How to wet age your game meat

Ageing your game meat

We have often heard people say that game meat, venison in particular, is tough. But, like anything in hunting, it all comes down to two things – effective field dressing and proper preparation.

From correctly field dressing your animal, to processing the meat. Just like a fine wine, venison meat gets better with age. Unlike a fine wine, you’ll only have to wait around a week for your venison to be ready.

If you have access to a cool room, great! But if not, you can still age your meat to perfection.

Any vacuum sealer will work for this method but we use the FoodSaver GameSaver because it’s built tough for the outdoors, we can take it anywhere with us, and it easily handles the load when we have a lot of meat to age.

How does wet ageing work?

Wet ageing works by using the meats natural enzymes to break down the fibre and sinew in the muscle. Unlike dry ageing, this helps the meat retain it’s moisture and inhibits the growth of bacteria, which happens when the meat comes into contact with oxygen. Bacteria thrives when oxygen is present and this will quickly turn your meat sour (we learnt this the hard way with a lot of trial and error).

Unlike with wet ageing, dry ageing can result in the loss of some meat weight from dehydration and the need to trim the exposed layer before cooking.

How do you do it?

To wet age your meat, you first debone the animal and break it down into the different cuts. After this, place the cuts into large vacuum sealed bags, writing on the bags the cuts, dates and even the type of deer if you like.

When vacuum sealing, make sure all the oxygen is removed from the bag to ensure the meat doesn’t spoil while ageing.

After vacuum sealing, place the meat in the fridge and leave it to sit for 5-7 days. On the last day the meat will need to be removed from the sealed bags, pouring out the excess liquid and patting down the meat with paper towel.

Then out comes the vacuum sealer again. Making sure that there is no oxygen in the bag again, seal all the meat into smaller bags (about enough for one meal). Again writing the date, cut and type of meat that is in the bag and placing it in the freezer until it’s time to cook it up into a nice curry or a juicy piece of steak.

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