How long should a beef hung after butchering to get the best meat?
Dr. Rick Rasby, Professor of Animal Science, Animal Science, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
A: Meat has two major components, the muscle fibers, which allows muscle fibers to contract and relax, and connective tissue, which basically supports the muscle fibers. Muscle fibers usually shorten and stiffen right after slaughter and at the start of rigor mortis, and this usually lasts for 6 to 12 hours in beef cattle. Cooling the carcass shortly after slaughter will only allow the rigor to go only so far.