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Best/cheapest mail order dry aged steaks

I am looking for the best deal (though I realize this is kind of an oxymoron) for dry-aged, USDA Prime steaks for a large group for this memorial day (preferable ribeye and ny strip). Does anyone have any ideas? I stumbled upon the New Brunswick Steak Company and Bryans Fine Food and they seem to fit the bill. Has anyone tried them and had success? I cant seem to find any reviews or articles online about either company. I know LaFrieda meats sells some, but only their ny strip is dry aged. Any other sources on the internet I am missing? I know there are a few like Lobels, Peter Luger and Allen Brothers that do it, but their prices leave something to be desire. Thanks for the help,

http://www.newbrunswicksteakco.com/

http://www.bryansfinefoods.com/index.php

http://store.lafrieda.com/home.php

http://www.allenbrothers.com/

http://www.lobels.com/store/beef.aspx

http://www.peterluger.com/ourmeats.cfm

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  1. allen brothers looks to be gouging. yowza. although they are the main suppliers for steakhouse chains like morton's and smith & wollensky.

    bryan's is charging about what you'd pay in a steakhouse, so hardly a bargain there either.

    i've heard costco sells prime beef. do you have access to one?

    12 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      I have access to one yes. But, a quick glance at their website reveals that most of the their prime beef is wet-aged or not aged at all. This may vary from location to location, and might be worth exploring, but I am looking for true dry aging, hopefully for at least 21 days

        1. re: fourunder

          North Jersey and work in New York City. I am willing to travel if I can find some good local butchers. I know there are places in the city to get it (Fairway, Citerella), but again the cost becomes a factor. I am looking into ottomanelli in the west village and also potentially Wegmen’s in NJ. I found this NY Times article from over a decade ago which gave some good local leads. Honestly though, I sort of figured the internet would be the perfect place for this since dry aging means having the real estate to house big pieces of beef in the right environment. It would make sense to me that some place in the middle of nowhere (no offense) is better equipped to do that than a small mom and pop butcher in the city

          http://www.nytimes.com/1999/03/03/din...

          1. re: Bourbonandbacon

            I think you underestimating the shipping expenses, which are significant factor in the pricing above.

            1. re: Bourbonandbacon

              Take a trip to the Bronx.....Master Purveyors @ Hunts Point Market. They will custom cut and cryovac whatever you want.

              http://masterpurveyors.com/

              1. re: fourunder

                Thanks for the tip fourunder. As a regular joe who doesn’t own or operate a restaurant or store, can I just go to Hunts point? Do they have regular business hours? Should I call ahead to place an order? Are there minimum orders? Master purveyors looks like the real deal and would at least cut out the middle man of ordering the same meat from the luger’s website at a markup

                1. re: Bourbonandbacon

                  I suggest you start with using the *Contact* page on their website and give them an idea of your needs....or place a telephone call. They are open to the public and you pay the wholesale price the same as restaurants. I do not know the current prices, but I would imagine the Dry-Age is around $15-20, depending on cut. The Prime Grade was $9.99 for the reference made below. I also posted the same details here with a nod to Master Purveyors:

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4666...

                  I have not yet made the trip there myself, but my son has done so for the past couple of years. While I knew they existed, I never used them in the past at any of the places I was associated with while working in the food industry. My son has a friend who has a business in Hunt's Point ....and he turned my son onto them...In the past, I have spoken with the meat manager...If I recall, his name is Matt and he's very helpful.

                  They do supply many top NY restaurants ( including Peter Luger ), so you can be assured of their quality. I would recommend you contact them as soon as possible to see if you can order or reserve the amount of beef you need.....and it's availability.

                  I have not had their Dry Age.....but this past Christmas holiday, I did a combination Wet-Age/Dry Age test for a small Prime Grade Prime Rib. You can see the meat and results in pictures in this thread below which I started. It's titled:

                  Prime Rib Successes and Disasters

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8249...

                  Pay attention to the first picture and you can see the excellent marbling in the Eye.

                2. re: fourunder

                  Bourbonandbacon,

                  Food Purveyors that handle hanging beef are usually Master Butchers like my friend in Philly and are becoming very hard to find. They usually distribute the very best of the best: ( Beef / Chicken / pork / Veal / seafood ......).

                  From their website, Master Purveyors looks like just such a place. If they deal with the public and you really appreciate great food, you would almost be crazy not to check them out. Because of the convenience afforded by big supermarket chains, most people have become accustomed to mediocre products. A couple visits to a place like Master Purveyors and you will have a vacuum sealer and a second freezer.

                3. re: Bourbonandbacon

                  A bit out of date but, back when I was in NY, Florence Meat Market had the best prices on dry aged steaks (definitely better than mail order), and the steaks were very good. They had ribeye and strip but the best value was the slightly mysterious Newport steak.

                  1. re: CampStreet

                    Florence is still outstanding and I consider myself very lucky to live close to them.

                    Bourbon, stop by Florence if you visit the Village Ottomanelli's. You'll be happy you did for both the quality and price. Their superpremium cuts are outstanding and their "lesser" cuts are also very good and priced well. The aforementioned Newport is basically what they call a tritip elsewhere. It's from just below the tenderloin cuts and has just a little less marbling and a little more meaty taste. It's an unbelievable value at nine bucks a pound. While you're there, get some of their lightly smoked bacon and some cubed sirloin trimmings for kebabs and chilies. Since you're a customer you can call ahead and just pick your order up. No website though. They're old school like that.

                  2. re: Bourbonandbacon

                    In north jersey, Westwood Prime Meats and Fairway in Paramus. Fairway's dry-aged beef doesn't impress me that much, but it's an option.

                    And Corrado's as well (the Wayne store had it last I checked).

                    1. re: Bourbonandbacon

                      it seems like if the on-line guys are charging such high prices, you can easily go to smith & wollensky or capital grille in midtown. both sell dry-aged steaks and will sell you raw product. it's all from allen brothers, all dry-aged at least 3-4 weeks. just call ahead and bring a cooler. (s&w butchers and ages its own meats, i believe capital ages its own, but buys it cut.)

                      they will likely charge you menu prices, but that still seems cheaper than what you've found.

              2. Believe me, I have ordered from just about everyone. First, Costco, while they do sell prime beef some time, is NOT dry aged. Best prices and best steaks, I have found, are from Lobel or Bryan's. Not cheap, but they taste great. My current favorite is Bryan's. Try their "helluva deal" section....

                7 Replies
                1. re: steakman55

                  What quality are you looking for? Top choice can be just as good as low prime. Middle and top prime are another story...... expensive and often hard to come by. Dry aging makes the task even harder. I have a source of the top tier prime in Philly and he will dry age it for you, trim it and and run it across the band saw to your desired thickness and then vacuum seal it. Only problem is he is not a retail butcher and only deals in whole primals and even then the quantity has to be such that its worth the aggravation. What quantity (lbs) of what particular cut are you looking for?

                  As Steakman said, Lobels and Bryan's are top notch but very pricey, especially for a large gathering. Your friends are very fortunate.

                  1. re: Tom34

                    i have worked in a couple of high-end steakhouses and have NEVER run across low, middle or top prime. prime is prime and it is less than 2% of the beef produced in the u.s., which is why it is so rare retail. it almost all goes to restaurants.

                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      Actually Hotoynoodle the USDA grading system breaks down prime meat into 3 sub grades.

                      TOP: Abundant Marbling 00 - 100

                      Middle: Moderately Abundant Marbling 00 - 100

                      Bottom: Slightly Abundant Marbling 00 - 100

                      TOP PRIME: The price spread between Bottom Prime & Top prime can easily exceed 300% largely due to deep pocket bidders in Japan which is where about 80% to our top prime beef goes. Almost the exact scenario as what happens to our #1 grade giant tuna. The majority of the remainder that stays here goes to the most exclusive private steak houses which reserve it for special VIPs such as CEO's ......... at menu prices approaching that of car payments.

                      MIDDLE: Depending on market conditions, a very large portion of Middle Prime also goes to Japan for the same reasons and what stays here ends up at the best of the steakhouse chains and will usually command a premium price compared to the regular menu items. Some will also go to high end purveyors & mail order houses.

                      BOTTOM: The average good steakhouse that STILL serves prime serves Bottom prime.
                      In many cases, it does not eat much better that the best of the Top Choice but costs much more partly due to the heavy fat cap. For this reason, many well known steakhouses have changed to Top Choice.

                        1. re: Tom34

                          http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/I...

                          strange that the usda does not offer this info, since they do the grading.

                          after 3 pages of google results, i only found your info on one site from one university. no place else.

                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                            If by "one University" your referring to "Texas A & M" ......you happen upon the site of what most in the field consider the "HARVARD" of Meat Science Universities who's research is considered among the most comprehensive in the world...........And YES many the College degree holders in the USDA graduated from Texas A & M....... And YES Texas A & M research has been and continues to be extensively used by the USDA........And yes they discuss in depth the sub marbling scores I posted as well as just about every other quality attribute of beef ........And yes the sub marbling terms such as "Abundant, Moderately Abundant and slightly abundant" ARE USDA terminology......If in doubt, go to the USDA certified beef program list and look at the small abbreviations next to the grades or other USDA publications or Beef industry publications!

                            Finally, go to a reputable butcher and tell him you want an abundantly marbled 28 oz porterhouse at a slightly abundant (Costco) marbling price & hope he has a sense of humor!

                            1. re: Tom34

                              no need to YELL. i am perfectly aware of texas a&m and its repute.

                    1. Stew Leonard's in Yonkers dry-ages their steaks and I find their prices to be more reasonable than most for such things. I'm not 100% sure if they are prime, but worth it to give them a call. They do have some lovely steak.

                      They are right off of I-87 (exit 6A), contact info and directions here:

                      http://www.stewleonards.com/html/cont...