The Original Dry Bag Steak | Make Artisan Dry Age Steak at Home › Forums › UMAi Dry® Sealing › Sealing Questions › Actual shelf life of dry age bags
November 26, 2014 at 5:53 am #2133BMember
I actually posed a question to the company via their contact page as well as called them (just a few minutes ago, but it may be past their office hours), but haven’t heard back yet. I saw this link:
I have a subprimal bags which was 2+ years old. I had planned on dry aging some ribeye for XMAS. Based on that, I thought I’d be okay. I realize it says it may be a little harder to seal, but I found it extremely difficult to seal and it is potentially not sealed properly. I basically hit seal 4+ times at the same spot and did multiple seal locations, but there were some parts, particularly the corner, which did not seem to want to seal at all.
This, unfortunately is a $250 piece of meat. So I’m a bit worried that there is an issue with the seal and the meat will get compromised.
-Has anyone used older bags successfully?
-If the seal does fail, or if it wasn’t seals 100% properly, is there anything that can be done? I did this last night (11/24). There is some air in there, but it is hard to tell if it was the air that was still left behind. I’ve dry aged with the bag a few times so I remember that each time there was always a little bit of air in there and it didn’t really matter.
I’ll have to admit I’m disappointed they have not gotten back in contact with me in regards to this.
Thanks!November 26, 2014 at 6:49 am #8709Ron PrattMember
I’m just the moderator here, but I’m also one of their older long time customers, so let me put my experienced customer hat on OK?
I personally have used UMAI bags which are older than 2 years old and never had trouble. I have never stored them in direct sunlight nor near heat which may make a difference – were yours?
The fact you said you have used the bags before but had air issues then as well, suggests to me that it could be either your sealear or method. The bag does not have to have a perfect seal to work right. In fact you don’t even need to use a vacuum sealer! You can place the meat in a bag, grip the top after squeezing out air and then insert a drinking straw or tube and suck out the air and quickly seal the bag with a bread twisty. If I were you I would determine the best corner with enough excess bag and then make a tiny slit, insert a straw or tube and suck out the air you are concerned about and then seal it with a twisty. Even if you don’t want to trust me on this then unless you have huge air pockets then don’t worry about it!
RonNovember 26, 2014 at 7:39 am #8710JimMember
The shelf life of UMAi Dry bags depends greatly on storage conditions. Presence of humidity, high temperature or direct sunlight exposure has a negative effect on sealing performance. If the bags are stored in a cool, dark, dry place in the zip-lock bag that they originally come in, the bags should last without any effect to their sealing performance for up to three years.
Regardless of the above, it is not necessary to have complete vacuum in the bag. Presence of small amount of air is not detrimental to the aging process. If you were able to seal the bag with about 75-80% contact with the meat and it does not continue to separate from the meat during the first two days, you have a good chance of achieving successful aging.November 26, 2014 at 12:43 pm #8711BMember
Thanks so much for both of your replies! They were very helpful as well as allaying my worries.
Let me give some answers on some of the questions in regards to storage of the bags. They were stored within a closet and in the ziplock bag they came in. I’m in No Cal, so the weather is not humid and the temp all around is generally good. There are a few days where it may be hot, but not humid. The closet is not near any heat sources.
When I say there was air this time and it wasn’t sealing well. The whole seal in its entirely was failing. It was pretty clear it was due to the bag not melting, which is why I had to do 4+ times of re-sealing at the same spot over and over. I also tried to use some other bags I got that were never removed from the original ziplock bag. Those also had the same problem.
I have indeed had some air pockets before, but nothing major. That was a byproduct of using the channel type sealer I got from Umai dry. It could be just the unit i had, but IMHO, that sealer is of pretty poor quality. I think only once did it perform well. Other than that, it was an exercise and I ended up using things like dowels to help the air get in. The issue generally seemed to be the time between the seal and after the vacuum. Although the vacuum itself was a bit meh. I also found that when I tried to use that vacuum sealer for other things like some of the dry age steaks for fish, it also did not perform well.
I basically ended up getting a Food Saver 3200. Which works really well. So when I ran into the problem with sealing, i ran an experiment with the older sealer to see if it was just that the element in the Food Saver wasn’t burning as hot. But the result was the same.
So the meat I currently have does look like it has formed a seal. I’ll give it a few more days before i check it some more. I can post a pic of in a few days.
Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions 🙂
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