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Unread 07-20-2013, 06:17 PM   #1
Sean "Puffy" Coals
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Cool Big A$$ Pieces of Meat... my first dry aging experiment

So my former boss called me today; seems he got a case of these instead of the flank steak he ordered and wanted to know if I'd be interested in them:



The label on the case said "7 bone beef ribeye roll." When I heard "Ribeye" I knew they'd be my next victims.

They're so huge I had to take the blue teapot, which has become a hallmark of my pics, off the stove to fit them on it.

The one on the left weighs in at 17.25 lbs! The one on the right weighs in at 15.96 lbs. To give you an idea of the size, they're sitting on my brand new 18"x26" prep/sheet pan.

So, now I have a few questions:

1) has anyone ever dry-aged anything like this?
2) does anyone have any ideas on what I could lay them on to get air circulation all round them? The only thing I can think of that will hold the weight is a bed of upside-down shot glasses.
3) Wrap in cheese cloth?
D) What would be my ideal temp/moisture level? Keep in mind that I alreaady build a dedicated dry-aging fridge.

Thoughts/Comments/Advice welcome!
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Unread 07-20-2013, 07:03 PM   #2
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To get air around them, do you have any cooling racks? Two should fit in the pan nicely.
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Unread 07-20-2013, 07:06 PM   #3
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The bad news is that the pan is 3x the size of the fridge . Lookinf into different pan/cooling rack options on the interwebs.
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Unread 07-20-2013, 07:12 PM   #4
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A couple half sheet pans and racks should fit in the fridge.

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/18-x...07BUNHALF.html

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/12-x...n/4070048.html
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Unread 07-20-2013, 07:33 PM   #5
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Alas, too wide. The fridge racks are only 10.5" x 16". I'm considering finding foil throw-away pans to put under the fridge racks and putting the meat directly on them.

Thanks for the link, tho. Now I know where to go for all my cooking stuff.
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Unread 07-20-2013, 07:40 PM   #6
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Cookie cooling trays are perfect for this- you will have to do one per pan but will work. Hope you have an extra fridge :)
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Unread 07-20-2013, 09:32 PM   #7
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Totally worth the time. I just hate cutting away the trim. Makes me feel guilty, but I get over it when the dry aged steak hits my mouth. Actually, when it hits the hot surface of the cooking apparatus. For me, dry aged beef has a distinct smell to it. Yummy.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 09:35 AM   #8
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So, I got up early today and got started.

Got the ribeyes out of the cryo and rinsed off.



So, remember when I was talking about how small my dry-aging fridge is? See the white wire racks under these massive hunks of meat? Those are the shelves from the fridge.

Yea.

So, needless to say it was going to be a tight fit.

I put about a 3/16" layer of coarse sea salt in a baking pan to filter the air/inhibit bacterial growth.



I decided to use the salt method rather than wrap the meat in cheese cloth or "sterile towels." It seemed easier and to be more beneficial from the threads I researched.

Here's the fridge, fully loaded.



Don't plan on opening it again for another 5 days or so. I don't want to age these forever as I'm somewhat impatient, so I figure about 21 days should be good. Longer may be better, but three weeks should be plenty long enough to give me a good balance of quality vs time.

I will put up more picks when I check on them.

Thanks for looking!
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Unread 07-21-2013, 11:42 AM   #9
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I was going to suggest cheesecloth/hunter bag, this is interesting stuff, haven't done it in a long time and it was wild game. We never got into the science of it or anything, just hung it in the cold garage from a rafter. Then processed.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 12:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bshm View Post
I was going to suggest cheesecloth/hunter bag, this is interesting stuff, haven't done it in a long time and it was wild game. We never got into the science of it or anything, just hung it in the cold garage from a rafter. Then processed.
I didn't really see the point of the cheese cloth seeing that it was going to be either A) easy to get off, B) a PITA to get off or 3) impossible to get off and I'd end up just cutting it off during the trim.

Regardless of the outcome, the salt pan still seemed like the better option. Plus, out of the pics of results from both methods, the salt pan ones looked better. Not that it counts for much.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 02:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean "Puffy" Coals View Post
I didn't really see the point of the cheese cloth seeing that it was going to be either A) easy to get off, B) a PITA to get off or 3) impossible to get off and I'd end up just cutting it off during the trim.

Regardless of the outcome, the salt pan still seemed like the better option. Plus, out of the pics of results from both methods, the salt pan ones looked better. Not that it counts for much.
It's the only way I've seen this done first hand, although the famous places that do this have rooms and don't use anything, just leave it open to the air.

The last time I saw someone do this they changed the "gauze" a few times during the process. Either way should be fine and I can't wait to see how your's turns out. Post lots of pics pleeze.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 02:28 PM   #12
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I used to work with a lot of dry aged beef about 30 or so years ago when I was grill master at a famous country club. Never tried doing it at home as we always bought whole sides and cut them up on site. Love the stuff... Be careful wouldn't want to see what you look like if it turns British Racing Green and try to eat it.... But the Brits like it that color. What temp are you planning to hold it at? Keep us updated I want to see how you progress. Maybe you should get a bigger hotbox.

Sure you don't want to push that aging out to around 35 to 40 days as you don't get much flavor shift at 21 days.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 02:55 PM   #13
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Default large netting to hang them ??

http://www.alliedkenco.com/meatnetting-28.aspx
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Unread 07-21-2013, 03:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanamaExpat View Post
I used to work with a lot of dry aged beef about 30 or so years ago when I was grill master at a famous country club. Never tried doing it at home as we always bought whole sides and cut them up on site. Love the stuff... Be careful wouldn't want to see what you look like if it turns British Racing Green and try to eat it.... But the Brits like it that color. What temp are you planning to hold it at? Keep us updated I want to see how you progress. Maybe you should get a bigger hotbox.

Sure you don't want to push that aging out to around 35 to 40 days as you don't get much flavor shift at 21 days.
I plan on aging at 34* or so. That seems the lowest my "hot" box can go anyway. Don't worry, I'll be careful and trim judiciously.

I wasn't planning on putting so much tonnage in there, but when these ribeyes fell into my lap, I felt like it was destiny!

Lots of pics to come! Stay tuned!
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Unread 07-21-2013, 05:19 PM   #15
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You should be good to go. I'd stick with 21 days for now unless you have a dehumidifier in the dedicated fridge. The salt will definitely help, but humidity is your enemy. You could also look into the dry bag aging bags from UMAI I which I use. I've been happy with them. It is a vacuum type bag which has a membrane allowing moisture out but not in.

If I can remember I will post some pics of my last strip loin I did. I was very happy the way it turned out.
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