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2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled

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42 Day Beef Aging With Umai Bag

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  • Troutman
    Club Member
    • Aug 2017
    • 7795
    • 1521






    42 Day Beef Aging With Umai Bag

    I realize there have been several of these posts on dry aging of late, but I had started this process almost two months ago so I thought I would go ahead and post this. This is a step by step on how to dry age beef using the Umai Bag. Dry aging is the process of allowing meat, in this case beef, to cure out in a controlled temperature and humidity environment. All steaks you eat at a steak house are almost certainly dry aged. Dry aging accomplishes two things; first it draws out excess moisture in the meat giving it a deeper, beefier flavor (what the Japanese refer to as umami) as well as letting the natural enzymes occurring in the meat to begin tenderizing.

    For most of us at home that don't want to go to the expense of having such a controlled environment necessary for aging, a special type of bag has been developed that safely helps achieve a very similar result. The bag itself acts similar to the osmosis process whereby outside bacteria and such cannot enter the bag while moisture is allowed to escape. As a result of this dry aging, the exterior of the meat, or the pellicule, cures to a dry almost jerky like consistency while the meat inside becomes tender, dense and flavorful.

    Here are the instructions that come with the Umai Bag. It's really very easy to do, the only requirement is to have a refrigerator that should be kept relatively close to the safe zone temperature. I do mine in my garage refrigerator and keep it at around 35-36*.

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    As you can hopefully see, the first step is to wash the cryovaced bag the meat comes in, cut the end off and insert into the Umai bag and draw out the cryo bag. Unfortunately my roast was a little too wide to accomplish that so I used a very clean pan and a pair of nitrate gloves to handle and insert instead.

    I started with a 13.93# Choice Boneless Ribeye from Costco. Taking choice and turning it into prime is part of the plus of this process. I got it bagged up and sealed with my vacuum sealer.....

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    Word of caution, these bags are delicate and tear easily. They are not at all like the plastic food saver bags you are used to. At about $10 each, you want to make sure you don't ruin one. Sealing can be a little tricky.

    Once sealed and placed in you frig, it's now the hardest part, waiting for weeks to let it age. I usually just do 30 days but wanted to try 42 days to see if it did an even better job. More about my conclusion later. In the meantime, here are the intervals and how the meat began to look after each week of curing.....

    Week 1

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    Week 3

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    Week 4

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    Week 5 1/2, really getting funky !!

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    ....finally after 42 days of waiting I pulled it and unwrapped it. The first thing I did was to weigh it to find out my yield. Remember I started with about 13.93 pounds and ended up with a little over 10 pounds, lost 3 and 3/4 pounds of moisture !!!

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    Pellicle becomes very dry and aged, has the consistency to shiny beef jerky.....

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    Went ahead and cut 10 steaks that came out to be right around 1 3/4" each with an average weight of right around 16 ounces each, perfect pre-trimmed size. As to trimming, you can trim the entire roast prior to slicing or you can trim the sliced pieces. I choose the latter because I have more control and I do like to leave some on the steak, I really like the way it tastes after it is charred.....

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    Notice the deep, almost purple hew to the meat. That's a sign of intensified flavor. Even the fat ends up with a richer taste. I threw a couple onto the gasser and grilled to medium rare. Delicious.....

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    PROS - As mentioned, the steak has such a better richness and tighter texture. I took a piece of choice meat and turned it into prime. If you love beef, this is beef on steroids. Even the fat takes on a better richness in my opinion. With the obvious lack of a lot of moisture, resting the steak only requires the time you pull it off the grill to the time it hits your plate !! Cutting into it doesn't gush out a ton of moisture and thus flavor is locked in. Plus just cheaper and better !!!

    CONS - A long waiting period. To be honest I prefer the 30 day age as opposed to the 42 day period. I found there was too much loss in yield this time and I like just a bit more moisture in the meat. Also as mentioned the bags are rather expensive (at $10 each) and are delicate. They can be tricky to seal properly.

    All in all I would highly recommend giving this a try. Buying ribeye in this quantity not only makes for a better product but costs a lot less as well. Starting at $8/lb, having it balloon to about $10-11/lb after aging, gives you a bunch of steaks that would easily go for $15/lb or more in the store !!


  • Elton's BBQ
    Club Member
    • Apr 2016
    • 2581
    • Saltnes Norway
    • Genesis 320 Limited
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    Thanks for the "review" Troutman .. I've been thinking of trying this myself..


    • OSB
      Club Member
      • Apr 2018
      • 191
      • SacTown

      Well done illustration. Troutman . It really breaks it down for anyone to feel confident about giving this a go.


      • tRidiot
        Club Member
        • Dec 2015
        • 756
        • NE OK
        • Traeger BBQ124
          Yoder YS480
          Chargriller Duo gas/charcoal side-by side

        Ok, so you leave the hard pellicle on it? I've bought dry aged steaks at the store, but they always trim that part off before weighing and wrapping. I wasn't aware it was really edible.


        • EdF
          EdF commented
          Editing a comment
          Ah, young Ben, you have far surpassed your supposed teacher!

        • theroc
          theroc commented
          Editing a comment
          I find that the pellicle tastes like the best beef jerky you will ever have.

        • Troutman
          Troutman commented
          Editing a comment
          I take most of it off. Like has been said it’s very chewy and jerky like with a rich beefy flavor.
      • Spinaker
        • Nov 2014
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        Great write up and awesome pictures Troutman This really gives us an insight as to how to go about this. I still have yet to try it, but this post certainly makes me more willing to do so.

        That "deep purple" color is to die for, you know you nailed it when you see that. One thing to absolutely do is save all of that dry-aged fat and use it to make beef love. Beef love made from dry aged fat is out of this world rich and flavorful. This is something I do every X-mas, when I buy a dry aged rib roast.

        Thanks again for the great write up!


        • Troutman
          Troutman commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks, hope others take advantage!!
      • Jerod Broussard
        • Jun 2014
        • 10022
        • East Texas
        • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
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          B & B and Kingsford Charcoal
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        Great write up.

        Just a 28 day dry-age is too much for me. I put it up there with rosemary and ginger, it's the aftertaste that turns me off.


        • HorseDoctor
          HorseDoctor commented
          Editing a comment
          You must have a sensitive palate! At 28 days all I notice is an improvement in tenderness. Do you know how long it was "wet aged" before being dry aged? At 35 days I get a nice flavor change. As Troutman noted, I find that 42 is good, but plenty. My fav is 35...

        • Troutman
          Troutman commented
          Editing a comment
          No idea on the wet age, maybe two weeks. 42 days was too much for as thin a roast as this one. Obviously size needs to be taken into account.
      • barelfly
        Club Member
        • Dec 2017
        • 1430
        • New Mexico
        • Smokin-It 3D
          Weber Kettle with an SNS
          Masterbuilt kettle that I call the $30 wonder grill
          Bullet by Bull Grills gasser
          Anova WiFi sous vide machine
          Thermoworks Thermapen and Chef Alarm

        Good stuff right there Troutman! Great color inside and out. And as Spinaker said, make some beef love with some of that fat. I did on my last dry age and probably got 2-3 cups of it. it has wonderful flavor!

        so, you gassed the first two. What other ways are planning on preparing these?
        Last edited by barelfly; July 8, 2018, 02:46 PM.


        • Troutman
          Troutman commented
          Editing a comment
          All my fat gets frozen then made into tallow.



      2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled

      We've unfortunately had to cancel the 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis. We are rescheduling for tentatively March 18-21, 2022. Click here for more info: https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/forum/announcements/misc/1014106-meat-up-in-memphis-2021-canceled
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