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

fldhkybnva Jun 26, 2013 04:11 PM

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. ipsedixit RE: fldhkybnva Jun 26, 2013 04:29 PM

    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
      fldhkybnva RE: ipsedixit Jun 26, 2013 04:40 PM

      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
        fldhkybnva RE: ipsedixit Jun 26, 2013 05:56 PM

        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
          ipsedixit RE: fldhkybnva Jun 27, 2013 04:26 AM

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

          Good luck, and enjoy!

          1. re: ipsedixit
            fldhkybnva RE: ipsedixit Jun 27, 2013 05:18 AM

            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
              fldhkybnva RE: ipsedixit Jun 28, 2013 09:33 AM

              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
                ipsedixit RE: fldhkybnva Jun 28, 2013 11:45 AM

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

                Good luck and enjoy!

            2. re: fldhkybnva
              fourunder RE: fldhkybnva Jun 27, 2013 04:52 AM

              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
                fldhkybnva RE: fourunder Jun 27, 2013 05:17 AM

                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
                  joonjoon RE: fldhkybnva Jun 28, 2013 10:38 AM

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

          2. f
            fourunder RE: fldhkybnva Jun 26, 2013 04:48 PM


            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
              fldhkybnva RE: fourunder Jun 26, 2013 04:53 PM

              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
                fourunder RE: fldhkybnva Jun 26, 2013 05:13 PM

                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
                  fldhkybnva RE: fourunder Jun 26, 2013 05:22 PM

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

                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                    fourunder RE: fldhkybnva Jun 26, 2013 05:27 PM

                    Yes, for this meal.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                      fourunder RE: fldhkybnva Jun 26, 2013 05:33 PM

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


                      1. re: fourunder
                        EM23 RE: fourunder Jun 28, 2013 11:54 AM

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

                        1. re: EM23
                          fourunder RE: EM23 Jun 28, 2013 03:18 PM


                          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 ...is 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
                            fldhkybnva RE: fourunder Jun 28, 2013 03:33 PM

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

                            1. re: fourunder
                              EM23 RE: fourunder Jun 30, 2013 08:22 PM

                              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
                                fourunder RE: EM23 Jun 30, 2013 11:53 PM

                                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 chops....you 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. d
                  Dirtywextraolives RE: fldhkybnva Jun 26, 2013 05:45 PM

                  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. Caroline1 RE: fldhkybnva Jun 26, 2013 06:44 PM

                    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 yuotube.com 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
                      fldhkybnva RE: Caroline1 Jun 26, 2013 07:10 PM

                      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
                        Caroline1 RE: fldhkybnva Jun 28, 2013 09:13 AM

                        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
                          fldhkybnva RE: Caroline1 Jun 28, 2013 09:31 AM

                          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
                            Caroline1 RE: fldhkybnva Jun 28, 2013 10:14 AM

                            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
                              fldhkybnva RE: Caroline1 Jun 28, 2013 10:25 AM

                              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
                            Tom34 RE: Caroline1 Jun 28, 2013 05:24 PM

                            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. t
                        Tom34 RE: fldhkybnva Jun 26, 2013 07:06 PM

                        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
                          fourunder RE: Tom34 Jun 26, 2013 07:11 PM

                          Meat sweats when wrapped in plastic....

                        2. t
                          treb RE: fldhkybnva Jun 28, 2013 10:41 AM

                          I wouldn't dry age a steak, too thin. I usually dry age say a whole rib eye for about 14-21 days, then trim and cut into steaks. As for seasoning, salt 2 hours ahead, no pepper, it burns. Pepper and sea salt to finish after cooking,

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: treb
                            fldhkybnva RE: treb Jun 28, 2013 11:34 AM

                            The steak was cut off the dry aged primal. You salt even dry aged 2 hours ahead? It's interesting to hear the different techniques. I've had great success with the 2 hours ahead salting, but just had no idea for a dry aged if that would ruin the dry surface but it seems no. Thanks for the tip and yes, not a good idea to dry age steaks.

                            1. re: fldhkybnva
                              joonjoon RE: fldhkybnva Jun 28, 2013 01:11 PM

                              There's no hard and fast rule when it comes to salting - different salting timeframes do different things to the meat. If you want the whole steak to have salt flavor salt way in advance, or if you want to just have a salty exterior salt right before cooking. It's really a matter of personal preference.

                              I probably wouldn't leave the meat uncovered in the fridge for any great length of time unless it was a dedicated meat fridge though - don't want it absorbing other odors while left out.

                              If it were my steak I'd keep it wrapped in the fridge and salt a couple hours in advance. Into a sub-200 degree oven until internal temp gets to about 110, then pat dry and into a skillet for a quick 30 second sear.

                              Now I'm hungry...

                              1. re: joonjoon
                                fldhkybnva RE: joonjoon Jun 28, 2013 03:33 PM

                                Another reverse sear fan?

                          2. 1POINT21GW RE: fldhkybnva Jun 30, 2013 11:05 PM

                            Concerning some of the misinformation in this thread concerning when to salt your steak, please see this article on seven popular myths surrounding steaks: http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/06/th....

                            See Myth 5 for more information on when and why to salt your steaks at least 45 minutes, and up to 48 hours, in advance.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: 1POINT21GW
                              fldhkybnva RE: 1POINT21GW Jul 1, 2013 05:36 AM

                              After I read this thread a few months ago I started to salt my steaks ahead of time without any problems so I agree.

                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                fourunder RE: fldhkybnva Jul 1, 2013 08:56 AM

                                with regards to kenji and myth # 5, i doubt he has the taste buds to decipher the actual taste, intricacies and differences of a piece of meat sliced off a steak at 1/4 inch depth and 1/2 inch depth from the surface... If thinks he can he's full of sh*t. The meat is either salty or not.

                            2. fldhkybnva RE: fldhkybnva Jul 1, 2013 05:59 AM

                              Thanks for all the tips, the steak was wonderful. It was a nice, perfect juicy medium rare with a delicious seared crust. I must admit though that I was expecting a hearty flavor whomp that I am familiar with at a steakhouse but it tasted similar to and perhaps less flavorful than the usual ribeye I buy at Whole Foods. That's not to say that it wasn't a great steak of course but just reminded me of steak. Unfortunately, my taste buds I guess are not attuned to the greatness of dry aged Prime beef. I have had this reaction before with other cuts of meat and always seem to resort back to my favorite grass fed sirloin which I think explains part of my reaction. Perhaps, since I usually eat grass fed meat, I am used to a more distinctive flavor of beef (nod to Caroline1 for the benefits and tastiness of well-prepared grass fed steak). I appreciate all of your advice and it was definitely worth it to splurge and try out the dry aged steak at home for what was a lovely celebration dinner.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                fourunder RE: fldhkybnva Jul 1, 2013 08:47 AM

                                Very nice....

                                As for the flavor whomp you were seeking, it may have to do with how long the meat was actually aged for. 21 days is the minimum standard for restaurants. 28 days or longer is better. That's why I indicated earlier to know your source... or you need to see the tag affixed to a any particular piece of meat being considered for purchase.

                                1. re: fourunder
                                  fldhkybnva RE: fourunder Jul 1, 2013 09:20 AM

                                  Yea, they were aged 28 days. I actually asked beforehand because I'd read that longer than 21 days was ideal and didn't want to shell out for something less than out.

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                                    Tom34 RE: fldhkybnva Jul 1, 2013 02:06 PM

                                    Many feel that real funky flavor doesn't get going until about 40 days of dry age but I don't know that its more "beefy".

                                    As I posted above, Certified Hereford Beef isn't grass finished but it has a distinct beefy flavor. Many chef's serve it as a compromise because they get the consistent beefy flavor and tenderness which can be hard to get with grass finished. Its also about a 1/3 the price. Your butcher could probably bring in a CHB sub primal for you and dry age it for 28 days. What you don't use right away, vacuum seal and freeze it. Slow thaw in the refrigerator and your fine.

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