Remove Gamey Taste/This is How I Age Duck

Discussion in 'Cooking Forum' started by ValleyFlak, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator Flyway Manager

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    What you are doing is called dry aging. You will have shrinkage and drying out doing that. Those are the reasons I age the whole bird. I understand not everyone can do that. Wives object.

    You should be able to cover it in plastic wrap. That would allow it to age, but reduce evaporation. I think it would also increase the chance for spoilage. New bacteria, introduced AFTER the bird was cleaned, would have a better chance to thrive.

    That is a GUESS, not a certain fact.
     
  2. ValleyFlak

    ValleyFlak Elite Refuge Member

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    You should be able to dry age small teal breast meat. cover the meat with suran wrap and leave small ventilation gaps around the edge of the cookie sheet, try gaps about the size of a pea (3 or 4 gaps). If they are still drying out then make the holes even smaller. Here is a photo where I left the gaps way too big just as an experiment to see how really dried out aged meat tasted). like you I was not happy with how much meat looked like jerky around the edges (most of mine were big birds). Sorry I don't have photos showing the suran wrap mostly covering the tray but I hope you get the idea.

    Here are light pink duck breast that have had a lot of the blood squeezed out. I pad dry meat with blue paper towels (Home Depot) before putting in fridge on a tray....

    [​IMG]

    Here's the meat not covered enough in the fridge. These dried alot around the edges so I cover suran more securely with small ventillation gaps around the edges.
    [​IMG]
     

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  3. ValleyFlak

    ValleyFlak Elite Refuge Member

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    Dried out mostly big ducks that were'nt covered enough. But these tasted very good!

    [​IMG]
     

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  4. Texans84

    Texans84 Senior Refuge Member

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    Thanks very much for the pics. I definitely had large gaps for ventilation - way too big it looks like. I plan on having a better set up once big duck season hits using my dehydrating trays.

    Thanks again for the reference pics.

    :tu
     
  5. ValleyFlak

    ValleyFlak Elite Refuge Member

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    Yeah Native NV Ducker, with the small size of duck breasts in general, compared to large beef cuts, shrinkage is a very valid concern. So far I have avoided spoilage. Most of my "dry aged" duck meat still looks moist with minimal dry edges and minimal shrinkage. To reduce spoilage risk, in the field I keep ducks in shade and each duck separated and breast exposed to open air so they cool off faster. If on a duck strap, face ducks away from eachother so the breasts have air circulation. Get the dead ducks cooled down as fast as possible and cut the meat out the same day and in the fridge. Sometimes I'll let the ducks hang a day or two before I breast them out when I procrastinate...still tastes good but I enjoy/reassurred eating them the most when I breast them the same day and in the fridge they go. I would be less concerned about bacteria if duck tasted good cooked medium-well or well done. But most of us eat it where it is half raw in the center so it's about how much concern (or how little) concern each individual has for the bacteria issue and which technique we each gravitate to.

    I wish I had photos of meat that I didn't dry out too much, sometimes they don't look dry aged at all because they still have a lot of their moisture. I haven't used a screen which would simultaneously dry both sides, and have stuck with using a cookie sheet so I slow down the evaporation/drying as one side is down on the tray. About every other day I pad dry the topside of the breast meat with a napkin, lift it off the tray and pad dry the tray and flip the breast over back onto the tray. This allows a slower, even evaporation on both sides.
     
  6. ValleyFlak

    ValleyFlak Elite Refuge Member

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    Your welcome! Please post up how your next batch come out.:tu
     
  7. Texans84

    Texans84 Senior Refuge Member

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    Ok this will be the first set of pictures detailing from start to finish. I have 2 different batches going; 1 that I only soaked in water in the fridge for a few days, and 1 that I soaked in salt/water in the fridge. I drained each daily added fresh water so the only difference is the salt water brine in one batch to see exactly what affect, if any, it will have on the final outcome.

    These are the regular water breasts. It is a mixture of bluewing teal, greenwing teal, and a spoonbill:

    [​IMG]


    These are the salt water batch. It is a spoonbill, greenwing teal, and a scaup:

    [​IMG]


    I am going to pad them dry on both sides each evening and flip them each evening also. I will take daily pictures of the process. Here they are in the fridge:

    [​IMG]



    I think I have a pretty good setup for the aging process, but if yall think I have too big of air holes then let me know. I may not be able to post pics everyday, but I will take them everyday and post in between hunts.
     
  8. duckblind

    duckblind Senior Refuge Member

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    Keep em coming:tu Great idea and I am very curious myself
     
  9. ValleyFlak

    ValleyFlak Elite Refuge Member

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    Nice set up! Curious if there is any difference in taste between using salt water vs. using fresh water before aging. Please give an update on how it came out.

    The only difference when I dry age is that, right after cutting out the breast meat, I only have the breast meat in a bowl of water briefly when I squeeze the blood out then I pad dry them and place on cookie sheet to start dry aging. I think if you cook those duck breasts on day 5, 6 and seven, you are gonna like em.:tu
     
  10. cootmeurer

    cootmeurer Elite Refuge Member

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    Ditto

    I have a beer/bait/birds fridge. Cleanly shot ducks are laid breast up and allowed to age for 7-10 days.

    Those that are shot up are breasted immediately.

    As for salt and bacteria, understand that bacteria LIKES salt. If you look up the recipe for LB broth (the media for growing bacteria in the lab) it uses 10 mg/ml (roughly 3 Tablespoons per gallon).
     

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