The Original Dry Bag Steak | Make Artisan Dry Age Steak at Home › Forums › Dry Aging Steak › General Dry Aging Steak Questions › First Dry Aging Experience
January 29, 2013 at 5:26 am #1532
First off, I’m a dry aged steak connisuer. Wherever my wife and I travel, we always seek out higher end steakhouses that offer dry aged beef…..Our last visit was to Gallaghers in Atlantic City.
My first experience with the Drybag system started 24 days ago with a choice boneless rib roast. I did everything by the book, aged 24 days in a fridge set to 34 degrees, opened the door once or twice a day to kick on the fan and circulate the air, racked it 2 inches of the fridge bottom so air could circulate. The roast deleloped a nice tight membrane, and looked axactly like the pictures on the web site. When we weighed it before cutting it up, it had lost 16.5% of it’s initial weight …….I’m reasonably sure I did everything correctly.
We’ve been “wet aging” our beef for the last several years and coincidently, had a bonless rib in our aging fridge bought from the same butcher, from the same meat packing company, that was at the 5 week mark and ready to be cut into steaks……Great time to do a “blind” AB comparison.
We both have to say that other than a slight difference in texture to the dry aged steak……There was absolutely no difference in tast between the wet aged steak and the dry aged version……..Needless to say, we were both dissapointed, especialy given the fact that after trimming, the dry aged meat had lost about 35% of it’s initial weight.
Obviously I could have aged it longer, but it seems like most of the really good restraunts that dry age there beef, do it for 20-30 days.
Am I missing something here?
MarkJanuary 29, 2013 at 5:38 am #6620Chris PenningMember
I think you have your answer. You know dry aged beef so you have the palate. You did a side by side and weren’t swayed by anything other than your taste. You realize the loss by moisture loss and trimming. I’m think I’m disappointed you didn’t fall in love, but I don’t think you’d enjoy the process knowing what you know. Me on the other hand, I just finished my first at 29 days, was impressed and see this as the first of many.
ChrisJanuary 29, 2013 at 6:40 am #6621
When I said I was dissapointed, it was because we were hoping it would work.
I guess I’m asking if anyone has a suggestion as to what I can do to get that intense oakey dry aged flavor I love???January 29, 2013 at 7:49 am #6624
Mark, in spite of your disappointment and comments I still want to welcome you to the forum. I have several thoughts so please bear with me.
I would bet dollars to donuts that all of the wonderful high end steak houses you and your wife have experienced serve nothing but prime meat which has been commercially dry aged by packing houses/wholesalers which have been in business for years and stake their reputations on consistency of product from experience over many years and from aging literally tons of beef!
When you compared your wet aged beef to your Drybag beef are you saying your wet aged beef compared to that of the expensive steak houses?
Personally I have found that the sub-primals that I have aged in the Drybags benefit from a longer aging which is permissible due to the control. In addition I have aged a number of sub-primals and my experience is the weight loss is most noticeable in the short term and trials off after say 35 days.
Granted the wet aging means less trimming loss and less weight loss, but when you stop and think about it weight loss comes from the removal of tasteless water! Wet aging retains that tasteless water!
RonJanuary 29, 2013 at 9:28 pm #6626
“When you compared your wet aged beef to your Drybag beef are you saying your wet aged beef compared to that of the expensive steak houses?”
No……Not at all. That’s why I decided to try the Drybag. I was hoping to duplicate the flavor of the dry aged steaks we’ve enjoyed in various restraunts.
At this point in my early dry aging career, all I can say is that the flavor of the dry aged rib that we tried, is no better, flavor wise, than the wet aged variety.
Calling my local butcher to order a boneless rib in “prime”
I’ll report back with the results.
MarkJanuary 29, 2013 at 11:17 pm #6627
Here’s some other points to consider. You mentioned the meat was graded as choice, which while good is not prime like the expensive steak houses served you. I bet your individual steaks at the good places probably cost as much as 50% of the amount that you paid for that whole sub-primal that you aged – right?
Also 24 days for a thick chunk of meat like a rib eye is just too short in my book and needs to go at least 35 days in a Drybag though my personal preference is 45 days.
You also compared your wet aged that went 35 days to the 24 day one in the Drybag…I’m not sure that was a fair comparison.
…and lastly you reported a total of 35% loss after aging and trimming out the aged piece. That tells me you trimmed back to grocery store red as I call it. Personally that tells me after the effort to attain the taste of dry aged beef you threw it away.
RonJanuary 31, 2013 at 4:05 am #6628
The instructions that came with the Drybag kit mentioned 21-28 days(max) aging time, so I followed that recomendation. The last restaurant I visited that featured Dry aged steak, ages theirs (porterhouse and bone in strip) 21 days……So I figured the 21-28 day recomendation was reasonable for my first attempt.
As far as the weight loss goes, the boneless rib that I used had an inordinate amount of fat on the narrow side that had to be trimmed when I portioned it, so that certainly had some effect on the weight loss.
As you probably know, wet aging has very little effect on the flavor of beef (at least in my experience)………It’s done, mostly to make the steak more tender (which it does very well), so the fact that the wet aged beef had been aged 35 days and the dry aged 24 days, shouldn’t have invalidated the blind tast test we did (IMO)……The dry aged steak should have been the clear winner…..Once again, IMO.
When I trimmed the whole rib, I was very careful to only cut off the “bark”, none of the soft meat. My wife tried a bite where I had intentionaly left a peice of the “bark” on………was more like beef jerky than steak.
In any case, my plan is to order a boneless rib in Prime, and age it 35-40 days on my next attempt.
MarkJanuary 31, 2013 at 8:34 am #6629
Thank you for the further explanations including a major point (IMHO) of the heavy fat cap lending to the 35% trimming and aging weight loss. I hear you about sticking to the DrybagSteak companies suggested 21 to 28 day aging range, but while I’m not a “law breaker” at heart I do like to press the limit. I mean I admit I often drive faster than the posted speed limit, eat raw eggs in my Caesar salad dressing, love pork cooked only to 143° and such other “wild and foolish” things. So, is it any mystery that I have aged beef 35, 45 and even 60 days? I have a friend who went 100 days, but I swear that was for bragging rights!
Regarding the beef jerky taste, I happen to agree and my wife doesn’t care for it either. OTOH I find that layer – after it has been grilled and cut off if someone doesn’t care for the chewiness – is a killer snack/treat when enjoyed cold the next day. BUT to each his own!
Good luck with your second attempt!
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