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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.