How Long Should You Age Meat For
Heres where the art of dry aging becomes a rabbit hole Lets chat for a moment about tenderness. Yes, dry aging can help tenderness, but its mainly undertaken to intensify flavor. After about 28 days of aging, the meat is about as tender as its going to become. Technically speaking, for you sticklers, it has the capacity to continue to tenderize, but its practically negligible beyond this point. What you are looking at now is intensity of flavor, and nutty notes from the mold and controlled decomposition .
Short answer the length of time you leave meat to age depends on numerous factors. What cut are you using? What kind of mold do you have in your fridge? Is it more intense than other strains? How much of that mold is in there? And most importantly: what is your personal preference?
Generally, it takes at least 30 days before you can start to taste any signature dry aged flavors. My personal preference is for something between 60-80 days. That may change as I get to know my own set up better . After a certain point, dry aged steak turns from a delight to a delicacy. Meaning the more funky it gets, the fewer people it will appeal to. Kind of like a light blue cheese versus a gorgonzola. One is much mustier than the other, and some palates find that too overwhelming.
How Do You Age A Steak Without It Going Bad
The dry-aging process involves tightly controlling the conditions of the meat and the levels of moisture and bacteria that are allowed. The temperature of the refrigerator is also highly controlled. If its too hot, the steak will begin to go bad, but if its too cold, the meat will freeze and the aging process will stop.
How Long Does It Take To Dry
The dry-aging process can vary, but the longer the steak is aged, the more flavorful it is. At steakhouses, the most commonly requested length is 30 days. If the meat isnt aged for as long, it wont be as tender or as flavorful. Rarely, steak can be aged up to 120 days, but only a few high-end steakhouses offer steak aged for that long because the flavor by that time is very intense and funky.
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Whats The Deal With Dry Aging
When you walk into Peter Augustuss butchery in New Farm, a craft butcher in Brisbane, Australia, youll see an impressive dry aging cabinet that looks like it belongs in a science lab. This is the original dry aging process, how steaks were stored, says head butcher Aaron.
In fact, dry aging is a process that goes back thousands of years. Before the invention of refrigeration, dry aging was one of the only methods of keeping meat fresh, other than smoking, brining or pickling. It is a time honoured technique that both enhances the flavour and tenderness of meat.
In essence, dry aging is when you take a piece of meat and put it into a controlled open-air environment to go through a flavour transformation. By exposing the meat to air, moisture is pulled out and the natural enzymes in the beef break the muscles down slowly over time, making it more tender. When the surface of the beef dries, it creates a crust over the muscle, but whats inside stays moist and red.
The meat is also subjected to other environmental impacts during the aging process various molds and yeasts that land on it all of which play a role in the final flavour profile of the beef. The longer you age it, the stronger it gets.
We normally dry age our meat for 40 to 50 days. Two months is the maximum well go, says Aaron. After that the flavour can become much too intense.
Can I Dry Age Other Meats
Once the process of dry aging beef has been mastered, its easy to further experiment with other proteins like pork, poultry and even fish. You can also use the Steak Locker to cure cheese which we talk more about in our cheese recipe kit article. However, these proteins do not require the same length of time to dry age and some for only a few days to get enhanced flavor.
Some other experiments with a beef sub-primal would be to butter age or to whiskey age and these techniques can be found in our previous blog posts.
How Long Does It Take To Dry Age Beef
The length of time you dry age your beef depends on your tastes and your patience. An easy guide is:
- 2 to 4 weeks if your goal is increased tenderness
- 4 to 6 weeks for that spectacular dry-age flavour
- 6 to 8 weeks if youre a fan of a more funky, aged flavour
- Longer if you really want to get into the blue-cheese zone
How To Set Up Your Dry
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S To Dry Age A Steak At Home
Ok, so how do you actually dry age steak at home? Well, there are a few steps you must take before proceeding.
For one, you need to have a refrigerator large enough to accommodate your steak or at least a tray and some space around it .
Youll also want to cover the bottom of the fridge with brown butcher paper and turn off the air conditioner/dehumidifier settings since dry-aging will naturally produce moisture.
What Does Dry Aged Steak Taste Like Does Dry Aged Steak Taste Good
Dry aging is a process in which meat is hung for many weeks or even months.
Dry-aging meat aims to break down the tough connective tissue that makes the meat hard and chewy.
Dry-aged steak has a much different texture than what you would find at your local grocery store.
Its flavor also changes significantly during this process.
In this blog post, we will cover what dry-aged steak is, what it tastes like and how to cook a properly cooked and delicious piece.
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A True Labour Of Love
Dry aged beef may come with a bigger price tag, but the payoff is a flavour that is unmistakable and a texture that is vastly superior to wet aged beef. The benefits far outweigh the costs. Ultimately, dry aging is for those who are looking for a next level eating experience and thats what it can really bring to the table.
If you love steak but have never tried one thats been dry aged, this dry aged rump cap recipe might just inspire you.
How To Cook/ Make Dry Aged Steak At Home
To make a dry-aged steak at the users house, make ready it only like they will a methodical steak, yet with one dissimilarity: With some dry aged steak, the users run the threat of over-season so do not go as firm on the sea salt since they will make a usual steak. When the users begin searing, do not stroll away from their pan. The dry aged steak would cook quicker since there is much less witness.
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What Meat Can You Dry Age
You can dry age any meat. Beef is the most popular cut to dry age for two reasons:
The high fat content of beef prevents it from drying out during long periods in the refrigerator. Some beef cuts are very large so they can be dry aged for a longer period of time and get the benefits of the deep flavors that emerge.
Other types of meat like pork and poultry, can also be dry aged. But because they tend to be smaller and not as fatty, they will dry out faster and can’t be dry aged for quite as long. The flavors that come from dry-aging may not be as robust with these types of meats.
Dry Aged Briefly Explained
Beef is particularly most suitable for Dry Ageing. It has the longest aging time and is more resistant to germs than poultry. The meat is left on the bone in a cool climate during dry aging and is thus made ready for consumption. A dry layer is formed, which protects the meat and promotes the aromas at the same time. Beef is hung at least 2 up to 8 weeks.
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How To Dry Age Beef
Hanging meat to dry-age is a process of leaving the beef in a cool area for two weeks or more.
The aging is done at 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit and can go up to 60 days, depending on how much time you want to spend with your beef.
This allows enzymes in the meat to break down tough connective tissues, so the beef is more tender, flavorful, and juicy.
After the aging process is complete, you can refrigerate or freeze your fresh meat to preserve it for a longer time if needed.
Drying age beef has been practiced since ancient times because without refrigeration.
This method was an effective way of preserving meat in climates where temperatures were too high to allow for safe food storage.
How Does Dry Aging Affect The Texture And Taste
The enzymatic breakdown from the oxygen and humidity results in beautifully tender meat. The drying process also evaporates moisture from the tissue, creating a very concentrated, meaty flavor. Dry aging is similar to aging blue cheese with good mold to make it tastier and drying out firmer types of cheeses to be more concentrated. This is why so many chefs liken the flavor of dry-aged meat to cheese and common cheese tasting notes!
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How Long To Age
Our friends over at the artofmanliness did an amazing article on the subject. While the most common timeframe for a steak to be dry-aged is 30 days, a handful of very high-end restaurants can age up to 240 days. A steak aged this long is not for everyone since it has a very funky flavor and its also very expensive, so it is for someone who enjoys the intense beef flavor. For that, we recommend sticking to 30 days aged beef because it is the most commonly requested age in steak.
Why Does Dry Aged Steak Taste Better
Is it really worth going through all of this trouble to dry age your steak at home?
The reason a dry-aged steak tastes so much better is that the process of aging allows enzymes to slowly break down proteins and fats into more flavorful amino acids.
In addition, as meat ages it loses moisture, concentrating its flavor. The melting point of connective tissue in meats is around 54 °C , meaning that at room temperature and normal refrigerator temperatures, aged steaks are more tender than fresh cuts.
Size is another factor a large steak will age faster than a small one per unit of surface area.
This is due to the fact that larger pieces of beef have more juices trapped inside which take longer to escape the meat during aging.
It is absolutely worth going through this process to dry age your steak at home, it tastes much better and doesnt require any expensive tools or gadgets.
Simply a refrigerator and some household items, as well as your time and patience.
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How To Cook Dry Aged Beef At Home
To cook a dry aged steak at home, prepare it just like you would a regular steak, but with one difference: With dry aged beef, you do run the risk of over-seasoning so dont go as heavy on the salt as you would a normal steak, says Aaron.
Once you start searing, dont walk away from the pan. Dry aged steaks will cook faster because there is less moisture. Aaron adds: I wouldnt cook it any more than a medium.
Dont overthink it,advises Clint. Let your steak get to room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Bit of oil, salt and pepper. There you go.
Why Is Dry Aged Beef So Special
Dry-aged beef is a whole new world of savory meat for your pallet to discover. If you havent had a dry-aged beef steak, you dont know what youre missing! When a piece of meat has been placed through the dry-aging method, it has strategically become more tender and the flavors of the meat have become more concentrated. You may be wondering if this purchase is worth the bang for its buck. Here are some facts that will help you decide whether or not to pick up this choice piece of meat the next time youre shopping at Bristol Farms
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Differences Between Wet Aged Vs Dry Aged Steak
Wet aged steak and dry aged steaks have differing flavors and textures enhanced by the individual aging processes. A dry-aged steak imparts a flavor that is both earthy and nutty, with a sustained piquancy, producing a steak that is both meaty and robust. When browned, the essence has been described as intense and round, with a lavish aroma. Dry aged meat is characterized by an extraordinarily tender steak because the aging process is lengthier, making the fibers within the muscle more moist and flavorful. This same procedure gives the beef a slightly tart taste, akin to bleu cheese.
Wet-aged steaks produce a vibrant fresh, metallic flavor, a bonus to steak lovers who prefer their meat newly harvested. Wet-aging steak tastes better in a lean cut of beef like a flat-iron steak, where the steak is less marbled with fat. Beef cut for dry aging starts out much thicker than wet aged meat but will lose considerable mass during the aging process. In the end, they both produce an excellent tender and juicy steak.
Which Cuts Work Best
Though both Poll and Pollaci said the cut is arbitrary — and mostly up to the preference of the diner — the most common cuts used for dry-aging are ribeye, sirloin, and New York strip.
These cuts are chosen because they tend to come from parts of the cow where muscles arent used frequently, like the ribs and the loin area, resulting in tender meat as opposed to tougher muscle. Its good to note that larger cuts, specifically primal cuts, are considered the best candidates. A primal cut, for those of us who aren’t butchers, is a larger cut of beef that has yet to be separated into individual steaks . Those big cuts can can handle aging much longer.
At Gallaghers, rib steak, sirloin, porterhouse, and filet mignon are all on the menu and dry-aged in their 52nd street-facing meat locker.
Castaway carries similar cuts, including a ribeye, New York, and tomahawk. Though Pollaci recognizes that some cuts fare better than others in the dry-aging arena, hes had a lot of fun experimenting with different cuts of meat, like brisket.
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How Is Steak Dry
Large cuts of beef are placed into specialized cabinets or even rooms, kept at a specific temperature and humidity. Air is constantly being circulated around to prevent the growth of anything bad, while enzymes in the meats cells break down the protein, fats, and glycogen. This breakdown forms loads of amino and fatty acids, on, in particular,r is very important to the flavor being achieved through the dry-aging process glutamate. Glutamate, if you recall, is integral to Umami, and is found in soy sauce and parmesan cheese. Thats not the only thing happening. As these enzymes are doing their thing, bacteria is doing its thing too. Bacteria breaks down the muscle fibers and connective tissues, oxidizing fat, and loosening up the collagen, leaving only tenderness behind.
How Does Dry Aging Beef Work
Dry aging beef is a slow and methodical process that has to be monitored in order for it to work properly. Butchers use primal or sub-primal cuts of meat to lessen excessive trimming of the crust that forms during the aging process, and set the cuts in rooms that are humidity- and airflow-controlled. Primal cuts are initially separated from the animal during butchering, and sub-primal cuts are carved from the primal cuts into more specialty pieces. The butcher either hangs the meat or places it on racks to expose all sides of the meat to the airflow. Oxygen presents itself into the molecular bonds of the meat, allowing the natural enzymes in the meat to slowly break down.
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The Science Of Dry Aging: The Ultimate Guide
Does the idea of eating old beef disgust you? Well, it shouldnt, because its actually a good thing. Heres everything you need to know about dry aging beef.
Lets talk about the elephant in the room, why do we age beef in the first place?
Aging is a common technique used to improve two major characteristics taste and tenderness. As nasty as it sounds, the process of aging meat is essentially a decomposition process that is carefully controlled so meat doesnt spoil.
Technically speaking, theres a lot of methods of aging ranging from dry-aging, wet-aging, butter-agingwith varying results.
For the sake of completion, we are going to talk about, wet, dry and butter-aging.