Most meat crafters start out with the best-selling Ribeye/Striploin Dry Aging Bags which are available on Amazon. You’ll get 3 dry age bags each of which can hold 12-18 lbs. of boneless ribeye or striploin.
The process of dry aging ribeye is very simple, but understanding the science and logistics of the process will improve your experience. Let’s talk about the four things you need to dry age ribeye steaks in more detail:
Untrimmed beef. Untrimmed, untouched beef produces optimal Dry Aging results. We recommend selecting a well-marbled sub-primal cut of beef such as a full ribeye or striploin. Your meat should be in the original processor packaging (the thicker plastic often stamped with USDA, not meat that has been wrapped in thin plastic wrap on a styrofoam tray) whenever possible. Why? Because the untrimmed, processor-packaged beef is covered in a gooey, moist “meat glue” which is essential for the UMAi Dry membrane to bond with the surface of the UMAi Dry bag.
Dry aging bags. UMAi Dry age bags for meat are essentially a breathable membrane that creates the perfect dry-aging environment for your steak. The bags are designed to age whole sub-primal cuts of beef in your fridge for 28, 35, 45 days or more. During the aging period, the meat is protected from mold, bacteria, and odors. The Dry aging process has two parts:
– 1 –
Moisture evaporates from the meat, thereby concentrating and intensifying the beef flavor
– 2 –
Natural enzymes in the meat break down the connective tissue thereby tenderizing the meat and imparting a distinct dry aged flavor
Your kitchen fridge. Once sealed in the UMAi Dry bag, your meat should be placed in a modern, full size refrigerator, one that effectively controls the humidity to draw the moisture out of the inner environment of the refrigerator. What does that mean? It means that the beer fridge in the garage, or the wine fridge in the basement are not optimal environments for your meat project. This is because the compressor on the fridge doesn’t run on those fridges like it does on your kitchen fridge. Basically, you should be using your best fridge for your this project. Also, you will need to place the meat on a metal rack to facilitate air flow into the UMAi Dry age bag.
Time (and patience). Fun Fact: the moisture evaporation stage lasts for about 7-10 days. The tenderization and flavor development stage lasts as long as the meat is being dry aged. We recommend dry aging steak for 21-45 days in your UMAi Dry bag. However, some customers dry age their beef for up to 100 days in UMAi Dry bags! The longer the steak ages, the more the flavor develops. Some people really like this, others prefer a shorter drying duration for their steak.
How to use dry age bags
Remove your meat from the processor packaging, but do not wash the meat or otherwise clean the meat. Transfer the meat into the UMAi Dry bag using the clean transfer process (outlined in the included instruction packet). Once in the UMAi Dry bag, seal the bag using one of three methods: vacuum sealing, immersion method or netting method. All sealing methods are outlined in the instructions for dry aging beef.
Do I need a vacuum sealer to dry age beef?
UMAi Dry does not require a vacuum seal to make dry aged steak at home. There is an important differentiation between vacuum sealing and sealing UMAi Dry with a vacuum sealer — the purpose of sealing UMAi Dry with a vacuum sealer is not to keep bacteria out; it’s simply to bring the bag in contact with the meat surface. With traditional vacuum sealing, users need to be concerned with contamination and bacteria which is why “air pockets” can be dangerous. With UMAi Dry, air pockets pose no problem. When sealing your steak in the UMAi Dry bag, you only need to adhere 70-80% of the meat surface to the bag.