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Dry Aged Prime Beef Trouble

davehempdavehemp Posts: 109
edited 4:56AM in EggHead Forum
Hi all - especially Stike, RRP and other "aging" vets...
I've purchased several sub-primal cuts from Costco - all USDA prime grade...bought a fridge for my aging(wifey didn't like the smell in regular fridge - surprise :unsure: got an extra fridege out of it, anyway, which meant room for more than one cut at a time :) ), but I've been disappointed with the tenderness of the steaks I've cut from my first ribeye. I started cutting steaks around 28 days, and the 2 I cut yesterday were at 51 days. There are a couple areas that I suspect causing this issue of more toughness than I would expect. They also don't seem to be as juicy as I would expect.
1. Though Prime grade, the Costco beef seems to be on the low end of marbling grade for Prime. Still, it is Prime, and I would have thought the aging would have increased the tenderness - I have read posts from folks that aged Choice grade steaks that sounded perfectly happy...
2. Cooking method. I always cook my steaks at high(600-650)temps at fire ring level on CI grid. I notice these steaks seem to char more than un-aged steaks, but if I pull them when they look done on the outside(I don't usually use a therm on steaks - don't like poking holes in them and never had a problem determining doneness before), they tend to be underdone. I'm wondering if aged meat might cook better at a lower temp for longer??? Never heard of such a thing, but I'm grasping at straws - embarassing to have the simplest of all cooks turn out disappointing. I tried raising the grid a couple inches yesterday with the spider, but they still cooked wierd and ended up the same as the others.

Sorry for the length, but I'm frustrated...

Meat is in full size fridge, temp steady at 32-38 degrees...

eggstuff177.jpg

Comments

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 19,486
    i usually trex and temp gage is key, for me they usually cook much faster. you could try the hot tub method and sear, im betting alot will do that with those steaks
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 27,980
    Dave,

    Yes those temps are ok for searing but way hot for cooking. You will find there is less moisture in the dry aged meat but the buttery mouth feel is what replaces the liquid.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Dry aging steak literally removes moisture - a significant percentage of the moisture - from the subprimal.

    A drier steak will be more firm, cook faster, and just in general be different from one not dry aged.

    Use a thermometer. There is absolutely no problem poking a hole or three in your steak to gauge the temperature. you're not going to lose any noticeable moisture that way, and the hole will close back up so you lose nothing in presentation points.

    Cook it just like any other steak, but it will get done faster than what you are used to seeing. The end product will be a bit more firm than a non-aged steak, but the tradeoff is the intensity of the flavor.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 19,202
    Don't think I can add anything more to the explanation already given to you. I will say though I'm such a fan of hot tubbing and then a quick sear and that includes 3 and 4" thick chunks of prime rib that I then cut in half and share with my wife. That way we both get the medium rare taste on the top side and the delicious taste of the rub that was seared into the outside like this:
    IMG_1932.jpg
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
  • davehempdavehemp Posts: 109
    Good advice from every single comment - and every one very much appreciated... :)

    There seems to be consensus for several things:
    Lower temp for normal cook - maybe 400-500?
    Get over my fear of using the themapen on steaks.
    Consider trying Hot-tubbing.
  • davehempdavehemp Posts: 109
    RRP, I'm in a similar situation just feeding myself and my wife. I also like to cut a 4 inch rib roast and cut in two for us. That picture looks far better than the one I tried last week...and that is perfect doneness for us also...what temp did you tub to, and how long a sear?
  • RRPRRP Posts: 19,202
    Dave,
    For a thick piece I find it takes longer so what I do is hot tub using a small Coleman cooler like for carrying a ice down six pack. Once filled with hot tap water and the lid on tightly I only swap out the water once and keep it about 115° to 120°. I go 90 minutes to assure it gets warm clear through. Then depending on how hot my small wants to go that night I find it takes about 2 minutes per side to get a nice sear at 650 to 700. I do flip and turn though to get a nice cross hatch pattern.
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
  • davehempdavehemp Posts: 109
    You may have pushed me over the edge to try hot-tubbing...
    How do places like Ruth's Chris and, I think Mortons, that cook steaks in nuclear hot ovens manage to turn out a great steak, when I cannot, do you think? I think R.C. uses 800 degrees...
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Your grill is as hot as their infrared element. Sometimes hotter

    Their steaks go on warm. At least Morton's in boston does it that way. Steaks sitting out warming

    A hot rubbed steak is essentially the same, only more so, since the steak needs searing only to finish. If their steak is 'room temp' or 70 when it goes on, your hot tubbed steak can be 100-120. Sear to your preferred level of char.

    Don't get sucked into the "we cook our steaks at 1800 degrees". The temperature of the element if you grabbed it with your hand is 1800. Same as you picking up a raging chunk of lump. The dome may say 600, 700, 800 degrees, but you aren't cooking with the air . The radiant heat from the lump is what is searing it. And that can be 1800 too.

    When searing, dome temp really only tells you how much lump you have going, not how hot the lump is.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • davehempdavehemp Posts: 109
    "When searing, dome temp really only tells you how much lump you have going, not how hot the lump is"

    That adds a bit to my perception - nice...
    Do you think that too much lump in itself means potentially greater odds for a tough steak if in the Egg for more than a few minutes?

    I do leave my steaks out for several hours before cooking in an effort to get them near room temp., but sometimes even that won't go all the way on thick cuts...I've just been hesitant to add in the step of the hot water, etc., but I'm ready to try it now, I think...
  • SmokinbSmokinb Posts: 99
    Dave, get in the hot tub. The waters fine!
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Tough steak can only be 1.) overcooked 2.) a cheap cut, or lower grade like select, 3.) or both

    A good way to think of it is like Trex, slow-roasting followed by searing, or hut-tubbing

    Your best steaks are cooked in two steps. One gives you a nice exterior (the sear), the other gets you to your desired internal temp. You can do them in either order. Sear first, then roast til done (Trex). Slow roast, then sear. Or warm (to room temp on a counter or hottubbed), and then sear for color/flavor plus to take it the few degrees internally.

    Make any sense?

    Roasts are similar. But so much bigger than steaks that you could just slow roast and still end up with a nice exterior without searing. But if you tried to cook a roast by searing only, you'd destroy the exterior before the core was 'done'.

    Cooking a steak by searing alone, if thick to any degree, will give you maybe too much sear and an underdone interior
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • davehempdavehemp Posts: 109
    "Cooking a steak by searing alone, if thick to any degree, will give you maybe too much sear and an underdone interior"

    You should list this as 4.) in "Tough steak can only be" reasons...I think this is mainly what has been plaguing me...

    Thanks, Smokinb, I'm coming in...better not be any suspicious bubbles in there... :laugh:
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    But an overdone exterior and undertone interior don't make for a tough steak, unless you are talking aboutthe first quarter inch, which is overcooked, right?

    Overcooking (whether by searing roasting or microwaving) will drive the moisture out and toughen the meat. It's the over cooking, not the method of cooking.

    You could sear a steak over a 5000 degree heat source and it wouldnt make it tough. Unless you had it there too long
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • davehempdavehemp Posts: 109
    Your comments are most appreciated...I will start using my Thermapen on my steak cooks from now on... I have another ribeye and a strip aging in the fridge now, need 10 more days til they hit 45 days when I will start cutting steaks a couple at a time...wish me luck!
    Again, thanks to all that take the time to post informative and helpful comments.
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