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Old June 5, 2007, 08:18 PM   #1
SavageSniper
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Best way to freeze meat.

Hi all. I would like to get some good advice on putting up meat from a good hunting season. With the liberal bag limits here in Florida on deer, I can get plenty of meat. I have tried just wrapping in freezer paper, vac-pac with one of them home done things, even freezing in jugs of water. It never fails that come late summer the meat just is not fresh or freezer burnt.
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Old June 5, 2007, 08:44 PM   #2
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I find the food vac to work great for venison. Birds get the block of ice. I have had some two year old venison that tasted as good as week old unfrozen venison. I have dedicated floor freezer that's not opened daily. I butcher all my game. I have never used a processor.
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Old June 5, 2007, 08:50 PM   #3
Lavid2002
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What fisherman said, but the only difference VENISON DOESNT STAY AROUND MY HOUSE FOR 2 YEARS! IT DOESNT LASTT HAT LONG! : D!!
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Old June 5, 2007, 08:55 PM   #4
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Well, that package slipped through the basket and wedged under some frozen veggies. It never lasts year if I can find it. I need to start an inventory so that never happens again.
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Old June 5, 2007, 09:02 PM   #5
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Give most of it away right away, There are always seniors and needy around to share good fresh venison. Your problem will then be solved.
Good venison tastes even better when its in short supply, and you are much more eager for the next hunting season.

One of the things i do is, never cut the steaks until the day you cook them, freeze the whole loin/mussel. then just as it starts to soften slice it up, or you have a nice roast. Processing time is cut short also, you get back into the field/bush much sooner.
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Old June 5, 2007, 09:49 PM   #6
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I vaccum seal mine, then wrap that in white frezer paper.
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Old June 5, 2007, 09:57 PM   #7
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I guess that I need to get a new vacuum seal thingy. Seems to be the trick.
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Old June 5, 2007, 10:32 PM   #8
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I use a Deni vacuum sealer that I got for around $30 (from amazon.com, I think), but that's not enough by itself. After I've vacuum-sealed the meat, I put the packages in a heavy-duty ZipLok freezer bag. Meat holds up easily for a year that way.
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Old June 6, 2007, 09:36 AM   #9
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trim the fat, trim the fat.
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Old June 6, 2007, 10:39 AM   #10
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One of the most important things is DO NOT store meat in a Frost-Free freezer such as the units on your refridgerators. I store mine in a chest freezer set to it's lowest settings. I have no problems keeping meat for 2-3 years. Sausages are different. With the high salt and fat content, they do not store well beyond a year or so. I vacuum seal all sausages and smoked meats. I double wrap cuts in plastic wrap or baggies, getting as much air out as possible and then wrap in butcher paper. As mentioned earlier, keep cuts as large as possible and slice for steaks when you use them. I also only grind my burger as I need it, maybe enough for 4-6 months worth as I add a little beef fat and fat also does not keep well, like sausage. I also leave the silver skin on loin chunks, as it seems to add an extra layer of protection to the meat. It is easily trimmed off when you want to use it. I do everything myself, including the sausage making. I believe I get a much higher quality product that way. Game meat can be the best thing you have ever eaten or it can be the absolute worst, depending on the handling and processing. Good luck.
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Old June 6, 2007, 10:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
One of the most important things is DO NOT store meat in a Frost-Free freezer such as the units on your refridgerators.
BINGO

I didn't realize till I read it, but before I got an old garage stand alone freezer I couldn't keep meat longer than a few months.
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Old June 6, 2007, 06:38 PM   #12
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THAT must be my problem too. I have a standup freezer too.
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Old June 6, 2007, 07:33 PM   #13
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Plus 1 to the trim the fat.
Plus 1 to the vacuum sealer
Plus 2 to the deep freezer. Temperature, not frost is the key.
Plus 1 to the butcher yourself.(ALWAYS)
Plus 1 to the freeze the whole muscle
Plus 1 to the cut the steaks while it is slightly frozen.
Plus 1 to the hunters for the hungry type programs.
Adding to this line of thinking: The cleaner you get the meat, the better it will taste. If you vacuum seal it with some hair on it, it will taste gamier.

I soak my deer quarters in ice water for 3 days, changing out the water daily. The sooner I get the meat in the ice water the better. No laying around for 8 hours before quartering.
This gets the blood out and the meat is tastier by far. I do not get hair on the meat and I TRIM THE FAT.
Happy munching!
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Old June 6, 2007, 08:15 PM   #14
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I just want everyone to know I had chicken fried backstrap fer din din. I'm in a state of food euphoria.
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Old June 7, 2007, 08:40 AM   #15
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The best way is vacuum seal.

Second best is to wrap in a cling wrap making sure there is little air as possible then wrap in freezer paper.
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Old June 7, 2007, 12:49 PM   #16
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Wrap first in plastic wrap and follow with a butcher's wrap of freezer paper. The butcher's wrap consists of bringing the two ends of a piece of freezer paper together and then rolling them down to the level of the meat. The ends are then tucked underneath and taped. YOU MUST USE THIS METHOD OF FREEZER WRAPPING! This is so important I'll describe it differently. Tear off a sheet of freezer paper. Glossy side up, place it on the counter. Put a hunk of meat in the center. Lift both far ends of the freezer paper to form a sort of triangular tent above the meat. Using both edges placed together, roll the paper downwards until you contact the meat. Move hands to the outside edges, and fold paper under hunk of meat. Turn entire package over, tape loose ends down, label other side. Note on plastic wrap: any or all of your packages of meat may first be wrapped in plastic (Saran-type) wrap, then put in butcher's wrap via freezer paper. I have found that if you master the butcher's wrap, the plastic wrap layer is unnecessary. BUT: if you allow air into your butcher's wraps, you run the risk of freezer burn, a fate horrible to contemplate. I recommend that beginners invest in Saran wrap for the cheap insurance it provides.
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Old June 7, 2007, 02:48 PM   #17
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type of freezer??

This is the first I have heard about frost-free freezers being an issue. I have a stand-up style freezer, frost-free, and have never had an issue. Might be that it is in the garage and gets opened very infrequently...

Now I am thinking I better buy a chest style freezer as well for the elk I am sure to get this year...
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Old June 8, 2007, 09:23 PM   #18
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I learned this trick from a guy I hunted with in Montana. He bought a roll of those plastic bags the grocery store has out in their produce dept. If you wrap your venison in one of those bags and squeeze out the air and then wrap it in freezer paper, it will last a very long time. I just defrosted some venison sausage I made in 2004 and it was fine. No freezer burn.
And using the plastic bags was a lot cheaper than buying one of those vacuum units. And the plastic bag roll must have a ton of bags cause I'm still using the roll I bought in Montana before we moved to Texas.

And don't start yelling that I should have eaten that sausage sooner. I gave some to my son-in-law and he forgot about it in the freezer. We defrosted it on our last visit and had it for breakfast.
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Old June 10, 2007, 04:49 PM   #19
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Vacum pack...Don't get the cheapies...somethings you can get away w/ that, but not the vacuum packs...Only buy the foodsaver brands...
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Old June 10, 2007, 05:33 PM   #20
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What makes the food saver brand better?
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Old June 11, 2007, 09:49 AM   #21
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I originally bought a vacuum sealer at Sears and that was a piece of crap. Overall, my success rate on a seal was maybe 60%. I had to start sealing all bag ends twice to get a decent seal. And only after a couple years, I could do only one or two bags at a time before I'd have to let it cool down. I got sick of that and bought the FoodSaver brand. My success rate is now about 98% and I can seal 10-15 bags at a time before letting it cool down. I also found the FoodSaver brand bags to be superior to any others. That's just my experience with the 2 diffferent units.
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Old June 16, 2007, 06:38 AM   #22
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zip it

I've had great success with zip lock freezer bags the double seal type. Make sure you get as much air out as you can, air = freezer burn. I butcher all my own meat and have tried the papper in the past but the zip bags work better and are much easier and faster. I just made 50 lbs. of bratworstlast week end and have no problem keeping it a year if it lasts that long, all depends on how many friend come over. Get the chest type freezer and don't let anything poke a pin hole in the bags keep the air out, one last thing before I forget, keep the air out.
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Old June 16, 2007, 02:15 PM   #23
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Get the model that has two motors. They are much easier to clean than cheapies. You can use any bag, but for a good seal get the kind that have indentions all over them. That's how the air gets out. The motors on the foodsaver are much stronger. I'm not one that thinks you have to have the most expensive thing on the market, but when it comes to this item, they just can't be beat. They are truely better quality. I had bad luck w/ seals on other brands until I got mine.

BTW...I don't work for foodsaver...
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Old June 16, 2007, 03:00 PM   #24
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I personally came to foodsaver as a total skeptic thinking that it was just another "As seen on TV" piece of junk.

I could not have been more wrong, I believe me I tend to beat up and beat on most appliances, the things works great, and I have even used it for some more demanding non-food uses and been very happy with the unit and how the bags held up in the field.

My understanding of the frost free freezer things is that they cycle between temperatures below and above freezing every couple of days to prevent frost, this can dry out or spoil anything not sealed air / water tight.

That being said I have never had a problem with sealed packages for a long time in a frost free freezer.

Others may wish to add more or say not to, but I always pre-season anything I pack myself, why not? Salt and spices were ment to preserve things theri presance can only help in my book.
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Old June 18, 2007, 11:22 AM   #25
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I agree with others that Vacuum sealing is the best, wrapped in freezer paper afterwards, just to make sure. I have never had any problem keeping game.

Just an after thought, for the guys like me who always wind up at the end of the year with meat in the freezer, that needs to be used before the season starts.

Get yourself a good meat grinder and a jerky maker kit from Cabela's and you can grind up any meat in the freezer such as Hog, Deer,Beef,Chicken, and any other meat you have left, and make Jerky out of it. Once it is made it can be stored almost indefinetly, and is always a good snack to take to camp. It can be made in your oven in about 1 1/2 hours.

I take a 5 lb bag to deer camp every year, and it always seems to disappear. It is also a good snack for watching TV instead of a bag of tator chips.
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