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Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

To Ol Plow Boy Beef aging question
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Jerry S    Posted 02-15-2002 at 06:59:28       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I just read the question you had and wanted to assure you of a couple things. First, Aging a beef carcass for 4 weeks rather than 2 is fine. Aging allows the enzymes to cleave the connective tissue in the muscles. The only way you age too long is when the muscles become mealy and way too soft. Also, some other factoids for you, Don't age pork for two reasons. First, it is younger animals and don't need it and two, the fat will start to change flavors on you and won't get better even once it is frozen. If you or anyone else has some meat questions, I can sure help there. I do that for a living. Since I don't read this board much, if I don't answer you, send me an email.

scooterhead    Posted 02-18-2002 at 03:46:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
Jerry , you say not to age pork , how long can a person let one hang in a cooler safely ??

Jerry S    Posted 02-18-2002 at 09:19:40       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Scooterhead, You can leave pork hang for several days in a cooler and depending on how cleanly processed the carcass is, up to a couple weeks is not a problem. The key is, aging isn't necessary because the hogs are young and therefore tender. Because hogs have a more unsaturated fat, the fat will tend to oxidize more quickly which is why most processors want to cut, wrap, and freeze hogs the next day or two after they slaughter. Unsaturated fats melt at a lower temperature more like an oil would. Oxidize is just a fancy way to say rancid. Once a fat starts oxidizing, freezing will only slow it down but not stop it cause it is a chemical reaction. Rancid fat doesn't hurt you but just makes it taste fishy or soapy.
Remember on refrigerating, colder is better. Meat doesn't freeze until it is less than 32 degrees since it has some salts (calcium) in it.
Let me know if you have any other questions. Sorry to ramble on.

coaltrain    Posted 02-15-2002 at 09:47:02       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I do all of my processing also Jerry and I have experminted with several brines and dry curing pork. I am attempting to cure just for flavor with as little salt as possiable. Kind of a downtown flavor for ham. Would you like to discuss some processes and ingredeints That you use? Coaltrain

Jerry S    Posted 02-15-2002 at 15:15:14       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Coaltrain, I am more than happy to work with you on some ideas. There are some important things to keep in mind experimenting with cures. We make Ham here by the millions of pounds so it is a bit different doing them by hand. Cure with low levels of salt are difficult to work with dry because the salt kind of keeps the concentration down like when you sow radish seeds with sand. Too much cure can become a food safety problem and too little cure can be either a food safety problem or just a poor quality problem. Let me know what you are using and I can help you more from there. I also will need detail about fresh meat temps, is the ham bone in or boneless, skin on or not, what seasonings and how much etc. How you cook them is also very important, smoke and humidity control etc. You want a product that tastes good and has been processed safely. If you want, send an e-mail. Some of these discussions might get lengthy.

IHank    Posted 02-15-2002 at 17:26:24       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Jerry and Coaltrain- Please don't go private commo on us unless it's necessary to protect trade secrets, etc. Please keep in mind that a whole bunch of people are lurking and waiting for any words of wisdom you men will share.

Many thanks in advance, IHnak

Jerry S    Posted 02-18-2002 at 09:26:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hank, I have spent nearly all my life studying meat and I enjoy helping others. I just didn't want to clog the lines with questions that only one person might be interested in. I will keep in mind that others are interested and will continue to visit the board so if I can answer anyone else's question. If I don't know an answer, I have lots of friends that can help. There is a lot of misinformation getting put out in the news about foods because of the media wanting to sell papers or because some political group wants money for some cause. I try to talk only what is known for fact.

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