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  1. #1
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    Meat care long term

    The recent thread on bear meat got me thinking about how I keep meat for the long haul.
    One of the real downsides to hunting out of state is the need to have it processed.
    I absolutely love to cut and wrap my own meat and we always are twice as satisfied when we do it ourselves.

    I double wrap in plastic before butcher paper when I do it myself.
    If I am hunting out of state and had to use a processor, I vacuum pack all the already wrapped steaks and roasts.
    I really would like to get plastic next to the meat but this works pretty decent.
    I'll vacuum pack the burger three to a pack.
    For the really long term (say a second like species in the same year) I will do all three with a layer of foil prior to vacuum packing. I have had three year old fish and abalone that stayed good this way.

    Any other methods or experiences?
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    1999 Washington Blacktaill, Bear River GMU, nontypical 6X7

  2. #2
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    I usually hunt by myself so once I get an animal I can pack it up in a cooler with some dry ice and head for home so I dont have to worry about keeping it in the field much and I process it when I get home. I vacuum seal everything other then I but some burger and sausage in 1lb bags this year.

  3. #3
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    I love to vacuum pack as a final step.
    Unless the meat is already frozen I have a terrible time losing the suction after a month or so.

    Any suggestions?
    Life member RMEF
    Mathews DXT, Bowtech Admiral, Browing .300WSM...... and Swarovski Optiks my wife doesn't know about.
    1999 Washington Blacktaill, Bear River GMU, nontypical 6X7

  4. #4
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    Biggest mistake I used to make was filling bags to full or making the bags to small. You need enough bag to have room to get in the vacuum chanel and have room to make a good seal. I get the rolls so I can make whatever size bag i want. Also it is important for the bag to be clean where it is going to seal. Its also important to get the bag to seal good in your vacuum sealer when you suck the air out. If its not sealed good (stop vac and it lets air back in before sealing) you wont get a good seal. I always run mine on manual or 'pulse' so I can control it and seal it when I want to. Some things like ground meat have trouble trapping air in the bottom of the bag and you have to leave some room on the sides so it can come out. That is part of why I switched to the bags for burger and breakfast sausage. I used to have alot not seal too and since I started being more particular about those things I rarely have over 1 or 2 bags I have to redo on each animal I process.

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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Musket Man View Post
    Biggest mistake I used to make was filling bags to full or making the bags to small. You need enough bag to have room to get in the vacuum chanel and have room to make a good seal. I get the rolls so I can make whatever size bag i want. Also it is important for the bag to be clean where it is going to seal. Its also important to get the bag to seal good in your vacuum sealer when you suck the air out. If its not sealed good (stop vac and it lets air back in before sealing) you wont get a good seal. I always run mine on manual or 'pulse' so I can control it and seal it when I want to. Some things like ground meat have trouble trapping air in the bottom of the bag and you have to leave some room on the sides so it can come out. That is part of why I switched to the bags for burger and breakfast sausage. I used to have alot not seal too and since I started being more particular about those things I rarely have over 1 or 2 bags I have to redo on each animal I process.
    Absolutely! Trying to save money by cutting a vacuum seal bag too short is false economy. I have no problem leaving a tail on the bag so it will seal well. Besides, the bags can be reused, if not for food, then for ammunition, or other equipment.
    Patron Life Member, NRA; Life Member RMEF, SCI, NAHHC, NSRPA

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by OregonJim View Post
    I love to vacuum pack as a final step.
    Unless the meat is already frozen I have a terrible time losing the suction after a month or so.

    Any suggestions?
    I had this problem a few times with the really cheap vacuum bags. Since I have gone to heavier duty ones, I rarely have an issue. I use the Cabela's bag system for all of my ground burger. I have had no issues keeping burger for up to 24 months. I use the zippered vacuum seal for jerky. Cabela's sells these as well. A little more money but they work great for me. For steaks, fish, and about any other game I vacuum seal with heavy bags.

  8. #7
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    If you want to save a little money on bags, check out this link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/100-NEW-8x12...3D351002956687

    $18 for 100 quart sized bags is cheaper than you'll find anywhere else. I've used these ones in the past and they work well.

    After I seal mine, I'll use the "seal only" function and seal them again once or even twice so that there are 2 or 3 seals on every bag. This helps to keep the seal for a long time.

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  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by OregonJim View Post
    I love to vacuum pack as a final step.
    Unless the meat is already frozen I have a terrible time losing the suction after a month or so.

    Any suggestions?
    Partially freeze the meat before sealing, you get all the air out that way. If the meat is unfrozen you get a lot of moisture/blood that makes sealing the bag very difficult. I've never had a problem with losing the seal when I partially freeze the meat, but I did before.

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  12. #9
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    I have had good success with the Cabelas vacuum rolls. They seem easier to seal then the food saver ones and are a bit cheaper.

  13. #10
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    Making sure moisture doesn't get where you're sealing it is key. Wipe the inside of the bag with a paper towel and make sure the meat isn't dripping wet. I've had better luck when I seal twice. Vacuum packing is all I do now, and the meat tastes great.(but it's always eaten in under 12 months)

 

 

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