The Original Dry Bag Steak | Make Artisan Dry Age Steak at Home › Forums › Dry Aging Steak › Dry Aging Steak with UMAi Dry® › Why the UMAi Dry Bags versus a Synthetic Casing?
February 22, 2015 at 10:05 pm #2212Jerry FreimanMember
I have just placed my first order with UMAi for a few things. I am curious though as to why I wouldn’t be able to use a good synthetic casing in place of the UMAi dry bag/casing product. I only ask really because I can locally get synthetic casings by the foot, in a roll, from one of my local butcher shops. I would still use the #2 cure and a starter culture, then proceed the same way as if I were using the dry bag/casing (i.e. 3-4 days hanging in 68-70 degree, then 4-6 weeks cold aging in a refrigerator). If I understand correctly (I’m not totally sure I do though because I’m new at this), the synthetic casings I’m talking about only need to be pre-soaked in warm water 20-30 minutes before use and they shrink with the meat as it loses water weight. I believe this casing will stay adhered to the outside of the meat as it shrinks. Thoughts or recommendations appreciated. JerryFebruary 23, 2015 at 3:02 am #8958JimMember
Its an interesting question. The UMAi Dry material does not allow odors or other contaminants to permeate. On the other hand the “synthetic” casings that you refer to are probably fibrous or collagen, which are much more permeable to things like odors, mold and other things that live on the outside. You can do a side by side run and let us know what you find.February 23, 2015 at 12:04 pm #8959BobMember
I guess you have to think of the Umai bags as having the ability to release moisture at a controlled rate. Natural and fibrous casings will evaporate water at the rate allowed by the ambient humidity….the Tublin (Umai) material will allow only so much out at a time.
Dry rim (case hardening) is a large issue (AKA problem) with conventional casings without a proper environment (curing/drying chamber)…it is minimised with Umai.
The bacteria barrier applies more to aging of (uncured/ or fermented) whole muscle cuts.November 21, 2020 at 6:07 pm #13342Greg JonesMember
Jim – Is there any reason you can think of why I couldn’t wrap, say, a Capicola in collagen sheets before netting it and then putting it into an Umai charcuterie membrane just to keep the dried product from ripping the meat apart when done?November 27, 2020 at 11:58 pm #13359TheaKeymaster
Jim is no longer around, but let us try to answer your question. First off, if you want to rapid response from us, please contact us through our new Help Center, umaidry.com/help
Second, UMAi Dry® is designed to be a single layer of protection for the meat. Any intermediate layer is going to decrease the rate of moisture loss, increase the likelihood of potential contaminants, and basically alter the process to the point that we cannot predict what success you might have with such an adaptation.
Collagen sheets have their own application, as do natural casings, and cellulose sheets. We recommend they not be used in conjunction with UMAi Dry.
Also, in our experience, whole muscle meat will not rip apart when done drying, so no structural support, such as you describe, seems justified.
Hope this helps.
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