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Dedicated Refrigerator for Dry Ageing

haymanhayman Posts: 25
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Looking for recommendations for a small refrigerator for dry aging. I've been looking at the wine chiller glass door models but haven't found any with great review for holding temps. Seems the temps can swing +/- 5 degrees and some the temps don't go down below 40 degrees.

Really don't want to spend extra for a frig/freezer but if anyone has recommendations for one small enough for a couple of roasts I'd appreciate it.

Thanks

Comments

  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006
    I'd look for a 3/4 apartment size fridge. any of the smaller dorm room fridges etc won't hold a stable temp.
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 3,381
    A couple cases of beer in that 3/4 fridge
    will also help keep the temp level. :laugh:
    Thank you,
    Darian


    Galveston Texas
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    ...bonus with beer is no odors to promote off flavors or rancidity :laugh:
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 3,381
    Or if you drink enough of it you don't care. :laugh:
    Thank you,
    Darian


    Galveston Texas
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    I guess the main considerations are size and being able to maintain temperatures in the 32° to 38° range, but the pro's will tell you that professional aging also relies on air circulation and monitoring of humidity.

    Why not locate an appliance dealer that also does repair and go visit with them about making some modifications to a fridge. You might even be able to buy a used one from them..... I'm thinking along the lines of a more accurate thermostat, installing a circulation fan and vent(s), and a way to mount a thermometer and hygrometer so you can see them without opening the door.
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • davehempdavehemp Posts: 109
    I just got a dedicated fridge for my meat aging... I started out looking at compacts - not big enough... Then went looking at used models - they wanted too much for nice ones, and less expensive ones tended to be too worn for my taste... I ended up getting a 14.8 cubic ft. Frigidaire model 1513L from Lowes for 349.00 and a free delivery deal was available. Can't beat brand new - and it's a little smaller than the 18 cu.ft. models...Watch out if you go looking for this exact price - for some reason various colors can run the price up by as much as $40.(I got white)
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    humidity is a factor, but it isn't anything that you even need to monitor. there are schools of thought (preference really) whether it's better to be humid or dry, but neither is better or worse as far as food safety goes

    drier environments mean quicker water loss, and so more 'beefiness' by virtue of being condensed. that implies (whether it's true or not) that you can't age as long though, because it could lose too much weight. so the thought is, more beefiness, but less overall time for the enzymes to work

    on the other hand, a more humid environment seems to imply you could age longer (allow the enzymes to work), while the drying (condensing) happened more slowly.

    in reality, i'd imagine the difference are negligible

    my fridge is pretty dry, and at a 100 days, the beef wasn't a dessicated log by any means. conversely, more humidity means mold (not a safety issue, just cosmetic)

    for me, pretty much a non-issue
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • I'm a homebrewer in addition to being an Egger. I have a chest freezer with an external thermostat that holds temps within a degree or two. You plug the thermostat into the wall outlet and then plug the freezer into the thermostat module. You then run the supplied temperature probe from the thermostat into the freezer and it turns the power on and off to maintain a constant temp that you choose.

    You can get the thermostat for $80 at Northern Brewing supply on the web. I'm sure that there are plenty of other sources also. I'm going to use my lagering freezer for dry aged steak in the near future.
  • haymanhayman Posts: 25
    I think this will be the way I will go. I've got some great info not involving beer on other forums. Thanks for the help that gave it.
  • haymanhayman Posts: 25
    I think this will be the way I will go. I've got some great info not involving beer on other forums. Thanks for the help that gave it.
  • haymanhayman Posts: 25
    Smoke In The 'Nole wrote:
    I'm a homebrewer in addition to being an Egger. I have a chest freezer with an external thermostat that holds temps within a degree or two. You plug the thermostat into the wall outlet and then plug the freezer into the thermostat module. You then run the supplied temperature probe from the thermostat into the freezer and it turns the power on and off to maintain a constant temp that you choose.

    You can get the thermostat for $80 at Northern Brewing supply on the web. I'm sure that there are plenty of other sources also. I'm going to use my lagering freezer for dry aged steak in the near future.

    How do you deal with the air circulation? I've seen how a similar controller hooked up to a humidifier to deal with that.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    just toss a chunk in your regular fridge for a few weeks and see if you even want to do it. :laugh:

    seriously. humidity, air circulation... all critical maybe if you are selling the stuff, but you can do this tomorrow with no outlay. all else is esoterica and complication. you may want to fine tune later, but there are virtually no other requirements for aging beef than keeping the temps lower than 40
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • haymanhayman Posts: 25
    stike wrote:
    just toss a chunk in your regular fridge for a few weeks and see if you even want to do it. :laugh:

    seriously. humidity, air circulation... all critical maybe if you are selling the stuff, but you can do this tomorrow with no outlay. all else is esoterica and complication. you may want to fine tune later, but there are virtually no other requirements for aging beef than keeping the temps lower than 40

    I'm 8 days into my first Prime rib roast right now in my home frig. I'd like to avoid the oder contamination like you mentioned. New at it just trying to learn and be safe.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    temps are the ONLY safety consideration.

    don't get sidetracked by people telling you on other forums to monitor humidity and airflow. that's all style, and i'd bet a dinner that no one could consistently taste the difference between a 28-day rib eye at 55% humidity, and one done at 35%

    if you have choice or better beef, you have already made the biggest quality decision you could. well, second only to temperature control. 38 or lower is a good plan. you should also have NO concern for the fact that an everyday fridge has its door opened somewhat often. your eggs don't go bad in a couple weeks from the door being opened, why would the beef? you'll see no temp swings in the meat from opening the door

    big picture:
    cold temps,
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • haymanhayman Posts: 25
    stike wrote:
    temps are the ONLY safety consideration.

    don't get sidetracked by people telling you on other forums to monitor humidity and airflow. that's all style, and i'd bet a dinner that no one could consistently taste the difference between a 28-day rib eye at 55% humidity, and one done at 35%

    if you have choice or better beef, you have already made the biggest quality decision you could. well, second only to temperature control. 38 or lower is a good plan. you should also have NO concern for the fact that an everyday fridge has its door opened somewhat often. your eggs don't go bad in a couple weeks from the door being opened, why would the beef? you'll see no temp swings in the meat from opening the door

    big picture:
    cold temps,

    Good point. What's your opinion on trimming before cooking?

    Thinking since this is my first I will cook this one tomorrow or Saturday. It basically looks a little dried out, no odd discoloration.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    don't ask... hahaha
    trimming the dry aged beef off of the dry aged beef means you no longr have dry aged beef. if someone is trimming it, i'd have to ask why the heck they are bothering to age in the first place.

    that's what dry aged beef IS.

    the drier exterior softens completely when cooked, when the fat in it melts. that's the entire idea behind doing it, frankly.

    it's completely safe and edible, just as jerky (which is much drier) is.

    seriously, trimming it off is a literal and figural waste. a person inclined to do it really ought to simply wet age the beef. they'll get the same enzyme action (flavors and tenderness), without the waste. when you trim the exterior, all you have done is revealed the wet aged beef that remains within. that's an expensive way to wet age
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    What do you do with the end cuts? mine are pretty thin, less than half inch. frozen
  • davehempdavehemp Posts: 109
    The Oracle of Aging has spoken - and I always listen...Don't get too big-headed, Stike, but you're the source of the most helpful info on this subject on the forum imo...plus you have the best avatar - that Giada...I have lots of adult type comments to make about that, but I will refrain since we're in mixed company... :woohoo: B)
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    carpaccio!

    i slice off the end, and shave these out with the chef's knife. this is hundred day carpaccio

    04_Carpaccio.jpg
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i'm just figuring this out as i go along, but i am a no-B.S. kinda guy. generally like to cut straight to the pith of it. :laugh:

    i'm no oracle.
    "I hear, and I forget. I see, and I may remember. But I do, and then I understand" -Confucius
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • haymanhayman Posts: 25
    stike wrote:
    i'm just figuring this out as i go along, but i am a no-B.S. kinda guy. generally like to cut straight to the pith of it. :laugh:

    i'm no oracle.
    "I hear, and I forget. I see, and I may remember. But I do, and then I understand" -Confucius

    What do you consider the best cut of meat to dry age?

    How long of an age?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i agree with what i think is the universal assessment, no mystery there: the rib eye.

    it's got the fat you want, and all the water in it virtually vanishes. i can't even eat a fresh ribeye anymore without looking sideways at that seam of floppy fat it has. that seam firms up and the steak never falls apart when you age it. much better texture i think.

    strip is good, but i like a good fresh one anyway, so i just do the ribeye

    how long? i dunno. i think it's also somewhat of a given that 28 days is the minimum ante. a store near me was slinging 45-day stuff, so that became my target. it's excellent.

    i had a steak at 60 days off the most recent rib eye, and it was the best steak i ever had. at a hundred days, i froze my last two steaks. didn't cook them at the time. just no time to eat it that day, and to keep going (gee, 101 days!) was beyond overkill. i think at that point it may be too dried, but we'll see. i don't know that i can tell a diff. we'll see.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • beerguybeerguy Posts: 104
    That would be the problem for me - keeping the beer in the fridge to help maintain the temperature.
  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    Stike,

    I can't believe how good that is. thanks ;)
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