The Original Dry Bag Steak | Make Artisan Dry Age Steak at Home › Forums › Dry Aging Steak › Dry Aging Steak with UMAi Dry® › Is a fan in the fridge really necessary?
December 14, 2011 at 3:16 pm #1316
I understand that good airflow is important, but can we be a little more specific about what “good” airflow means?
I’ve got my drybags on top of cookie cooling racks, over sheet pans, over solid glass fridge shelves. There’s an inch or so of air below the bag, and much more on the other five sides.
Do I really need a fan to blow air around in the fridge?
I see aging as a combination of time, dehydration (the fan), and temperature. In a small fridge, especially, it seems like a fan would make the dehydration disproportionate to time.
Feel free to speak up with personal preference. Objective data would be GREAT!December 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm #5222
I use two small battery operated fans that run on D size batteries. They run for about 45 days before I notice them slowing down. I got them at an RV store for ten dollars each. You can also order online.
Charlie B)December 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm #5223
And thanks. But do you NEED them? Do they improve the aging or (horror!) actually make it worse?December 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm #5226
It will improve the aging by moving the cool dry air around the cooler and not letting the humid air stagnate or stratify around your dry bag. It might work without a fan but a fan is recommended and in my fridge I put one in each back corner. I plan on getting another fan as a backup. Since I age about 300 dollars of meat at a time I want to assist the process with good airflow.
Charlie B)December 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm #5227
But how do you know that it’s actually (1) an improvement and (2) necessary?
For example: the rage in sous vide cooking has included active circulation. Sousvidemagic sold many, many units based on the assumption that thermal convection in a rice cooker was sufficient to the task, and that no active circulation was necessary. (This is the setup I use.) Now, sousvidemagic has added an active circulation element (air bubbler) to their unit.
Was that market pressure? Or does it improve the product? Is it necessary, or simply an extra expense to please the expectations of the consumer?
I don’t know – I want DATA.
I’m a little envious. My little office fridge only holds about 250 dollars of meat at a time. I try to help the circulation by opening the door once a day to pull out a beer…December 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm #5229
No air bubbled what they are doing is heating different areas in waves to create different temps creating circulation.
In refrigeration you move air so the evaporator can deal with the moisture.December 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm #5231
Yeah, but… I understand the concept; I used to work in a place where we built refrigerators. I wasn’t on the line, but I studied the docs. An office fridge doesn’t have an evaporator. It circulates coolant through channels in a plate that is the “freezer” section of the fridge. Any moisture in the system ends up as frost in the freezer section. Heat from the “fridge” section makes it’s way to (and is absorbed by) the “freezer” section at a slower pace, which is why there are both a “fridge” section and a “freezer” section, both cooled by the same plate of coolant channels.
Surely you’ve seen this – check into a hotel, open the fridge, and the freezer section is blocked by an inch of ice around the cooling plate. OK, maybe 1/2 inch.
But, still, if I remember correctly, the average “office” refrigerator (which is what I’m using) does not have an evaporator. Times change, and maybe I’m wrong.
I have worked in restaurants; I know that walk-ins circulate air strongly. But most items in a restaurant walk-in are in vapor-sealed containers, and the circulation is more about temperature than about humidity.December 14, 2011 at 7:09 pm #5234
There is an evaporator but it my not have a fan.
If you don’t have a fan with dry bag it may work fine but it will take a much longer time, and may not work out as well.
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