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Dry Aging Venison?


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Jan 6, 2010
I was talking with a customer the other day who is a big hunter.  His whole family plus others take enough deer to feed a small army it seems...

He was talking about how he ages the meat to make it literally "fork tender".

They bought a walk in cooler which allows them to dry age the meat for 30-40 days which does produce a small layer of mold which he said is normal.  After they trim the meat of the mold they can freeze the rest and it is the best.

Here is my question.

Is there a way to make a freezer that moves enough air to accomplish the same thing as a large commercial cooler?

He said the main thing is to have the air circulating around the meat.

I'm wondering if I found an old deep freezer and somehow placed a small fan in it that would allow air to transfer out without losing temps.

Has anyone tried anything like this or know someone who has?

We are building a new house, and I'm sure I could fit this somewhere in my man cave section of the basement.

Thanks for any help!!!


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Aug 24, 2007
It can be done, but you must be able to handle sub-primals at the minimum.  And it is rare to shoot a deer with enough cover to be able to dry age 30 to 40 days.  My guess is the cooler is set to below freezing like 27 F or so?

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