The Original Dry Bag Steak | Make Artisan Dry Age Steak at Home › Forums › UMAi Dry® Sealing › Sealing Questions › Seal Completely Lost Day 2- Safety?
March 26, 2014 at 6:59 pm #1902Rodney LemanMember
Sorry for the repeat questions on sealing, but my concern is about food safety.
I got my first bag kit and sealer, I ruined one of the large bags trying to seal a strip loin, but eventually got it on bag 2. So when I moved on to a boneless rib roast i only had the smaller bags. I cut the rib into three parts and sealed three smaller pieces. One of them sealed just fine, but the other two came completely loose after being in the fridge for 2 days. The bag did not bond at all on the fat side and minimally on the meat side only I think because of sitting on the rack. There is probably less than 50% bond. Was out of large bags, not sure what to do so I left it alone.
I am now into day 30. The strip loin that took the second large bag is aging nicely. The two rib bags that did not seal look about the same as the one that did. Temp has been between 33-38 F the whole time.
Having done some research before using the bags, I see that a lot of people are dry aging with no bags at all. I preferred not to go this route as your product looked “safer” to me. Again the product is in the bags just no adhesion whatsoever. I see that you have been generally telling people that this type of product is not safe, but given the fact that most dry aged product does not use bags, I am questioning you a bit. Especially if I were to trim off a lot of excess, I would think it would be safer don’t you? Trimming more is not ideal, but better than trashing $100 worth of meat?
Don’t get me wrong I still want to use your bags, just need some advice.March 26, 2014 at 9:23 pm #8028JimMember
You are right, it often takes some practice to get the sealing right. Basically if you are not sure about the seal integrity you can always hit the seal only button again before opening up the lid of the sealer. It will re-melt the bag and generally ensure a stronger seal. Sometimes moisture gets into the seal and this step becomes necessary.
As you describe your “loose” bagged product, it appears to be OK. Most likely the meat inside is good. Since you are on day 30, I would recommend cutting at least one of those “loose” rib roasts and if you can smell only a hint of a earthy smell of dry aged steak, the meat should be good, 30 days of aging provides a pretty distinct dry aged flavor.
Basically UMAi Dry is not a vacuum bag, but a membrane that creates an ideal aging environment for the piece of meat it contains. It allows oxygen and moisture to go through, but not bacteria or mold. I am sure that on your next try you will get the sealing so it does not come loose.
Please post some pics of your steaks and product in the bags if you can.March 26, 2014 at 9:57 pm #8029Rodney LemanMember
Thanks for the reply. I will take pics.
One other thing. My refrigerator is in the garage, it is a nice home fridge not an old one that you said to avoid. However, i started this project 30 days ago and we had a spell of 15 days below freezing here in Iowa. In short, the darkening of both the well sealed strip and even the well sealed rib do not appear to be as dark as most of the 30 day pics I have seen. Wondering if the meat froze a bit to start and did not begin the drying process as soon as normal. Also, for the first week there was frost on the outside of the bags perhaps indicating that the fridge was having trouble dehumidifying itself during the cold snap. for the past two weeks there has been no condensation on the bags and the inside temp has been 33-38F
Not worried about safety if the meat was frozen for a bit just wonder if you concur that the aging process may have been halted for a bit up front and should I let it go longer as a result?March 27, 2014 at 1:57 am #8031JimMember
The refrigerator set up you are describing is not very good for aging meat. You may already know this, but…. though the fridge is modern and good, where it is located matters. When the outside temperature drops to below the temperature set inside the fridge like inside of a cold garage in March in Iowa, the fridge stops working altogether, this results in no circulation of air inside and possible freezing of the meat. When there is no air circulating, the moisture begins to accumulate on the surface of the bag, blocking additional moisture release. When the meat freezes, it stops aging as the enzymes inside “go to sleep”. So basically your fridge and the enzymes both go to sleep when the temps drop below 38F and the meat is left to freeze, no aging happens.
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