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aging beef tenderloin

uncledaveuncledave Posts: 90
edited March 2012 in EggHead Forum
I just picked up 3 beef tenderloins. How long should I age them? I will leave in the vacuum bags. I plan on cutting them into filets. Would dry aging be appropriate for tenderloin?


  • centex99centex99 Posts: 231
    I'm no expert, but I think dry aging might leave too little meat left after you trimmed them from the ageing process/they shrunk as well.  I know a lot of people wet age meat in the cyrovac packs they come in for 30-60 days after their pack date (at least I've read that for briskets), again... not sure on filets...  Doing a little search, one place I see ages 21 days wet, then 7 days dry...  One thing I do know is you need quality choice or prime grade meat for aging...
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Have you aged (wet and dry) before?
    If you dry age it, you will end up with a much thinner hunk of beef. And i wouldnt dry age it very long for that reason. Ribeyes are mug bigger and dry more slowly, but even they shrink, losing as much as 20 percent of their weight. The diameter ofthe already thin tenderloin will shrink

    You would get more condensed beef flavor, but unless you have a lot of internal fat (sometimes you get lucky), you wont also get the flavor from condensed fat, which is a major reason for dry aging. You also don't have the protection a layer of exterior fat offers, which helps to meter the rate at which it dries. Fat slows drying down

    If you have wet aged, you know the flavor/sweetness that can develop. I think it gets to be cloying after too long. I have aged too long myself. I would suggest not going for super-long.

    I don't age tenderloins, but they can certainly be done. You just need to walk the tightrope. There's a common consensus that you "don't" age tenderloin, or even that you "can't". Bah. I have been guilty of saying it. But you can age it.

    If i were going to do it, i'd WET age two, maybe, three weeks. I think wet aged beef can get too sweet. Then dry age a week to firm it, lose maybe 10% of the water and condense the flavor, and to give you a dry surface (great for roasting). Trimming would be a waste, especially with such a small cross section to begin with

    To really beat this to death, i'd probably leave the chain on, but hack off the thin end, making tips and small fillets for 'now'. Then age that rest of it, chopping into thick steaks from the narrower end, and leaving a bigger roast at the other (again, bith with thechain on, to keep some diameter)
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Centex. Try not trimming next time. Much better. There's nothing wrong (safety-wise) with that surface

    Trimming has become rampant, as the aging bandwagon fills up. It's a bit like adding ice to a good red wine. Sure, it's personal preference, but there really is a 'there' there. Those who really revere the stuff would never dream of trimming. It's the bacteriaphobic modern american zeitgeist that's briught it about

    Grandpa never trimmed his beef.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • centex99centex99 Posts: 231
    good to know... I've yet to age my beef... I did buy a dry aged ribeye at whole foods once and he trimmed off about 30% from what I bought!  I wish he'd of just given me the whole cut and charged me 30% less! :-)
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 5,001
    How did I know Stike was gunna bless us with some wisdom on this one? I still have to try aging some beef.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Travis. A buddy of mine (fishless) and i discovered a shop near us (about five years ago maybe?) that sold 45-day aged beef for 19 bucks a pound. Now, i had once paid 75 bucks once for what must have been only 21 day porterhouse, from Julia Child's butcher. There was an old show where she mentioned it, and they are still there. Anyway, that guy took ten minutes to cut off and prep the beef, but he did not trim. He scraped any mold and tags(loose bits) off with some sort of scraper, but didnt trim. Not a bit.

    The guys selling 45 day, which is decidedly more aged looking (read 'brown') than even 21- day, also gladly sold pretty, red, fresh beef for those who wanted a steak that looked like a magazine ad. But they took pride too in the brown logs in the end of the case for those who knew the real deal.

    They NEVER trimmed. Ever. That surface (to me) is the primary reason to age. It can get over dry at 100 days, but it is simply the textureof a roast beef's crust, and softens when cooking

    Bt even that store trims now. Why? Well, when you have yuppies dying to try the dry aged beef they hear do much about on emeriland rachel ray, pointing at your expensive beef deciding whetherthey want to take the plunge, you trim it if they are skittish. Customer is king. But not always right.

    Back to the O.P..... I forgot that i had aged the tenderloin for this year's X-mas wellington. Two weeks. A little improved. Trnderloin hasnt much flavor to begin with, and wellington is about wrapping it in flavor anyway, so not much difference honestly. To be truthful, i would age a rib eye over a tenderloin 9 times out of ten.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Stike,

    I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the outside dried up meat the "aged beef"? Trimming it seems like your cutting off the aged meat to get to much lesser aged meat. I've got a ribeye 3 wks into the process and I was just planning on slicing and cooking.

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,020
    i would do what stike said with the exception of wet aging in the cryo, then cutting off the small end and dry aging that piece for just a few days and dry aging the bigger end maybe 14 days. there is no fat to condense so i see no reason to go much longer. theres lots written on the small end but you have to google dry aged fillet mignon, i used to get those alot back in college and they were never dried for months, they were still a little wet, greenish grey
  • centex99centex99 Posts: 231

    the price at whole foods seemed reasonable 18-25 or so per lb of dry aged beef... looked like they aged it for 21-30 days or so.

    I've been tempted to do my own, but my wife doesn't like ribeyes so would have to do a strip... but I prefer ribeyes...

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    @stilllaughing: for me, the exterior is the best part, and i only get it when i dry age, and see it only on dry-aged beef.  so it virtually equates to the "dry-aged" part. if i were to trim, i would literally trim out the interior and toss it away.  sure, it's aged, and it's SLIGHTLY more dense.  but it isn't condensed and beefy and crisp like the exterior. the exterior even has an oxizied quality, and flirts with rancidity (only flirts). it's not for everybody.

    but i do feel like it's worth being a snob about.  i don't like snobbery for snoberry's sake.  but there often IS truth in it.

    don't get me wrong.  i have my 'beginner' issues too.  i like a nice knife, but i don't have showpiece stuff. i'm a beginner. i don't have the ability to tell what's what as the prices go up and things get esoteric. but i also don't say i'm a knife collector simply because i have a bunch of knives.  i know when i am only barely scratching the surface on something. a person is either in the game or not, and with regard to knives, i am not. 

    i think if a person likes aged beef, but doesn't like the dried exterior, they really ought to simply investigate wet aging.  they'd not be wasting so much food, and throwing out the part they don't care for, which (if you like DRY aged) is often considered the best part.

    takes a lot of experimenting.  i am about to throw out maybe 3 pounds of some beef that i basically farked up.  ah well.  but now i know.  even i have a limit.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • uncledaveuncledave Posts: 90
    I think I'll wet age mine tenderloins 2 weeks. I trim the chain off and make philly steak sandwiches out of it.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    might still dry it a week.  won't shrink much, and it'll give you a great surface
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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