Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
We hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July weekend and is excited for more warm weather grilling! This week, we’ll be making these two burgers: Stuffed Portobello Mushroom and Caribbean Chicken, and also eating lots of these Ice Cream Sandwiches in honor of National Ice Cream Month! It's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

Dry age steak

mountaindewbassmountaindewbass Posts: 1,628
edited May 2012 in EggHead Forum
Does it make a difference and if so whats your method?
«1

Comments

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    if you can buy one uncooked, from a premium butcher.  do that first.
    and don't have them trim it.

    you'll know from that whether it is anything you want to have again.

    it may seem expensive to buy one, but it's a lot cheaper than buying a whole primal, waiting a cuppla/few months, and then deciding it isn't for you


    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,080

    Steaks don't do well at aging. Large roasts and primals do. Just rinse in cold water and put it on a rack in the fridge. Sir stike will chime in shortly with a longer reply

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • mountaindewbassmountaindewbass Posts: 1,628
    edited May 2012
    Alton brown stated to put the steak in the fridge covered in a paper towel for a day. Then take it out change the paper towel and put it back in for three days then its dry aged and ready to cook. He used a porter house for it
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited May 2012
    that's dry aging in name only.
    i normally think he's spot on, but in this case i'm thinking he's trying to come up with a compromise method for people who have been hearing the phrase" dry aged" for a while and want to try it without any time or expense.

    dry aged beef is a primal or roast (as steven mentioned), stored at cold temps, unwrapped.  no towels, no nothing.  just cold air, and time.  the surface will dry quickly, and the layer of fat from a primal will meter the rate at which the thing dries out.

    you are doing to entirely unrelated things when you dry age. you are drying, and you are aging.

    a steak is all surface, with comparatively little volume. the surface dries quickly, but in addition, with a thin piece like that anything over a day or two will give you a relic suitable for using as the sole of a shoe.  jerky. and 'aging' cannot take place properly in a day or two.

    buy a whole primal, or sizeable roast. rinse it. put it on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet.  this allows air all sides. ignore towels.  towels serve literally no purpose, except to draw water from the meat at a rate which is not desirable.  if you want to age it, then you do NOT want it to dry quickly.  you'll also make less of a mess with no towels, and you'll also find the surface dries quickly.  dry surfaces inhibit bacteria.  wet towels in contact with the surface are a bacterial haven, and bad voodoo.  people use them mainly because they can't conceive of an unwrapped thing in their fridge, and need some sort of false reassurance, and so cover it.  this also appeases spouses... hahaha  but neither of those are good reasons.

    this set up permits the 'drying' side of the equation. it will condense the beef by evaporation.

    with a decent layer of fat (as with a whole rib eye), the water will evaporate at a slow enough rate to allow maybe 45 days aging before you get 'too' dry (by conventional standards).  most folks want a moist steak. not sure why, as that's nothing but water carrying fat and proteins.  when you evaporate the water, the proteins and fat stay behind, so there is not only no flavor loss, you actually get more intense beef flavor.

    last... because it takes 45 days to really give up the water (you'll lose maybe 20% of the weight), the meat begins to break down under it's own enzymes.  it's controlled decomposition. autolysis.  that is not exaggeration.  it is pretty much 'eating' itself.  enzymes breaking down proteins, for one thing. protein is flavorless.  a fresh steak get's most of its flavor from fat, not the flesh, but the fat IN the flesh. but when protein gets broken down by the enzymes in the beef, the remaining amino acids DO have flavors.  nuttiness, butteryness, etc.  These flavors are added by aging and become more pronounced as it ages and more protein is broken down.

    you can't get any of that in three days, from a steak.  at best, you will dry the surface of the steak, which helps with carmelization during cooking.  but it isn't aged. just dried (and not much).

    wet aging is similar.  but the meat is left in the cryo and does not condense.  i find too long in the cryo and the flavors become a little too cloying. the beef fat of wet aged beef is not condensed, so the only gains are tenderness and flavors from the enzymes acting on protein.

    i have been trying different variations, including combinations of wet and dry aging.

    for a first foray, you should try 21-28 days. 21 days is a toe in the water, and has more beefiness due to water loss, but not much aged flavor. try 28 if you want to at least get a hint of nirvana.

    after 28 days, slice off the jerkified end (like the heel of a loaf of bread).  that's edible, but it is literally jerky.  i shave out the inner side as carpaccio. eat that raw.

    then lop off a decent thickness of a steak, say inch and a half to two inches. (leave the rest to age if you want. you'll lose a little as the new cut end becomes jerky, but that's fine)

    hot tub the steak (my preferred) or let it truly hit room temp (salt it both sides, and let it sit out for an hour and a half, minimum).  then pat dry, and sear til finished.  you will need only to sear a short time. they cook quickly.

    try to resist the 'oh my, i must make this look pretty' inclination to trim it to a former shell of itself.  aged meat IS the dried and firm and strongly flavored meat on the exterior.  the interior is aged too, but not substantially any more dense (as the outside is, from water loss).  therefore, if you don't like the texture, you can skip the drying next time and simply wet age.

    store near me used to sell it untrimmed when they began offering it.  now, people are all gung-ho to try this "dry aged beef" they keep hearing about, but are unable to look past the oxidized/brown surface, and they flinch, trimming it in an effort to keep the customer 'happy'.  i find it something like paying a premium for fine wine, and then adding ice and seltzer.  sure, you can do it, but it isn't anything like the thing it was meant to be.

    ask yourself if you would eat this. these are all uncooked.  the rib eye in the back is 90 or so days (45 wet, 45 dry). the two in front are fresh-that-day NY Strips

    imageimage


    this is a truer-to-the-pattern 45-day (no wet ageing) rib eye.  store bought

    image

    this was a 100-day dry aged chunk (no wet aging)
    it is dry, sure, but the flavor is INTENSE.  people expecting a conventional steak find it totally unlike a fresh steak, and not everyone likes that

    image

    tubbing
    image

    on the fire
    image

    all told, i think my sweet spot is 45-60 days dry.  45 for company (it's still conventionally 'moist' enough).
    that, or maybe 28-45 wet plus a further 28-45 dry
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i'll add that agingis a complex subject, but not at all complicated.  it's ridiculously simple: let it sit there as long as you dare.

    i find similar flavors in some of these extended aged experiments as you find in country ham or othr lengthily-aged meats.  you maybe don't notice it as much in prosciutto because the slices are thin, but you' pick it up in a thicker hunk.  was surprised to find it in my own country ham, until i tried some authentic country ham a couple weeks ago, and it had the same aged quality.  it's the flavor many would call 'gamey' for lack of a better word.  but it is a distinct aging byproduct. hard to describe.  feintly sweet, hint of metal, i unno.  better to just try it and decide for one's self.  for me it is the condensed beefiness which is where the payoff comes.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,753
    @ stike-thanks for the great tutorial.  "Dry Aging for Dummies"  has not made the book circuit.  Your post is a great way to get beyond just reading about it and looking at your pics and posts.  Time for the big leap, I'm "all in" and will deal with any blow-back from the SWMBO as I take your advice and go with 28-30 days out of the gate.  Looking forward to the experiment. 
    Louisville
  • BrownieBrownie Posts: 1,022
    Thread bookmarked. Thanks for the lesson.
    :)
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited May 2012
    i have to say, though, for all my cheerleading, i think the BEST course of action is to plunk down 65$ on a professionally dry aged (raw) steak, from a high end butcher. and don't have them trim the damn thing.

    a steak at morton's is dry aged, but even those are barely flirting with aging.  they go 21-28 days and charge outrageous premiums.

    you will find out quickly enough if it is to your liking and even whether you can taste a difference.  most for sale will be 21 days.  maybe 28.  but you may get lucky and find a store called 'the meat house' near you.  they go 45.  they've started trimming though, so you gotta tell them to stay the hand.

    a 65 dollar steak is cheaper than a month's time on a whole subprimal, and you will not have to make the psychological leap of faith looking at your own brown log, then at the wife, then back at the log and thinking 'is it safe to eat?'.  the answer is generally 'yes', but that can be a hard sell, even to yourself.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited May 2012
    here's my set up.

    image
    these are strips, my advice is to go with rib-eyes, bcause they have more volume compared to the surface area.  strips will get very narrow.

    sliver off the heel (foreground) and then start cutting steaks.

    image

    the yield
    image

    closeup
    image

    searing
    (the rightmost piece is the heel of the thing. i tried cooking it, but it is very dry. you don't cook jerky like a steak for a reason. haha  now i just sliver out carpaccio and toss the crust)
    image

    here is the final steak, cooked.
    notice the minimal (virtually no) shrinkage.  and the flesh isn't laden with water, so searing isn't simply driving off water until the steak browns a little, it is more like, browning it uniformly across the whole thing, and melting the fat. note the fat on the surface.  you don't really get that with a fresh steak because you'd need to boil off the water first, and you just don't have time when searing a conventional steak
    image

    ribeye
    image

    i think 60 days
    image

    hacking
    image

    and here's the carpaccio from a 100 day ribeye.
    (that's olive oil and pepper)
    image

    not for bragging purposes.  just to show you what to expect, visually
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Awesome Stike. Thanks. On my list



  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,080
    Sooooooo essentially you rinse it and stick it on a rack in the fridge?

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    That's what i said. Even mentioned you. Haha
    But most have no idea what to expect. Hence the pics so that they can answer their own 'is that normal??!?' questions

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,080
    I didn't see that, didn't want to read it all

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Didnt ask you to
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,080
    The one you cooked at Lanier was awesome. Always like the Maudite shot

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Oh now he starts with the butt kissing. Shameless

    I think that one browned more in the freezer despite the vac sealing. Fine with me though

    But most of the other shots show red beef internally.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,753
    @ stike-Nothing like for pics for the "Dry Aging" book.  Thanks-and down the road it will either be a success or "well, you f'ed it up again".  And this adventure will not be the first that could yield that ending.  And that's the fun of it!
    Louisville
  • ccpoulin1ccpoulin1 Posts: 386
    Where did you get the Maudite beer?  Here in the 6th NY borrough (South Florida),  i can not find it....used to make runs from Vermont to Quebec all the time when i lived up there...  Great tutorial.  I have dry aged and wet aged prime rib before, to me, dry is much better.  I have to keep it away from my wife, otherwise she won't eat it if she sees it age...  Good job!

    "You are who you are when nobody is looking"

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,080
    Oh now he starts with the butt kissing. Shameless I think that one browned more in the freezer despite the vac sealing. Fine with me though But most of the other shots show red beef internally.
    You read me like a James Joyce novel

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Joyce is long and complicated
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,080
    I think I saw what you did just there

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    And he was a cunning linguist
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • mountaindewbassmountaindewbass Posts: 1,628
    So you dry age with the meat vaccum sealed? Or you sealed it after it aged?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited June 2012
    It may be longwinded, but it's longwinded for a reason. Everything you need to know is in there

    It cannot dry age if it still in the cryovac package. That would keep it wet. Hence 'wet' aging.

    Take it out of the cryo package and rinse it. Then allow to dry and set up as show to allow air all around it. That will cause it to dry. Hence 'dry' aging

    There's a system where oxygen permeable bags are used. But i have not yet hear a clear explanation as to why they are used other than to satisfy that part of the back of your mind ( or wife') which cannot comprehend a piece of beef unwrapped in your fridge

    It's been tru for time immemorial: it's better unwrapped. More pleasure and better results.

    Steven asked why so long. It's because these questions have been asked and answered a thousand times. So the brain dump was meant to cover those kind of questions and not onky with yes or no, but with some reason behind it

    But when all else fails, read steven's first reply and ignore all of mine
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Hi54puttyHi54putty Posts: 1,324
    mountaindewbass,
    I believe he vaccum sealed it post dry age but pre hot tub.
  • mountaindewbass,
    I believe he vaccum sealed it post dry age but pre hot tub.
    correct


  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    yep.
    that's a steak cut off from a dry aged subprimal.

    thought that was clear...
    :-<
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Iceman5705Iceman5705 Posts: 83
    What temp should the fridge be?  Luckily I have a fridge in my garage that I can dedicate to dry aging.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    fridge temp
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Iceman5705Iceman5705 Posts: 83
    That can very though Stike, my fridge in my house I can control.  I have colder / coldest on my garage fridge.  Do you know an exact temp?
Sign In or Register to comment.