A lot of time and effort goes into harvesting a kill, so it is important that you take the time to properly store your harvest. By taking extra time to package and store the meat you will be able to enjoy it months longer than if you left it unpackaged! Hunting is expensive, so make sure you take the proper steps in preserving your investment.
When packing meat, it is important to think about how you are going to cook. One of the biggest mistakes made when storing deer, or any type of meat, is that the hunter stores the meat in large portions. Large portion packaging only works if you are going to eat all of that meat at one time. If you are like most Americans, you don’t eat pounds of meat at a time, so it is more ideal to package your meat in smaller portions. By storing 1-2 pounds of meat per package, you will be able to waste less and enjoy more!
There are many options when packaging meat, but no matter which option you choose, you must get as much air out as possible. Air will cause your harvest to spoil, which will waste your hard-earned harvest.
Once you have properly packaged your meat, the next step is choosing a place to store it. For most avid hunters, the top section of the average refrigerator is not going to cut it. You may find yourself shopping for chest freezers, deep freezers — any large freezer, really. Large freezers will give you the ability to store large amounts of meat for the remainder of the year after the hunting season is over.
How Long Does the Meat Last
Meat’s life span in the freezer depends on how you take care of it before it gets there. If the meat has not properly been taken care of bacteria could have possibly contaminated it. After killing and preparing your harvest, it is vital that you get it to a cool space immediately. Small cuts of meat typically can be good for around 6 months to a year if packaged and frozen properly, but before preparing any stored meat make sure it looks and smells good. If the meat smells rancid and is an odd color, it likely unsafe for consumption. White around the edges of the meat is an indicator that the meat is freezer-burned.
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