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Aug 1, 2007 08:23 AM

Is this dangerous?

Sometimes I buy a whole ribeye and cut it up for steaks and roasts (much cheaper this way), and then put some of it in the meat drawer, uncovered, to 'dry age.' Leave it there for a week or two and it loses some water weight, and it really does make a difference in the taste: more intense beef flavor. I know this is not like hanging it in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment like 'real' dry-aging, but it seems to work to some extent. But recently I read somewhere that this could be dangerous - spoilage being the obvious potential problem. I never had a problem with a bad smell or taste or anything like that; my meat drawer gets pretty cold (sometimes the meat gets slightly frozen), but I wonder if I'm playing rib-eye roulette. Any thoughts?

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  1. I sometimes do this for 4 or 5 days, but I think 2 weeks is pushing it. You'll probably know if the meat goes bad, though -- it'll smell bad and feel slimy.

    1. Personally, I think people get too caught up in the "dangers" of food.

      I've done the same thing you do on many occasions. Yes, once in a while it'll fail (obvious by the smell), but 99% of the time it works out fine.

      Jeez, don't any of you remember being in college and eating three-week-old pizza off the coffee table?

      Look at me...I'm fine (except for my left arm going numb again).

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bostonbob3

        I'm with you! However I did manage to get E-Coli poisoning once so perhaps I should be a bit more careful. (Swear it was bad sushi though).

        I never worry about beef. If you haven't gotten sick yet, I'd say your two-week deal sounds fine. I wouldn't go that long, but if it looks, smells, and tastes good stick to your plan.

        1. re: Bostonbob3

          Amen to that bostonbob3! i cant bare the food police, im obviously carefull with the delicates ,such as poultry and fish. but other than that im a grown up girl and can well decide if something is past its best, we waste too much food as it is, and are far too detatched from what we eat ,go with how you feel about your beef bat guano, and enjoy!

        2. I age my steaks in a similar manner. Bottom of the fridge, lightly covered with a paper towel (not touching much of the steaks). I age for ~3-4 days.

          Several years ago, I "lost" a tuna loin for ~2 weeks in the fridge, I was planning to bury it in the garden, I wiped the slime off, then cut off the outer edges, then tried a small piece, then a larger piece, with no problems.

          FWIW, my fridge is set for ~38 degrees.

          1. One thing you may want to do, if you are not already, is to place the meat on a wire rack so the air can circulate around the meat. This will reduce the chance that the bottom of the meat, sitting on a solid surface, will collect moisture and rot.

            1. I do the same thing with ribeyes. usually let it go for 7-10 days on a wire rack, covered with colander, and I've never had any problems. i have noticed that it sometimes smells not really bad, but a little bit "aged" after 10 days, but the flavor's always been right on.

              Spoilage will probably not be a problem over 14 days if your fridge is almost freezing the steak and if there's good air circulation.