The hunt is over and now it’s time to enjoy your kill. Since game animals are too big to eat all at once, the remainder of the animal must be frozen so it can be enjoyed at a later time. Here are some tips for freezing game meat.
Keep Everything Clean
This is a major one since any bacteria introduced on your workstation can make the meat inedible later on and possibly make people sick. Be extra vigilant with cleanliness and wash down all surfaces with hot, soapy water before starting. Also keep kitchen cleaner and paper towels nearby to clean up as you go.
Since many meats ends up ground and used to make delicious burgers on the grill, freeze pre-made patties to speed up meal prep in the future. If you freeze burgers first on a sheet pan and then package them, they will keep their shape better.
Get the Air Out
Trapped air enclosed in your packaging is what causes freezer burn, so to prevent air from ruining your meat, you’ll want to tube, wrap or vacuum seal each piece. Vacuum sealing takes the longest time to prepare, but is the best option for fighting freezer burn. Depending on how long you plan to store your frozen meat, pick the best option for you.
With vacuum sealing, you can press bags of ground meat into flat squares that make them easier to stack and store. It also freezes and thaws faster than round or bulky packages, so it’s more likely to avoid contamination.
Plan your meals ahead and allow meat to thaw on a plate in the refrigerator for a day or two before serving. Leaving meat out in the open exposes it to bacteria and increases the chance of illness, but leaving it in a more enclosed and cool space allows the thawing process to happen more safely and steadily.
If you need a little help with any of this or simply want a professional to do it for you, Tioga Board Hunting offers butchering services to prepare your meats. Whether you want full service packaging with vacuum sealing and pre-ground meat or just skinning and quartering, we have options to meet your needs. Enjoy your hard-earned kill without worrying about the butchering with our convenient service. To book your hunting trip or to learn more about packages, lodgings or more, call us today at 570-835-5341.