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MeatyOakerSmoker
11-24-2017, 12:49 PM
Hello

I've seen quite a few threads over time about folks dry aging whole subprimals at home. I've decided I want to give it a go so I'm here to solicit some of the collective intelligence of the brethren.

Here are the choices I'm considering:
1) http://www.thesteakager.com/ - currently selling for $170 delivered
2) A DIY build with a mini fridge - probably going to cost me $250 but worst case I wind up with a fridge

The DIY build I was looking at was:

Danby All Fridge (no freezer)
USB fan
UV-C light
some probes


Have any of you tried these options or have any other suggestions?

Thanks
Sam

WeberWho
11-24-2017, 02:04 PM
Do you have an extra beer fridge? Put the subprimal on a rack that air can circulate around it. Keep the beer fridge between 32-38 degrees. Keep any opened foods in a container so the subprimal doesn't pick up any odors from other foods or products. Pick it up 45 days later. You can make it super complicated and expensive or just let it roll in the beer fridge. It's really that easy

https://s18.postimg.org/4pr96dr2d/ba80df32014c4ee4aaeec191f759be.jpg (https://postimg.org/image/4pr96dr2d/)

https://s18.postimg.org/ijflvh1o5/fa479505f3a07341ca1402805190cc.jpg (https://postimg.org/image/ijflvh1o5/)

MeatyOakerSmoker
11-24-2017, 02:24 PM
Does it matter if the beer fridge has a freezer or not?

WeberWho
11-24-2017, 02:45 PM
Does it matter if the beer fridge has a freezer or not?


The freezer doesn't matter. You want a standard sized fridge. You don't want to use a wine fridge or a dorm sized fridge.

This is what I wrote up a few years ago. This might better help paint a picture:

JGambomw asked how I dry aged my steak and I wrote this up for him. Thought I might also post it as a thread.

I believe in Stikes method on dry aging. Keep it simple. Throw it in your fridge and forget about it.

I start out by picking up a whole NY Strip at either Costco/Sams. Once at home I take it out of the cryo pack and trim away any hard fat and saving as much fat as possible for dry aging. Wash the whole strip under cold water and pat dry. I then grab a cookie sheet and line the bottom of the cookie sheet with paper towels. After I line the cookie sheet with paper towels I place a cooling rack or something that will keep the steak elevated and off the paper towels when dry aging. You want air to circulate under the steak as it dry ages.

I use my spare beer fridge for the dry aging process. Whatever refrigerator you use make sure it's clean. I recommend washing and cleaning it prior. Don't use any cleaning chemicals that give off an odor and only use what is safe around food. I use soap and water. Cleaning will help reduce any bad mold the steak might pick up and help reduce any funky odors the steak could absorb into it. Also keep food/leftovers sealed tight as it can give off an aroma. So you pretty much want an odorless refrigerator. So my spare fridge works best as it only has beer, bbq sauce, and spare milk most of the time. You want a fridge that you can keep stable in temperature. Your main fridge fluctuates in temp constantly as it is opened many times throughout the day. So a spare fridge makes it a better option. Plus the wife probably doesn't want to see a big chunk of rotting dead meat every time she opens the fridge.

You NEED to have the fridge temp between 32 and 38 degrees. Anything under 32 begins to freeze and stops the process of dry aging and anything over 38 you start to run the risk of bad bacteria growth. The day before I start dry aging I place a stand up thermometer in the fridge so I can get a reading on how the cold the refrigerator is running. From there you can play around with the refrigerator thermostat until you find the temp you're happy with between 32 and 38 degrees. Keep this thermometer in the fridge so you can check and see you are within temp during the aging process. Put steak into fridge and begin!

After the first couple days the steak might begin to lose some moisture and leak onto the paper towels. After the 2nd or 3rd day of dry aging you want to remove and discard the paper towels on the cookie sheet. The steak hardens up after a few days in refrigerator and will stop leaking. So no need for any new paper towels. Once the paper towels are removed you can place everything back in the fridge. From here you have the green light. Keep dry aging until your desired length of time. Most say 40 day is the magic number for dry aging. 100% up to you. You should get a light almost like pine scent while it dry ages. You don't want a foul smell as if it's going bad. (obviously) Just check the temp gauge every 3-4-5 days and make sure you are in tolerance for temp.

I pulled the steak out after 40 days. The steak will get a hard outer bark. Some will trim the outer bark while other's wont. Personal preference. I usually cut each steak to a minimum of 1". After cutting into steaks I will vacuum seal and freeze. I typically get 10-12 steaks out of a whole NY Strip. Probably would retail for $200-$250 if purchased dry aged from the butcher. But for $80 and very little work you can do it yourself on the cheap!

WeberWho
11-24-2017, 02:56 PM
This is my subprimal in the beer fridge currently after 30 something days. I'd have to look at my calendar to figure out what day I'm at. You want a cookie tray with some paper towels below it for the first few days as it will drip. I don't think most will use the actual fridge rack as a drying rack but I figured why not if it's cleaned prior. You do want air to circulate around the subprimal to help the drying process. It's super simple.

https://s18.postimg.org/q72idhpyt/20171124_134743.jpg (https://postimg.org/image/q72idhpyt/)

Bbq_lover
11-25-2017, 10:55 PM
I have a fridge in the garage and use this product,

https://www.drybagsteak.com

Works great, and I have been doing it for the last 5 years at least. I have done ribeyes, prime and choice, strip, and sirlion. I prefer ribeyes, so really 99% of my dry aging is ribeyes. I currently have 2 prime ribeyes and 1 prime NY strip in my fridge now getting ready for the holidays. I find that 6 weeks brings out the best flavor, going more than that isn’t worth it, going less than that will make it tender but not have the same flavor profile.

MeatyOakerSmoker
11-25-2017, 11:31 PM
I’ve been waiting to try the umai bags. I think the one time I came to buy them I couldn’t figure out if I need the ribeye bags or the prime rib bags. Same damn cut so I’m not sure why they have two different bags for it. I think it’s bone in vs boneless but annoying no less. I want to be able to pick the meat without having to worry about bag size.

WeberWho
11-26-2017, 08:20 AM
I’ve been waiting to try the umai bags. I think the one time I came to buy them I couldn’t figure out if I need the ribeye bags or the prime rib bags. Same damn cut so I’m not sure why they have two different bags for it. I think it’s bone in vs boneless but annoying no less. I want to be able to pick the meat without having to worry about bag size.

No need for any bags if you have a spare fridge. :wink: I can see how the bag would come in handy if you only used your main fridge with fluctuating temps as the door being opened and closed. It would also help with odor in the main fridge. That's why the spare beer fridge works great for dry aging.

EdF
11-26-2017, 10:08 AM
Iíve been waiting to try the umai bags. I think the one time I came to buy them I couldnít figure out if I need the ribeye bags or the prime rib bags. Same damn cut so Iím not sure why they have two different bags for it. I think itís bone in vs boneless but annoying no less. I want to be able to pick the meat without having to worry about bag size.

All depends on the "girth" of the piece of meat. My last rib roast was bone in - used the big size. NY loin roast I just finished was boneless and smaller - fit well in the smaller bags.

Bbq_lover
11-26-2017, 11:32 AM
For ribeyes I use the prime rib bags, they are the largest available and I don’t have to trim it cut anything off to make them fit. I use the strip lion bags for NY strips.
Even in a beer fridge, I find it useful to have the bags since I don’t have to worry about any funk or weird odors getting into the meat when using the bags. It’s a layer protection if you are unsure.

Smoke Dawg
11-26-2017, 11:43 AM
I have done a few using the Umai bags and a free fridge I picked up on CL. The older fridge worked great because it had metal grates for shelves and not glass.

I do keep beer in there also.

Thanks for posting the no bag method. I'd like a dedicated fridge for meat aging and this helps.


Check this one out!

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=188117&highlight=Richard

jasonjax
11-26-2017, 02:19 PM
I have a fridge in the garage and use this product,

https://www.drybagsteak.com

Works great, and I have been doing it for the last 5 years at least. I have done ribeyes, prime and choice, strip, and sirlion. I prefer ribeyes, so really 99% of my dry aging is ribeyes. I currently have 2 prime ribeyes and 1 prime NY strip in my fridge now getting ready for the holidays. I find that 6 weeks brings out the best flavor, going more than that isnít worth it, going less than that will make it tender but not have the same flavor profile.

+1 been very happy with results using these bags w/ primal cuts for up to 30 days.

EdF
11-26-2017, 02:24 PM
35 and 36 for my two experiments. Wanted to try 45 for the ones above, but needed to make room to defrost the turkey!

WeberWho
11-27-2017, 12:08 AM
I was wrong when I mentioned 30 something days above. I just hit 45 days. Good thing for calendars on your phone to help remind you. I cut into individual steaks and vacuumed sealed.

https://s18.postimg.org/j887j6o2d/20171126_213904.jpg (https://postimg.org/image/j887j6o2d/)

Pocchampion
11-27-2017, 12:19 AM
I have used the bags from drybagsteak.com and the results are awesome. I buy whole subprimal from Costco and bag and store. No fuss. No worries about what else is in the fridge. I do use my beef fridge since it will be more stable in temp than our primary fridge.

EdF
11-27-2017, 04:21 PM
I was wrong when I mentioned 30 something days above. I just hit 45 days. Good thing for calendars on your phone to help remind you. I cut into individual steaks and vacuumed sealed.

https://s18.postimg.org/j887j6o2d/20171126_213904.jpg (https://postimg.org/image/j887j6o2d/)

Looks GREAT!

WeberWho
11-27-2017, 05:46 PM
Looks GREAT!

Hey thanks!

Vision
11-27-2017, 08:15 PM
For those who use the umai bags, is it really worth the expense and trouble?

Pocchampion
11-27-2017, 08:57 PM
For those who use the umai bags, is it really worth the expense and trouble?

The bags are not expensive and really easy to use.

MeatyOakerSmoker
11-27-2017, 10:34 PM
These? https://umaidry.com/products/prime-rib-roast-packet

Dinkle
11-28-2017, 10:50 AM
Umai dry bags are the way to go, ya those are the ones. They are 22$ for 3 bags

sthamm
11-28-2017, 12:58 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't Umai bags and other vacuum sealed bags merely dehydrate meat rather than actually enzymatically break it down? And these bacterial enzymes need an aerobic environment (not the anaerobic environment of a vacuum sealed bag). In addition, I wonder how much bacteria survive the flash freezing process that takes place before shipment to your local butcher/grocer. I've seriously considered converting a small refrigerator into a dry aging locker until I read up on the science behind the process.

EdF
11-28-2017, 02:23 PM
The bags are permeable. The use of a vacuum is just to pull the inside surface of the bag to the meat, providing a substrate for the enzymatic action.

They're very hassle free.

Bbq_lover
11-28-2017, 10:01 PM
They key to the bags is getting a good vacuum seal on the meat for the first few days so the bag will bond to the meat. The bag itself is permeable, so it does create the environment for dry aging. It’s pretty easy to do and I’ve been using these bags for years with great results! Around the holidays I do 2 or 3 ribeyes and cut them into steaks for my family and they love them.

sthamm
11-28-2017, 10:11 PM
Looks like I stand corrected. I'll give these Umai bags a shot...already have a beer fridge in the garage. I'll just make some space.

MeatyOakerSmoker
11-29-2017, 11:57 AM
Umai dry bags are the way to go, ya those are the ones. They are 22$ for 3 bags

More like $28 when you account for shipping so about $9 per bag which is on average a 10lb roast. So about a $1 per pound. Not that bad actually. Youíd have to do about 150-250 lbs of meat to pay for a steakager or dedicated fridge given that.

MeatyOakerSmoker
11-29-2017, 12:29 PM
Some addtitional reading. While I’m not arguing taste this certainly argues dry bags are not dry aging.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/03/the-food-lab-complete-guide-to-dry-aging-beef-at-home.html

EdF
11-29-2017, 03:31 PM
Some addtitional reading. While Iím not arguing taste this certainly argues dry bags are not dry aging.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/03/the-food-lab-complete-guide-to-dry-aging-beef-at-home.html

Kenji is one of my heroes, but you don't need a tight seal. 80% contact of the meat and bag is fine. So he tossed out a bunch of expensive bags that were usable. The white mold is harmless and wipes off with a bit of cider vinegar on a paper towel. I haven't gotten anywhere near the amount shown in the pic, but I've only gotten in 36 days so far (to make room for the defrosting turkey).

Anyway, this is one of those try for yourself kind of things. Good luck and enjoy however you decide to do it!

MeatyOakerSmoker
11-29-2017, 04:43 PM
Well I bought the steakager and I’ll be trying it out. If it’s $170 wasted then at least I will prevent other brethren from doing the same. Maybe I should get bags a well and do a side by side.