The Original Dry Bag Steak | Make Artisan Dry Age Steak at Home › Forums › Dry Aging Steak › Dry Aging Steak with UMAi Dry® › What went wrong? Striploin FAR 2 hard, tough & dry
August 9, 2015 at 9:18 pm #2329
I’m hoping someone can help me with my first experience with the drybag.
I attempted to dry-age a fairly good quality striploin and aged it for 45 days. Everything appeared to work perfectly (exactly as in the videos on Youtube etc.). The meat was firm and the meat had a good, solid bark. I trimmed all the bark off and steaked them out.
However, here is where it seems to have all gone wrong. The meat actually felt almost too solid and dry??? I allowed two of the 1.5″ steaks I’d cut come up to room temperature. I then vac sealed them with a little olive oil and some rosemary. I sous vide them for 1.5 hours (given dry aged meat comes up to temp much faster than wet aged) at 54C (130F)). Once done, I let them rest for 5 minutes out of their bags to re-oxygenate and then proceeded to pan-sear as I’ve done hundreds to times with wet-aged steaks.
Far from being amazing – they were almost as hard as leather, very tough and were very solid and dry (I realize they are ‘dry’ aged, but they were far TOO dry). They were cooked perfectly (temp wise), they were just so hard and tough that they were pretty much inedible.
I’ve since done some of the other steaks and they are all the same – tough, hard to cut (even with a good steak knife) and dry.
I’m wondering if anyone else has experienced this with striploin? Or, is there something that stands out from above that I have done wrong??? I’m thoroughly disappointed in the results of the drybags, but I am fully open to the possibility that I’ve done something wrong.
If anyone can shed some light on this, that would be great.
Scott.August 9, 2015 at 11:54 pm #9438Dr. Frederick HowardMember
Welcome to the Forum. I had the same type problem when I began my Sous Vide journey. It was recommended to bring up to 129.5F, which I did for one hour. I then patted the steak dry and immediately put it in a cast iron grill for a minute per side. I was not impressed with the texture as it was overcooked and a little dry. Upon further research on dry aging it was pointed out that dry aged steaks come to temp faster. So instead of 129.5F, I tried 120F. I again went through the pat dry and then grilled immediately for a minute per side and pulled the steak and voila! Success as the steak was about 130 when finished. On thing to remember, a sous vide steak/meat does not have to rest after cooking-its already at the temp you want and it will continue to rise. Also resting allows the juices to redistribute, using sous vide method the juices don’t go anywhere. They’re already where you want them (throughout the meat). Hopefully this helps.
DocAugust 10, 2015 at 1:58 am #9439
Thanks for the reply and taking time to help a newbie out 🙂
In this case, Sous Vide is not actually the issue. I’ve been cooking Sous Vide for over 3 years now and am VERY experienced with the technique; times and temperatures. I have also done MANY dry-aged steaks Sous Vide before (purchased from high quality butchers), and they have come out spectacular. And in this case, the meat did come out perfectly – temperature-wise – i.e. a perfect rare (130F).
The issue in this case however, is that the meat I dry aged with the Umai drybag (striploin) seems to come out of the drybag (not the Sous Vide bag) almost like a semi-hard plasticine texture – i.e. really solid and without almost any give. I expected it to be firmer after the dry aging process (as the dry-aged meat I’ve bought in the past has been), but in this case it was REALLY firm – and carried this consistency and texture right through the Sous Vide cooking process.
The Sous Vide if anything, actually softened the meat somewhat (which was a good thing), but it was extremely UN-tender, firm and far too hard to eat. The dry-aged meat I’ve bought and cooked Sous Vide before has always been super tender, but this was quite the opposite.
So, as I mentioned, I think something has gone wrong with the dry-aging process, but I can’t put my finger on what that could be. I’m wondering if there are any variables that could have occurred that could lead to this sort of a result from using the bag??
Hope this clarifies things a bit more.
Scott.August 10, 2015 at 2:13 am #9440Dr. Frederick HowardMember
I don’t have answer for your dilemma. I thought that it may have been the Sous Vide process based on my limited experience with same. I have not had that “dry” experience with those that I’ve done previously. Now my own experiences have been solely with Rib Eyes and one sirloin of prime grade or Waygu and I’ve gone 45 or 60 days with each with no problem. So I will gladly defer to someone like Ron (our Guru-in-chief) to solve your problem. Sorry I couldn’t be of help although I have subscribed to your thread to see what the real answer is.
DocAugust 10, 2015 at 1:22 pm #9442
There are just two things which come to my mind after reading your replies. Could it be that the refrigeration unit you used actually has gone haywire and literally dried the meat like jerky? My other thought was the meat itself may have been way older than what you thought or been misgraded and was actually a cow meant for the tanner/dog food line. It just might have been a tough old cow that lead a long hard life!
RonAugust 10, 2015 at 7:14 pm #9443
Thanks for the reply and information.
The meat was a fairly high quality and was from a very highly regarded butcher here in Sydney. Obviously, that is no guarantee, but they have always been excellent in the past. There was a really good degree of quality marbling too.
As to the fridge: I actually bought a brand new, top-of-the-line Mitsubishi fridge just prior to this. I had old bar fridges that weren’t going to suffice. The fridge has constantly circulating airflow and is very good. BUT… when you mentioned “gone haywire”, specifically, what conditions would constitute “haywire” in this instance? If the fridge was too cold, could that do it? I had measured the internal temp with a very high quality probe and it was sitting at around 0.5c – 1C (32.9F – 33.8F). Could this be too cold? Or, did you more mean the temperature was not constant enough? Our 15y/o CONSTANTLY opens the fridge to stand there and just stare at the contents for several minutes at a time (as a lot of kids do) – MANY times a day :-/
So, I guess I’m asking, what are the cooling conditions that would contribute to it drying out too much? And to clarify, it’s not like it’s gone jerky style – more just rubbery with very little give…
Thanks again for all the help with this. I really want to get this working properly and hope I can ascertain the cause so I can eliminate next time.
Scott.August 10, 2015 at 9:54 pm #9444
The ideal temperature is between 34 and 38 so is sounds like you are little under and I therefore wonder if you may have suffered some freezer burn, which will damage the meat over that period of time. Granted your 15 year old viewing would help prevent some of that, but surely he sleeps so there would be periods of prolonged cold. Also after he has left the door open the refrigerator is going to kick on to bring the temperature back to your settings meaning the meat was being blasted with colder air – again risking the chance of damage from freezer burn.
Otherwise I’m sort of at a loss for more ideas. Maybe someone else will chime in here, but in all honesty I don’t recall anyone reporting this problem before! Sorry! RonAugust 12, 2015 at 6:33 am #9448
I’m thinking you may have hit the nail on the head! As soon as I read “freezer burn” in your reply, I though, YES! That’s it!! The texture and feel aligns with that theory perfectly. In fact, I reset the temperature dial on the fridge to where it was while doing this one and sure enough, it was sitting at between 32.18F and 33.5. And yes, I agree, the constant opening would actually drive that temp (initially, to adjust) even below that.
I’ve now adjusted the temp back to around 37.5F, so hopefully next time we’ll have a bit more luck.
So, a big thanks for the insights and for taking the time to help me with this. It is really appreciated!
All the best,
Scott.June 17, 2019 at 7:06 am #12441
Did you ever find out if that was the problem and then achieved better results?
Somewhat the same happened to me on my first trial, although my temp was set at 2 °C. Extremely dry, nothing compared with the dry aged steaks I bought previously, which still had some nice flexible consistency.
The meat I used was Ebony Black Angus, and I think maybe the culprit is that it is just not thick enough of a piece of meat….I guess the total height of a steak is barely 7cm (i didnt use a ruler…but its really not very high compared to other strip steaks I had). And this added with 45 days led it to be too dry overall…
I think 25-30 days would have been a better choice for this meat.
If there is any other insight that would be great.June 17, 2019 at 3:24 pm #12442
Welcome aboard! I agree that meat would have been better at 21 or even 28 days due to the thinness.
RonJune 19, 2019 at 5:15 pm #12446DaveMember
Also, did you happen to eat the vein steak end of the strip, first? I remember I had a 49 day cut of that section and the texture was basically jerky. Had another 49 day cut from a different section and it was significantly more tender. That being said, most of my friends agreed, after a ladder tasting, that 35 was the best blend of age and tenderness.June 20, 2019 at 6:08 am #12448
I’ve had several steaks already from different parts. Best part were definitely where the meat was thickest…actually the texture is quite similar to raw tuna fish I found but slightly drier. Definitely too dry to be really enjoyable.
@RRP a question for you. I just saw on another post where you state average weight loss by days:quote :
For the striploin I did, original weight was 6.1kg and after 48 days it was 4.2kg, so that’s a 31%+ weight loss which seems really high compared to your numbers above, although a Ribeye might have more fat which doesn’t lose water. What do you think? Any other explanation?June 20, 2019 at 9:05 pm #12449
I’m going to agree with you. Plus the very age of the cow when slaughtered has a lot to due with it as well. The younger the cow then the more tender the meat will be.
RonJuly 7, 2019 at 3:53 pm #12481TheaKeymaster
I would recommend going less time with a strip and longer with a boneless ribeye, because of the fat composition. Also, some folks tie the meat after sealing in UMAi Dry®, to get a rounder shape. The professional chefs I’ve worked with just trim them pound the meat into the shape they want–like clay.
What was the texture/moisture experience like when you cooked the steaks to rare or medium rare? Usually, dry aged steak is described as juicy–even with no blood on the plate–simply because the beef flavor has been intensified with the moisture loss.
It would be good to know what your experience was.July 15, 2019 at 5:46 am #12495
cooked as in the picture, didnt feel juicy, pretty dry…and tasteless. I don’t know if its this meat or if its the drying that caused that, it didn’t intensify meat taste, it made it pretty tasteless. Actually never had such a tasteless striploin.
I’m now in the process of a new Australian stiploin m3-4 marbling (Thomas Foods Angus Pure Signature Grain Fed). The meat is much thicker. I am able to buy a single steak as well of the same meat, so I will be able to compare. I hope the umai version will have some fine taste this time comparatively…. aiming for 35 days this time.
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