Pepper Tree has been processing game meat since it’s inception. Today we are carrying on the tradition of skilled meat cutting and sausage making services
Here is some helpful information for hunters
First and foremost. It is very important to get your animal cleaned and cooled as quickly as possible.
Ideally as soon as you finish field dressing your animal, we hang it in the meat locker. However, as hunting isn’t allowed in town you need to get it to us as soon as possible.
Hang the animal to cool it. Take care to clean it well removing hair, grass, leaves, pine needles etc. If you don’t want it in your meat don’t leave it on the carcass. You may want to wipe it down with a diluted vinegar water solution.
“Grampa said you need to let the meat hang to age it”
This old school thought isn’t quite true. Hanging the animal will cause certain changes to the meat. Whether they are the desired changes depends on several factors. The proper way is in a controlled environment, i.e., a meat locker. Aging an animal in a meat locker will allow the meat to drain completely and firm giving a better end product.
After one day of hanging in a tree where the temperature gets above 41° the meat is already being compromised. At this point there in a sharp increase in E. coli bacteria, molds and yeasts growing in the meat. Spoiled and rotting meat is cut away and discarded.
The point is the sooner your meat in under refrigeration the better yield.
If you decide to debone your own meat for us to process the same care in cleaning and cooling should be taken. When you have your trim ready to bring in here are a couple things to keep in mind.
If you bring it in fresh use a clean container. Best is gallon size zip lock bags. A trash bag is ok but it must be an unscented bag. Every year someone brings in meat in a scented bag. Their meat ends up tasting like the bag. Gross!
If You prefer to bring it in frozen portions of no more than 10 pounds because it is very hard to work with an oddly shaped 40 pound chuck of frozen meat.
In order to facilitate getting your animal into the meat locker We have a phone number to call on Saturday evening through Monday evening. This number is for drop off only. Any other issue can be addressed using our normal business number during business hours.
Please note for 2022 our game line phone number is changed.