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Any advice on dry aging beef?

Village IdiotVillage Idiot Posts: 6,958
edited January 2012 in EggHead Forum
I know dry aging beef has been an oft discussed topic, but upon searching, I do not see much help for the complete novice.

In googling, I see that there is such a thing as a dry bag and a Retractable Snorkel Sealer, but I don't know if I need all that stuff.  I would appreciate your experience in this.

Thanks.
__________________________________________

Dripping Springs, Texas.
Just west of Austintatious


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Comments

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,859
    put it on a lower shelf in the fridge on a rack and wait 42 days, thats it. the whole primal, ribeye is best even if your not a ribeye fan. thats it, its simple, its the cheapest way, and its worked over and over. stikes not dead yet
    :))
  • Thanks, fish.  But, don't you have to completely vacuum out the air and have a bag that releases moisture but doesn't let bacteria in?
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious


  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,859
    no, rinse the primal off, pat it dry, put it in the fridge. dry bags are new, dry aging is old. start with choice or better, the whole roast, not a steak. im starting one now and ive eaten and not died from stikes ribeye. its really that easy, not confusing at all
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,859
    thats the cliff notes version, they have the long version on the web
  • OK (gulp).  I'll give it a try.  Thanks !  

    How long?


    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious


  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,859
    about 40 days but you can eat a steak at 21, 27, 42, a hundred days. ive only gone 12 /14 days, they are not ready yet, the steak stike gave ne was around 40 days staked in a foodsaver bag and i didnt get to eat it for another couple weeks then. ive bought steaks dry aged 45 days from my butcher several times, good if you like a dry aged steak, and thats key, you need to like dry aged steak
  • Interesting statement "You need to like dry aged beef".  Why wouldn't I?  I don't think I've ever had it, but I read that it is much more flavorful and tender.  Is there some kind of acquired taste involved?

    Sorry for my ignorance.
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious


  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,909
    edited January 2012
    Interesting statement "You need to like dry aged beef".  Why wouldn't I?  I don't think I've ever had it, but I read that it is much more flavorful and tender.  Is there some kind of acquired taste involved?

    Sorry for my ignorance.
    Great question.  I'm curious too, been thinking about doing this.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,859
    well, ive seen it said before, if you dry age your self and dont know what its supposed to taste like, you will second guess your effort. always good to know what your shooting for. for instance, i dont particularly like the taste of dry aged meat near the bone, it tastes off to me , but i know its ok, i do kill for the taste of dry aged beef and fat on the other side which is why i enjoy a dry aged ribeye, im not a ribeye fan unless its dry aged, way better dry aged
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,859
    how far from westlake, theres "the meat house" there. they would have 45 day dry aged steak there
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,909
    well, ive seen it said before, if you dry age your self and dont know what its supposed to taste like, you will second guess your effort. always good to know what your shooting for. 
    Good advice.  Guess I'll check with the local butcher and cook one up before I dry age myself.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    just unwrap and toss in the fridge.  they didn't need bags before, and i haven't ever heard actual reasons why it is 'better' than just doing it the standard time-tested way.

    unwrap, rinse, pat dry.  place on a drying rack over a rimmed cookie sheet (you will only get a drop or two at most.) set it in the bottom of a fridge (basement beer fridge is best but not req'd). 

    no cheesecloth, no towels.  they do exactly the opposite of what folks think they do.  and they can be a breeding ground for bacteria.  let the surface get dry (it will overnight), and that itself is anti-bacterial.  keep temps below 40, ideally as low as you can go.  it won't freeze at 32, but nrmal fridge temps (mid 30's) works well.

    wait 21 days minimum.  28 days better.  beyone that it's personal preferenc e.  i go 45 days.  actually, i age wet 60, then about 40-45 dry. 

    don't trim.  the exterior softens when cooked, and is frankly that part which is dry aged.  trimming it means you wasted the effort, and are left with a smaller core of merely wet aged beef. 
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited January 2012
    as fishless said, better to spend a premium on a commercially dry aged steak to see whether you 1.) like or 2.) can even tell a difference.  most stuff will only be 21 to 28 days.  but we (fish and I) had a place near us that did 45, and it is by FAR better than 21-28.

    still, if your first inclination on seeing this pic (or your wife's reaction) is to look a little sideways at it, then maybe you want to start with a steak from a butcher who ages rather than spend 80- bucks on a rib eye yourself, wait 45 days, and then get nervous

    image
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Great advice, guys. Thanks.

    We have a gourmet butcher in town "Pete's Fine Meats".  I'll see if he has dry aged beef.
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious


  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i had one last sunday that i aged 100 days.  after cooking, touching the side of it made it give way nice and soft.  it looks hard as a brick, and when cold, it is.  but it softens and the exterior feels slightly drier, crispier, almost like a crust on a roast beef.  the exterior also tastes completely different than the prettier red interior, and (in my opinion) is where the money is. 
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,859
    biggest problem with dry aged steak is it cooks in half the time as your used to. if your shooting for medium rare, you really need to pay attention to the cook like its your first time cooking a steak. you can ruin a great steak quickly
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,859
    some advice if your going to dry age the roast. buy the dry age, smell it, really smell it, cut a piece off, taste it, yes i said taste it, cook it, eat it. buying it, make sure they dont trim it for you, some butchers will trim it thinking its not what you want, todays butchers will do that, they dont always know what they should be selling, there are real butchers doing the dryaging, and counter top butchers doing the selling, your buying an old crusty steak, you want an old crusty steak, NO trimming
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,859
    from my own experience, the cheese cloth keeps it wet longer, wet isnt a good thing, and what are the positives of having a porous sheet of cotton sitting on it that is supposed to be changed a couple times, its not keeping anything off the meat.
  • The difference with sausages is that they're in a casing. That is what causes the problem you're talking about.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,859
    ones dry cured at 70 degrees with curing salts, ones not and i think its more important with the big cured sausages but not so sure. you dont dry age sausages in the fridge
  • rodentrodent Posts: 106
    What is the "wet aging process". I love dry aged beef but since i am retired now can't afford to buy it much. Stuck a rib roast on a rack and left in fridge for 14 days and was delicious. Too impatient to wait any longer.
  • SqueezySqueezy Posts: 1,102

    I also did a rib roast, albeit a small one, cooked it after 16 days. It was very good! Found a good deal on a New York strip roast and going to give it the 40 day treatment.

    What is the best thickness to cut the steaks?

    Never eat anything passed through a window unless you're a seagull ... BGE Lg.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Cut them as thick as you like them
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • SqueezySqueezy Posts: 1,102
    2 inches it is .... \:D/
    Never eat anything passed through a window unless you're a seagull ... BGE Lg.
  • This thread has been very helpful to me.  Thanks !

    One last question:   I assume you want to dry age a whole sub primal cut instead of just a steak or two.  So, after dry aging, do you normally cut up the slab into steaks and then freeze them in Foodsaver bags?
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious


  • cowmancowman Posts: 13

    I raise Black Angus cattle and keep a steer for the family every year.  The slaughter house hangs the sides in a cooler for 21 days for me. I dry age for another week when getting ready to egg a steak.  The comments from everyone were great and answered a lot of the questions I had.  I am going to try aging longer.

    By the way. The price we get at sales yards has nearly doubled in the last 6 months so you can expect store prices to go out of site in about another 3 months. We got $700 for a 400 pund steer this week.

  • Wow.  That's getting close to $2 a pound.  I raised cattle back in the '70s and we thought prices were good when a steer calf would bring $1.  Where's your spread?
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious


  • The price of beef has jumped dramatically for me at the wholesale level in the last few months. All 3 of my suppliers tell the same story that it's partially because of increases in feed corn from drought but mostly because WalMart has/is switching from select to choice and have created a shortage. The effect on choice meat is that the price is being driven up by the mega demands of WM which is having a major impact at the wholesale level. It may also explain why Restaurant Depot seems to be running more specials on select grade meat. They also say it's about to get much worse.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Even commercial beef at the grocery will be aged a couple weeks before it makes it to the store. Don't tell the modern housewife or she may blanch at the thought. Hahaha

    @VI: you can either cut into steaks and freeze, or start harvesting a steak or two at a time around 21-28 days. Lop off a steak and let the rest ride. You will sacrifice a little from the cut end, because it will get a little too dry, but this way you can enjoy them 21-45 days or more.

    I like the flavor of 60-100, but it is not a traditional 'juicy' steak at that point. It's approaching bresaola almost. Not a bad thing. Just a different thing

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    What is the "wet aging process". I love dry aged beef but since i am retired now can't afford to buy it much. Stuck a rib roast on a rack and left in fridge for 14 days and was delicious. Too impatient to wait any longer.
    Wet aging is just leaving the primal in the original cryovac for a similar periodof time. It reduces the moisture loss.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

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