Ice bath your meat?

DEW0341

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I've heard of people doing a 24hr ice water bath and even adding a little salt to it when processing their antelope meat, I am only curious to see if anyone has ever done it with mule deer? And what of the outcome?


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KH_bowfly

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There was a good episode of Hunt Backcountry podcast in the last couple weeks and this was brought up. Basically the recommendation was to not do this.


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Gr8bawana

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Is the ice bath and salt supposed to remove the "gameyness" from antelope meat? Antelope is some of the finest tasting game there is. Some people have told me that antelope are inedible but that is far from the truth. Bad tasting antelope meat usually comes from poor handling and care of the meat.
 

WoodBow

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There was a good episode of Hunt Backcountry podcast in the last couple weeks and this was brought up. Basically the recommendation was to not do this.


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I listened to that same podcast. And well, I soak ALL of my game meat in ice water for a week to 10 days and it all tastes fantastic. I AM from Texas. Maybe we just like our meat to taste differently. I largely prefer it over the alternative, regardless of what that guy had to say.
 

Felix40

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I started doing the 3-5 day ice bath thing a couple years ago and I actually prefer it now. I leave the drain open on the cooler and just keep adding ice. My dad always preached against it but when i made him some steaks from a deer I did like that he changed his mind too. I listened to the podcast and it makes me wonder, but since my family basically lives on wild game and loves it I dont think I will change anything.
 

freebird134

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Is the ice bath and salt supposed to remove the "gameyness" from antelope meat? Antelope is some of the finest tasting game there is. Some people have told me that antelope are inedible but that is far from the truth. Bad tasting antelope meat usually comes from poor handling and care of the meat.

Pronghorn is my favorite meat. I've always suspected that the reason people complain about pronghorn is that we hunt them in August in a desert, so they start to spoil before guys get them cooled down.
 

Ridge Ghost

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You should never have to do anything special with antelope. As mentioned above, the gaminess likely comes from not getting the meat cooled down fast enough. Bone the meat out and get it to the cooler waiting in the truck within a few hours and you'll be fine. Antelope is my preferred game meat over elk, whitetail, etc.
 
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DEW0341

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I posted this just more out of curiousity. I had never heard of it til I listened to a rich outdoors podcast a few weeks ago and pretty sure I saw it on meat eater recently too I think? Wondering the methodology of it and if people do it with mulies or not? I'm assuming leave whole muscle groups in tact while doing it if so.


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DFB

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When you put salt in your ice water the salt will draw out some, or a lot, of the moisture from the meat depending on how much salt you add. It's a kind of wet cure. For example, you can soak a deer ham in a dense brine for a couple days to draw out moisture before salt curing and smoking. I would think soaking game meat you plan to grill or cook in some other conventional way in salt water it may turn out quite dry no matter how you cook it. I soak everything for a day or two in fresh cold water.
 
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DEW0341

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When you put salt in your ice water the salt will draw out some, or a lot, of the moisture from the meat depending on how much salt you add. It's a kind of wet cure. For example, you can soak a deer ham in a dense brine for a couple days to draw out moisture before salt curing and smoking. I would think soaking game meat you plan to grill or cook in some other conventional way in salt water it may turn out quite dry no matter how you cook it. I soak everything for a day or two in fresh cold water.

Are you doing any trim of silver skin prior? Leaving whole muscle groups together? Etc?


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archer wapiti

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I've done my elk this way - layered in ice in coolers with the drain open and it has always been excellent. I've never had it any other way. I have always been impressed by how much liquid comes out of the ground meat when I cook it, and was thinking that maybe soaking it was why (meat will absorb a lot of water I've heard). I was going to try to avoid the ice bath the next time I get an elk just to see what the difference is.
 

WoodBow

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Leave your quarters whole and bone in if possible. The meat is supposed to be more tender because the muscles can not draw up as much due to still being attached to the bone.

If your'e in a backcountry scenario and it will be a while before you get one ice, I would still bone it out.
 

Poser

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Would you go to the store, drop $130 on a whole bone in ribeye and dunk it in salt water? If the answer is no, then don't do it to game meat.


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durangobrad

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For those of you needing to soak meat in salt and water for days or weeks you are doing something wrong. Not sure if you arent properly handling your meat in the field, your not a great cook, or you dont know what proper BLOODY meat should taste like. Your basically washing out all the great flavors so you can have a bland grey steak on your plate in the end..... Look into some of Steven Rinella or Hank Shaws recipes. If its a nice cut that doesnt have too much connective tissue, fat or bone then it should be cooked hot and fast leaving the inside bright red and internal temp of about 130 degrees. I hope I dont ruffle to many feathers but Ive eaten lots of venison cooked both ways and there is no comparison stop overcooking game meat!!!!
 

nickstone

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I go to Texas a couple times a year and kill a couple pigs. I load the whole bed of my truck up with ice chests and put the pigs I kill in them whole if they are small and gonna be used for roasting. The larger ones I quarter. As the ice melts all of them end up in an ice water bath. I usually drain the bloody water out and add more ice daily. Some are in there for 2 or 3 days.....some are for 8 or 9 days. They all taste fine.
 

wytx

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Doesn't anyone just hang and age their meat anymore? We hang for at least a week in our garage usually longer depending on temps. When it's cool enough we even leave the hide on to reduce the dry loss on the primals. Buy a coolbot and make a walkin cooler.
Salt your meat, steaks , before cooking and allow enough time for the salt to penetrate the meat. Then put your seasoning on it. I use smoked sea salt and the salt really penetrates and helps with dryness after cooking and flavor. I smoke my own sea salt. If you allow enough time for the salt to penetrate down into the meat it will not be salty to the taste.
Hair, dirt, and anything from the digestive tract are your problem.
 
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