The Dry Aging Process



  • UMAi Dry® bags
  • Processor packed subprimal cut of meat
  • Modern frost free refrigerator
  • Open wire rack


  • A clean sink and work surface (cover with foil or parchment paper)
  • Paper towels or parchment paper
  • Clean scissors


  • VACUUM: Vacuum sealer and a VacMouse® strip
  • IMMERSION: A bucket of water and (2) zip ties
  • NETTING: 2-3 feet of meat netting and a “chip clip”

*No matter the application method, your goal is to create 75-80% contact between meat surface and UMAi Dry. The moist protein coating on the meat surface does the magic.


DAY 1 At least 75% of the meat surface is in contact with the UMAi Dry membrane. And your kitchen might be a mess.

DAY 2 UMAi Dry will relax, and may appear loose as it takes up moisture from the meat. There may be moisture pooling in the corners; let time and your fridge take care of that.

DAY 4-5 Bond begins to form; you may notice color change.

DAY 10 The meat should begin to turn mahogany brown. You may begin to catch an earthy, blue-cheesy, nutty scent.

DAY 21 The bark is firm and dark, mostly even in color, and almost firm enough to “knock” on. There may be softer and firmer spots. Small white dots may be salts, fat or mold, which is OK. Grey, blue, green, or black mold is bad news.

DAY 28-45 The meat is firm and dark, and may begin to pull away from the UMAi Dry membrane. Separation is normal— the meat is still protected in its “custom dry aging space.”


Aim for a clean transfer from the original packaging to UMAi Dry. Try not to touch the meat.

  1. Scrub the exterior processor packaging with soap and water. Wipe dry.
  2. Cut open packaging on the wider end of the meat, and drain off excess purge. Make sure opening is wide enough for the meat to slide through easily.
  3. Fold back a 2-3 inch cuff of the UMAi Dry opening to keep it clear of purge or fat.


  1. Keep meat covered in its original packaging.
  2. Slide UMAi Dry over meat and original packaging.
  3. Flip meat end over end.
  4. Pull out and discard the original packaging.


  1. Prepare clean surface using kitchen parchment or foil. Slide meat out of packaging and rest on clean surface.
  2. Do not dry meat. The gooey coating is the ONLY way your UMAi Dry bag sticks to the boneshell and fat cap.
  3. To prevent sharp bone ends from piercing the UMAi Dry membrane, place a thin strip of parchment paper or folded damp paper towel along the bone tips.
  4. Slide meat into the UMAi Dry bag; be careful not to snag the bones. Preserve as much “meat glue” as possible.

NOTE: UMAi Dry provides a customized dry aging environment—even when loose. During the first 24 hours after bagging, UMAi Dry will relax. Don’t worry! This is normal as the membrane takes up moisture from the meat. After it bonds and the meat shrinks by week 3 or 4, the UMAi Dry membrane may even release. Never fear. It’s still protecting your dry aging treasure.

English Instructions for Vacuum Sealer Application

Instrucciones de aplicación en español

Instructions en français pour l’emballeuse sous vide


REMEMBER: UMAi Dry® is not a vacuum bag, so don’t worry about a few air pockets!


This method achieves a clean seal and give the temporary appearance of a vacuum. It can be challenging the first time, but just forget all the rules of traditional vacuum packaging.

After each seal, cool completely then repeat seal and cool again. Why double seal? Even though UMAi Dry is thin, it requires slightly more heat to melt completely.

  1. Uncuff the open end of UMAi Dry and wipe off the inside of the opening to guarantee there is no fat or moisture to compromise the seal. 
  2. If the bag is wider than your sealer, narrow the opening by making a 45° corner seal. Wait 10 seconds and repeat. Cool completely before moving.
  3. Grasp the entire opening of the bag tight with your fist to create creases. These creases will work with the VacMouse® vacuum adaptor strip like the channels in embossed vacuum bag material.
  4. Position the VacMouse inside the bag, even with both edges. VacMouse can be either parallel or perpendicular to the open edge.
  5. Rest bag on sealer so that VacMouse spans both vacuum channel gasket and sealing bar. Close lid and latch.
  6. Press vacuum seal button to activate pump—and actively massage the air toward the opening to keep the channel withdrawing air. Press into the divots in the meat to get the best contact.
    You may need to activate the sealing function because UMAi Dry does not draw down tight like a vacuum bag, so the pump may not be triggered. Expect a few air pockets.
  7. Once seal is complete, press the “Seal Only” button for the second seal. Cool completely, and release the latch to open the sealer.
  8. Slide sealer one inch away from the seal, and make a back up seal, again sealing twice in that position and cooling completely.


This low-tech “no gadget” method uses water’s natural pressure against the submerged bag to push out most air.

  1. After clean transfer to UMAi Dry, slide meat into a bottom corner of bag.
  2. Fill bucket with cold water. You may also use your sink.
  3. Loosely loop a zip tie around the opening of the UMAi Dry bag, slide close to the meat. Hold up the excess UMAi Dry material with one hand while you lower the meat into the water.
  4. Keeping the bag opening above the water surface, massage the air toward the opening and press the UMAi Dry into good contact with the meat surface.
  5. Push around the zip tie to remove all the air before cinching the zip tie. Add a second tie to secure the opening. Trim off excess UMAi Dry material.


Another low-tech method requires about 2-3 feet of wide meat netting. You may able to source this from your local butcher. You also need a “chip clip” or zip tie to close the bag.

  1. After clean transfer to UMAiDry®, slide meat tightly into a bottom corner of bag. Press the air out to get the best possible contact to meat. Temporarily clip the bag closed. Roll any excess UMAi Dry material into a narrow band along one side of the meat.
  2. Stretch the meat netting over both forearms. Reach through to grab the bottom end of the UMAi Dry bag. Hold the narrow folded band of UMAi Dry on the edge in places as you ease the netting over the meat toward the opening. Try to ensure the UMAi Dry material does not fold over itself except along the edge. It is helpful to have a second pair of hands available to help with this step.
  3. Release any air that has gathered at the open end of the UMAi Dry bag, and re-clip securely.


  1. Once the meat is tucked safe and sound into UMAi Dry, you’re ready to rack and age. We recommend aging in your regular kitchen refrigerator (not your beer fridge) set at 33-40°F. Dry aging in a frequently opened refrigerator helps keep fresh air cycling through.
  2. Make sure your meat has its own shelf in the refrigerator.
  3. Rest meat fat cap up, meat side down on a rack elevated at least 1-2” from the solid fridge shelf. Make sure air can flow freely to the entire surface of the meat.
  4. Do not move the meat for the first week as the bond between meat surface and UMAi Dry membrane is fragile. It will bond within the first 7-10 days. Turn over after bond is secure, and let it rest throughout the remainder of the aging process.
  5. Make sure fridge is opened regularly to activate the compressor. This helps release moisture from the meat.
  6. Age for 21-35+ days, according to taste.


  1. Peel off and discard the UMAi Dry membrane.
  2. Trim off and discard the dark, waxy “bark” (about . inch). We cannot recommend the bark for human consumption.
  3. Slice your subprimal into steaks.
  4. Cook and serve your steaks OR vacuum seal individual steaks in a regular vacuum bag and store in the fridge. See page 9 for cooking tips from the pros. Remember, dry aged steak is just as perishable as all fresh meat, so enjoy within 3-5 days.
  5. Dry aged steak freezes well with little impact to texture of flavor due to the lower moisture content. Vacuum seal individual steaks in oxygen barrier vacuum bags to freeze. Thaw slowly, then grill, sear, or sous vide. See page 9 for cooking tips from the pros.

Tips & Tricks for Dry Aging Meat with UMAi/DrybagSteak Material

Getting the hang of the UMAi Dry application the first time can be frustrating. Here are some tips to help make your first dry aging experience a success!

  • Take plenty of time to get familiar with the operation of both sealer and the flexible, single layer UMAi Dry® material.
  • The “vacuum” is less essential than the “bond” that forms in the first 3-5 days, a couple of small pockets of air in the corners or in the divots where the bones have been removed do not pose a big problem.
  • The moist proteins coating the surface of the meat are what do the magic, get the best contact possible while the meat is good and sticky.
  • Be sure to use an open wire rack in your refrigerator to get best air flow 360 degrees.
  • Resting the subprimal fat cap up, meat-side down can help with good bonding on that biggest surface of meat.
  • Use ANY modern frost free refrigerator or walk-in with good temperature control and air flow–the more often it is opened and closed, the more often the refrigeration cycle stirs up the air and temperature–a good thing for dry aging.
  • Dry age as long as you prefer–21 or 28 days seems to be most common aging period.

Get everything you need to create dry aged steak with our UMAi Dry® FoodSaver Dry Aging Kit.

Temperature requirements for dry aging: Dry age at temperature between 34-38F. Typical household refrigerators and restaurant coolers are designed to protect food items like fruits, vegetables, fish and meats from spoilage without freezing them. Please make sure that your refrigerator maintains temperature between 34-38 F to ensure proper aging and prevent spoilage. Ensure that the UMAi Dry® material is in contact with the beef and there are no air pockets inside the bag.

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