How does a gradual rigor mortis come about

Game maturation - proper cooling and processing of game meat

Game meat - proper cooling, maturing and processing

You can actually get game from hunters very cheaply all year round. Fresh game in the ceiling is very inexpensive. In addition, an "instruction manual".

Game shot is eviscerated immediately; the body of the game is soft, limp and the meat has a red sheen. The meat is chilled to 18 ° as soon as possible.

Before a piece is cooled, it should be dry inside and out.

Haired game is only put into the cooling after the rigor mortis (up to 4 hours after being killed) so that there is no so-called cold shock. This is then an irreversible, externally not recognizable muscle contraction, but which has nothing to do with rigor mortis. This cold shock occurs when game cools below 10 ° faster than the acidification of the meat reaches a pH value of less than 6.0. It is best to first bring the gutted game into a game room at temperatures between 10 ° and 14 ° and let it cool down there until rigor mortis occur. (see also information at

The meat is then hung whole in the ceiling or in large parts in the cooling chamber at approx. 4-7 ° with 85% humidity if possible; Game only starts to freeze at -2 °. The meat sets within a few hours when it becomes rigid. Only after 2-3 days of maturation does the muscle rigidity dissolve; A description of the chemical process can be found on the Internet.

Red deer, roe deer and rabbits should hang for about 7 days, wild boars for about 5 days, longer or shorter depending on age and size and the selected temperature, longer or longer for roasted or grilled meat than for meat for a game stock, i.e. at least 7 days to a maximum three weeks from 7 ° down to 4 ° and 2 ° from the second week. The meat turns dull to deep dark red.

The meat should not heat up to more than 7 ° when chopping. The shredded meat is best vacuum-sealed.

After vacuuming, the venison can ripen for a few days or longer at approx. 5 °, so-called vacuum ripening, and should then be deep-frozen.

If the meat is vacuumed immediately due to the lack of a cooling system, the meat can also be refrigerated at 7 ° for approx. 10-14 days and ripen before it goes into the freezer.

Never put game meat in the chest immediately and avoid cold shock, as otherwise the meat will remain tough during preparation.

If you have the technical equipment, you can also prepare the meat using the so-called dry-aged process in special maturing refrigerators with low humidity.

The information about the temperatures is a matter of taste; Some say that for meat that is naturally tender, low temperatures at 2 ° are more appropriate, others choose over 4 °, because then the maturation is more intensive, etc.

During vacuum ripening, a higher proportion of lactic acid is formed, which can be recognized by the sour smell when the packaging is opened. However, this disappears if the meat is removed from the packaging about an hour before preparation or pickling. In addition, the action of oxygen gives the meat its beautiful red color back.

Before preparation, the meat should be slowly thawed and then pickled dry: Brush the meat with oil, sprinkle with spices (e.g. rosemary, thyme, allspice, pepper and garlic) wrapped in cling film and leave to soak in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Pickling in a wine and vinegar brine or spice marinade is also possible. Wild boar can also be cooked like domestic pig.

And don't be afraid of old pieces. It is a myth that only meat from young animals is tender and tasty. A 16-year-old ox delivers the most delicious steaks and a 17-year-old deer wonderful roasts, especially through traditional meat maturation, i.e. hanging out.

Here is an example of why it is worth buying from a hunter and what is left of usable meat from a piece of game. If you know a house butcher and give a 40 kg sow there for further processing, you invest approx. € 2.00 / kg and approx. € 40 for the butcher and receive approx. 17 kg in return. Meat ready vacuum-sealed and labeled for the chest; 23 kg are rind, bones and waste. Normally the price would be just under € 300.00. The price per kilo for a leg is around € 25 in stores, back € 30, fillet € 30, etc. Talk to hunters you know. It is worth it ..

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