The Original Dry Bag Steak | Make Artisan Dry Age Steak at Home › Forums › UMAi Dry® Forum Questions › General Questions › Meaty smells and want advice for a an aging fridge
February 16, 2012 at 6:44 pm #1367
I know there are some pros out there!
I’ve been using what was available to me – a 24″ wide office fridge that was just right for a strip loin or ribeye.
It is not frost free. aging beef tends to cause frost to build at a pretty fast rate.
The other problem is — it smells. There is a little freezer section that’s not truly segregated, and my ice smells like beef. I’m sure that’s an advantage in some ways but not for me.
I’m looking into finishing some of the basement. That could include an actual upright fridge for extra storage, icemaking, etc. (I work from home, my office is in the basement, so I can justify a nice fridge maybe even with water and ice in the door.)
But I can’t have the meat smells invading everything else in the fridge.
Is the problem that I don’t have frost-free? Or is the problem that my fridge doesn’t exchange enough air with the outside world? Is it something else?
If push comes to shove, I can keep the little one for aging, and use the new one as a regular fridge. But if there’s a solution that works well — that’s one less appliance to deal with, and defrosting isn’t a whole lot of fun.
I’m thinking appliance-store brands, not sub-zero or anything like that.February 16, 2012 at 6:48 pm #5646BarryMember
Clean it out when possible, then keep a box or two of baking soda. Maybe that will do the trick.February 16, 2012 at 7:41 pm #5647
aiki wrote:quote :
Wow. That’s kind of a “duh” moment for me. Yes, I’ll get “fridge-vented” baking soda on the grocery list.
I think maybe I always thought that was hype.February 16, 2012 at 7:54 pm #5648Ron PrattMember
Another old trick is not as pretty nor as clean as baking soda but a lump of charcoal will also do the trick – I don’t know why though! I’ve even heard of placing several thicknesses of newspaper to soak up odors – again I don’t know why! :laugh:February 16, 2012 at 8:53 pm #5649CharlieMember
Ice trays are not helping your frost issue. Remove the ice trays.
Replace the ice trays with the blue plastic cooler chillers. These are what you use for lunch coolers. If you are having frost issues you will have temp control issues and risk slugging the compressor with refrigerant. Also as frost builds your fridge will be running longer eating your electricity. And if you manual defrost now you are having to shuffle product around. That fridge is good for holiday or party overflow or a dorm room.
Charlie B)February 16, 2012 at 9:37 pm #5650
Clam Digger wrote:quote :
Do you have any advice on how a frost-free fridge will do with evacuating the meat smells?
I guess I have an opportunity to try the baking soda thing before I have to commit to a fridge. That might solve the whole problem.February 16, 2012 at 11:49 pm #5651Steven AlmasMember
I have a similar setup and baking soda eliminated the smell completely. As a side note, I have a frost free fridge and have a hard time keeping the humidity in the fridge sufficiently low. I’m pretty much at the bare minimum in term of allowable humidity for drybag dry aging, averaging 55-60%. I also wipe down the freeze plate a couple times a week to help dry the interior of the fridge.February 17, 2012 at 12:15 am #5652AnonymousGuest
Speaking of which, what is the best range for temperature and humidity for dry-aging meat?February 17, 2012 at 1:26 am #5653Steven AlmasMember
All aging should happen just above freezing and no warmer than 40F. Open air dry aging 60-70% humidity. Drybag dry aging you want the humidity as low as your fridge will let you, probably ~35-40%. The lower the humidity, the faster the moisture releases from the drybagged meat.
Cold Temp = reduced chance of spoilage
Low Humidity = faster dehydration = more beefy flavor
More Time = more tenderness and more dehydration
Higher humidity for open air aging = more controlled shrinkageFebruary 17, 2012 at 3:19 am #5654
evil4blue wrote:quote :
I was just about to ask about this apparent contradiction! I was just looking at the section on dry-aging in Modernist Cuisine and it was recommending high humidity, contrary to what drybaggers are recommending.
It all makes sense now!
And, sigh, there’s a whole section on the chemistry of dry-aging and it explains that I’ve probably over-aged the venison, and why pork doesn’t benefit from long dry-aging, etc. Could have saved an experiment or two if I’d borrowed the book sooner!
Oh well, no real harm done – just opportunity cost because I could have been aging more steaks!February 17, 2012 at 5:17 am #5655AnonymousGuest
evil4blue wrote:quote :
Thank you very much for that. As in toasty’s post just above mine, I’ve seen conflicting recommendations, and it didn’t connect for me that open air dry aging versus drybagging might account for the difference.
I know my meat/beer fridge is 32 on the very top shelf near the freezer, but I don’t put much up there. The bottom shelf where I age meat is 35 to 36, usually. I don’t know what the humidity is. I’ll need to temporarily relocate the hygrometer from my cigar humidor to the fridge to find out.February 17, 2012 at 5:31 am #5656BarryMember
Hopefully, you won’t get beef flavor in the cigars! :laugh:March 8, 2012 at 12:48 pm #5753Joseph MooreMember
I would also clean it out once, so you can get a “clean” reading, smelling it, I wouldn’t opt for a new fridge just yet.
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