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Old February 16, 2017, 12:34 PM   #77
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Join Date: February 12, 2017
Posts: 14
We butcher all of our own deer. If the temps are below 50 degrees I will let the deer hang for 2-3 days or more if I can. I don't know that it truly improves taste, but I do know if I can let it hang until rigor is gone it makes it a lot easier to work with. It is also easier if the meat is cold and dry. I have had people tell me I am crazy for various reasons. Letting it hang, not skinning it right away and so on. Here is what is real and true about meat care. Meat spoilage doesn't happen quickly as it is caused by bacteria. It takes time for bacteria to grow and certain temperature ranges aid in it growing faster depending on the type of bacteria. Bactria will grow on meat at pretty much any temp above freezing. This is why we freeze meat for long term storage. The key is that it grows on the meat and not in it. If you leave the skin on and limit the meats exposure to the outside world you will minimize the bacterial growth to the exposed meat. The bacteria aren't going to bore down into the center of that deer ham. Temps below 40 are best for reduced growth and exposure to the elements reduces the area bacteria can get to. If trimming exposed meat swap out the knife or wash to avoid introducing bacteria as you cut and trim the rest of the animal. Once a large part of the animals flesh is exposed bacteria will be present and will spread. Get it processed once exposed and cook it to proper temp and this is a non issue. I have heard a lot of differing opinions over the years and many of them are just plain crazy. However, there are a lot of folks who are down right passionate about how they handle an animal and would argue with anyone who disagrees with them. Sometimes it is amazing how paranoid folks can get with this. Yet they eat meat hacked up from a slaughter house somewhere that is full of bacteria and they even eat the steaks rare! It is more likely you will get sick from a commercial kitchen or slaughter house made burger than from that deer you let hang when it was 54 degrees out! Just my 2 cents.
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