Do You Have To Hang Beef Before Butchering

Next, while the meat is hanging, there should be enough airflow surrounding it. This promotes the development of what is known as the “rind” and keeps the meat cool and dry. The rind is the dry, tough outer layer of meat that prevents excessive moisture loss and acts as a thick, protective skin to keep out dirt and bacteria.

The first and most crucial factor to take into account when hanging deer or elk meat to age it is the average temperature. There should be a temperature range of approximately 33 to 40 degrees for meat hanging. Experts in food safety recommend against storing meat above 40 degrees because this is when bacterial growth can become an issue.

These events take place in the restaurant industry over comparatively long periods of time in a highly regulated setting. You can understand why paying top dollar for a prime cut of beef that has been dry-aged for 28 days makes sense when you take those factors into account along with the storage space and labor hours required to maintain a steady flow of ribeyes. Fortunately for hunters, it is possible to closely replicate this process at home or in the field.

For a very long time, hunters have been hanging the meat from various game animals. When stored properly, hanging meat greatly enhances the flavor and texture of game. We frequently hang whole and quartered big game animals at MeatEater, and we can attest that it makes a noticeable difference on the table. Still, we receive a lot of inquiries about the rationale and methodology behind it.

Understanding these things at the cellular level is not as important, but there is some very important science involved. As the meat gradually loses moisture and loses its water content, the flavors get stronger. Additionally, proteins and connective tissue begin to be broken down by enzymes, tenderizing the meat. Last but not least, a controlled type of decomposition is occurring, akin to that of well-aged cheese, which contributes even more flavor absent from fresh meat. As a result, the meat is tender and tastes better than it did before the aging process started.

Should You Butcher Yourself or Hire It Out?

We don’t personally butcher our cows, and there are several reasons why. One, there isn’t enough cold storage space for the animal to mature and hang properly. I’ll go into more detail about this because it’s important information to know whether you’re butchering your own cattle or purchasing the beef from another source. To ensure that your meat has the smoothest possible texture and the best flavor possible, discuss this with your butcher or farmer.

Where we live, we have a traveling butcher. They attack our farm, killing and gutting the cattle. They bleed it right on site. Next, they transport the hanging corpse to the butcher’s actual location in a sizable refrigerated truck. Make sure the animal is as relaxed as possible, whether you or the butcher performs the actual kill shot. that the rush of adrenaline won’t contaminate the meat It’s crucial that your animals are at ease because many people believe that it imparts an unpleasant taste to the meat.

This is among the causes for which we have the butcher physically visit our site. If the cattle are yours, begin acclimating them to being fed in a round pen or near the butcher so that they are accustomed to that space. Especially if you have cattle that won’t be butchered, we don’t want the butcher to have to chase them around the field. You want to make sure that they are segregated so that the butcher can easily concentrate on the cows that are being killed.

About a week or two before our butcher date, we start feeding ours in the round pen so they get used to being in that enclosure and coming for their food. On the day of butchering, you will sort the cows that will be killed and the ones that won’t. When the others leave the pen, they will remain in the area where the feed is. To ensure that they are separated, the butcher will provide you with an estimated time of arrival. After that, I’ll be able to kill the animal quickly to spare it any stress.

There are certain guidelines that a butcher must follow because not all meat hangs in the same manner. Since fat is essentially liquid in a live animal, almost all meat will benefit from being chilled for a few days to ease the muscles and solidify. Long periods of hanging are not beneficial for meats without marbling or a good fat covering because the fat does not shield the meat from deterioration. This includes pork, veal, and young lamb, but we still hang them for four to six days to safely develop the flavors.

Drop us a line to hello@greatbritishmeat. com if you have any more inquiries concerning aging or anything else.

It’s also important to mention that you should definitely get some aged meat if you plan to freeze it. Once more, moisture and water are the cause because wet meat expands when it freezes, causing ice crystals to rip and push apart the meat’s fibers. Properly hung meat will be lower in moisture and have more elastic fibers, which are better able to withstand the expansion of ice crystals. This implies that less water will leak out of the meat when it is defrosted and cooked than when it is wet.

Additionally, meat loses moisture while hanging, which is advantageous for cooking. Wet, underhung young meat contains an excessive amount of water, which either ends up in your pan or tray while cooking or on your carving board after you cut it. Essentially, as the meat cooks, the moisture expands and seeps through the stretched fibers. Strangely, this means that after cooking, “wet meat” actually becomes drier. It’s that simple: properly hung meat tastes better and is more tender than unhung meat.

Meat can be aged or matured by hanging the carcass—or just a portion of it—from a hook. Usually, it’s done in a room with adequate ventilation and temperature control. We have a walk-in aging room at the butchery, which is essentially a large refrigerator with a huge fan.