Great-tasting venison starts with cooling and protecting the meat.
One of the keys to ensuring your venison tastes as fantastic as it should is cooling the meat as quickly as possible. Even if outside temperatures aren’t in the 70s or 80s, it’s important to get the meat chilled quickly.
Cooling the meat starts with field-dressing. Get it done quickly since bacteria starts to grow immediately after harvest.
Next is care for the meat itself. A walk-in cooler is ideal. If you’re taking your deer to a processor, don’t wait for your friends to finish their hunt, even if that means you have to go back to the woods to get them.
If you can’t get your deer to a cooler, skin it, quarter the meat and place it in a portable cooler with ice. While putting ice bags in the body cavity can help, this technique does not do a good job of reducing the temperature of all the meat, nor does it keep dirt, bugs and bacteria from getting to your harvest.
While the Tip of the Week is not meant to be an infomercial, a few products that are helpful for preserving deer meat include game bags and portable walk-in coolers. Bags are available for both quartered meat and (nearly) whole deer. They keep out bugs and reduce bacteria growth. Read Recent Tip of the Week:
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