September 7, 2012 at 7:49 pm #1440AnonymousGuest
I am a Certified Public Accountant and a part time farmer. Years ago, we would slaughter and process our personal beef ususlly letting the quartered carcus hand in a cooler for 2 weeks. The other day I was watching a show on dry aging beef and got to thinking how much better the beef we processed tasted that that acquired from the grocery store. I went on the internet and read about that the industry primarily used the wet aging method which helped tenderize the product but did not enhance flavor like the dry age method. I read about using paper towels as a wrap and dry aging for a few days in the refrigerator, but this just did not appear to be something I would want to do. Luckily I came accross the UMAI Drybag steak web site and began reading about your process. I even searched the internet for complaints about your company and found only rave reviews.
I called your office and left a message to call me back and after playing phone tag, I talked to a very helpful lady and she recommended the Foodsaver starter system. I placed an order for the foodsaver starter system and the additional standard subprimal bags as well as additional mouse strips.
Monday September 3, 2012, I purchased a 16+ lb choice ribeye loin from SAMS Club. I opened the foodsaver unit and selected the test bags and placed two p[lastic water bottles in the bag. I sealed the right side of the bag and placed the mouse strip from left to right in the mouth of the bag and placed the bag in the sealer and it sealed perfectly and held the seal.
I then washed the outside of the rib eye bad and dryed. I cut one end of the ribeye open and poured out the liquid that would pour out. I did not let it drain for very long. I rolled the drybag back and worked the ribeye bag and all into the drybad. After several tugs and shakes the ribeye bag slid out of the dry bag. I then mad a seal in the right hand corner of the bag and placed the bag and ribeye on its right side and worked the air out of the bottom sid and created an air channel at the top. I then placed the Mouse strip into the bag going from left to right abount one quarter of an inch inside the mouth of the bag. I then put the bag inside the foodsaver system being careful to have part of the mouse strip on the sealing pad. This resulted in the mouth of the bag being folded slightly down into the vacdcum chamber. I shut and locked the machine and massaged the air from the back corners forward. I then pressed the vaccum and seal button using the wet setting and continued to work the air forward. The foodsaver system vaccumed all the air out including form both back corners and then started the sealing process. I placed a second seal on the bag and the seal held with no appearent air bubbles inside the bag. There were a couple of fold riges on the fat side of the meat. I was surprised as to how lucky i hab been in sealing both the test bag and the production bad because the lady i talked to at your office said to expect to get frustrated in trying to get a vaccum and seal. It appears that the foodsaver and mouse strips have made the process a lot easier to do.
I am now in day 4, the vaccum is steal holding including the bottom cormers and the meat is no longer the bright red color and there does not appear to be any seperation of the bag and the meat at least on the fat side. I have not moved the meat to look at the bottom side. The refrigerator I am using is an old one that is in a storage room and it actually has wire selves. This is good because I would have never been been able to convince my wife that she did not need the bottom of her refrigerator. The temperature is being maintained at 37 degrees. I plan to age the ribeye for 35 to 45 days. Any suggestions.
The lady I talked to on the phone said to turn the meat over after one week. Several blogs I read said do not touch the meat. What do you suggest.
It appears that the hard parts of the meat are safe to eat but it is a preference of tasts and texture. Is this correct?
Thanks for your help
DavidSeptember 7, 2012 at 8:46 pm #6215Ron PrattMember
What a concise report from a newbie! Yes, they are a very helpful and caring company – I know the president personally and she always gives encouragement and is a source of knowledge obtained from years dealing with professional commercial aging operations.
Who am I to disagree with the “home office” – but I have never flipped my meat once I place it on my rack. BTW I do always place it fat side down for whatever that’s worth.
As for the number of days that becomes a personal choice, but to me 45 days is my optimum time for rib eye. I’ve gone 60 and that was a tad too long and 35 days isn’t as good as 45.
Trimming is also a personal issue as you may read on other threads posted here. The hard outer “crust” becomes very hard, but slightly under it is a chewy tasty layer – but it is also an acquired taste.
RonSeptember 7, 2012 at 9:08 pm #6216AnonymousGuest
Thanks for your thoughtSeptember 7, 2012 at 10:17 pm #6217TheaKeymaster
Thank you for the thorough description of your experience and process. I am the “lady on the phone.”
My recommendation to flip the meat only comes from watching many a dry aging piece of meat age very, very slowly on the bottom. Gravity will allow moisture from the meat to continue to collect there, and there may not be as efficient a flow of air as you will have along the top surface of the meat, in most cases. Furthermore, the effective drying of the top surface (given that fact that the fact cap exudes no sticky proteins to maintain a bond), it is likely to release from the UMAi Dry at some point as aging proceeds. My thought: why not even out the flow of moisture throughout the meat while aging.
As Ron suggests, though, not flipping the meat is also just fine. I have simply found that it is encouraging to see the larger meat surface turning that deep mahogany red-brown and developing a nice bark. With fat cap up, you won’t see that happening as early or as readily.September 7, 2012 at 10:36 pm #6218AnonymousGuest
Thanks for your help and the recommendation on the foodsaver. Got lucky it created a vaccum and sealed the firs time and has held a seal through day 4. I have it fat side up at present. after one week i will turn it over.
Thanks DavidSeptember 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm #6226AnonymousGuest
Day 7 and I turned meat over as suggested, the ribeye is now meat side up. I noted that bag is adhered to meat and has turned a dark red with exceptions of a three or four small areas where the meat was not cut evenly off the bone. These areas are approximately 3/4 x 2 inches and there is a 1/8 inch space between bag and meat. The meat in these areas are closer to fresh meat colors. Is this normal?
thanks DavidSeptember 10, 2012 at 9:53 pm #6227Ron PrattMember
Yes that space is quite normal – I refer to those as being the “valleys”. The only thing I do differently now to minimize that spacing is to carefully massage them as the machine is extracting the air. I’ve never been able to get the bag completely in the valleys, but practice is making it better! You’ll be fine.
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