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Can You Age Your Own Steaks?

CullumCullum Posts: 215
edited April 2012 in EggHead Forum
Can this be done by the average person? Does it make a difference?

Comments

  • Hi54puttyHi54putty Posts: 1,872
    Stike will be here shortly to fill you in.
    XL,L,S 
    Winston-Salem, NC 
  • bvanma28bvanma28 Posts: 57
    Get an old pie tin and some skewers, push skewers through pie tin to provide an elevated surface, wrap steak in paper towl, put in pie tin on top of skewers and place on bottom shelf in fridge as this is the coolest spot, change out paper towel after 24 hours and put back in fridge Leave for up to 8 days. Meat should be brownish red in color but not smelly. Throw on some salt and let sit out for an hour before cooking. Never done this but saw it done like this on food network.
  • Hillbilly-HightechHillbilly-Hightech Posts: 966
    edited April 2012
    I believe Stike has, at last count, written the equivalent of a novel on the subject... I'm sure you can find everything you ever wanted to know by communicating w/ him, as well as searching for past threads (mostly started by, or commented on, by him). 

    Edit:  here's a few threads to whet your appetite until Stike shows up: 

    http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1135220/dry-aging-steak

    http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1136251/any-advice-on-dry-aging-beef

    http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1135708/more-dry-aging-info
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • EggbertsdadEggbertsdad Posts: 804
    I do something similar to what's mentioned above. I take a sheet pan with a raised rack on it. Wrap the beef in cheesecloth and put on raised rack in the bottom of fridge. After 24 hours, replace with new cheesecloth. Let it go for about a week. Just be careful not to do it on too lean a cut (from my experience). 

    I did a prime rib roast like this 2 years ago for Thanksgiving. My wife (fiance at the time) was certain we just wasted a lot of money on a prime rib. I cooked on the grill (indirect)...before I had a BGE, and it was outstanding. Very tender.
    Sarasota, FL via Boynton Beach, FL, via Sarasota, FL, via Charleston, SC, via The Outer Banks, via God's Country (East TN on Ft. Loudon Lake)
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    no towels. there's no need for them, and no benefit from them.

    you really don't want to age a steak by itself, not for any length of time that would actually age it.  it will dry too much. a few days won't do anything for aging, but might dry it a bit.  problem is, it having been cut into steaks means what will dry first (and most) is the cut flesh (the sides you grill on)

    age a whole primal. the layer of fat and very little exposed flesh will help control drying.

    and if you trim it, you might as well not bother.




    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • EggbertsdadEggbertsdad Posts: 804
    no towels. there's no need for them, and no benefit from them.

    you really don't want to age a steak by itself, not for any length of time that would actually age it.  it will dry too much. a few days won't do anything for aging, but might dry it a bit.  problem is, it having been cut into steaks means what will dry first (and most) is the cut flesh (the sides you grill on)

    age a whole primal. the layer of fat and very little exposed flesh will help control drying.

    and if you trim it, you might as well not bother.




    Thanks stike. That would explain the steaks I tried to age a month or so ago. They were dry as can be. 
    Sarasota, FL via Boynton Beach, FL, via Sarasota, FL, via Charleston, SC, via The Outer Banks, via God's Country (East TN on Ft. Loudon Lake)
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited April 2012
    just keep in mind that dry aging is two things. drying+aging.

    not being a wise-adze.  what i mean is if you can't dry (because it's already been cut into steaks), you can still get the tenderness and flavor benefit from wet aging. just ignore the 'dry' part of the equation.  because 'aging' means letting it hang out a while in the fridge

    you can wet age a steak.  that simply means leave it in the package as long as you dare.  the plastic used on yellow foam packing trays is oxygen permeable. but it does slow drying.  only problem is that disgusting wet sponge under it. if you want to age a steak by itself, carefully preserve the plastic, pull it back, remove the blood-catching spongey thing and toss it.  wash and pat the steak and tray dry and fold the wrap back over it.

    then keep it there until your wife threatens to throw it out.

    or do what i do.  buy the past-due brown steak in the manager's special section.  best steak in the case.
    :))

    if you really wanna dry age, try a roast or whole primal. after 21, 28+ days, hack steaks off it, and keep a roast aside too
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • EggbertsdadEggbertsdad Posts: 804


    or do what i do.  buy the past-due brown steak in the manager's special section.  best steak in the case.
    :))

    I've bought them before but why do you consider them the best steaks? They're ugly as sin and tend to smell a little funny. 
    Sarasota, FL via Boynton Beach, FL, via Sarasota, FL, via Charleston, SC, via The Outer Banks, via God's Country (East TN on Ft. Loudon Lake)
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited April 2012
    smelling funny is part and parcel with aging.

    bright red fresh-looking steaks are a relatively new concept in human history.  they look great in ads and on television, but if you can get past the heebie-jeebies, most find that aged are better in flavor and tenderness.

    consider this... the only thing lost when dry aging is water.  as much as 20% by weight.
    water is flavorless.  and so by simply drying it, you condense the beef flavor considerably.

    enzymes in the meat break down flavorless proteins into shorter amino acids which contribute entirely new flavors which don't occur in 'fresh' beef.  there's an increase in tenderness, while paradoxially making it firmer.

    for example, if a steak isn't aged,  i tend to prefer  strip steak. it's firmer. less flabby/wet wthan rib eye, with that huge seam of wet fat.   but when you dry age a rib eye, that fat is condensed.  the steak stays together, and despite being more tender, it's also firm to the knife.  there's ZERO wet soft fat in an aged rib eye. 

    anyway.  i'm not here to convert.  i'd suggest buying an aged steak before aging yourself. so you know what you are dealing with. 

    took me a year or two of eating different steaks off the egg before i noticed a difference.  charcoal grilled steaks are so much better than what was coming off my gasser, that i couldnt appreciate the difference when aged.  now, i can't imagine not knowing the difference.

    it's like wine.  some folks don't notice or care about the difference between a six dollar bottle or a hundred dollar bottle.  but it is there, and it's worth it to those who prefer it

    i've gone 60, 75, 90, and 100 days. i still think the curve plateaus after 45.
    i now wet age (couple weeks wet) and then dry age til 45 total.  i love 60 days, but can't gt anyone to eat it with me.  100 days the sweetness from the enzyme action is cloying.  a little too much

    straight dry aging (no combo of wet/dry), 45 days is my go-to
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • CowdogsCowdogs Posts: 491

    stike,
    Your posts on dry aging are very informative ... and well written too.  Good stuff!

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    I have whole rib primal in the fridge from before Christmas

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • CowdogsCowdogs Posts: 491
    I have whole rib primal in the fridge from before Christmas
    OK.  It's getting close to 120 days.  Now what?
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817

    I'm out of vac seal bags. Soon as I get some I'll cut it.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Yes you can.You can wet age or dry age or do a combination.The primals are better for dry aging.Age to desired time,then slice the steaks.You can wet age individual steaks,just put em a vac bag and let em sit in the fridge a while.All you need(for dry aging) is meat,refridgerator,rack,drip pan and patience.Fattier cuts get more benefit from dry aging,leaner cuts respond well to wet aging.Give it a go.Good luck.IF you are not prepared to go AT LEAST 21/28 days,don't bother.The sweet spot for me is 45 days.I learned all I know from a guy named stike.He knows me by another name. I have 1 ribeye loin dry aging,2 ribeye loins,2 tenderloins and a strip loin wet aging now.I like to keep them on a rotation.
  • +1 Stike. Stink = flavor.
    1- LGBE
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    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
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    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,273

    Yes you can age your own ... I am just not patient enough.   Tuesday night, looking for something to eat -- there is that steak sitting in the fridge.....     That puppy is going on the Egg....

    Dry aged is definately better - I just have to buy that way - cause I have no discipline with good meat in the fridge.    Hat's off to those who can.

    Cookin in Texas
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