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 Post subject: Prepping birds for the freezer
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:37 pm
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Location: Nassau County, NY
I finished my first upland hunt yesterday and came home with more chukar meat than I could use in one meal. I've never had to think about freezing fresh, uncleaned meat before...so here is my question:

Is it safe to clean the meat (running water to remove trace feathers and assorted globs of blood), pat it dry and then put it in a freezer bag?

On one hand not cleaning before freezing seems gross, but I'm concerned that cleaning and then freezing will cause ice crystals and destroy the meat.

My next question would be: do you do the same for a bird that you've hung out to age....is it safe to clean and then freeze?

Thanks



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 Post subject: Re: Prepping birds for the freezer
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:20 pm 
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I always cleaned and dried them and then wrapped them tightly in good freezer paper (waxy kind) Seems to keep freezer burn away for a long time.

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 Post subject: Re: Prepping birds for the freezer
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:40 pm 
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To absolutely prevent freezer burn put the birds in a good water tight bag and fill it with water to cover the birds. Seal the bag and place it against the wall of the freezer in close contact with the freezing coils so that it will freeze quickly. Birds stored frozen this way will be good for over a year.

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 Post subject: Re: Prepping birds for the freezer
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:05 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:34 pm
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Location: NE Oklahoma
casonet wrote:
To absolutely prevent freezer burn put the birds in a good water tight bag and fill it with water to cover the birds. Seal the bag and place it against the wall of the freezer in close contact with the freezing coils so that it will freeze quickly. Birds stored frozen this way will be good for over a year.

This is the way we do it, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Prepping birds for the freezer
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:11 am 
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Freezing in water is a good way to preserve cleaned meat, but it takes up more room in the freezer and thawing the meat takes much longer. I use a vacuum sealer now, and the meat lasts just about as long, takes up less room and thaws quickly. It's the best of both worlds.


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 Post subject: Re: Prepping birds for the freezer
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:28 am 
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casonet wrote:
To absolutely prevent freezer burn put the birds in a good water tight bag and fill it with water to cover the birds. Seal the bag and place it against the wall of the freezer in close contact with the freezing coils so that it will freeze quickly. Birds stored frozen this way will be good for over a year.


We did that with trout, except we used wax milk cartons and a wooden skewer through the tail to hold them centered in the carton. Once thawed, they were as fresh smelling and tasting as the day we caught them.

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 Post subject: Re: Prepping birds for the freezer
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:49 am 
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If you have time, we used to soak them overnight is salt water, really draws out any blood.

This was on ducks, and let them sit outside so water temp was just above freezing. should work for other game birds too.

Dry them off and put them in a freezer bag, and never had any issues.

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 Post subject: Re: Prepping birds for the freezer
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:07 am 
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lossking wrote:
Freezing in water is a good way to preserve cleaned meat, but it takes up more room in the freezer and thawing the meat takes much longer. I use a vacuum sealer now, and the meat lasts just about as long, takes up less room and thaws quickly. It's the best of both worlds.

Same here...

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 Post subject: Re: Prepping birds for the freezer
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:52 pm 
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Location: Nassau County, NY
I think I'm gonna ask Santa for a vacuum sealer! I consulted with a chef-acquaintance and that's what he does for the same reasons mentioned by Lossking. I just wanted to make sure I was on the right path regarding cleaning before freezing.

The salt water bath: that's exactly the advice I got the day I hunted and it works! I got a bunch of weird looks when I took the meat out of the cooler because there were some bruises/blood clots, and no one wants to see that. I soaked them in salt water and you wouldn't know there was blood there.

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 Post subject: Re: Prepping birds for the freezer
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:53 pm 
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You can always treat them when you get ready to eat the same way I do for chicken and turkey - a salt/sugar/spice brine for a day or so

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 Post subject: Re: Prepping birds for the freezer
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:25 pm 
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We always have and always will use a vacuum sealer to store our birds. We typically breast them out, rinse them off, pat them somewhat dry, and then vacuum seal them.

We shoot A LOT of birds each year, and we haven't had any issues at all with freezer burn using this technique. The only thing we have run into issues with is finding a vacuum sealer that can keep up with what we're throwing at it.

This is the best article I've been able to find ranking vacuum sealers for use with wild game. Between a half dozen deer a year & countless grouse, woodcock, pheasant, & quail we're going to give the Weston that they've got ranked #1 a try as a Christmas present this year.

Here's the link to the article: https://theuplandhunter.com/best-vacuum-sealer-wild-game/


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 Post subject: Re: Prepping birds for the freezer
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:54 am 
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I went with one of the larger Foodsavers. As mentioned above, I soak the meat in salt water to draw out the blood and whatnot, dry and vacuum seal. Having a beefy sealer let’s you do many packages without having to wait for it to cool off etc. A side benefit of this undertaking is that I now have a reason to buy meat in bulk at BJs and Costco and divide it into individual meals.

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 Post subject: Re: Prepping birds for the freezer
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:56 pm 
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late to the party but would add my current system with pheasant is picked, rinsed, patted dry then into foodsaver bag and vac sealed. I put a rolled up paper towel below the seal to absorb moisture drawn by the food saver.

I've got some chukar I did the 'freeze in water' deal on. taking forever to thaw and difficult to do right (keep entire bird submerged. pheasant I just ate tonight was frozen about a month using vac sealer and was just fine.

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 Post subject: Re: Prepping birds for the freezer
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:37 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 5:49 pm
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Location: St. Louis, MO
A DIFFERENT APPROACH....

I take freshly cleaned whole pheasants, and soak them overnight in salt water (in the fridge) to remove the blood. Then, the next day I bone them out completely (except the drumsticks), and cut into 1" to 2" cubes. Then freeze in a sandwich bag full of water. When its time to cook, I thaw and use in various casserole recipes. Sometimes in the crockpot.

I separately freeze the drumsticks (whole), and use 6 or 8 of them to make a soup with veggies and rice or noodles. Boil the drumsticks in a pot or crockpot for two hours, and then debone. Add the veggies and rice and cook slowly for another hour.

ENJOY !

JERRY GOLDSTEIN


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 Post subject: Re: Prepping birds for the freezer
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:41 pm 
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Salt water at least over night if not longer, air and pat dry,vacuam seal. They keep a long time and are great when time to cook. Fillet the breast and legs out, slice up in nice size chunks, spice then up and brown them in olive oil tell done. Quil,pheasant,chuckar MC nuggets. The greatest.


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 Post subject: Re: Prepping birds for the freezer
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:00 am 
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Ditto for the vacuum sealer but also use it in conjunction with some of the other methods stated above.




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