Wrapping Game Meat

Wrapping Game Meat


Once the meat has been carefully cut up,
we need to finish the job by wrapping it. Proper wrapping should exclude air to
protect the meat from freezer burn. The air in freezers is relatively dry.
If the wrapper is porous or poorly sealed, dry air will get in and draw
moisture from the meat. This dehydrates the surface and causes what is commonly
referred to as freezer burn. Supplies needed for wrapping are freezer paper or
freezer bags, plastic wrap, freezer tape, and a water-resistant felt-tip marker. Or
you may choose to use a vacuum sealer and bags. There is a difference between
plastic freezer bags and storage bags. The freezer bags are thicker than
storage bags and will protect the meat from freezer burn. The box will be
labeled with the word “freezer.” Use food-safe bags when wrapping your meat.
Grocery bags and trash bags are not food-safe and should not be used for the
storage of meat. Chemicals in these bags can contaminate the meat. One storage method many people use is
wrapping with freezer paper. Freezer paper has paper on one side with a thin
plastic layer on the other. The plastic side should always be placed next to the
meat, with the paper surface towards the outside. There are two methods when using
freezer paper: the butcher wrap and the drugstore wrap. The butcher wrap is
particularly good for wrapping irregular pieces of meat. Place the meat in the
corner of a large square of freezer paper. Fold the corner of the wrap over the
meat and roll or fold towards the center of the square. Fold the sides in and roll to the
end of the paper. Seal open edges with tape. For the drugstore wrap, center
the meat on a large piece of freezer paper. Bring two sides together at the
top and fold the ends over about 1/2 to 3/4 inch. Keep folding over until the
paper is snug against the meat, then turn over the package so the fold side is
against the table. Press outwards from the center of the package to remove air.
Fold ends into triangles and bring to the center. Tape to secure. Another option is to use a vacuum sealer.
A vacuum sealer removes air from a plastic package, then seals it. Again, this
prevents freezer burn. Put the meat in a freezer bag. Remove excess liquid. The excess liquid
might interfere with the vacuum process. Place the filled bag in the sealer and
seal following the manufacturer’s instructions. When the sealing process is finished, be
sure to inspect the seal. If it didn’t seal, put put the meat in a new bag
and reseal. As you can see, this bag sealed. Label all meat with the cut of the meat
and the date processed. For instance, label this one moose loin steak. For meat
you will eat soon, store it in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days. For
longer storage, store it in a freezer below zero degrees Fahrenheit. For the best
quality, use meat within 1 year. If you find you aren’t going to use your meat
within a year, make it into jerky or can it. We hope this information helps you
make the most of your game meat. For further information, call your local
Extension office.

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