- Store game like other meat
- Lasts several years in the freezer
- Just under a week in the fridge
- Game does best when vacuum packed
- Trust your nose!
Meat from game isn’t deeply mysterious, you just have to store it with roughly the same care as you would any other meat. Read more.
Keeps a long time in the freezer
Game generally has a low fat content, which means that keeping a frozen joint or fillet of venison or shoulder of moose in the freezer for two or three years isn’t a problem. Wild boar meat is slightly fattier, but will still keep well for 1 to 2 years. Game that has been frozen for a long time is rarely bad, but it can lose some of its flavor.
Wild boar in the fridge
Cleaned meat with any bits of fur or dirt from the forest removed, will keep in the fridge for almost a week. It’s best to store it dry and with plenty of air rather than wrapped in plastic. Ideally under a thin, clean cloth.
If you vacuum pack your game, it will keep even longer. If you can’t do this yourself, ask your retailer to help.
Cut off any course sinews and membranes, but keep fine membranes that give the meat a bit of protection from drying out.
Cool freshly slaughtered game slowly
Game can become dry if it is cooled down too quickly – which can also pose problems if you’re hunting in the winter. It’s best to cool it down gradually, particularly if the process has begun with a freshly shot, warm-blooded animal. What you absolutely mustn’t do is put freshly slaughtered meat straight into a freezer box.
Do you hunt?
If so, be very careful with hanging, butchering and storage. Hunting clubs and hunting associations will be able to tell you more about how to handle game meat after a successful hunt.
Freeze game a little at a time
The faster you freeze the meat at home (apart from freshly slaughtered game, see above), the better it will retain its quality in the freezer. If you have a lot of meat or mince, divide it up and freeze a little at a time.
The fat decides the freezing time
Fat freezes badly and will gradually turn rancid even in the freezer. The more fat the meat contains, the less time it will keep in your freezer. Approximate times:
· Meat from moose, deer and reindeer at least 2 ½ years
· Hare and rabbit at least 2 years
· Bear at least 1 year
· Wild fowl, lean at least 2 ½ years
· Duck and goose, fatty at least 1 year
· Wild boar at least 10 months
Protect meat from oxygen and drying out
Oxygen and dry air are your enemies in the freezer. Without protection, the water in the meat cells will turn to crystals and burst the cells from within. The process makes the meat more tender, but it also means it loses water and juiciness.
Packing game meat for freezing
Wrap your game meat in a layer of clingfilm, as tightly as possible around the whole cut. Then put the meat in a plastic bag and suck out as much of the air as you can. After that, just seal the pack and freeze. It’s best to vacuum pack meat in small pieces.