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May 16, 2008 03:48 PM

Aged meat

I love aged hereford filet mignon. I marinate it in a spice rub and then grill it. It absolutely melts in your mouth. My question is.. What does "aged" mean and how is it done? Can anyone enlighten me?

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  1. This thread should help you get started.

    I have done the Alton Brown method at home once and will say that I will never do it again. I'll just buy my meat aged next time. In order to get the proper conditions in my fridge, I had to empty out my fridge so the temperature got low enough. I had an empty fridge for a few days just so I could have my aged meat. It wasn't worth it for me.

    1. Thank you Miss Needle. I doubt I will be doing it myself but I would love to know the process by which commercially aged meat is produced.It is put in a cold place and left for several days or what?

      6 Replies
      1. re: Bengaliwife

        There are two types of ageing beef....."wet" and "dry". Both tenderize the meat.
        Simply wet is the predominant method whereby the beef is placed in a cryovac and allowed to "age" in the cryo with little or no loss of original weight due to moisture loss....this is why it is the most widely used.
        Dry aging beef is more labor intensive and requires a "facility" that will control air movement, exact temperatures, and humidity.
        This method produces a more "intense" beef flavor as well as a more tender meat........the primal cuts are placed in a room and can remain there for 30-45 days......skill and the right facility are involved....the meat loses weight and darkens with the ageing...literally it is being broken down order to serve the primals have to be faced (ie the exterior is trimmed from the primal and discarded).....dry aged beef will be more expensive due to the weight loss and cost involved with producing the final product.....some feel dry aged beef is sometimes an acquired taste due to the stronger beef flavor "dry aged beef" for lots more info.....this is only a cursory description, but hopefully helpful.

        1. re: Saddleoflamb

          Thank you Saddleoflamb. That was very helpful.

          1. re: Bengaliwife

            Buy it aged.......if you really, really want to buy an aged primal (ie the large pieces the steaks are cut from.....numbered individually) and want to spend the money you usually can find a specialty butcher/market to purchase dry aged.......if you love fillets I would stick to the whole tenderloins on sale in the cryovac....usually $8.99 on sale for choice.....unless you really want to splurge and get a dryage/bone on tenderloin......if you buy a whole piece in the cryo and attempt further "ageing" in the fridge, I don't think the net result will be that significant/further enhanced....particularly after a day and a half....

        2. re: Bengaliwife

          There are two types of aged - wet & dry. Unless you have a very cold extra fridge, and all of the perfect conditions, I wouldn't attempt it on my own.

          What I do, and I do have an extra-cold extra fridge, is dry the piece of meat with paper towels, place it on a rack on a paper towel lined sheet, heavily season it with salt (or a dry rub w/lots of salt )and put in the coldest part of that fridge for up to 36 hours. It'll start to look a little desicated, but it comes out juicy & perfect every time.

          1. re: Phurstluv

            The main problem with home dry aging isn't just about controlling temperature but also humidity. Many newer fridges can get that low in temperature but not a whole lot can be done to really control humidity. And generally speaking salting a steak that far in advance isn't recommended since it will actually start to cure the meat. It likely will change the texture of the meat and could actually dry it out some.

            1. re: Jstern35

              I recommend dry brining only large cuts or bone in pieces, whole birds. Filet Mignon certainly wouldn't need this kind of aging to enhance its tenderness. But a bone in rib eye, whole breast or bird and even a boneless roast sure has come out perfectly for us. Maybe we're lucky, but I can't use this fridge for anything else other than beer, brining & bevs for the kids.

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