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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 08-04-2013, 10:51 AM   #31
YetiDave
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IMHO it looks like the humidity in that fridge is far, far too low. I've dry aged cured meats for a month and they have never developed a jerky like texture or really visibly dried out at all. The goal is to keep the humidity high enough to prevent any dry crust forming but to keep it low enough that an even drying occurs. I'd drag it out and use it
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Unread 08-04-2013, 11:10 AM   #32
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Loving this! I've dry aged a few rib roasts and basically did it just the way you are here and with fantastic results.
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Unread 08-04-2013, 11:25 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YetiDave View Post
IMHO it looks like the humidity in that fridge is far, far too low. I've dry aged cured meats for a month and they have never developed a jerky like texture or really visibly dried out at all. The goal is to keep the humidity high enough to prevent any dry crust forming but to keep it low enough that an even drying occurs. I'd drag it out and use it
Hmm... I'm not so sure about this. I am by no means an expert, but it seems like there is AWLAYS a significant amount of trim for dry-aged beef. Isn't that the point of dry-aging? If you look at some of the walk-ins primo steak houses use for aging you will note there is definitely a desiccated amount of outside "crust" which would have to be trimmed away. This is why dry-aged beef is so expensive because you lose so much of the usable meat to the process. The act of losing moisture content is exactly what the dry-aging process is all about, and that results in dried-out jerky type outsides of the product.

I'm happy for someone to correct me if I am wrong on this.

All, this said, I completely agree with YetiDave, that there is an optimal humidity level for dry-aging, but it still has to be low enough for the moisture to escape the meat. Check out the article below for some fancy research with et al. type quotes and footnotes that are too smart for me, but it does a great job explaining the process and current research on dry-aging.

I for one, can not achieve the humidty level I want in my aging fridge (~85%) which is why I use the dry age bags with what I feel is good success.

http://www.beefresearch.org/CMDocs/B...0of%20Beef.pdf


Here's a little quote from that article:

"Dry aging can result in substantial losses in both shrinkage (moisture loss) and trim loss (discolored and/or dehydrated lean and fat that must be trimmed before merchandising steaks and roasts from the primal or subprimal)." Parrish et al. (1991)
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Unread 08-04-2013, 11:45 AM   #34
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These were dry aged for a month - hung up in a shed at around 50% humidity at 46F. They definitely lost weight and became firmer, but I didn't get any loss through trimming. If those bits of beef do feel like water balloons it could indicate that they haven't dried properly as the whole cut should begin to feel much firmer, rather than just the outside. I'm sure they'll still taste great, just keep an eye on that humidity
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Unread 08-04-2013, 11:56 AM   #35
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You are a braver man than me to eat those without trimming down a bit!

50% seems SUPER low too. I would have imagined even more loss than what you reported. Also, 46F seems kind of high?

As long as you don't get sick, and the stuff tastes great then rock on...but here's another quote from the propeller heads in that article.

I think the studies quoted didn't test anything above 39F.

"Temperature of storage is critical in that if it is below freezing temperatures for meat (-2 to -3°C), the enzymatic processes involved with aging will cease. If the temperature of storage is elevated, the enzymatic processes involved with aging will work quite well, but so will the microbial spoilage process resulting in the development of off-odors and off-flavors. In addition, elevated temperatures may promote pathogen growth, so finding the appropriate storage temperature for dry-aged beef is very important."
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Unread 08-04-2013, 11:58 AM   #36
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These were cured, there's no way I'd have eaten anything kept out for a month at that temp otherwise the black ones are just covered in black pepper by the way, they've not gone ultra crusty! And yeah 50% is low, however they were really supposed to be kept out at around 60F at 85% humidity, so I figured it'd balance out
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Unread 08-04-2013, 12:02 PM   #37
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Phew... I was honestly thinking in the back of my mind what kind of an idiot would do that, but not wanting to say it... so glad to hear that was cured meat!!
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Unread 08-04-2013, 12:05 PM   #38
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Haha, if they were uncured then calling me an idiot would be perfectly justified!
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Unread 08-04-2013, 01:01 PM   #39
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Actually, humidity has been hovering around 85% the entire time. Maybe water balloons weren't a good comparison. I only meant it in the way that there was a tough, outer layer and what felt like a moist inside.

I only plan to age them for another week, 21 days total.

I was curious about salt- would a light sprinkle on the surface of the meat make it salty and give it a "cured" flavor? I had thought about doing it to prevent bacterial growth, etc, but decided to keep it simple for my first time.
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Unread 08-04-2013, 01:07 PM   #40
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At this stage salt probably won't do much. If I were you the only thing I might do is what the Italians do when removing unwanted mould from cured meat - give it a good rub down with a cloth soaked in red wine
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Unread 08-04-2013, 01:51 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YetiDave View Post
At this stage salt probably won't do much. If I were you the only thing I might do is what the Italians do when removing unwanted mould from cured meat - give it a good rub down with a cloth soaked in red wine
I meant that I thought about sprinkling it with salt right at the beginning.

Thanks for the wine tip!
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Unread 08-04-2013, 05:08 PM   #42
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From my experience, those look ready to trim and freeze/cook.
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Unread 08-04-2013, 05:35 PM   #43
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^^^ you need to look for air leak.....no way you should have that amount of frost after 14 days. NO WAY!
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Unread 08-13-2013, 04:19 AM   #44
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Well, yesterday was day 21- time to cut some steaks!



Here's the "crust". it was pretty tough to cut through even with my 12" Victrinox slicer. It was only about 1/4" at it's thickest.



I trimmed the pieces pretty mercilessly to avoid the nasties. Alas, as suggested earlier, these turned out not to be ribeyes . They should turn out good anyway tho.



I was kind of surprised at the texture and consistency of the meat- there was absolutely no fight left in these steaks at all. The surface was dry and the cuts were very limp. They almost reminded me of wet tissue paper- like if you held them up in the air they would fall apart under their own weight.









Each slab yielded 11 steaks and 2 mini-steaks from the ends. I'm not sure how much was lost to the trim because I don't have a scale, but it was alot less than I thought it would be. The steaks are all between 3/4" and 1" thick. I vac-packed them all and threw in the freezer except for 1 which I will test cook as soon as I swap out my propane tank. I'll report back on that.

Thanks for looking!
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Last edited by Sean "Puffy" Coals; 08-13-2013 at 04:38 AM..
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Unread 08-13-2013, 05:07 AM   #45
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Good read. Looking forward to hearing about the texture and taste of the cooked steak.
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