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Jun 26, 2013 04:11 PM

Tips for dry aged steak - how to store and salt?

It's probably apparent from all of my recent steak posts that I am planning a big steak dinner. I picked up a lovely 2 inch bone-in ribeye tonight and plan to cook it Friday. I usually use the pan sear in the oven method which always works well, but had a few question about what to do before that? Should I leave the steak in the butcher paper or let it sit uncovered in the fridge until Friday? Do you season a dry aged steak as any other steak - I usually only do salt and pepper, but didn't know if I need to forego my usual salt 2 hours ahead of time method. TIA.

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  1. Season as you normally would.

    My only tip is to cook your dry aged steak for 25% – 35% less time than a normal (wet aged) steak. This is because of the decreased amount of moisture in the steak. (Relatedly, don't salt 2 hours beforehand, salt about 5-10 minutes you are ready to sear.)

    Also, it should go without saying, use a meat thermometer to ensure proper doneness (130-135 degrees for medium rare, 140-145 for medium etc.).

    9 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Thanks for the tips, and my Thermopen is my best friend in the kitchen. Any idea if I should leave it wrapped up?

      1. re: ipsedixit

        I usually heat the oven to 500F and sear on each side 45 seconds or so then in the oven for 8-10 minutes so this would probably take only 6 or so at 2 inches. Do you have a preferred pan roasting method or temperature? I will obviously use a thermometer but any time estimates? I'd hate to ruin a good piece of meat.

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          That sounds about right. I would sear less than 45 seconds, however, and maybe flip at 30.

          Good luck, and enjoy!

          1. re: ipsedixit

            The Alton Brown method which I borrowed from does do 30 seconds per side but for a 1.5 inch steak only does 2 minutes each side in the oven which never seemed like a long enough time to get to medium rare.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Tonight's the night, how long would you expect per side - 3-4 minutes or so. I'll use a thermometer of course but just wanted to get a gauge on the time.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                I think that's a fair and safe estimate if you're using a 2 inch ribeye.

                Good luck and enjoy!

            2. re: fldhkybnva

              Unless you like your meat rare, I would suggest you keep the oven at 400*, You'll allow yourself more margin of error and more consistent meat temperature.. You can overcook the meat in a blink of an eye. and you don't want the carryover to rise dramatically. due to the higher heat of 500* if you are shooting for medium rare. ... just an opinion to avoid an expensive and disappointing mistake.

              1. re: fourunder

                Ok, thanks for the tip. We prefer just appraoching medium rare so perhaps I'll drop it to 400-450F or so and just keep it in a few minutes longer but keep an eye on it.

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  When it comes to oven temp, the lower the better. Try 200 degrees. Sear before or after (I prefer after).

          2. Unwrapped.....

            suspend over a shallow pan or plate with chopsticks or other. You do not want to let it sit in any juices... You can use cheesecloth to cover, but I find it's not necessary, especially for on a couple of days.

            10 Replies
            1. re: fourunder

              Perfect, I was going to just sit it on a metal rack, but will elevate with chopsticks and let it be uncovered for 2 days. I assumed I should leave it uncovered as it's been that way for a month already, but wasn't sure. Thanks for the useful advice as always.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                Since this is your first attempt, I would not salt in advance...just before grilling or searing if you want to develop a little crust.

                I suggest you forego salting altogether so you can taste the nutty beef flavor the meat has developed first. This is the only way you can truly appreciate the quality of the beef and whether you like the source where you purchased. You can salt at the table.

                1. re: fourunder

                  Great, thanks so you suggest no seasoning at all and just have salt and pepper at the ready?

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      Watch the following video on how Keen's Steakhouse prepares their steaks.


                      1. re: fourunder

                        That "blanching" step is fascinating. Have you done this yourself, Fourunder?

                        1. re: EM23


                          Yes I have....but I call it more commonly known as the *Reverse Sear* method. It's the best way i know how to ensure you get the results you desire without any complications for meat temperature. I recently did a test with the results i achieved shown in pictures during the different stages.. The Keen Video notes using 300* to raise the temperature to 100* before searing, but they are using thicker steaks and a more commercial approach for production...especially since their equipment is far more efficient to handle a high volume load. The notable differences in my test that I used 275* to raise to 95*, and I noted for my next test I would drop down to 90* and sear longer to develop a more pronounced char or crust. The difference in 10* may seem insignificant to some, but you must realize the broiler the Keen Video highlights can reach a temperature of 1800* and your home oven, broiler and Fry Pan cannot achieve that temperature. Commercial Broilers can singe the meat in seconds if placed close enough to the gas elements or fire. You can use any temperature from 140-300* to do the blanch....for the home oven you should use 200-300. While joonjoon prefers 200, and I use 275...there is no right or wrong, just a matter of preference and the amount of time you have to devote to the preparation of your steak.....It's the same with the salting issue. Salt as you please.



                          As for the comments from others on the issue of *dry aging a steak*.....I do not see where anyone gets the indication anyone has suggested to do so in this thread specifically. The query was how to store or hold a steak until the OP was ready to cook her steaks....The steak are already aged. Whether in a retail location or a commercial kitchen, all the steaks are held without wrapping for an extended period of time

                          Whether you use Top Sirloin, Rib Eye, Filet or Porterhouse....I recommend the Reverse Sear for foolproof results.


                          1. re: fourunder

                            Interesting technique, I'll be sure to look into this.

                            1. re: fourunder

                              Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Fourunder. It never occurred to me that he was doing the reverse method. I want to try this, but I have a couple of questions:
                              1- What steaks did you cook (size and cut)? I usually cook 1 ½-2 inch B.I. shells or NY strips
                              2- How long did you cook them at 275 until they reached 95 degrees?

                              1. re: EM23

                                First you must realize that due to variables for each individual steak or cut of beef, the time needed to reach 95-100 will fluctuate due to mass and liquid content. With that said, for 1.5-2 inch thick steaks, you can expect a minimum of 18 minutes to about 35+ minutes for thicker steaks, or bone-in. Boneless will reach the mark sooner than Bone-In as well. I have used the method for Top Sirloin, Hanger, Flat Iron, Strip, Rib-Eye, Tenderloin and Porterhouse. Steak thickness has ranged from 1.5 to 3.0 inches....the latter being steaks for two type preparations. I have also used the same for Pork and Veal as well...although with pork you would target closer to 125-135.

                                You should note that once you reach temperature of 95* you can hold the meat for up to an hour without any compromise in quality of the finished steak results. Simply crack open the oven door for 5 minutes and reduce the temperature to the lowest warm setting on your thermostat. After some of the heat escapes, you can leave it open or close it and hold the steak easily for up to an hour while you finish your other tasks. When you reduce the the thermostat, essentially it ends the cooking process. Just sear or grill to brown or put a char on the meat when you are ready to serve, and hold for about another 5 minutes before plating. I hold the steaks @ 140* when needed.

                                While the reverse sear is good for steaks and can do something similar for larger inexpensive cuts like Thick Top Sirloin Steaks for slicing....or Chuck roast, Flap Meat and Tri-Tip....the difference is you would go low and slow at 200-225 as joonjoon has indicated and cook to temperature.....I recommend holding for two hours minimum(that's the key) and then doing the high heat blast or sear.. No need for a second rest and the meat is moist and tender. You can have a look here to see the results in pictures.



                                If you want to give your meat budget a break, consider Chuck Roast. I enjoy it very much for the flavor, but it has a little chew.... if you are looking for more tender meat, use a Shoulder or Cross Rib Roast.

                2. On a rack, over a sheet pan, uncovered. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Then you can reseason once you're ready to cook them.

                  ETA: just saw they are already aged, so you don't need the first salt.

                  1. Sounds like you've bought some premium beef! Do NOT let it sit in the refrigerator uncovered until Friday. Remove it from the butcher paper (and the wax paper it was put on to weigh it, assuming you bought it in an upscale butcher shop) and slip it into some zip lock bags or wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the meat drawer of your refrigerator.

                    On Friday, take it out of the refrigerator at least a full hour or two before cooking and allow it to come to room temperature. I set my wrapped steaks on a cake rack to allow air to circulate under them as well. If you just set them on a countertop or cutting board, remember to turn them regularly so they loose their chill evenly.

                    If your steaks are dry aged grass fed organic beef, they will cook faster and at lower temperatures than grain fed beef. Most people who are unfamiliar with grass fed steaks pay big bucks for them, then don't have a clue about how fast they will cook, ruin them by overcooking, then tell others about hot awful grass fed beef is. Not so! You can find information on temperature adjustments on line by Googling "cooking instructions for grass fed beef."

                    To cook your steaks for a dinner party, and assuming your kitchen is not set up for sous vide, your best bet is pan searing the steak to crust it, then finishing in a very hot oven. You can find videos by master chefs on how to do this on Considering the price you probably paid for dry aged beef, it's worth the research time.

                    Oh If you want the best possible flavor and tenderness from the beef, DO NOT salt it at all until it is cooked! Salt draws moisture out, and salting a steak before cooking it is akin to mashing down on a hamburger while grilling it. It pulls the juices out and leaves you with dry meat. Don't shoot yourself in the foot!

                    When you take the steaks out of the oven, you'll get great flavor and shine if you immediately brush them with a bit of butter. This is also the best time to salt your steaks. A generous pat of truffled butter is great too. Or any compound butter. You can also make a great "pan sauce" by adding a bit of butter to the pan you cooked the steaks in, and sautéing a few shallots or whites of green onions until soft, then adding a little red wine and reducing it, then a small dash of cognac or brandy. Add maybe a quarter cup of rich beef stock (the kind that gels when it is cold), allow to simmer a minute, then turn off the heat, correct seasonings, and add a touch more butter to make it shine (it will also thicken it a bit), then spoon a bit of the sauce on the steaks and serve the rest in a sauce boat.


                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Caroline1

                      Ok, now I'm confused. What's your opinion on why leaving it uncovered is a bad idea, just wondering? It is from an upscale butcher and I planned to use the sear and oven technique. I usually do 450F sear 1 minute per side or so and the fat pad and then throw it in the oven for 3 minutes a side. Thanks for all the tips, now to figure out what to do with the steaks...wrap...

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        Setting a steak (or any beef) on a wire rack in a refrigerator for more than five minutes is a "less than ideal" (likely unsafe) method of attempting to dry age the steak/beef. yourself. You have paid a premium price for dry aged beef that has undergone PROPER dry aging, had the dried out undesirable parts that result from the process trimmed off, and the steaks have been sold to you in as close a state of "perfection" as any slaughter house, dr4y aging facility, and premium butcher shop can possibly manage.

                        Why mess it up? '-)

                        Oh, and my best advice to you is NEXT TIME you're going to pop for premium dry aged steaks, don't buy them from your butcher until the day you plan to cook them!

                        For now, do yourself a great favor and do a Google research project on these things:
                        Grass fed vs grain fed beef
                        dry aged vs wet aged beef

                        Also, since you are into top quality beef, have you considered the purchase of sous vide equipment? I have a Sous Vide Supreme, and the ONLY way I cook a steak is sous vide. Now, sous vide is NOT (imo) good for all things sous vide cooking is currently touted to be, but for steaks, there is no surer way to achieve perfection... EVEN if your guests are an hour late arriving for dinner! Google will help you here too...

                        1. re: Caroline1

                          Ideally, I was going to buy them the day of but my schedule didn't allow it. What about grass fed vs grain fed? I actually eat mostly grass fed but it's hard to come buy an aged grass fed ribeye locally. Thanks for the suggestions, though.

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            There are tons of websites that offer valid information on the benefits of grass fed beef over grain feed beef. Check 'em out! Short version (VERY short version!) is that grain fed beef contributes heavily, indeed can cause cholesterol problems and contribute heavily to hypertension and other vascular disease processes; grass fed beef DOES NOT! Omega 3s and all that jazz. Google is your FRIEND! '-)

                            1. re: Caroline1

                              I am fully aware and am very well read on grass fed vs grain fed beef, which is why I mostly eat grass fed beef. For me, I will not just not eat a cut because it's difficult to find grass fed in my local area. Perhaps one day, I will order it online, but for now local is easier. I'm just confused as to the introduction of grass fed vs grain fed meat as my post didn't address grass fed meat but thanks for the info :)

                          2. re: Caroline1

                            I don't recall the O.P. discussing additional aging of an individual steak in the refrigerator nor do I recall any Hounds who frequently discuss beef suggest trying it as it is common knowledge aging is done at a minimum in sub primal form.

                            As for holding individual steaks in the refrigerator (34 - 38 degrees) for 48 hrs, Independent butchers do it, supermarkets do it, purveyors do it and darn near every restaurant I know of does it.

                            HEALTH: Grass finished vs feedlot, yes there health benefits with Grass finished if you can be certain it was "truly" grass finished. Very good chance it was not. The Amish have been seen buying commodity sub primals in places like Restaurant Depot and reselling is as all natural, hormone free grass finished beef at their markets. Want to be fooled, cut a steak out of a Certified Hereford Beef Sub Primal. Much leaner, more beefy but not grass finished.

                            FLAVOR: Highly debatable and up to the individual. Having said that, any veteran "Butcher" will tell you that there are so many variables with grass finished beef that consistency with texture and flavor is a very real problem. Breed, age, exact type of grass, maturity of grass.....the list goes on and on. I remember reading a post from a rancher who raised grass finished steer and he said it took his family over 10 years to develop a good product and in his opinion they he still had more work to do to reach the consistency of the feed lot.

                            Things are not as simple as many who are not in the business make it out to be.

                      2. I would sit them on a wire rack over a sheet pan and place on the back of the bottom shelf of the refrigerator uncovered. Salt a couple hours before cooking. PS: Much has been written about leaving tightly wrapped meat in the refrigerator to long causing bacteria problems which is why I think ventilation over a wire rack is a better way to go.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Tom34

                          Meat sweats when wrapped in plastic....