What Are The Best Cuts Of Dry
Entire primals, rather than single steaks are dry-aged, but to be a good candidate for dry-aging requires a good protective covering of bone or fat. This means theres less surface area that needs to be trimmed away later. Filets tend not to be aged because theres no bone or fat protecting it, Flannery says. Dry-aging is wasteful because every single side of meat that is exposed to air will be breaking down faster than the meat on the inside. Bone-in New York strip or ribeye are good contenders for dry-aging, Pandel says.
Ribeye is a great cut to dry age. Photo: Kevin Marple
Orders From The World’s Top Chefs
Not infrequently, Dirk Ludwig gets orders from some of the worlds top chefs for his matured entrecotes. Real meat fanatics make the journey to him for seminars, getting misty-eyed when they talk about the musky, nutty aromas and unique tenderness of his dry-aged steaks. Theres no two ways about it: this master butcher from the small German town of Schlüchtern has a reputation that crosses borders. We talked to him about how he matures meat.
Dry-aging isnt a new technique. Why has it been hyped so much recently?
Maturing meat by hanging is one of the oldest ways of storing it, but the development of vacuum-maturing led to the disappearance of this method. Some things need to die a death before people realise their value.
Tips To Dry Age Meat At Home Successfully
Its best to use the full 16 30 pounds, 6 to 12 bone-in sub-primal cut with the fat cap intact to dry age for a longer duration of time.
A Bone-In cut can dry age for as long as 200 days, where a boneless cut should only dry age for less than 35 days. The bones and fat will assist to develop the desired flavor profiles of nuttiness, mushroom or umami.
If the beef has been previously frozen, be sure to thaw it completely while wrapped in butcher paper or vacuum sealed in the regular home refrigerator prior to placing it in the Steak Locker. Blot the exterior with paper towels prior to placing it in the locker. A fresh product in the locker will create more humidity than one that has been in there for more than a few weeks.
Two ways to process these larger cuts of beef: First is to dry age it to the desired length of time, butcher it up into steaks, then vacuum seal and freeze the steaks for up to six months. Or, place the cut of beef into the Steak Locker, then cut off a steak or two every ten to fifteen days to experience how the flavor develops over time. With this process, its best to brush a thick layer of fat onto the cut side to protect it as it ages further and will not add additional waste when the remaining pellicle is removed. Any tallow or rendered fat can be used, like beef, bacon or butter.
Always use a Steak Locker. We are committed to providing a quality product with a knowledgeable staff to assist in all dry aging projects.
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Porter Road Dry Aged Beef
UPDATE For a limited time Porter Road is offering a 70 Day Dry Aged NY Strip:
Most Porter Road beef is dry aged for 14 days but this special NY strip is aged for 70 days so you will get some great, funky flavors and incredible tenderness. These steaks are about a pound each and go for $55 which is a solid price for a piece of meat of this quality. I dont know how long these will be around so order yours now while they still have some in stock: Porter Road 70 Day Dry Aged NY Strip
Porter Road approaches their dry aging a bit differently than Snake River or some of the other places I will mention. Rather than aging the primals they age the whole carcass. They also only age their meat for 14 days. You do get some of the texture differences you would normally see with dry aged beef but you wont have any of the funky flavors a lot of dry aged steak lovers crave. That doesnt mean Porter Road steaks arent good. They are excellent. A few months ago I compared 4 different bone in ribeyes and theirs came out on top.
Give the dry aged beef from Porter Road a try and use code MEATLOVER to save $15 on orders over $100 and get free shipping .
The Dry Age Difference What Does Dry Aged Steak Taste Like And How Is It Different From A Normal Steak
AGED by The Meat & Wine Co has introduced a premium new dining experience for Australian steak lovers, a selection of expertly aged steaks that showcase the quality and finesse of this exceptional dish.
Taking approximately two months in total, the dry ageing proces is a highly controlled system that removes the moisture from the steak, amplifies the flavour, and greatly enhances the tenderness of already-tender cuts of beef.
And from the specialised humidity and temperature controlled fridge ager, to the expert training and skill of our chefs, the entire process is designed to vastly improve the flavours and textures of steak that has already been selected for its exceptional natural qualities well before the ageing treatment.
Heres what you can expect from the result.
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How Does Cut Affect The Time Of How Long Can You Keep Dry Aged Steak In Fridge
For dry-aging, whole sides of beef or primal cuts are hung in constant air flow and kept at a temperature just above freezing and left to age for several weeks or even several months. Those cuts are usually the larger muscle cuts that should be on the bone and still have their natural fat cap intact.
This environment will allow the natural enzymes working on the muscle tissues and permits the cuts to slowly dehydrate. This concentrates the meat flavor and changes the taste, texture and tenderness. The benefit of this process is very tender meat with an intense flavor. The downside is that a certain weight loss occurs due to moisture loss, which decreases the yield and increases the cost per pound. Also, the surface of the meat usually needs to be trimmed away before the beef is portioned and sold, resulting in further loss of volume.
Dry Age Meat At Home Taste Time Frame
The process of dry aging does not technically begin until after around 21 days, and in most cases you won’t taste any signature dry age flavours until 30 days into the process.
30 days- A common choice of time for dry aging, by the 30 day mark the meat’s taste and texture should have begun to develop to those typical of dry aged steak. The typical flavors of dry aged steak are umami and nutty notes.
50 days– By 45-50 days your steak should have developed much stronger flavours. These sharper flavours radiate notes of blue cheese. The fat surrounding the steak will begin to change in flavor before the rest of the meat does.
90 days– By this point a white crust should have developed around the steak protecting the meat. This crust can be described as similar to that of the rind of some cheeses. This crust will be removed before eating. At this point you can expect some really unique and funky flavors you are unlikely to have ever tasted before.
You can read more about the timeline of dry aging in the Steak Locker in our previous blog article called how long can you keep dry aged steak in the fridge.
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Selecting And Preparing The Meat
How To Buy A Dry
You are investing in yourself and a meal. Dry aging a steak is a lengthy process that requires great care, which is why this will be a more expensive bite than you would normally experience. Here is what you should know about purchasing your dry-aged steak.
When purchasing a dry-aged steak, you should do so on the day that you are going to cook it. Never freeze that meat unless absolutely necessary, and if frozen, allow it to thaw slowly in the refrigerator. The only issue with this is that you dont want to continue to age your steak in an environment that isnt ideal for doing so ie: your fridge. A great relationship with your butcher can help with this. They can cut the steak to the exact thickness you want right then and there. Buying online, unseen can be tricky as you may not get what you are actually asking for.
As discussed in our article about the grades of steaks available, it is imperative that you purchase a Prime or AAA graded beef. You should also select a good steak to cook. New York Strips are usually available all of the time, you may also consider a ribeye bone in or out, T-Bones or the similar-looking porterhouse are also commonly dry-aged selections. You can discuss with the butcher how long the meat has been aging as well. This will give you the ability to select a flavor profile that would be more suited to your tastes. Remember, the longer it has been dry aging, the more intense and unique the flavor will be.
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What Is Dry Aging
An unsexy way to explain it is that dry-aging, in a nutshell, is a controlled decay process, says Katie Flannery, butcher and COO at Flannery Beef. Youre exposing the subprimals to oxygen, which allows natural enzymes within the meat work, she says. Theyre aerobic bacteria, so they need oxygen to survive. They come alive and start breaking down the molecular bonds of meat. This, in turn, alters the flavor and texture of the cut.
What dry aging looks like is literally a room full of moldy carcasses. In the dry-aging process, meat hangs in a humidity-controlled environment in a way that exposes all of its sides with unimpeded airflow around the entire cut. Then theres the good mold that finds its way onto steaks, which will slowly start to break down and increase the amount of evaporation, says Chris Pandel, executive chef at Swift and Sons in Chicago. Youre puling moisture from the meats over time. As that happens the mold will extend its life and grow. Its like the mold on blue cheeseits good mold not bad mold.
Of course, before that slab of beef makes it to your plate, all of the mold will be trimmed away, leaving just tenderized, funky, delicious meat, Pandel says. He describes the flavor of dry-aged meat as having a nuttiness to it that you wont get in a wet-aged steak. Likewise, itll be more tender and have a different mouthfeel.
Steak from Pandels Swift & Sons Photo: Courtesy of Swift & Sons
Whats The Ideal Time To Dry
The ideal length of time for dry-aging meat really comes down to individual taste. For Flannery, the sweet spot is around 30 to 35 days. For retail customers, we go 35 days, but for restaurant customers we go 18 to 20, she says. Thats because in the restaurant industry, if a diner isnt familiar with dry-aged beef, their first reaction might be to think that something is off.
Pandel says he likes meat thats been aged around 45 days. You can tell its been aged, but its not unpleasant, he says. Weve gone further. In running a steakhouse its personal preference. Some folks like it really funky, but for some people its too gnarly.
And the longer you go, the funkier the flavor will get. Dry-aged meat does have a unique smell and flavor. Funky is a good way to describe it, she says. Its a more rich flavor up until the 30-day point. When you go farther than that, and if you go really far out, like 60 to 90 days, you develop a serious blue cheese funk to it. It will smell remarkably like blue cheese.
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How To Perfectly Cook Dry Aged Steak
Many steak fans say dry aged steaks taste the best from the grill. The smokey aroma excellently underscores the taste components. The trick and secret is in the grill a perfect crust is king. Theres no room here for overcooked and dry meat youve spent so much time and effort into the dry aging process, dont throw it all away because of an ancient grill. If theres no grill in sight, steaks can also be put into the pan, with some skill it tastes at least as delicious as grilled.
Aging Your Meat Results In A More Tender And Flavorful Steak
Once upon a time, you could go to your corner butcher and buy an aged USDA prime cut of beef. If you have had a good, aged steak, you know it is more tender and flavorful than what you typically buy in the store. The reason for this is that aging allows natural enzymes to break down the hard connective tissue in meats and for water to evaporate away, concentrating the flavor.
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How Long Can You Keep Dry Aged Steak In Fridge
The length of time you keep your dry aged steak in the fridge is determined by a multitude of factors. Typically, the flavours associated with dry aged steak start to develop at around 21 days where a slight nuttiness begins to evolve, from 28-35 days, subtle umami and mushroom flavourings emerge and from 45 days onwards, bold notes of blue cheese can be tasted.
Ultimately, the answer to the age-old question how long you keep dry aged steak in the fridge is dependent on what cut you are using and your personal preference on taste, our guide helps you to decide the best length of time to keep your dry aged steak in the fridge based on these factors.
Readying Your Freezer For Dry Aging
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How To Age Beef
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Aging beef increases the tenderness and taste of the meat by producing a more succulent, beefier flavor. Most beef is aged in shrink wrap in a process called wet aging. However, exposing meat to the air will cause water to evaporate from it, concentrating its flavor. This is called dry aging. Dry aging can take anywhere from two to three weeks depending on the type and cut of the meat, as well as the desired end flavor and tenderness.XResearch source