Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Sep 30, 2010 01:01 PM

5 days old steak, Ok to eat?

My grocery store is being renovated and 2 days ago I went and bought steaks. I never have problems with the packing date, but yesterday I noticed that the steak were packed on Sept 25th after they change color sooner than usual.

Are the steaks ok to cook anyways? I know the color change is usually do to the red thing they put in the meat, but I've never waited that long to cook steaks, I've never had problems with the packing date with my grocery store before, hence I'm asking.

Thank you.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. As long as it's been kept refrig'd, no worries...think of it as short term aging

    12 Replies
    1. re: BiscuitBoy

      This is a bit different than aging. Quite different, I'd say.

      1. re: tommy

        I don't know if it's just in my head or what, but I purposely let my meat sit in the fridge an extra 3-4 days. It seems to acquire the 'mineraly' taste that's characteristic of aged beef.

        1. re: tommy

          Really? How so? As I understand it, most restaurants that age their beef use the procedure that they let it stay in the fridge unwrapped for a certain length of time, sometimes for a couple of weeks or more until it is of desired results. I'm curious, what is different here except that the meat is still wrapped?

          1. re: Cherylptw

            Dry aging beef at home (done properly) and letting meat sit in a fridge for a couple of days unattended is quite different. In other words, letting a couple of steaks sit in your fridge for a few days will only give you old meat. Letting meat sit for a few more days will give you dangerous meat.

            You can read about dry aging beef at home here:

            1. re: ipsedixit

              I see that individual steaks can't be done but if there was a whole loin it can be done in the home fridge, according to the many articles I've read is possible to do it at home. Thanks for the info.

            2. re: Cherylptw

              Whoa, whoa, whoa....Let's not make this into nuclear fusion, or black magic. This is precisely how steakhouses do it, unwrapped though

              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                Steakhouses do not age individual steaks. While it's not as complicated as nuclear fusion, there is a correct and incorrect answer.

                1. re: BiscuitBoy

                  This is precisely how steakhouses do it, unwrapped though


                  Uh, no.

                  Dry aging (at steakhouses or commercial ventures) are in temperature controlled environments, involve usually large cuts or sides of beef (not individual steaks). The meat is hung in large sterile refrigerators with carefully controlled air flow, humidity, and temperature for two to six weeks. At the end, the crust that develops is trimmed away.

                  BiscuitBoy, please explain to me how that process is precisely the same as leaving a couple of individual steaks laying around, wrapped, in the fridge?

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    You are absolutely correct. The home cook cannot do this.

                    1. re: pikawicca

                      Well, the home cook can somewhat duplicate a dry-aging process, as has been discussed endlessly on the internet. But a piece of steak that's 5 days old sitting in your fridge does not duplicate "short term aging" as has been suggested here, nor does the process that restaurants employ resemble leaving a steak in your fridge, as someone questioned.

                      1. re: tommy

                        I routinely salt steaks and put them on a rack over a plate in the fridge a couple of days before cooking. This improves their flavor, but does not approach the impact of true dry-aging.

                    2. re: ipsedixit

                      I worked for a major food chain that aged cut meat. The butcher cut/portioned it and placed it in a red bus tub for a certain amount of time to age.

            3. I've bought meat from the marked down section of the meat counter before when it was a bit brown; it smelled fine & tasted okay when cooked. I've also bought said meat and put it in the fridge once home from the market then waited a few days to cook it and again it was okay. If it smells bad, is slimy or green, just say no otherwise, I say yes.

              1. You'll probably be fine to cook/eat them, however naturally I wouldn't make that a habit - especially if you like them very rare. I might go medium to be on the safe side but if they were kept cold I'd bet they are fine.

                1. It probably is but there are a few ways to test it.

                  Rinse the meat off with water and vinegar. Pat dry with paper towels. Slide your fingers along the meat. Is it slimy? If it is, you should probably throw it away. Does it smell putrid? Throw it away.

                  If it passes those tests, your meat is consumable. Is it the freshest you can get...No but it will be fine.

                  1. I'd say smell it. This usually solves the issue.

                    To me, meat, once purchased, becomes bad smelling within a day or two.