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Dry Aging questioins ....

pantsypantspantsypants Posts: 1,142
So I just got a fridge dedicated for dry aging . Its a bit smaller than I would want and it wont fit a whole primal with out hitting the sides , I have a few options and I will make it work ...
my question is would it be a bad idea to cut the primals in half and age them that way ?

Also I am wet aging them before dry aging , do you think that the wet age is important if they are going to be dry aged ? ?


thanks for the help
Toronto
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Comments

  • RRPRRP Posts: 13,849
    You are right that is a small refrigerator which I initially assumed was a small "dormitory" size which just chills and doesn't circulate air thus doesn't remove the moisture from the air - but I see the fan vents at the back top so it looks like you are fine. As for cutting them in half the only problem I see is you will have twice the amount of butt end trimming lost than if you left it whole.
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,258
    i would just cut three inches off the small end and cook it up, dry age the rest
  • pantsypantspantsypants Posts: 1,142
    How thick is the butt end trimmings ?

    Also with this fridge can i just line the bottom of the fridge  with towels and leave the beef  directly on the grate ?
    Toronto
  • pantsypantspantsypants Posts: 1,142
    i would just cut three inches off the small end and cook it up, dry age the rest
    this may be my best bet , Unless i can build soemthing to have them hanging in that fridge .
    Toronto
  • RRPRRP Posts: 13,849
    How thick is the butt end trimmings ?

    Also with this fridge can i just line the bottom of the fridge  with towels and leave the beef  directly on the grate ?
    The extent of trimming is your call. If you trim back to "grocery store red" as I call it then it can be the equivalent of a darn good sized steak!

    As for positioning the grate is fine so that the air can circulate, but hanging isn't needed.

    BTW I agree with fish - just trim off whatever length and eat it now!
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
  • pantsypantspantsypants Posts: 1,142
    Sounds good thanks !

    What about the need fro dry aging ? These are all prime pieces that i am dealing with and they are pretty fresh ( 1 month) .
    If i am going to dry age is there still a need to wet age them ?
    Toronto
  • RRPRRP Posts: 13,849
    edited April 11
    Sounds good thanks !

    What about the need fro dry aging ? These are all prime pieces that i am dealing with and they are pretty fresh ( 1 month) .
    If i am going to dry age is there still a need to wet age them ?
    Personally I never wet age - as I assume by the time I buy them they have been wet aged long enough - OTOH no amout of wet aging will produce the same beefy taste gained by the moisture removal gained by dry aging. Not being a smarty*ss here, but have you tried dry aged beef and do you like the taste? Some folks love it and some hate it so much that they trim away all the aged part making a person wonder "why did you bother dry aging in the first place?"
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
  • pantsypantspantsypants Posts: 1,142

    RRP said:
    Sounds good thanks !

    What about the need fro dry aging ? These are all prime pieces that i am dealing with and they are pretty fresh ( 1 month) .
    If i am going to dry age is there still a need to wet age them ?
    Personally I never wet age - as I assume by the time I buy them they have been wet aged long enough - OTOH no amout of wet aging will produce the same beefy taste gained by the moisture removal gained by dry aging. Not being a smarty*ss here, but have you tried dry aged beef and do you like the taste? Some folks love it and some hate it so much that they trim away all the aged part making a person wonder "why did you bother dry aging in the first place?"

    I get my beef directly from the packing house so it usually has less than a week from the kill. So wet aging the beef i get is needed.
    Also yes i am a fan of dry aged beef  and am a fan of it . I do appreciate you asking though (dont think its smart assy at all )
    Toronto
  • buzd504buzd504 Posts: 943
    edited April 11
    Not to jack your thread, @pantsypants, but our local grocery has recently started dry aging ribeyes.  They always have some that have finished the 45 days and trimmed and available by the steak (or they will cut to order).

    They are amazing.  I snapped this in the grocery the other day.



    NOLA
  • buzd504buzd504 Posts: 943
    image issues today...


    image
    IMG_1614.jpg
    2448 x 3264 - 2M
    NOLA
  • pantsypantspantsypants Posts: 1,142
  • RRPRRP Posts: 13,849
    edited April 11
    buzd504 said:
    Not to jack your thread, @pantsypants, but our local grocery has recently started dry aging ribeyes.  They always have some that have finished the 45 days and trimmed and available by the steak (or they will cut to order).

    They are amazing.  I snapped this in the grocery the other day.



    Care to share what their price is per pound? It's amazing what us "home agers" can do to a sub-primal of beef and save a bundle!
    image
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
  • You can cut the whole thing in half, but that would make four tough ends for later which would need to be trimmed.  Do what fisherman said and cut off a couple fresh steaks from the small end until it fits, and cook them up now. Then age the rest.

    Yes you can wet age first.  I do that sometimes, but usually a result of forgetting to get on with the dry aging part.  Because it usually means 45+ days when I wet and then dry age, it ends up with a strong aged flavor (smell a chunk of prosciutto and you'll see what i mean, even though it is pork) that many people actually do not like.

    Remember that dry aging is actually doing two things.  One is Aging (which is exactly the same as 'wet aging'), the other is drying (condensing the flavor by getting rid of water).

    Wet aging before you dry age will give you a very strong aged flavor. This is different than simple beef fat flavors. When you do enough aging and making of things like bresaola, prosciutto, or when you buy or make a true country ham, you will notice the same aged flavor are involved. It also does make the meat more fork tender.  Aging is controlled decomposition.  You are allowing the meat's own enzymes to break it down.  Protein has no flavor.  But the enzymes break the proteins into smaller more flavorful components. These do have flavor.  the longer it ages, the more of these there are.

    The drying simply removes water, which makes all the flavors condensed.  It also allows a little rancidity, believe it or not.  The oxidized fat adds a flavor that works well enough with beef, but you wouldn't want it in a stick of butter.

    If you could dry it without aging it at all, you would still benefit from condensed beef fat.

    Think of it this way.  You can't dry age a steak.  It would dry out too much by the time it aged. 

    But you can dry a steak (do it overnight, and it will sear ten times better than a fresh steak).
    And you can age a steak (leave it in the package until it is brown and pallid, a week or more).

    RRP makes a good point.  If you have never had aged beef before, you may not want to be as agressive by wet aging and then dry aging.  try dry aging first, for about 28 days.  Then slice off a couple steaks and see what you think.

    And for the love of god, please don't trim anything other than the ends.  The ends will turn into jerky, which is edible.  But they will be very tough.  But the outer rind does not need to be trimmed, and historically never was.  The only reason it is trimmed now is for cosmetics. Sure, it is personal choice, but so is putting ice cubes in red wine.

    I got started aging a long time ago from a few people on the eggheadforum and I think RRP was one. Fisherman too maybe?

    I do not use the bags, because they were invented a couple years after I learned how to age and I didn't see that they added anything.  Just my two cents

    That picture at the bottom is sad.  Those steaks are barely aged, and they trimmed off the only part worth eating.  No offense intended. I just don't understand when people clamor for dry aged beef, and then do everything they can to turn it back into regular beef.




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    Seneca Falls, NY

  • pantsypantspantsypants Posts: 1,142
    Thats a ton of info .
    Thanks so much

    Toronto
  • If it is your first time dry aging, go for 21 to 28 days.  You will end up with a pretty well condensed (dried) hunk of beef.  It will sear better than any piece of meat you will ever cook (because you don't have to wait for the water to steam off before it sears). But be careful, because it will cook fast.

    RRP was the inventor of hotubbing I think.  I was a lurker on the original forum and paid attention.

    Try that method to cook them.

    If you find that you like it, try 45 days dry aging.  That is where the real men hang out.  And don't tell anyone what you are serving.  Most people aren't capable of unlearning ingrained superstitions about food in a refrigerator for longer than five days.

    If you like 45, then try the wet aging followed by dry aging.  I left one aging at my camp and did not get back for 100 days.  It was too dry.  The flavor was intense, and blew the back of my head off.  But the meat was too dry.

    Oh. keep in mind you are getting rid of water, not flavor.  Juicy steaks are nothing more than steaks with flavorless water, carrying the beef fat and other flavors onto your plate. 

    If you get rid of the water (most of it anyway), the flavors remain and intensify.

    But we have been trained to think a "juicy" steak is somehow the ideal. 

    I heard this once and learned quickly that it was true.  A Choice steak from a 45 day dry aged primal is far better than a fresh Prime steak.

    It's maybe the best thing you can do to improve your steaks.
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  • RRPRRP Posts: 13,849
    edited April 11


    That picture at the bottom is sad.  Those steaks are barely aged, and they trimmed off the only part worth eating.  No offense intended. I just don't understand when people clamor for dry aged beef, and then do everything they can to turn it back into regular beef.




    huh? That New York strip loin was aged 45 days. Look at the picture again...what do you see? The face of internal meat and the back sides of fat that was trimmed of only the outer most hard fat. Please don't call me an excessive trimmer!
    image
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 5,131
    Just a thought- perhaps you could get some simple meat hooks and hang the meat from the top rack in your little fridge  fridge.   


    ...another thought is you could rig up a tension rod to get them higher.  


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg wing. 
    2014 Wing King's Apprentice
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,258
    image
    RRP said:


    That picture at the bottom is sad.  Those steaks are barely aged, and they trimmed off the only part worth eating.  No offense intended. I just don't understand when people clamor for dry aged beef, and then do everything they can to turn it back into regular beef.




    huh? That New York strip loin was aged 45 days. Look at the picture again...what do you see? The face of internal meat and the back sides of fat that was trimmed of only the outer most hard fat. Please don't call me an excessive trimmer!
    image
    i think he is saying that there really is no good reason to cut that off at all

    :D


  • My apologies.

    I thought they looked a bit too red for what I see at 45 days.  Are you using the dry aging bags?

    If you use the bags, I understand that it slows drying initially, because the bag is a barrier.  Later, when you gp past 40 days or so, the unbagged beef will slow down in terms of drying, because the rind is more thick than on the bagged.

    I am not a trimmer.  It is personal preference.   But what people often like best about a roast beef is the crispy browned fat outer layer, which comes from the fat fying (especially of it is dried over night).

    The dried outer fat on a dry aged steak looks suspect, but it crisps up like bacon, and softens because, being pure fat, it melts somewhat when seared.  It is dry and hard straight from the fridge, but it is much different when it hits the plate.

    If we could work out a trade, I would seriously take your fat trimmings and send you my interior beef.  Not really, of course.

    Thank you for your help in the past.  I never posted on the previous forum, but I think i remember you helping others with aging.  No offense meant. 

    I am told by clinician friends of mine that I am on the spectrum of a few social 'disorders'.  Not sociopathic or anything, but I am wired differently.  I tend to say what I am thinking without considering what it means to others.  I do not mean to do it.

    I am friends with a lot of engineer and artist types and they are used to it and many suffer from it too. But when I meet people in the real world, I don't do so well.




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    Seneca Falls, NY

  • buzd504buzd504 Posts: 943
    RRP said:
    buzd504 said:
    Not to jack your thread, @pantsypants, but our local grocery has recently started dry aging ribeyes.  They always have some that have finished the 45 days and trimmed and available by the steak (or they will cut to order).

    They are amazing.  I snapped this in the grocery the other day.



    Care to share what their price is per pound? It's amazing what us "home agers" can do to a sub-primal of beef and save a bundle!


    16.99/lb
    NOLA
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,736
    You can cut the whole thing in half, but that would make four tough ends for later which would need to be trimmed.  Do what fisherman said and cut off a couple fresh steaks from the small end until it fits, and cook them up now. Then age the rest.

    Yes you can wet age first.  I do that sometimes, but usually a result of forgetting to get on with the dry aging part.  Because it usually means 45+ days when I wet and then dry age, it ends up with a strong aged flavor (smell a chunk of prosciutto and you'll see what i mean, even though it is pork) that many people actually do not like.

    Remember that dry aging is actually doing two things.  One is Aging (which is exactly the same as 'wet aging'), the other is drying (condensing the flavor by getting rid of water).

    Wet aging before you dry age will give you a very strong aged flavor. This is different than simple beef fat flavors. When you do enough aging and making of things like bresaola, prosciutto, or when you buy or make a true country ham, you will notice the same aged flavor are involved. It also does make the meat more fork tender.  Aging is controlled decomposition.  You are allowing the meat's own enzymes to break it down.  Protein has no flavor.  But the enzymes break the proteins into smaller more flavorful components. These do have flavor.  the longer it ages, the more of these there are.

    The drying simply removes water, which makes all the flavors condensed.  It also allows a little rancidity, believe it or not.  The oxidized fat adds a flavor that works well enough with beef, but you wouldn't want it in a stick of butter.

    If you could dry it without aging it at all, you would still benefit from condensed beef fat.

    Think of it this way.  You can't dry age a steak.  It would dry out too much by the time it aged. 

    But you can dry a steak (do it overnight, and it will sear ten times better than a fresh steak).
    And you can age a steak (leave it in the package until it is brown and pallid, a week or more).

    RRP makes a good point.  If you have never had aged beef before, you may not want to be as agressive by wet aging and then dry aging.  try dry aging first, for about 28 days.  Then slice off a couple steaks and see what you think.

    And for the love of god, please don't trim anything other than the ends.  The ends will turn into jerky, which is edible.  But they will be very tough.  But the outer rind does not need to be trimmed, and historically never was.  The only reason it is trimmed now is for cosmetics. Sure, it is personal choice, but so is putting ice cubes in red wine.

    I got started aging a long time ago from a few people on the eggheadforum and I think RRP was one. Fisherman too maybe?

    I do not use the bags, because they were invented a couple years after I learned how to age and I didn't see that they added anything.  Just my two cents

    That picture at the bottom is sad.  Those steaks are barely aged, and they trimmed off the only part worth eating.  No offense intended. I just don't understand when people clamor for dry aged beef, and then do everything they can to turn it back into regular beef.




    I agree with what you are saying. The meat that the OP is discussing was killed less than 4 weeks ago. I recommended he give it 5 to 6 weeks of wet aging and then go 45 days dry.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • @littlesteven

    I did not see that part actually.  I would agree with you.  Most meat is hung to age for a couple weeks before it ever reaches market.  Is this a fresh slaughter?

    How has it been stored the past 4 weeks?

    If he is new to all this and wrestling with the very thought of beef in his fridge for a few months, I would only suggest aging for as long as his nerves can take it, and hos wife can put up with it.

    But yes, you are correct.  If someone has freshly killed meat, it should probably should wet age for a few weeks.  But isn't his four weeks along already?

    Agree with you in concept, just not understanding the particulars.
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  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,736

    That wasn't mentioned. I was lucky enough to be the recipient of some of that meat. I felt five or six weeks would be similar to butcher quality without the weight loss. I agree the dry age will be the more beneficial but the meat will begin to breakdown in the wet. He isn't wrestling with the concept but is anxious to begin dry aging.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • pantsypantspantsypants Posts: 1,142
    @SenecaTheYounger
    so I am new to dry aging but not new to meat . I am in the business so at any given time I have a fridge that has meat wet aging in it most of the time . 
    I was just given a small fridge so i want to  try dry aging  out.

    The meat was killed on March 17th .

    Thanks for all the help.
    Toronto
  • Thank you Little Steven.

    Sorry.  I miss social cues, frankly. Especially online  Thank you for clarifying.
    I thought he had supermarket beef which he wanted to dry age. 

    Have fun, @pantypants. You will enjoy it. dry away!


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  • pantsypantspantsypants Posts: 1,142
    Thanks !!
    Looking forward to the process
    Toronto
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 4,270
    The more I read this the more scared I get about dry aging. I'm in the same boat as @pantsypants :))  I heard the meat has to be wrapped in some cheesecloth?  It's still as clear as mud to me  :\">
    Vaughan, ON
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,736
    @SenecaTheYounger
    so I am new to dry aging but not new to meat . I am in the business so at any given time I have a fridge that has meat wet aging in it most of the time . 
    I was just given a small fridge so i want to  try dry aging  out.

    The meat was killed on March 17th .

    Thanks for all the help.

    I'm not new to dry aging but I am new to prime beef. :D

     

    image

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Meat has never been aged in cheescloth. 

    A few generations ago, when an entire carcass was hung after slaughter and aged for a few weeks in a commercial locker with a lot of foot traffic, it would be covered with a linen shroud, in order to keep dust off it.  That shroud would often mould, and it made cleaning the meat easier because most of the mould would come off when the shroud did.  But mould on aging meat isn't a bad thing.

    There are a number of age-at-home recipes out there on the web.  They mention towels and all sorts of stupid things.  None of them have a place.  And if the concern is bacteria, then perhaps the worst thing a person could do would be to keep towels in contact with the meat.  It also just may irritate your wife.

    The single critical consideration for safe dry aging is staying dry.  The surface will be drum tight and vellum-like in half a day, and bacteria do not find such an environment hospitable.

    Wet aging is likewise safe, as long as the cryovac is not breached.  When the vacuum is lost, there will be some areas exposed to air, and some occluded by plastic, and still damp on the surface.  Pick one or the other.

    In the way that sex appears to an eleven year old boy as something incomprehensible, messy, unsettling, and unappetizing, so too is dry aging not meant for those who cannot comprehend why it is done in the first place. 

    Not a judgement, just a simple observation.

    I was once an eleven year old boy, after all.
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  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 12,251

    The more I read this the more scared I get about dry aging. I'm in the same boat as @pantsypants :))  I heard the meat has to be wrapped in some cheesecloth?  It's still as clear as mud to me  :\">
    Over time we've evolved resistance to the majority of bacteria in dead meat.  The aging process isn't going to make you sick.  If the carcass were contaminated with O157:H7 or something else very virulent, it will make you sick on day one after slaughter.
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