The Original Dry Bag Steak | Make Artisan Dry Age Steak at Home › Forums › Dry Aging Steak › Dry Aging Steak with UMAi Dry® › My inaugural dry bag steak experience
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September 5, 2010 at 9:40 pm #1135AnonymousGuest
For my inaugural Dry Bag attempt, I decided to dry age a 10 lb choice rib roast for 21 days. I used a subprimal bag and followed the instructions exactly as they are written. It has been mentioned many times in the forum and I’ll stress it once again, the vacuum sealer is not user friendly and takes practice to get a good seal. In fact it took me 4 subprimal bags to get an adequate seal. Even on my last bag, I still had air pockets in the corners and over where the bones were removed but since I didn’t have any more bags, I was forced to take a leap of faith. So in the fridge it went. Three weeks later, my rib roast look similar to the photos on the website. I cut the bag open and it had a funky, yet pleasant, beef jerky smell. I cut the outer 1/8 to ¼ inch layer off (a little more where the air pockets were) and was pleased to discover a deep maroon, tender piece of meat. The small air pockets did not seem to cause any issues. I cut 1.5in steaks and grilled them medium rare. The flavor, texture, and taste were excellent and I am now an official believer in this product. The only issue I have is with the vacuum sealer. It would be nice if it were more user friendly. But I have to admit, practice makes perfect. Today, I vacuum sealed an 8lb New York strip loin and used a paper clip just in front of the snorkel. By doing this, the vacuum sealed the beef very tight without any air pockets at all. More importantly, I didn’t have to waste any bags :). It’s now resting comfortably in my fridge and I’m looking forward to butchering it up in a few weeks. So in summery, great product that takes practice. I’d also like to complement the customer service. Thea was always willing to answer questions and even replaced the three subprimal bags I wasted trying to get a good seal on my first go around. Thanks!!!September 5, 2010 at 10:20 pm #4007Ron PrattMember
Glad to hear another believer on our side! As for your experience of failure at first I too had that problem. OTOH instead of going through 3 more bags trying to figure it out I decided to use that first bag as my test material to learn how to seal. I must have sealed, cut and resealed that one bag 6 or 7 times with bottles inside instead of meat to get the hang of it. My second bag was a success and I’ve never looked backwards since. You are right though practice is important, but success is achievable.September 6, 2010 at 9:08 pm #4008AnonymousGuest
Glad to see I’m not the only one on the learning curve. You’re right Pitmaster, the sealer isn’t very user friendly and it took me many attempts as well (see older posts). However, I still think I’m missing something. I also have air pockets that form in the bag after about a week. I see the pics posted by RRP,and after 35 days the bag’s integrity looks as good as the day it was sealed.
Now, I know that the bag just needs to form a bond with the meat and some air is acceptable once the bond has formed. I do get nervous about bacterial growth – in fact I stopped short on the last ribeye sub at 17 days because the meat started to get an odor that wasn’t terrible, but not the somewhat pleasant beef jerky kind of scent. I’m at 14 days on the most recent one and have a healthy amount of air in as well. I want to get to 25 days (when I plan to grill and devour), but I’m nervous that I won’t get there before it “stinks up” .
I also cut a small slit in the bag and resealed a little further down. The bag sucked up against the meat as it should, but after an hour in the fridge, I could see the air pockets starting to form again. The seals look good upon inspection, but maybe I’m missing something.
RRP – (as the resident expert on the forum) would you be so kind as to post some close-up pics of your seals the next time? I’d like to compare my handywork to yours.
I’m going to continue at this until I get perfection – the steaks taste too good after just 17 days not to get the results of a 30 day run.September 6, 2010 at 10:01 pm #4009Ron PrattMember
Personally I ‘ve wondered if the small amount of “air” inside a bag after it has been aging for a while is actually trapped gas from the enzymes in the meat breaking down the tissue. After all that really is what the aging is doing.
Here are the only pictures I have kept before slitting the bag open. This was a NY after 21 days:
This was a ribeye after 28 days:
Another ribeye at 35 days which appears to have the most air of any to date, but it wasn’t a bother:
Sorry but I didn’t take any similar shots of my 45 day or this last 35 day while still in the bag like those above, but here are pictures before cutting and there certainly was no off smell or little green fingers waving howdy to me! Also I do recall there was very little air(gas?).
My 45 day rib eye:
and my 35 day NY just finished:
Two things do come to mind which may be the reason I don’t have a problem:
First after I have worked hard to coax the air out during the sealing process and I’m satisfied with the seal then I go back and do a second seal about 1/2″ further out – not further in.
The other thing is once I place that sub-primal on the rack in the bottom of the refrigerator I never touch it or move it until I’m ready to cut it open. Could it be that during your inspection that breaks the bond being formed between the bag and the meat? It’s just a thought.
Every time though when I peel off the bag it has the tug like peeling the back off of contact paper so I know it skinned well.September 7, 2010 at 12:31 am #4011AnonymousGuest
Here’s my advice. First, give yourself plenty of bag to work with. Don’t cut it to 4 inches from the meat like the instructions tell you. Second, use either a paper clip or some stirring straws cut into 1 inch segments just in front of the snorkel to keep the bag from collapsing on itself. Third, don’t seal unless you’re absolutely satisfied with the amount of air that has been removed. If there is still air pockets after massaging the air out, unlock the sealer and try again. Fourth, use setting 4 and let up on the sealer bar as soon as the buzzer goes off. If you hold it down too long, it can burn little holes in your bag. And finally, don’t unlock your sealer until about 15-20 seconds after you have made your seal. If you unlock when the bag is still hot, it can open up. Hope this helps. And on a side note, don’t throw away your foodsaver. The snorkel sealer does not seal normal foodsaver bags well at all. Good luck.
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