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Dry aging

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    Dry aging

    Hello all,

    I am wondering if anyone has tried to dry age their own beef roasts? I have been researching this somewhat extensively the last few weeks and have found opinions all the way from it's not safe to do at home all the way up to dedicate a refrigerator with an extra fan and put nothing else in that refrigerator ever.

    Basically, it looks like there are a few viable options:
    1. Dry age each steak with a wet paper towel for up to 10 days. - Doesn't make sense to me and I probably won't try this.
    2. Suspend a whole roast on a wire rack sitting on a tray or dish in the refrigerator with sea salt lining the bottom of the pan to soak up moisture and odors.
    3. Purchase dry age special bags which expel moisture, but don't allow odors to penetrate the bags. You put the whole roast in these bags and use a vacuum sealer to make sure the bags are touching the meat, which helps dry it out and age it. The whole roast goes on a wire rack in the refrigerator for up to 28 days or so. http://www.drybagsteak.com/
    4. Just throw the roast in the refrigerator on a rack and don't worry about it until you can't stand not to eat it any longer.

    Have any of you tried any of these options? My first thought is to do a side by side of number 2 and 3 in the same refrigerator. The critics of number 3 say that while the meat does dry out, it doesn't allow the oxygen to do its work on the meat which is what really creates the dry aging.

    From what I am reading on Briskets, the opinion seems to be fairly uniform that dry aging your brisket won't help it because of the cook time and process of smoking. I may purchase a bone in Ribeye roast if I can find one or just a Ribeye roast and cut it in half and try both methods. Then do a blind taste test with my Guinea pigs who are always willing to try my cooking.

    Any thoughts or anyone try to do their own dry aging?



    You might check out Dr. Blonder's website here where he discusses how to do it at home.



      Thanks DEW - I guess aging one steak is cheaper than finding out if I'm good at it and ruining a $200 Ribeye roast. I definitely have an old computer fan that I can use to keep the air moving.


        I have done #4 several times. Used both bone in and boneless whole prime rib. Do not trim any fat until you are ready to stop the dry age. Keep it very dry. Dont bother wrapping with cheesecloth. Your fridge will stink. I have lasted about a month before I break down and cook it or vacuum seal/ freeze. Get a bunch of arm and hammer.


          Doing one steak at a time isn't really practical in spite of what you might read. Most expert opinions agree that it takes closer to 30 days or more aging to do much as far as developing flavor. Once a piece is dry aged for 30 days or so it needs to be trimmed & there would be way too much lost in a single steak.

          I did the dry age bag (#3) for a boneless 7 rib roast for Christmas. It was aged for just over 30 days in the special bag. Ended up trimming maybe 1 - 1 1/2 pounds (which went into stock for the au jus so not wasted). It turned out phenomenal in spite of the fact that dinner guests were almost an hour late & roast ended up closer to medium instead of rare. GRRRRR!!!!!! It was both incredibly tender and distinctly "beefier" than the non-aged ones I have done in the past. Next time rib eyes are on sale at Sam's I'm going to get another and do it again only cut individual steaks after the 30+ day aging. Getting hungry just thinking about it!


          • Breadhead
            Breadhead commented
            Editing a comment
            I just bought a ribeye roast, choice grade, at Albertsons super market for $5.99 per pound. Maybe I'll try ths dry aging process on it. I bought it because of the price and had no special event planned for it.
            Last edited by Breadhead; February 3, 2015, 12:58 PM. Reason: Spelling correction...

          Thanks Horse Doctor,

          I think I agree. I don't have any doubt that Dr. Blonder knows what he is talking about, but three days isn't really dry aged in my opinion. I'm probably going to buy a Ribeye and cut it in half. Then age both halves using method 2 and 3. Ill get some of the bags (they aren't that expensive considering the cost of the beef) and do a side by side comparison with blind tasters as well as myself. Ill lose more meat than just leaving the roast whole and buying two of them, but $300 to $400 for a test may not keep me married very long. if I get 3 or 4 steaks from each side and they taste as good as I have heard Ill consider it a successful test. If there is no significant difference, Ill probably just do the sea salt method because there is no need for additional bags.

          Ill have to wait for it to warm up a little though. My garage refrigerator won't run until the temp gets above around 45 which will still be at least two more months.



            So my favorite steakhouse is David Burke's Primehouse in Chicago. They do dry aging in a Himalayan salt room, which is a walk-in cooler (they give tours). I havent read it but here is the patent... I'm curious if one could adapt this to the home... https://www.google.com/patents/US7998517


            • FLBuckeye
              FLBuckeye commented
              Editing a comment
              Just watched a TV show that featured That restaurant. It was on the Travel channel and was season 1 episode 12, "Steak Paradise: A Second Helping". Showed the wall of salt they use in their cooler. Fascinating stuff. You might find it online somewhere

            The only aging I have ever done with a steak is cooking it 3 days after I bought it. I guess it has never interested me. Report back if you notice a real difference and can recommend it.


              I notice a taste difference but I've never dry aged myself. Whole food sells them and then at restaurants
              Originally posted by Huskee View Post
              The only aging I have ever done with a steak is cooking it 3 days after I bought it. I guess it has never interested me. Report back if you notice a real difference and can recommend it.


                I will be testing this method. Wartface - I haven't seen Ribeye for 5.99 / pound since the 90s. I must be shopping at the wrong places. Ill report back the results of both tests. Just ordered the bags and the salt method kit. When I spoke with the guy who runs that company, he said he customized a system based on that Himalayan salt room. More to come, but it will be a while since I don't have any of it yet.


                • Breadhead
                  Breadhead commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Dinger... Albertsons here in Hermosa Beach seems to run a sale on meat close to holidays. They give you meat cheap but markup everything you are going to need to prepare a proper dinner. I just stock up on the meat. I usually buy about 50 pounds and have them cut them into 2" Tomakawk cut, bone in.

                Click image for larger version

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ID:	63041 OK everyone - the test is underway. I bought a 12 pound ribeye and about a 7 pound sirloin. I bought a refrigerator just for dry aging, since my garage fridge shuts off when the outside temp drops below 30 or so and it is currently -4 at home. I cut the ribeye in half and put one half in a bag and the other half just on a rack with some Himalayan sea salt underneath in a container. Then I put the sirloin in a bag as well since the kit came with 3 of them. I just started this last night, so it will be at least 25 days until I get results.

                Kind of an expensive test, but if they turn out good, it'll be worth it. Since I have never eaten a dry aged steak, I don't even know if Ill like it. Ill let everyone know how it turns out and will post some pictures as I go.
                Last edited by Dinger; February 16, 2015, 03:07 PM.


                • Huskee
                  Huskee commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I've eaten one in my life that I can remember. It was a Prime NYStrip and it was incredible. Many people report them having a stronger, more concentrated beef flavor, but I personally didn't notice that. It was just really good, and remarkable tender.

                I am looking forward to the results of your test. It will be interesting to see if aging takes the steaks to another level and is worth the time and effort.


                • Huskee
                  Huskee commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Welcome to The Pit (eclipse). Great t hear from you. If you feel like giving us a bio over in the Introduce Yourself channel we'd love to hear more from you.

                Dr. Blonder, Dr. Mata, and I are all conducting aging experiments. This much we know, don't bother aging steaks, only big roasts. Temp and humidity control are important. Very complicated topic...


                • Jerod Broussard
                  Jerod Broussard commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Look at Pat Lafrieda's aging cooler. Nothing but primals.

                Tonight is the night. Ill post pictures and results. The plan is to purchase a single ribeye from a local butcher and take both of my dry aged technique ribeyes - trim them, cut them into steaks and give one of each the "better than steakhouse steak" treatment. I have a couple of willing participants to let me know their thought as well. Im going to keep the sirloin in there for another week or so before I cut it into steaks. The process wasn't as smooth as I had hoped for, but I think it will work out well. I will update everything soon with pictures. By early next week.


                  This is a topic that really interests me. I agree with Meathead here, don't bother with steaks, only roasts.

                  Or, every rule has an exception. I do a bit of dry aging with steaks, but I don't do it for the flavor, but for getting a better searing surface.

                  Steaks: leave them uncovered for 1-2 days in the fridge. This dries out the surface, allowing for that truly perfect sear.

                  Roasts: If you buy steaks / meat with bone-in, leave the bones in. It really helps with the dry aging, as the meat won't contract as much. When you dry age it, some moisture is lost (obviously), which causes the meat to contract. Leaving the bones in is better, as this keeps the meat "stretched".

                  Rules for aging: I follow one, which is commonly known as the "40 rule". Basically it means that depending on temperature you dry age it for a longer or shorter period of time. Example: if the temp outside is 10 deg C, you dry age it for 4 days (10*4 = 40). If the temp outside is 5 deg C, you dry age it for 8 days (5*8 = 40).

                  The rule is only valid within a certain temperature span, of course. You do not want to exceed 10 deg C.

                  So, does that apply to all meat? Heck no. There is a big difference between beef, lamb, deer et.c. Typically, the "finer" meat, the shorter time. For deer I would recommend aging a bit shorter. If you leave it for too long, you loose the texture in the meat, it almost becomes like a paté instead. That is not desired for any kind of meat.

                  As for equipment et.c: Use a separate fridge if you can, with a little bit of ventilation. Skip all the vacuum bags, cloths et.c. Just leave the meat in there as it is.



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