about 60 degrees or below it’s okay to hang it in your garage or shop for that amount of time. Anything above that you’re running the risk of it spoiling.