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Fresh or Freeze

PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:42 pm
by gtk
I cooked some backstrap tonight fresh off a deer. Been in a fridge for two days. I cooked it exactly as I always do & same internal temp. It was tough.

I usually cook deer after it's been put up in the freezer & it's always tender.

Do you think freezing & thawing helps tenderize somewhat ? Or maybe this was just a tough old buck. I'm betting thawing/freezing helps it


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Re: Fresh or Freeze

PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:17 pm
by patinlouisiana
Did you roast it whole or slice it up and fry it?
I have yet to enjoy a whole roasted backstrap.
It always come out dry & tough.
Tried low N slow, hot & fast, marinated for days and in the smoker.
I just about only slice it, pound it thin, marinated it, flour it and fry it now a days.

Re: Fresh or Freeze

PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:34 pm
by LadyHunter
I agree with Pat, usually roasted comes out tough. Thin slices, tenderized, floured and fried.

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Re: Fresh or Freeze

PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:51 am
by terry08
I have eaten a couple over the years that were cooked whole and would melt in your mouth. I have never been able to master the technique. Always tough, so I tenderize and fry. Year before last I had one tough as leather even though I tenderized and fried it. That was the first time I encountered that situation.

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Re: Fresh or Freeze

PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:40 am
by patinlouisiana
I have an acquaintance that dry ages his deer for 2-3 weeks?
I'm too chicken to try that.
Afraid I will lose the whole think.

Re: Fresh or Freeze

PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:48 am
by patinlouisiana

Re: Fresh or Freeze

PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:58 am
by patinlouisiana
Here is another interesting bit of information from American Hunter magazine.

How to Age Venison
Properly aging a deer begins as soon as you have made a clean shot. The entrails have to be removed impeccably and the chest cavity cleaned and kept dry. Hang the deer from the rear legs, high enough to avoid touching the ground, and remove the hide.

During this time, the muscles will go into rigor mortis, a stiffening which lasts about 24 hours. Butchering or cooking during this time is a very bad idea because the muscles will contract and become irreversibly tough. The same is also true for fish. In fact, a piece of fish can be too fresh. If it hits the pan before it goes into rigor mortis, the cell walls tear, forming the white albumin that you sometimes see emerging from a piece of salmon. Most importantly, the flavor and texture suffer.

Once rigor mortis is complete, hang the deer at a temperature above freezing and below about 40 degrees. This holds bacteria and rot at bay, allowing natural enzymes to do their work.

The enzymes break down collagen—the stuff that the ladies of Orange County use to puff up their lips. It is also what causes meat to be tough. Young animals have very little of it between their muscle cells, but as an animal gets older, more develops. Natural enzymes break down this collagen as the meat ages, so the longer it hangs, the more tender it becomes. That is why an aged steak is so expensive—it takes extra time and energy, which cost money. Your supermarket beef may only age a few days, which means it usually falls short of its full flavor potential.

At 40 degrees F, seven days of aging is usually sufficient, but for larger deer longer is better. I usually age deer up to seventeen days. If you don’t have a cool basement or walk-in cooler to age your meat, you can home-age your venison in the refrigerator. Skin the quarters and bone-out the other large sections of meat once the deer has come through rigor mortis. These will fit in the average refrigerator. Once the aging is complete you can then break the meat down further, into rounds, tenderloins, loins, ribs, stew meat, shoulder, ground meat, sausage, etc.

Re: Fresh or Freeze

PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:42 pm
by johndavid78
We have discussed this before on a different thread. I usually age 10-14 days

Re: Fresh or Freeze

PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:56 pm
by bigsteve
Sometimes a deer is tough no matter what you do fat content seems to be the key to tenderness to me fat deer are normally more tender than not so far ones I cooked some back straps medillions wrapped in bacon off the doe I killed for supper last night and were fantastic I cut them about 2" thick marinate in itilian dressing and grill to medium well

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Re: Fresh or Freeze

PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:28 pm
by terry08
As soon as I kill one I dress and clean it. I then place all except the back straps and tender loins, in a 120 quart cooler. Pack in ice and drain the water off daily adding more ice as needed. I leave it in the cooler for at least ten days. I often leave the back straps in as well if it is late in the day. Never had a problem with aging this way.


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Re: Fresh or Freeze

PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 6:57 pm
by gtk
Pat, I cooked it with a dry coffee rub.

i have cooked deer twice "right off the hoof". both times it was too tough to chew. i will not do it again..