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Dry-aging beef at home - ISO of specifics please for 28 days

Today or tomorrow I'm buying a whole, boneless, ribeye from Costco to dry age. I'm doing this cause I'm reading here how wonderful and easy. But I don't seem to find exact details. Maybe it's here but my searching hasn't turned it up.

I have a "dorm fridge" which someone pointed out would work fine. Do I just put the meat on on a rack and the rack on a baking sheet? I assume I dry the meat well to start with. Do I turn the meat at all? Any seasoning, i.e., salt? After the four weeks (that's 28 days, right?!?!) do I trim the meat in any way or just cut into steaks and freeze? Please feel free to correct me in ANY way. This is more money spent than I would care to waste by winding up with spoiled meat :( Thanks all.

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  1. I can't vouch for it personally, but others speak highly of Kenji's guide on Serious Eats:
    http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/03/th...

    1. Ideally, you would want some air circulation and a block of salt to inhibit unwanted bacteria. A small fan like the ones used on computers would be perfect, or a battery operated convection fan used for ovens could be used, but the you would probably have to change the batteries over the course of a month.

      You should place the meat directly on the rack, no sheet pan.....no seasonings either. At the end of the month, trim the dried surface and fat away....save for a stock. Slice away for steaks, and use a food saver if possible.

      I would also invest in a thermometer to make sure the fridge maintains <38*.

      I'm no expert, but that's what I would do. Hopefully Tom34 or acgold7 will jump in. For the record, I find for the home, 28 days wet aged in Cryovac produces some mighty fine results for tenderness...but you won't get that nutty taste dry aging will develop.

      1. Just put it on a rack on a sheet pan in the fridge and ignore it for anywhere from 7 to 21 days. More than three weeks gives it a bit too much funk, in my opinion.

        After three weeks just cut off steaks as you need them and yes, you must trim off the dry leathery parts. I save them for stock and then give the spent pieces to the dogs.

        Neither salt nor a fan are absolutely necessary, and I have never used either.

        Here are some videos that show the process:

        http://youtu.be/hc1ReOqdlGs

        http://youtu.be/0zvwcSGf4o8

        ... which specifically use a Costco Rib Eye.

        The comments sections below the videos also provide more specific info in response to questions.

        1. Boy, am I ever going to be watching for the results of this experiment. Several years ago I dry aged a single steak using Alton Brown's method. It got tossed after a few days from stinking up the fridge, and my never imagining that I'd want to eat something so gross. It even made a package of butter taste bad that I had to toss as a result. (Top tip: tightly wrap in plastic anything in your fridge you don't want to taste or smell like funky beef!)

          The results at this YouTube video look amazing, though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zvwc...

          I do question the suggestion in the video to put the "funky" smelling portions sliced off into the stock pot—who'd want funk stock?

          You've got my respect for giving a go on this, that's for sure!

          11 Replies
          1. re: RelishPDX

            I have frequently 'dry-aged' small rib roasts for 5'ish days with no problem. That's too bad about yours :(

            1. re: RelishPDX

              I used to throw the bark out but on Acgold's advise I used it to make stock. Sliced it in 1/4" strips then cubed into 1/4" pieces.

              Put it (quite a few cups worth) into a large stock pot, good gallon of water or more, brought to a boil for a few minutes & then simmered for about 6 hours or so until it reduced down to a couple cups. Strained it with solids going into a container for the dog.

              Placed it in the refrigerator, skimmed the hardened fat, portioned into vacuum sealer bags, froze & then drew a vacuum and sealed.

              Bottom line, the bark contains supper concentrated beef flavor & the final product tasted like super concentrated liquid steak.

              Just used some this week to make gravy for a standing rib roast.....OUTSTANDING!!!!!!!

              After a few days of mixing the strained simmered bark scraps into the dogs dry food she started howling at dinner time.

              1. re: Tom34

                If y'all hadn't mentioned it, I'd have never considered making beef stock. To me, the commercial stuff isn't very tasty. My almost 15 y.o. dog needs to gain some weight and that sounds like just the thing. More good advice.

                Photo - day 1 !!!

                 
                1. re: c oliver

                  I can't be sure from the picture but it looks like the meat is sitting on the sheet pan itself.

                  To improve air flow around the meat, I always elevate it off the sheet pan. In my case, I use a wire baking cooling rack that is about the size of the sheet pan which I keep elevated about an inch off the bottom of the sheet pan. A large roasting rack would probably also work.

                  1. re: Tom34

                    Thanks, Tom. That was just for carrying it downstairs to the first where it now 'rests' on a rack.

                2. re: Tom34

                  Quick question. We're trimming it all up now (went from approx. 15# to about 10!) and I'm going to make the stock. Do you simmer uncovered or covered? TIA.

                  Looking forward to a very good dinner tonight :) Photos to follow.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    I simmer uncovered so there is significant reduction .....a good 6 hours seems to give a 4:1 reduction. You can also throw in the usual assortment of chopped vegetables.

                    PS: ***** DRY AGED STEAKS COOK MUCH FASTER *****

                    1. re: Tom34

                      That's what I figured re the stock. I'm one of the weird ones who doesn't put any thing into stock making other than the meat. That way I can take the final result in any direction I please.

                      Ooh, thanks for the PS. The steak is about 1-1/2". Usually with one that size I sear on one side, turn, and then into the oven til maybe 117 IT. Or if you recommend otherwise, we can grill.

                      (I think we're both kind tired of handling beef for a bit !)

                      1. re: c oliver

                        I would stick with your tried and true method.

                    2. re: c oliver

                      Congrats! I'm excited to see the result.

                  2. I have a small stainless broiler pan with a wire rack that I use. I very lightly salt the roast and I wrap with a tea towel that I change daily, much like Alton Brown's method. Be sure to check the temp.and keep the roast 34 - 38F or it will stink or just not age.Use a thermometer. I have never gone past about 18 days. I have also always roasted the whole thing after aging.

                    1. I always dry-age a rib roast @ Xmas. I follow Alton Brown's method for a three day age. It's always delicious.

                      1. Thanks, folks! And I did read the Serious Eats article. We'll pick up a little fan (Kenji cut a little piece out of the gasket to run a cord) and get it started tomorrow. I have no way to measure humidity but his test showed that the dorm fridge had the highest humidity so I'm guessing that I don't need to have a pan of water in there. ???

                        We leave town (again!) on 5/23 so dinner the night before will be the first steak. Fingers crossed!

                        1. I dry age a whole, bone-in rib roast, maybe 3 times per year (I have a roast in cryovac ready to go now - will get to it maybe Sunday).
                          I do it in a back-bar fridge which has a fan already going, so don't know if this is critical or not.
                          Open the cryovac, rinse off the blood/juices in the sink, towel dry.
                          For my own sanity, I weigh the chunk fresh, going in.

                          Place on rack, ribs down, in a plastic tray.
                          Forget about it for 21 (min) to 48 (max so far) days. Theres a definite dried out/crust/funk layer that has to be shaved off (also the ribs in my case). I shave by sight: keep cutting away until the meat/fat is a nice color/
                          Cut into steaks, cook what you want (I prefer over live mesquite charcoal, but I digress), freeze the rest.

                          I also weigh out the roast before carving up to give an idea of moisture loss. I also weigh out the final steak weight (dried roast less trimmed parts). This gives me an idea of final, dry-aged, cost per pound.

                          So far, none have spoiled.
                          So far, results have been mixed, but I'm sure this is due to quality of the original roast: sometimes it was incredible, sometimes it was OK.

                          At the end of the day, it ain't rocket science, just a scary first leap of faith.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: porker

                            " just a scary first leap of faith."

                            INDEED! Every bit of my gut tells me that this is NOT something I should be doing :) And were it not for CH (that's you, kids!) I wouldn't be.

                            I guess I should just doublecheck that the dorm fridge doesn't have a fan. They probably all do and maybe it doesn't need to be constant. Tremble :)

                          2. The trimmngs shouldn't be funky -- only dry. The stock is great and very strongly flavored in a good way. No funkiness at all.

                            You cannot properly age a single steak. Don't even try. There's too much surface area and it'll be too wet.

                            1. Never, ever use a towel. That's the best way to promote bacterial spoilage. AB is dead wrong on this one (as he is on many things).

                              It's the moisture held in by the towel that makes it stink.

                              1. Once again, you absolutely do not need a fan. All the fan does is circulate air but it won't reduce the moisture in the fridge, so it's useless, or of minimal benefit.

                                You don't need to wash or dry the roast, but you can if it makes you feel better. It provides no benefit.

                                Do not under any circumstances put a towel on it. You could put a layer of salt in the drip pan and that might help reduce the humidity a bit, but I'd love to see any real data on this. I suppose you could weigh the salt pre and post.

                                Make it easy on yourself and do without this first time.

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: acgold7

                                  Thanks a bunch for speaking up ac! Finishing lunch here and then will put the 'guy' in the fridge. I figured that any fridge would have some type of circulating fan so had eliminated that. It's about 15-1/2#. Looking forward to a great dinner on 5/22 which is the day before we leave town.

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    Is it a special occasion? It happens to be my son's birthday! Where you off to?

                                    1. re: smilingal

                                      Off on an Alaskan cruisetour!!! What's your son's name? I'll eat a bite in his honor :)

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        enjoy your cruise - guess you must be doing denali with the tour? Fairbanks? going mining? good luck with the gold and seeing McKinley!

                                        1. re: smilingal

                                          Denali and McKinley. Aren't you knowledgeable? Its been a busy and tough (at times) few months so looking forward to this.

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            it will be a great experience - are you going on the tundra wilderness tour? try doing it early when the animals are still feisty and waking up!

                                            1. re: smilingal

                                              Sounds like you recommend that :) I'll check it out. What a great CH-world this is :) Also looking forward to lots of Dungeness crab!

                                2. Hey Cathy,

                                  I know from previous discussions you have been itching to try aging. Glad your ready to take the plunge.

                                  As I said before, I do both wet aging & dry aging.

                                  As Fourunder points out, a 28 day wet aging is a big improvement over typical green (little age) supermarket meat. Key is to start with a sub primal that has a nice tight fitting cryovac with minimal visible liquid sloshing around. NO puffy cryovacs. This goes for both wet and dry aging.

                                  AC pretty much hit all the points with dry aging. I do rinse off and thoroughly dry the sub primal and sit it on a wire cookie cooling rack over a sheet pan. I do put some small plastic blocks (old cutting boards scraps) under the corners of the cookie cooling rack to raise it a little more off the sheet pan for better air circulation under the meat.

                                  I do NOT use any coverings such as cheese cloth or towels. I agree with AC that the possibility of trapping moisture against the surface of the meat is best avoided. Whether right or wrong, I kind of think of wound care where air circulation is usually preferred.

                                  I suppose fan or no fan is debatable. I have a small commercial beverage refrig with a fan and a spare full size energy star refrig with no fan. Have aged in both with no detectable difference. Maybe the larger air volume of the big refrig negates the need for a fan. Don't know.

                                  What is not debatable are temps. A cheap refrig thermometer is a good investment. Even better would be a digital thermometer that records data. I have seen them that mount to the outside of the frig (tape or Velcro) with a probe on a thin wire that goes in the refrig. I think these have multiple data retrieval modes to include average temps & extreme temp swings over extended periods. I don't think they are overly expensive and may give you some piece of mind.

                                  You will detect an odor after a few days. To me it is kind of a musty smell but not offensive. On a 28 day age, I think it kind of peaks about 1/2 way through. Rotting / spoiling meat on the other hand produces a smell that is instantly recognizable & will turn your stomach.

                                  Good luck and let us know how it works out.

                                  1. Sorry for the multiple posts. Really thought I was hitting the appropriate reply button for each point, but apparently not.

                                    Yeah, there must be a bug with my browser... showing up as main answers rather than to the right posts.

                                    1. Another benefit of the stock making from the trimmings is that if you do your Roasts low & slow, you won't get many drippings... but here you already have them ready to go.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: acgold7

                                        These will be cooked as steaks but if done on the grill the same issue. Thanks.

                                      2. So since you'll have all that nice stock/broth, give this sauce a try...

                                        http://youtu.be/QtawEcJqzpg

                                        1. Just checked the temp and it's steady at 34. That's not TOO cold, is it?

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. Well its been about a week. How is it going? :-)

                                            I did a little looking & came across this fan, "Camco Fridge Airator". Runs about 30 days on 2 "D" batteries. Ships to local Walmart for about $15.00. Seems to get decent reviews from the R.V. crowd and one guy uses it for aging beef in his small dormer fridge.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Tom34

                                              Doing fine. Temp is holding solid. I'll take a look at that fan. Thanks, Tom.

                                            2. Followup question please. We'll be pulling it out next Thursday. We'll have one big steak that night. Then we'll cut the rest into thick steaks and freeze. As we're 'older folks,' we tend to not eat huge portions of meat at a sitting. That first dinner will be an exception :) We want to cut the rest into thick steaks. Would we sacrifice much/any if we cut each steak in half, then vacuum-sealed? I'd appreciate advice. TIA.

                                              24 Replies
                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                Hey, no advice, but I will come over and help you eat it up...

                                                Did you get the moldy layer on the outside?

                                                1. re: rudeboy

                                                  Haven't looked at it in a week or so, so don't know.

                                                  Thanks for the offer, rude-y :) Another time, for sure.

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    Maybe call a butcher that does dry aged and ask? I can call mine tomorrow if you like. They always have pre-cut dry aged prime, but I'm not sure how long they keep it after being cut.. I would be concerned about freezing it, but it sounds like that's going to have to happen..

                                                    But, I just made from thawed, formerly frozen deer "steak" and deer tenderloin that came out just fine, so maybe I'm overly cautious.

                                                    1. re: rudeboy

                                                      I've never had any problem freezing meat. My question - not really a concern perhaps - is will cutting it in half effect the steaks. You know, like, after aging for four weeks, I'll now expose one end of it. We'll see. Thanks for your offer. If I don't get good enough info, I may impose on you.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        Once you trim the bark, you can treat it like any other roast or steak.
                                                        Unless I want to eat it as a roast, I cut the piece into steaks then freeze - no prob.

                                                        1. re: porker

                                                          We cut six steaks and two small roasts (about 2# each).

                                                    2. re: rudeboy

                                                      You should never get mold of any kind if you do this right. Never put anything on the meat, especially not cloth.

                                                      1. re: acgold7

                                                        Thanks for confirming that. Sure, it's getting darker but never thought about mold :(

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          And sure, you can cut it any way you like prior to freezing. The meat doesn't know or care how it's being cut.

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            It'll get moldy - if you dry-age in the back yard

                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                If you like great beef stock for future gravy, 1/4" x 1/4" dice the bark and simmer for 6 hours or so to 1/4 reduction, strain, chill, skim & freeze. Then the strained bark pieces for the dog.

                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                    FWIW, you don't need to dice. And you could eat the cooked pieces yourself, as the pioneers used to do. It's just dried beef, reconstituted.

                                                                    1. re: acgold7

                                                                      I like to dice....speeds up the process.

                                                              2. re: c oliver

                                                                Seems like everything that I read talks about an exterior crust that is a result of some fungal mold species, but have never done the procedure myself.

                                                                1. re: rudeboy

                                                                  This is my first one but I've done little rib roasts in the fridge for five or so days. It gets dark and dried out which I've always figured was just due to the drying.

                                                                  1. re: rudeboy

                                                                    The crust and the mold are two completely different things. You want the crust and it's the result of doing it right. You don't want the mold and it's the result of doing it wrong.

                                                                    1. re: rudeboy

                                                                      This from the world's authority on every single subject in the universe known and unknown, Wikipedia:
                                                                      "The process of dry-aging usually also promotes growth of certain fungal (mold) species on the external surface of the meat. This does not cause spoilage, but actually forms an external "crust" on the meat's surface, which is trimmed off when the meat is prepared for cooking. These fungal species complement the natural enzymes in the beef by helping to tenderize and increase the flavor of the meat. The genus Thamnidium, in particular, is known to produce collagenolytic enzymes which greatly contribute to the tenderness and flavor of dry-aged meat."

                                                                      However, with the dozen or so rib roasts that I dry aged over the years, none had visible mold growth, nor moldy odor. It simply developped a darkened, tough exterior that I assume was due to simple dehydration. If the mold was there, I didn't see, smell, feel, or hear it...

                                                                      I occasionally had beneficial white mold growth on air-dried italian sausage and lonza, but it was good mold, helping with the tang of the meat.
                                                                      But never with dry-aged rib roasts.
                                                                      But thats me...

                                                                        1. re: acgold7

                                                                          I just searched and found pix of thamnidium fungi/mold and they are very dark in color in nature. Molds can be all sorts of colors, but I think some may think that I was talking about green mold!!

                                                                          1. re: rudeboy

                                                                            Well, yes, but also either soft and furry or moist and sticky. I don't get either on our beef; it's always hard, dry, smooth and shiny. Maybe there is mold on it but I've never seen anything I'd call that.

                                                                            1. re: acgold7

                                                                              Same here. A hard wax type surface is the best way I can think of to describe the bark I get. Occasionally I see a white speck but it usually corresponds to fat and I see the same occasional speck on aging videos.

                                                            1. Oh sigh. I HATE saying we couldn't be more disappointed :( I'll post a bunch of photos tomorrow. It was cooked perfectly. But in no way was it tender. Sorry to run away but I need to go away for now. Boo hoo.

                                                              15 Replies
                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                Well, it's morning here and I'm dutybound to report :) Not only was it not tender (really at all) but the flavor was blah, meh, ho-hum, whatever. We were two pouty little kids over it :) I couldn't even wait to sit down to try a bit so cut a little piece and said WTF, then cut from Bob's half, same result. Don't get me wrong - we ate it :) But it's not likely we'll rush to do this again. Maybe we just got the one meh one in the whole batch at Costco. I thank y'all for all the good advice and just wish I could have come back with raves.
                                                                PS: Sorry about the blurry final photo. I had already plated it when I remembered to snap Also it's a teensy bit doner than we would have preferred.

                                                                 
                                                                 
                                                                 
                                                                 
                                                                 
                                                                 
                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  Sorry it didn't work out for you, that's a real bummer. But you gave it the ol' college try, which is nothing to sneeze at.

                                                                  Hope it doesn't deter you from experimenting in other ways in the kitchen!

                                                                  1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                    Thanks for your comforting words :)

                                                                    As for deterring me from other things...N E V E R !!!!!!!! I've learned so many things from CHs, it's still amazes me. Going away for a couple of weeks but then I'll be back in the kitchen :)

                                                                  2. re: c oliver

                                                                    Well, it *looks* perfect. But some people just don't get the taste after they do this. Not because of the process but because they just don't taste the difference. If you don't there's nothing wrong with you or the process but it's not worth taking the time again.

                                                                    How much salt did you use when cooking? It's an important component and people are always shocked when they see how much I use in the video, but agree that it's the right amount when they taste it.

                                                                    1. re: acgold7

                                                                      We're big steak lovers and the taste just wasn't much to write home about. And it was tough which was the really sad part. I'll look at the video again. I'm generally a pretty aggressive salter for steak. We're leaving town today so we'll try another one when we return in a couple of weeks. I've appreciated the 'journey' just disappointed in the destination :) Thanks again and I'll continue to rely on you in the future!

                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                        Take a couple of the steaks and continue to age them in the Cryovac...in the refrigerator, not the freezer. If you like he results, you can do the same with the rest of the steakss.

                                                                        1. re: fourunder

                                                                          Sorry, four, too late. They're frozen and we're at the airport heading (very) north :)

                                                                          1. re: fourunder

                                                                            I think I was the steak Fourunder. Assuming it took a week to get to Costco & then Costco likely sat on it for a week you have the 14 day wet age requirement and it was probably a little longer. Then add 28 days of dry age and the tenderizing process should have been maxed.

                                                                            When I look at the picture of the sub primal cut in half several things jump out at me:

                                                                            1.There is not very much fine speck marbling in the eye.

                                                                            2. Overall, what marbling exists, is in the form of long streaks.

                                                                            While I can't see the texture of the lean, the lack of small speck marbling and the presence of large streaks of fat lead me to believe the lean is coarse which will make for a good chew in the eye section. .

                                                                            I have had this problem with Ribs before which is why I stick with strips 90% of the time. I am spot on every time with the 180 strip. My experience is what you see on the end of a strip pretty consistently carries through which I have found is not always the case with a rib.

                                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                                              Well, well, I had the feeling it had to be the meat. With everyone's guidance and comparing the pix to others, it just seemed it wasn't operator error :) After we eat these, maybe we WILL try again with strips.

                                                                              What about sous vide? I have the little Anova and a CH-friend (you know her, four) suggested that before she heard about our disappointing outcome.

                                                                              We also have, in addition to the steaks we cut, two 2#ish roasts. Sous vide also? Cutting in thin slices sounds like a possibility as well as more salting.

                                                                              I feel much more positive and appreciate all this post-game analysis :)

                                                                              Now we're off to Alaska!

                                                                                1. re: smilingal

                                                                                  Sorry I didn't get back to you. It got crazy at the end!

                                                                                2. re: c oliver

                                                                                  Likely anti-climactic, with Alaska and all...

                                                                                  I mentioned in my first post upthread:
                                                                                  So far, none have spoiled.
                                                                                  So far, results have been mixed, but I'm sure this is due to quality of the original roast: sometimes it was incredible, sometimes it was OK.

                                                                                  Being a bit stingy, I have a hard time to buy a whole rib roast at regular prices.
                                                                                  When I dry-age, its usually because the supermarket has the roasts at about $5/lb. This creates a hit or miss, as its not always the best quality.

                                                                                  Perhaps I lucked out on my first try as it came out excellent.
                                                                                  You'll likely get a hankering to experiment again!

                                                                                  1. re: porker

                                                                                    Yeah, p,we're kinda "stingy" also and with the shrinkage, the meat wound up costing $11/# for definitely subpar. We shall see. Thanks.

                                                                        2. re: c oliver

                                                                          Sorry to hear that Cathy. The color looks spot on so the aging is not the problem.

                                                                          Its tough to tell from the picture but the coarse marbling and lack of fine speck marbling makes me thing the lean was also coarse which would give you the chew. Thin 1/4 inch slicing may help with that.

                                                                          To bump up the flavor next cook, you could try a good shake of coarse salt, fresh cracked pepper & garlic powder on each side a day before the cook.

                                                                          .

                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                            So sorry that it didn't turn out the way you wanted. I've been burned by Costco's meat several times. Thanks for posting the results - I appreciate when people share good and not so good fortunes.

                                                                        3. Okay, part two.

                                                                          I'm thawing another steak and plan to sous vide (and maybe I should be posting on Home Cooking). I'm planning on treating it as a tough piece of meat. Like a chuck steak. Any recs for time and temp and have it come out rare? TIA.

                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                            Well, not sous vide, but you can roast it low and slow. Roast at 225 to 250F until it reaches 108F internally. Remove from oven and let rest for an hour or two. Put back in oven until it reaches 118 internal or so, then quickly sear on stovetop. I use an anodized aluminum pan but you could use nonstick (for a less assertive crust) or cast iron (for more). Let rest 5 min. Temp should climb to about 125 or so for medium rare.

                                                                            Should be very tender and juicy, and crusty on the outside.

                                                                            Don't forget to salt liberally before the first roasting. I use Kosher salt.

                                                                            1. re: acgold7

                                                                              Do you have an idea of timing for an 1-1/2" "steak"? I may want to try this before sous vide. Thanks.

                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                Depends on the temp when you take out of fridge, but I'd guess about an hour for the first roasting. No real way to tell without a remote probe thermometer, which is essential for this process but cheaper than a sous vide machine.

                                                                                1. re: acgold7

                                                                                  Good point. We're not where the smoker with remote probe is so would have to rely on the regular thermometer. When you say let rest for an hour or two, that would render it completely not warm, wouldn't it? My point in asking is that it seems I could do it hours before eating and then bring it up to 118 (which is preference also). Yes or no? I live in a magic house so am not worried about cooties :)

                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                    I seem to recall the last steak I did using reverse sear took about 35-40 minutes @ 225*...but I only brought it to around 100* You rest rewarm like acgold suggests before searing....but I never have for more than 15-30 minutes. It works for my longer slow roasting, so no reason to believe it would not for a smaller piece of meat.

                                                                                    If you want to try 275, you can reduce the time by almost half.

                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/866603

                                                                                    1. re: fourunder

                                                                                      Thanks, f. I like your suggestion. We have a fair number of these chewy and expensive steaks and sous vide takes planning ahead which I don't always want to do.

                                                                                      1. re: fourunder

                                                                                        Just did 225 for 30 minutes and it was 105. Out it came. Looking forward to this. Thanks, kids.

                                                                                          1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                                            Better but not great. A lot better in fact. But I think that's because of a lot of salt as acgold recommended. It was still not tender but more flavorable. Next time I'll do a LONG sous vide. Slowly we creep :)

                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                              Might try to sear (just long enough to begin getting a crust/browning) it in a ripping hot pan (unseasoned) with oil
                                                                                              Bag it with thyme and duckfat, ghee or butter and cook it SV for 6-7 hours at anywhere from 53-59C.
                                                                                              Unbag, season liberally with salt and pepper
                                                                                              Freeze 5-10 minutes, then finish up in another ripping hot pan, it shouldn't take too long to develop a great crust.

                                                                                              1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                                                Thanks for another way to go. Number four perhaps?

                                                                                                1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                                                  What does the freezing do? Or is that really just rapid cooling?

                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                    Just cools and drys the outside so you get a nice crust, and don't overcook any.

                                                                              2. I have a question for you all, and I thought I'd just hitch it here. I bought a boneless ribeye with a "sell by" date of June 11. It's a real pretty, well-marbled select. Just "discovered" it in the back of my fridge. It was bright red when bought, but now has a deep red color with no brightness. No off odor and smells just fine. It was packaged on one of those foam trays with tight shrink wrap over it.

                                                                                Would you feel safe eating it? Have I just aged it a bit? I'm leaning toward cooking it.

                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                1. re: rudeboy

                                                                                  Trim off the outer crust that may have formed, cut a small test steak, cook and taste.

                                                                                  1. re: rudeboy

                                                                                    Sell by 6/11 to 6/25 is an awful long time, but rotted meat has an distinct smell. If it smells ok, it should be ok.

                                                                                    Gassing products has extended shelf life considerably. This may be the case with your steak. I know that many gassed products like pre-cut lettuce don't last long once the package is opened so I wouldn't wait any longer to cook it.

                                                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                                                      I'm grilling some cross-cut ribs later anyway, so I will unwrap the steak, give it a good long whiff, trim as I can, and then grill it very hot.

                                                                                      1. re: rudeboy

                                                                                        Well, it was a bust, as I expected. The steak smelled fine, or indifferent, prior to cooking. After cooked, it emitted some sort of insidious odor. I threw it out back for the racoons. So - dry aging a shrink wrapped single steak for this amount of time does NOT work!

                                                                                        1. re: rudeboy

                                                                                          I think you're perhaps not completely correct. Fourunder and probably others leave them in cryovac for a month. But what you had wasn't wrapped that way, was it, rude-y?

                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                            Ha! Now you have the song stuck in my head again. I listened about 50 times.

                                                                                            No, it was on a foam "platter" and the entire thing was shrink wrapped. It would have fared better in cry-0. I'm sure some air got to it. eventually, even though it was very tightly wrapped.

                                                                                            Thankfully, I had basted the cross-cut beef ribs with a mixture of fish sauce, a bit of soy, sambal, minced garlic, cumin, a good amount of black pepper, and a touch of cinnamon. Seared nicely. To eat those things, you have to go primal and work your way through. Luckily, it was just me, so no one had to witness! They were seared well, and good eatin. But I literally had to move the steak way from the table since I could detect the smell!

                                                                                  2. hello I"ve been attempting to dry age and today the fridge was left at 45F for about 8 hours I took an enternal temp of the meat and it showed 41F. I had a fan running inside the fridge and I have salt placed underneath the meat

                                                                                    Does anyone think if this meat should be thrown out?

                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: briang191

                                                                                      What is the normal temp of the fridge & how did it reach 45F for 8 hours?

                                                                                      "Assuming" the sub primal was at 34F to 38F prior to the mishap , it would have taken quite some time at a fridge temp of 45F for the sub primal to reach 41F. Based on this, I would guess the sub primal was not at 41F very long.

                                                                                      If there is a problem, your nose will let you know.

                                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                                        A little 'inner tennis':
                                                                                        When AB or anyone dry ages a steak consider that the 'grain' of the steak is vertical right? This allows the water inside the steak to evaporate/drip away easily. Hence the need for some sort of drip pan underneath the rack.
                                                                                        With a whole ribeye roast the 'grain' of the meat is going to be laying horizontal to the rack.
                                                                                        This means that the water in the roast can not drip away/evaporate as easy as when the grain is vertical.
                                                                                        There is a definite risk of the meat going bad if the fridge is not consistently cold enough and/or the meat is aged too long.
                                                                                        I wouldn't consider aging a large ribeye any longer than about five days.
                                                                                        There is a simple method to insure the water in the meat leaves ASAP:
                                                                                        That is to position the roast so the grain of the meat is vertical.
                                                                                        The water then gets a chance to drip away faster.
                                                                                        'Inner tennis 2.3:
                                                                                        I need to explain how trees intended for fine furniture making are air dried.
                                                                                        Hardwood trees are put up to dry vertically. The 'bottom' (butt) of the tree being set on the floor. Why? B/c the cellulose fibers in a tree are 'designed' so the tree can transpire water from the ground in the summer and in the winter can let the water leave the tree and go into the ground. If a tree couldn't do this the water in the tree when it froze would break open the tree through expansion.
                                                                                        All muscles have a 'top' and a 'bottom'.
                                                                                        If you look carefully and the roast is large enough you can see the muscle fibers are closer together at one end. That is the 'top' end of the muscle. Position the roast like you would the tree. Top up, bottom on the rack. This will let the water drip away fastest.

                                                                                        1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                          Hey Puffin,
                                                                                          Inner Tennis aside, just wondering why
                                                                                          "I wouldn't consider aging a large ribeye any longer than about five days."

                                                                                          I regularly dry-age primal rib roasts (15-20lbs) 14 days, 21 days, and so far up to 35 days with no problems.

                                                                                          The vertical grain theory is interesting, but I never took that into account. The meat seemingly dried equally on all sides (except for the rib bone side). It was also always a function of evaporation, never dripping away (never any liquid in the tray).

                                                                                          1. re: porker

                                                                                            B/c I'm in and out of the fridge too often to maintain an even just above freezing temp. My wife is also opening and closing the fridge door a number of times a day.
                                                                                            I'm not sure how much the temp goes up each time.
                                                                                            So that's an issue.
                                                                                            I buy all the meat I don't shoot myself from a butcher I've been dealing with for about thirty years. I know how long they hang their beef. It varies but about 21 days air drying is average.
                                                                                            So I don't really need to go beyond about 28 days total.
                                                                                            You will note that all beef carcasses are hung vertically before butchering.
                                                                                            If there was a better way butchers would be doing something different.

                                                                                            1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                              I'm not saying the vertical grain idear is false, it just doesn't seem especially intuitive to me.

                                                                                              I assumed beef carcasses are hung vertically due to simple ergonomics: its the *easiest* way.

                                                                                          2. re: Puffin3

                                                                                            Serious Eats experimented with dry aging individual steaks extensively and their conclusion is it doesn't work. A day or 2 to dry the surface to speed up carmilization yes, aging no. They then dry aged sub primals with great success. Really good read.

                                                                                            I have seen 1/2's, 1/4's & subprimals hanging vertical on hooks at a wholesaler where the entire building was refrigerated.

                                                                                            All of the small butchers & restaurants that I have seen dry age horizontal on racks in walkin's because of space limitations. I am quite certain some of the best steakhouses in the country age horizontal.

                                                                                            I dry age sub primals in a spare refrigerator. Meat is rinsed off, thoroughly patted dry, placed horizontal on a cookie drying rack elevated over a sheet pan. Recently I added a small fan which speeds up the initial drying of the surface.

                                                                                            I prefer 28 days & have never had a problem. I recently finished one and will try to post some pictures later.

                                                                                          3. re: Tom34

                                                                                            The normal temp of the mini fridge was anywhere between 32-39f I adjusted the norm of the temperature controller to less cool. I left for work around 10am pst the temp was at around 33F. I came back at 5pm pst and the temp was 45. any suggestion how to to keep the mini fridge at a consistent temperature? I'm only aging a 2 bone rib eye this being my first attempt I figured Id go small. I'm going into day 6 of aging and while the top of the primal which has some fat has aged the sides where no fat is protecting the meat hasn't gotten very hard it has a slight crust but is still semi soft to the tough. is this normal?

                                                                                            lastly I'm considering moving the primal to my main fridge where the temperature stays more consistent but I may not be able to place a fan inside. Would this be ok?

                                                                                            Here's a picture of my primal 6 days into the process

                                                                                             
                                                                                            1. re: briang191

                                                                                              Hey Brian,

                                                                                              Many people have posted about greater temp swings in mini fridges vs standard size fridges.

                                                                                              I have read people are very happy with the remote thermostats that control the cycling of the compressor. A probe on a thin wire that is connected to a remote thermostat control goes into the fridge compartment meanwhile the refrigerator 120v plug plugs into the back of the thermostat plug which plugs into the 120v outlet. This setup allows the new thermostat to cycle the compressor without touching the inner wiring of the fridge or cutting/drilling holes in the fridge.

                                                                                              The fan I use is a "Camco Fridge Airator". About $15. and runs for about 28 days on 2 "D" batteries.

                                                                                        2. Attached (by my daughter) are pictures of an IBP 0x1 striploin I dry aged for 28 days in the spare fridge. Standard bakers drying rack over an old sheet pan with some scraps off an old plastic cutting board elevating it for better air circulation underneath. I also used a battery operated fan to speed up the initial bark creation.

                                                                                          This loin was labeled "Choice" but is a clear example of how a choice sub primal can enter well into the prime grade, at 1/2 the price. The bark gets simmered for stock & whats left after being drained goes to the dog.

                                                                                          Each of the steaks is a full 20oz and would command $80 or better A la carte at Peter Luger. The whole loin set me back about $120 & a litte fridge space for 28 days.

                                                                                          Its easy, fun and rewarding.

                                                                                           
                                                                                           
                                                                                           
                                                                                           
                                                                                           
                                                                                           
                                                                                           
                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: fourunder

                                                                                              I'll be visiting my butcher shop (not mine) tomorrow. I'm going to ask them some of these questions.
                                                                                              The shop has been open since 1908.
                                                                                              They'll know.
                                                                                              I post back.

                                                                                              1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                Thanks Fourunder. I picked up another boneless 0x1 striploin (14 lbs) at RD yesterday @ $6.99 lb. Will start the dry aging process tomorrow.

                                                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                  Is it possible to shop at RD without owning a restaurant? Is see most people drying ny strip vs ribeye. Any reason for this?

                                                                                                  1. re: briang191

                                                                                                    They like Strip better than RibEye.

                                                                                                    Strip weighs less than RibEye, so the layout cost is lower.

                                                                                                    Strip is smaller in size, so it takes less space in the fridge if that is a concern.

                                                                                                    I'd rather Dry Age a RibEye (103/107/109) myself.

                                                                                                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-yFK...

                                                                                                    http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/04/sm...

                                                                                                    1. re: briang191

                                                                                                      Memberships are free & my understanding is that anyone who owns a business can get one. I think like 3 to 5 swipe cards are available for each membership so if you have a friend who has a membership maybe they have an extra swipe card.

                                                                                                      As for which cut of meat, from time to time I love a big rich Rib steak but my favorite is a NY Strip. I have found it is also very easy to judge the quality of a whole striploin through the cryovac. The first cut end is usually cut very cleanly giving a good view of the marbling and lean texture and my picks have always resulted in 13 or so really good steaks.

                                                                                                      With Whole Ribs I just haven't gotten the knack of judging quality by looking at the end through the thick commercial cryovac. I have tried but too many times ended up with a big pile of steaks that had a chewy eye.

                                                                                                      1. re: briang191

                                                                                                        I have a 0x1 strip I will be opening today to start a dry age. I will try to take a picture of the 1st cut end through the commercial cryovac and hopefully the marbling will show up.

                                                                                                2. dry aging a hunk of beef beyond a week / 10 days in the home fridge is most likely going to produce $10-15/lb shoe leather.
                                                                                                  disclaimer: I dry age USDA Choice roasts regular, at home.

                                                                                                  so why the downer?
                                                                                                  there's two things about long term storage/dry aging that come into play
                                                                                                  - temperature
                                                                                                  - humidity

                                                                                                  a temperature 1-2 degrees above freezing keeps the bacterial growth in check. it's a given - it's a must - dry aging beef in a 42'F fridge is going to make for those wonderfully reported funky smells / stinks. temperature swings from opening the home fridge door - completely unimportant - temperature changes in a 10-15 lb chunk of meat due to an opened door doesn't really happen except in the minds of people who have never done it.

                                                                                                  humidity - this is the biggy. if the humidity is too low the chunk of beef will dry out to shoe leather.
                                                                                                  home refrigeration does not include humidity control.
                                                                                                  commercial dry agers take huge pains to control humidity - and there's a reasons for that.

                                                                                                  home refrigeration / walk-in coolers / 'the like' are too 'dry' - the humidity is too low. the meat dries out too fast and left long enough, too completely.

                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: PSRaT

                                                                                                    I dry age sub primals with a nice protective fat cap to 28 days all the time. I have never ended up with "Shoe leather", on the contrary, I have always ended up with an end product that I and countless guests rate as good as any high end steakhouse. See pictures posted above.

                                                                                                    As for fridge temp, unlike commercial fridges with continues duty compressors, today's energy efficient residential fridges have a very small compressor with very limited run cycles. When the door is opened, the cold air falls out and the interior temp can easily rise into the 50's. Have this happen enough times during a couple hour period (Think Kids staring into a fridge for 30 seconds or more) and surface temps of items inside can reach danger levels while the compressor is cooling off before it can cycle on again. For this reason I use a spare fridge.

                                                                                                    As for drying out, I have found that after about 7 - 10 days, a perimeter crust has formed and little if any additional moisture leaves the sub primal. Serious Eats has done testing in this area and their findings support my experiences with moisture loss.

                                                                                                    I just put one in today and will pull it in 28 days.

                                                                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                      Any pics of what you just put in the fridge. I'm getting ready to buy a whole primal. Looking for tips on how to select the best primal

                                                                                                      1. re: briang191

                                                                                                        Yes.....have them in my phone but don't know how well they came out, my tech support (daughter) should be home w/in an hour to download them to the computer!

                                                                                                        1. re: briang191

                                                                                                          Hey Brian....Tech support was late getting home to down load the pictures.

                                                                                                          This 0x1 striploin was purchased at RD/Jetro. Case date was 11/03, purchase date 11/14, opened for dry aging 11/17. Based on this it received approx 14 days wet age in the bag.

                                                                                                          When looking at the whole piece several things are apparent. (1st), the cryovac is tight to the meat with no puffy air pockets or an abundance of liquid puddling in the bag. Thats a sign of freshness, no air leaks and minimal handling. (2nd), the smaller 1st cut end is straight and the end cut is not at too much of an angle. This increases yield of even thickness steaks with only a small end cut steak that will be wedge shaped. (3rd), if you look at the top fat cap side its pretty flat from one end to the other which will yield nice sized steaks throughout. Often times right at the center cut section there will be a noticeable indent which will leave you with small center cut steaks.

                                                                                                          Yield is important for restaurants but its not as critical to me. Its what I see or don't see in that 1st cut end that matters to me. The marbling you see in that 1st cut end usually carries through the whole loin. The more marbling the better. If I don't see a lot of marbling, everything else doesn't matter. Also when looking at that 1st cut end a good sized eye (not too flat) is also nice but I will sacrifice a big eye for great marbling, the steaks will just be a little smaller.

                                                                                                          Judging marbling is a matter of the more of them you look at the better judge you will be. Every time you go into a store, always look at the steaks & sub primals if they have them and compare.

                                                                                                          The pictures of the 1st cut end of the aged loin I posted on 11/14 are consistent with middle Prime Grade as are the cut steaks. Rare to find one that nice in a Choice cryovac but it does happen.

                                                                                                          The pictures of the loin I just put in should produce high Choice or maybe low prime. Time will tell. Even through the cryovac you can see pretty good marbling and the one picture of it out of the bag 24 hrs (bloomed) looks pretty good but not as good as the 11/14 loin. That little fan costs about $15 and runs for about a month on 2 d batteries.

                                                                                                          Hopes all this helps but it really comes down to you repeatedly looking at sub primals and steaks. When you see one with a lot of marbling spread out nicely, pull it aside and keep looking. Then one by one hold it next to all the others for comparison.

                                                                                                           
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                            Tom,

                                                                                                            Thanks for taking the time to have tech support upload the pictures. I'm learning a lot. Based on the primal being aged for 14days wet days how long will you dry age? Looking at the primal I'm guessing it won't fit into a mini fridge. Would you suggests cutting the primal in half to dryage on two shelves?

                                                                                                            1. re: briang191

                                                                                                              Brian,

                                                                                                              Between a day or 2 at the packing facility & transit the meat probably has about 7 days wet age before delivery to RD. Then add a little storage time at RD and 14 days is probably about the average wet age. Bottom line is I have no problem adding 28 days dry age as long as the sub primal is in good condition, ie tight cryovac, little visible liquid & firm texture.

                                                                                                              I would rather not cut it in half because instead of having a 1/4 inch of bark to cut off 2 ends after aging you will be cutting it off 4 ends. That is a yield issue but it should still age fine if you 1/2 it. I just put a tape to the one I just put in the fridge and its exactly 17 inches long. If I squared it up by cutting off that uneven corner on the end cut it would bring it down to 16 inches. What I cut off would go right into a hot CI pan for a little treat.

                                                                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                Tom,

                                                                                                                Again thank you for sharing your dry age knowledge. Are freezing the steaks after the dry age is complete? If you are id assume your using a foodsaver type machine. As a person who's never frozen streaks what's the life span once frozen? Is the taste the same as it would be the day you cooked the steak after the dry age was completed

                                                                                                                One additional question I have is that I purchased a two bone rib eye not knowing how long the meat was at the market. My options for length of aging is 22 days or 30 days. I will be out of town for about a week so i'll past the 28 day mark.

                                                                                                                What are the additional benefits from aging 21 days vs 28 days? I've read that the taste could change significantly when aging from 28 to 60 days.

                                                                                                                1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                  I usually ending up freezing 8 - 10 steaks depending on whether we are having company over when I cut them up. I do use a Foodsaver vacuum sealer. I then scatter them around in the stand-up freezer turned down to its lowest setting to freeze them ASAP (faster freeze, less ice crystals). After completely frozen I adjust the setting to its normal level and arrange the steaks in one spot (an empty beer case).

                                                                                                                  When vacuum sealed 6 months is no problem and a year is no problem for dry aged (less water content makes for better freezing it seems). I slow thaw in the spare fridge 48 hrs. At about the 24 hour mark I take them out of the bag, season & let them air dry over the baking drying rack on the bottom shelf of the spare fridge. When done the way I do it IMHO there is not enough difference frozen vs fresh not to freeze.

                                                                                                                  I don't think aging beyond 28 days is a problem as long as it was in good shape going in. I have not had one go bad but my thinking is if it were questionable going in it would signal your nose pretty early in the process that there is a problem. If your concerned you could pull it at 22 days.

                                                                                                                  Many describe going over 28 days (prob 35 - 40) as entering into the Blue Cheese flavor zone which I am not into. It seems many butchers stop at 21 days & some go to 28. I honestly can't speak to the difference. I think starting out with a really nice fresh sub primal with great marbling is the most important thing.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                    I've posted some other replies in blow would you be able to review those as well. thanks for all your help

                                                                                                                  2. re: briang191

                                                                                                                    After reading AC's response it has occurred to me that dry aging is like cutting wood in that you can always cut off more but you can't put it back on. With that in mind, starting your time duration on the low side and experimenting higher in the future keeping track of times and results would make sense.

                                                                                                        2. re: PSRaT

                                                                                                          I get the best results for me between 14 and 21 days. There's no problem with drying out. Our spare fridge is at 33 degrees.

                                                                                                          You want it to take more than just a few days because you are not just looking for some evaporation, but enzymatic action, too, which takes time.

                                                                                                          The most common criticism you hear about home fridges is that they are too damp, not too dry.

                                                                                                        3. took me a bit to find this again. it's a long post but addresses some of your concerns.

                                                                                                          http://www.discusscooking.com/forums/...

                                                                                                          it ends this way:
                                                                                                          "Turns out, after all of the anticipation, it was horrible. He said it was like shoe leather."

                                                                                                          14 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: PSRaT

                                                                                                            Thanks for the info. I'll play it safe and dry age for 21 days

                                                                                                            1. re: PSRaT

                                                                                                              More than one poster on that thread pointed out that he was doing almost everything wrong, including going too long, and in the direct airflow of the blower, with humidity way too low.

                                                                                                              Having done this for anywhere from one to 12 weeks, I find the sweet spot to be between 14 and 21 days. But that's just my taste. I like to keep a bit more retained moisture than Tom.

                                                                                                              1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                Thanks for all the info I think my setup is totally wrong. I've had the fan pushing air directly into the primal. should the fan push air in the opposite direction? Sounds like by having fan blow air into the primal does this mean I've dried out the primal faster?

                                                                                                                Here's a picture of my setup please let me know what I've done wrong

                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                  There are specs for air flow you can find on the net but I forget where. Try Googling "Air velocity when dry aging beef". Your set up might be a bit much I don't know. Those glass shelves "might" also be restricting air flow.

                                                                                                                  Not being a fridge tech I could be wrong but it seems to me that for the most part cold air falls and warm air rises in a fridge. My little fan, on the bottom shelf, takes in air from the bottom shelf area and blows it straight up which I guess (????) just creates a very gentile convection type air circulation. It definitely speeds up drying the surface & creating the protective bark.

                                                                                                                  1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                    if that's a mini-fridge, there's a few zillion things.

                                                                                                                    mini-fridges are "sealed environments" - they do not have any airflow much less any air exchange.

                                                                                                                    but I see 'crisper' (?) drawers, etc - if it's a 'standard household refrigerator' you don't need a fan at all.

                                                                                                                    someone commented doing it at home is not a too little humidity thing but a too much humidity thing. this is news to people who work with refrigeration, except in the case of a sealed cold box ala a mini-fridge.

                                                                                                                    that fan is 10-50 times "bigger" than needed for such.

                                                                                                                    if it's a sealed cold box and moisture evaporates from the meat, where is the moisture going to go?
                                                                                                                    aaaaah, the 'too high' thing explains itself....

                                                                                                                    kids are good. kids open doors and allow trapped moisture to escape.... lacking kids opening doors, the 'frost free' feature of non-mini fridges makes for really low humidity inside.

                                                                                                                    1. re: PSRaT

                                                                                                                      You are looking at a mini fridge. I'll pull fan out. Sounds like dry age in a mini fridge is more difficult compared to a standard fridge.

                                                                                                                      1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                        Brian,

                                                                                                                        I use a full size, energy star frost free spare fridge that sits in a unfinished basement that averages 50 - 60- degrees. Never a problem with too much moisture or too dry. With the little fan the surface quickly dries and its smooth sailing.

                                                                                                                        Don't be spooked. If you Google dry aging beef in a mini fridge you will get all kinds of good info. Probably more people using a mini fridge than full size. Kenji at "Serious Eats" did a good write up on using a mini fridge.

                                                                                                                        I think I remember seeing digital thermostats that velcro to the outside with probes that go inside that give and in some cases record long term temp & humidity.

                                                                                                                        I don't know how deep your pockets are but there is a company now that is selling a dedicated dry aging unit that has a built in fan set to the proper velocity, monitors & controls both temp & humidity, has a black light to control bacteria and will send data to your cell phone. When I build my retirement house that baby might be under the counter in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                          Tom,

                                                                                                                          I first read Kenji's write up and that is what set me off into trying dry-aging beef. I've been trying to keep the temp at about 40F. I'll just keep the processing going and see how things turn out. I can only learn from this experience. I was about to stop into an RD to see what type of sub primal's they have. I also have a costco business center near by and will see what they have for primals. My pockets are not very deep. I saw the meat locker impressive but out of my price range.

                                                                                                                          thanks for all the help. I can't thank everyone from the chow hound community. Here is an updated picture of what the primal looks like 12 days into the process. let me know your thoughts on how the primal looks

                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                          1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                            Looks good Brian. Looks like the surface has dried up and the fat is getting darker and harder. You could always cut & cook this weekend which would give you about 16 days. Then next time with a new piece try slicing off a few at 21 followed by 28.

                                                                                                                            Both RD & Costco should have good stuff. Sometimes the MGRs will let you look through a new case which really helps. At RD, its a refrigerated environment so bring a jacket so you can spend some time really looking things over and comparing. Also stay away from select and standard grades & stay away from the puffy blood filled cryovacs.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                              Tom,

                                                                                                                              I did have a chance to explore RD I'm planning on taking a trip to the costco business center to compare prices and quality. I've used your images for reference. I'm going to wait the full 21 days before ending this first attempt. Thanks for all the help.

                                                                                                                        2. re: briang191

                                                                                                                          dry aging is not difficult, it's just that there is no manual.

                                                                                                                          if you research "how to dry age beef" you will find no FDA, no USDA, no FSIS, no industry group, etc., specifics.

                                                                                                                          dry aging is supposed to keep meat edible, in storage for a long(er) period of time allowing the enzymes to break down the meat and make it more tender.

                                                                                                                          if one wishes, one could describe this as a controlled meat rotting - as opposed to road kill, which rots in an uncontrolled fashion. in the end, they are both quite tender...

                                                                                                                          reading a couple hundred 'interviews' / reports on "famous dry age steak houses" I found a couple things:

                                                                                                                          - everybody maintains the meat as close to freezing as possible

                                                                                                                          - maintain the humidity such that the meat does not turn into jerky for the desired dry aging time.

                                                                                                                          you can buy a table top dehydrator and turn slices of beef into beef jerky no problemo. thickness, mass, temp, humidity . . . they all play a role - and "more bigger" does not change those roles.

                                                                                                                          I found two "specifics" for humidity - one place that will hang their meat into the 40+ day range - they maintain 85% RH.

                                                                                                                          the other maintained 65% RH - but they only age for max 30 days.

                                                                                                                          the walls of salt, etc - likely more marketing hype than effect. I have some experience with environmental chambers - 85% RH and a wall of salt = "melted salt puddles" on the floor, daily....

                                                                                                                          the local health department likely also imposes lots and different and arbitrary and 'not the same anywhere else' requirements like UV bug lights, rat traps, etc.

                                                                                                                      2. re: briang191

                                                                                                                        I've already bloviated enough in this and other threads about this topic, and if I'm not mistaken I've posted links to my videos on this above, so I'll just suggest that with all respect, it's possible you are overthinking this.

                                                                                                                        Sheet Pan
                                                                                                                        Rack
                                                                                                                        Fridge
                                                                                                                        Ignore for 3 weeks

                                                                                                                        That's all there is to it. No money, no gadgets, no fans, no humidity monitors, nothing. Not necessary. And for God's sake, no towels or anything else touching the beef.

                                                                                                                        Even the cheapest cut will improve by at least a grade if you do this. When you can get a Superior Angus Choice Ribeye for six bucks a pound or less at Depot, you eat Prime Rib monthly. And yes, as Tom has pointed out, that's the only time you are allowed to call something that isn't really prime, "Prime."

                                                                                                                        1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                          Ac gold. 100% correct. I'm overthinking this due to my first attempt. I'm going to relax and count down the days. =p

                                                                                                                          I'm already thinking about next dryage session.

                                                                                                                    2. re: PSRaT

                                                                                                                      I think others have hit on it, low humidity and too much air flow out of a very powerful fan. I bet that fan could dry out a huge sponge holding 10 lbs of water in 48 hrs. I would also say that the marbling did not look all that great, probably not high Choice let alone low prime.

                                                                                                                      Another consideration is how it was cooked. Dry aged beef cooks significantly faster.

                                                                                                                    3. here another link that addresses many parts of the topic, including "how long - how taste"

                                                                                                                      edit: oops - cookie monster cited this already

                                                                                                                      http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/03/th...

                                                                                                                      now, keep in mind, "tastes best" even when created by "panels" - may not agree with your "taste"

                                                                                                                      1. I decided to slice my trial ribeye.

                                                                                                                        Total number of days 18

                                                                                                                        Weight at day 1: 4.75lbs

                                                                                                                        weight at day 18: 3.14lb

                                                                                                                        Weight loss 1.61lbs

                                                                                                                        Here are some pictures.

                                                                                                                        Taste review to follow

                                                                                                                        I appreciate all the information from fellow members.

                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                        14 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                          OooH that looks good. Remember Dry aged cooks faster and many people who don't like rare wet aged DO like rare dry aged. Let us know how it tasted.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                            Tom,

                                                                                                                            Thanks for the tip. I've go a meat thermometer. I'm going to reverse sear the ribeye. Going to bring the meat up to 90f at 200 degrees on a gas grill. Then sear to 110 at 500 degrees. With 7-10 min resting my target temp is 120-122 medium rare. I've also purchased a ribeye from safeway to compare the taste. Not the best but costco didn't have any ribeyes I liked.

                                                                                                                            Do you think these temps are good for dry age? Should I go lower?

                                                                                                                            1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                              I would think those temps are good but I am not very experienced in the reverse sear method. AC & Fourunder have a lot of experience with that method.

                                                                                                                              I just found that the texture of that "raw" section in the center that many don't like with rare is not so raw for a lack of better words with dry aged.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                Tom

                                                                                                                                Finished cooking the steak completed temp 115F. Some observations dryage steak doesn't change much in temp when resting. The fresh steak went up 10 degrees.

                                                                                                                                The dry aged steak had a distinct taste and texture vs the fresh steak. The dry age steak was not as chewy as the fresh steak.

                                                                                                                                Virtually no liquid came out of the dryaged steak. The fresh steak let out a good amount if liquid.

                                                                                                                                The Primal came from whole foods grass feed grain finished.

                                                                                                                                Tomorrow. I'll cook the second steak to 120F

                                                                                                                                Here are some pics.

                                                                                                                                Dry age steak is the closer steak looking from top to bottom.

                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                                  Looks like you nailed the final cooking temp. So easy to over cook dry aged. I find the dry aged more tender with a velvety texture. As I said upstream, It seems to me dry aged cooked rare doesn't have that same "wet/raw/chewy" texture in the center that wet aged does and Med Rare guests don't complain of under cooking with dry aged like they do with wet aged.

                                                                                                                                  I don't think wet aged tastes bad, especially if its highly marbled, but I agree with many studies that it does have hints of a metallic flavor and the beef flavor is not as pronounced as dry aged.

                                                                                                                                  It does seem the dry aged holds a certain % of its moisture better where wet aged can expel almost all its liquid on the plate. Melted marbling/fat will travel with water and I think with less water flowing out of the steak more melted fat is retained giving dry aged a richer flavor.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                    You were 100% on people liking the raw taste and texture of aged meat. I didn't have anyone mention the meat being undercooked at 115 degrees.

                                                                                                                                    I've read in other comments that you should season an aged steak more aggressively than a fresh wet steak? What's your take on this. I seasoned both steaks with the same amount I tasted more of the season with the wet steak than on the aged. I'm guessing this is a matter of personal preference.

                                                                                                                                    I just recently started cooking steak with a meat thermometer makes cooking the perfect steak so easy. Now I'm pondering if I should take the next step and age a whole primal. I love ribeye so I'm worried about the results. I don't want to end up with a tough ribeye steaks. I haven't eaten a strip steak in years. With the information you provided it seems like going twords strip steak would yield better results.

                                                                                                                                    Tom how would you compare a wet choice ribeye vs one of your dry aged New York steaks? In terms of texture and flavor?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                                      It does look like you nailed it pretty well, and your observations seem right on point.

                                                                                                                                      Good job.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                                        Seasoning does seem to be a personal preference and I don't think wet/dry aged makes much difference as to how much to use. I like a little salt/cracked pepper/garlic.

                                                                                                                                        I think ribs are the best tasting cut on the animal and if I could consistently pick tender ones I would be up for buying and aging them. The higher fat content would get the wife grumbling but thats another story.

                                                                                                                                        Currently a 0x1 Choice Striploin sub primal is running around $6.50 - $7.00 a lb. Average weight brings a loin to about $100. *** Must have good marbling though***

                                                                                                                                        Boneless Rib sub primals seem to average about a buck a lb more and as others have said the Rib sub primal is considerably heavier, the combination of which can lighten the wallet considerably. A nice sized roast with the fat cap in place from a trusted butcher may be the way to go.

                                                                                                                                        Wet Rib vs Dry Strip: I know what your thinking but I really couldn't say. Two different cuts with two different flavor profiles and different textures. To me, a well marbled dry aged strip cooked rare or med rare and cut into approx 1/4 inch thick strips is melt in the mouth delicious and satisfies me 100%..... but it just isn't as fatty and rich as the rib.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                          Tom,

                                                                                                                                          If I'm reading this reply correctly. I'll just need to dryage a ribeye and strip primal and report back to chowhound =D

                                                                                                                                          1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                                            Hey Brian,

                                                                                                                                            I think thats probably what its going to come down to.
                                                                                                                                            You will get 12 to 14 nice 1 1/4 inch thick steaks out of a striploin which isn't bad for approx $100.

                                                                                                                                            Beef prices usually hit their low after the holidays in Jan/Feb/Mar when the demand plummets. I have seen whole boneless strips & ribs in the $5 range at that time of the year. Good time to experiment with not only different cuts but also different aging times. I vac seal & freeze a lot of beef during that period.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                              Tom

                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the tip. I'll wait till after the holidays for my next dryage session.

                                                                                                                                              I've been making trips to RD and costco business center to examining whole primals. Looking for the speck and marbling.

                                                                                                                                              RD carries IPB and Costco carries SWIFT. Have you had any experience with swift primals?

                                                                                                                                              Do you always cut 1 1/4 inch? I tend to want to cut 1 1/2 and sometimes 2 inch. My last 2 inch steak seemed tough due to the thickness.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                                                The bulk of the beef industry has been gobbled up by a hand full of extremely large companies, Cargill, JBS & Tyson being 3 well known ones.

                                                                                                                                                From what I can see, to a great extent, these big companies break their products down into two categories: 1. Commodity beef 2. Branded products

                                                                                                                                                COMMODITY BEEF: will usually just have the packers name on it, ex "Swift". Commodity beef will include everything within the grade, ex Choice marbling scores small/Modest/Moderate.

                                                                                                                                                BRANDED PRODUCTS: will have another designation other than just the packers name, ex Swift 1855. This product is listed in the USDA Gov Beef Schedule as only including Modestly marbled choice or higher.

                                                                                                                                                My experience is that commodity beef is pretty much the same regardless of the packer. More often than not you have to look at quite a few pieces to find a good one because your looking at the whole spectrum within the grade.

                                                                                                                                                My experience with Branded products that have a marbling score Modest or higher.....is every piece in the case is good and there are usually 1 or 2 that enter into the prime grade. Examples include: CAB, Sterling Silver & Chairman's reserve. If you google "USDA Certified Beef Programs" the schedule will come up listing all the programs and their quality requirements. Easy interesting read.

                                                                                                                                                In my area (Mid Atlantic) the club stores and RD all carried high quality Branded sub primals several years back and it was easy pickins. The club stores pretty much switched to commodity several yrs back. RD did the same but they also carry a Nebraska Beef LTD product "Superior Angus Beef" which they claim is Modest or higher. I just got a nice one the other day but I have also seen quite a few that clearly have a small marbling score so I don't know.

                                                                                                                                                If you managed to read through all this the conclusion is nothing is certain, you have to look them over and let your eye be the judge, especially with Commodity. Getting to know the folks in the meat cutting department is also huge because if they know your dry aging sub primals, they know pack date is important and they may open a new case and let you dig through it.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                                                  COSTCO: Much is regional. In my area Costco carries their own "Kirkland" brand which looks to me to be commodity choice.

                                                                                                                                                  RD: In addition to their own "Superior Angus Beef" I have seen IBP, National Beef & Excel, all commodity. Again, probably regional.

                                                                                                                                                  I would say 1 1/4 to 1 3/8 on average. Me personally I could eat a 2 lb steak no problem but with the rest of the family and especially guests real thick steaks would result in leftovers. The BGE I cook on will sear a side in about a minute so there is no problem getting a nice char on both sides and still rare on the inside at these thicknesses.

                                                                                                                            2. Side question how does everyone cook there steaks? I recently got a weber spirit gas grill (low end model).

                                                                                                                              I've been using the reverse sear method along with a meat thermometer reading at 122F. This is my preferred do cooking steak going forward. No more guessing on the temp.

                                                                                                                              I haven't been able to get the great crust I normally do when I pan fry a steak.

                                                                                                                              If anyone has any tips on grilling steak on a gas grill please share.

                                                                                                                              I know charcoal is the way better then a gas grill but I live in a townhouse with no backyard. so cleanup and storage is an issue.

                                                                                                                              I did a quick search and found various tops most people having various opinions. But nothing of value.

                                                                                                                              22 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                                Cut your steaks thicker and use your indoor broiler. You can get your steak closer to the heat. To develop ca crust, you need heat and time.

                                                                                                                                1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                                  I'm in the minority for a couple of reasons:

                                                                                                                                  I'm not in love with grilled, and I don't think charcoal is vastly superior to gas. They're fine, but I don't get the whole foodgasm thing over grilled steaks, and I've had them all my life from top end places all over the world. And before anyone jumps in and says, But you haven't had MY steaks, just stop. I have. I've had better than yours and I just don't love them. My wife does. Go talk to her.

                                                                                                                                  I like pan-seared/oven-finished. Here's how I do mine:

                                                                                                                                  http://youtu.be/kT_gzobKtok

                                                                                                                                  and before you give me any grief about it, yes, I know it came out medium-well. Just adjust the timing to WAY less -- like 4-6 minutes instead of my stupidly advised 8-10 (remember how Tom pointed out that really well-aged stuff cooks WAY faster? Um, yeah).

                                                                                                                                  Here's a NY Strip that came out much better:

                                                                                                                                  http://youtu.be/HmyKDoOEPY8

                                                                                                                                  A lot of Manhattan steakhouses do it like this because they can't burn wood or charcoal in the city, as I understand it (or they have to install really expensive equipment to do so).

                                                                                                                                  One advantage of this method is you get to make a cool sauce if you want to:

                                                                                                                                  http://youtu.be/QtawEcJqzpg

                                                                                                                                  All of that being said, I have a few Webers, both gas and charcoal, and I use the gas ones the most. Just follow the instructions that came in the included cookbook, because they are all different. Weber knows best. Each of their models has a different burner arrangement, heat output and heat retention pattern due to the grill and lid shape.

                                                                                                                                  Another way is low & slow -- sear first and then roast in a low oven till it hits 118. I'm not a fan of the reverse sear because crust isn't all that important to me (probably why I don't care that much for grilled) and I'm always afraid of overshooting the internal temp if I sear at the end. Searing at the beginning gives you more of a margin for error without damage.

                                                                                                                                  Final piece of advice -- do whatever fourunder says, always. You can't go wrong following his or Tom's advice.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                    Its funny AC, so many people think a good steakhouse steak can't be duplicated at home because they don't have that 1/2 million dollar trillion BTU inferno they see on steakhouse literature/commercials.

                                                                                                                                    Pan sear/oven finish is a classic method and I think its fair to say it has been the preferred method of steak purists for years and virtually every kitchen has a range & a pan. Nothing high tech or expensive there.

                                                                                                                                    What is invariably missing is a good quality steak. Getting people to break the habit of buying thin Select grade supermarket steaks is difficult.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                      What you say is true, however, I would opine the often touted Cast Iron Pan method can easily over-cook a steak and put a very ugly and unwanted gray band on a steak in just a few short minutes, especially if you do not flip the steak halfway through cooking. I would also say, that it takes too long to properly rest a steak to minimize any loss of juices.

                                                                                                                                      The Reverse Sear is basically foolproof. The meat hits its target temperature. You can hold the steak for a couple of hours, then reverse sear. You don't have to hold the steak a second time, or any longer than it takes to get from the pan to the dish to the table. It's ready to be sliced and if cooked to Medium-Rare or less....there will be no bleeding. Cooking to Medium temperature will require a few minutes of rest to allow the meat to recover.

                                                                                                                                      http://apinsight.org/best-restaurants...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                                                        I use the pan sear / oven finish mostly for pork chops but I split the oven time into 1/4's flipping more often which helps with that grey line.

                                                                                                                                        I have read quite a bit on the reverse sear but have not tried it.

                                                                                                                                        I have tried your 250 low slow method with roast beef and it was outstanding with little if any moisture expelled from the roast and very evenly cooked from edge to center. I also noticed there was little if any residual cooking after removed from the oven at the lower 250 cooking temp.

                                                                                                                                        With say an 1 1/4 thick boneless steak, will any moisture be lost during the low slow oven cook or will it retain it like the thicker roast beef done low & slow?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                          No moisture loss at all. If I recall correctly, the following was done with a ONE inch steak. You can see the results in pictures before, after and sliced. If memory serves me, I concluded a thicker steak would be better if you wanted more char...with minor adjustments to temperature. You could use 225-275. 225 doubles the time to reach 90-95.

                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/866603

                                                                                                                                          1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                                                            Screaming lump charcoal at 1000 plus degrees in a BGE will char anything including your knuckles in 45 seconds so the char end of it is a non issue.

                                                                                                                                            Its that initial low temp oven cook that is the unknown for me with a "steak". I have a Thermapen but to calm my nerves I would need a quality thermometer with a probe that gives continues real time temps.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                              Tom

                                                                                                                                              I recently purchased a chef alarm by thermoworks cooked about 6 streaks and the temps have been spot on with temps. the probe and cable can handle 700F retail is $49.99 and the DOT less fancy not as many features smaller form factor $39.99.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                                                Thanks Brian, will check them out. The Thermapen works great so I am sure the Chef Alarm & DOT are top notch.

                                                                                                                                                I am not a big electronics person. Is the Chef's Alarm easy to set or is it like a programmable Heat/AC wall thermostat that requires 3 people and a six pack to figure out.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                Tom,

                                                                                                                                                The Dot is the ideal choice for you. two buttons to set low and high temp.

                                                                                                                                                http://www.thermoworks.com/products/a...

                                                                                                                                                1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                                                  chef alarm has more features and functions then I need. If I could go back in time I'd buy the DOT simple device.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                                                    Knowing the high/low during a 18 hr long butt smoke would be nice but the finish temp is really what counts.

                                                                                                                                                    Would you go back to save the $20 because you don't use the other features (or) is the chef alarm a little confusing to set up and the simplicity of the DOT would be less hassle?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                      I don't use the all the extra features for the chef alarm. The chef alarm is easy to use as well. Power on unit set low temp set hi temp turn alam on.

                                                                                                                                                      The DOT would be the hassle free choice.

                                                                                                                                                      The size of the chef alarm is bigger then I expected.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                                                        Definitely getting one, prob make decision & order Fri.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                          Tom,

                                                                                                                                                          Sounds like a good plan. Let me know which one you choose.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                        ac,

                                                                                                                                        thanks for sharing your methods and knowledge. from what I gather is there are a variety of ways to cook steak try them and see what you like best. I think after trying the grill reverse sear method. I'll probably go back to reverse sear in the oven and finish in a hot Pan. The crust I get from a pan I cant replicate on my gas grill. One thing I'll always use is a meat thermometer to get to the exact temp. When I watch the video I cringed when the guy said I'm nervous I hope its the right temp.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                                          Yeah, and as you can see on our Rib Eye one, it wasn't.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                            Ac are you the person doing the demonstration?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: briang191

                                                                                                                                              Me? No way! That guy is way too fat and ugly. He has a voice that could peel paint. No one in their right mind would let him do a video. He's horrible and obviously knows nothing about cooking. Or video. Or shirts. I have no idea how I stumbled across all his videos or how they all got on my PC.

                                                                                                                                              That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                                Lol AC no disrespect from the way you were talking I just got the impression. You might be or know the person. I was way off =p

                                                                                                                                    2. Tis the season, so while at Costco yesterday I saw the Choice and Prime Ribeye Steaks, and the whole Choice Ribeyes... but all the steaks were needled and no whole Prime. So I knocked on the window and the Meat Mgr Mike said he'd dig out a whole Prime Cryo for me.

                                                                                                                                      The price difference was tremendous -- 18.99 for the prime steaks but 11.99 for the whole Prime Ribeye in the cryo. And while the whole Choice was only 7.49 in the cryo, if you got the needled steaks they were 9.99, so you can sort of justify the prime and doing some work yourself.

                                                                                                                                      So 20 pounds and $247 later, we are going to experiment a bit and shave a steak or two off this every few days to see if aging has much effect on a truly Prime graded piece. I must say that the marbling on this particular piece isn't spectacular and if I had to judge, I wouldn't have called this piece Prime if I saw it just laying there. But it had the USDA stamp on it so we'll call it good for now.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                                        That needling is going to come back and bite them!

                                                                                                                                        Prime grade sub primals: I have not seen them at RD or our local club stores. If I could see a prime strip loin in person to evaluate the marbling I would consider it but I have been burned several times ordering them from a purveyor like Sysco.

                                                                                                                                        A butcher friend won't bring in "boxed" prime from the major packers because of the inconsistency. He has sources for the best of the prime grade and it is spectacular but its at a whole different pricing level.