Here at Steak Locker, we know that dry aging requires long waiting times to allow for the development of flavor. Since our dry age fridges have a capacity of up to 350lbs, you may have aged a large cut of meat which you want to preserve after it is aged to the level you want. In this article we answer a frequently asked question; ‘can you freeze dry aged beef’?
If you want to freeze dry aged beef, the good news is that you can and you don’t have to worry about negative effects. The best thing to do is put it straight into the freezer as soon as you remove it from the Steak Locker. There are a number of steps you should consider when wondering ‘can you freeze dry aged beef.’
Freezing dry aged beef
There are two methods common for freezing steaks that have been dry aged. First, dry age to your favorite length of time like 45 days. After that, butcher the sub-primal cut into steaks then vacuum seal and place into the freezer for 6 to 12 months. Then cut a steak or two off the sub-primal at a time every few weeks to see how the flavor develops. Just apply a coat of butter, bacon, or beef fat to the cut side so it’s a bit protected from the aging process and to keep it tender.
While freezer burn isn't dangerous, it can negatively affect the taste, texture, and appearance of the cut of beef. For the best results, it’s important to remember to wrap the beef as tightly as possible or to use a vacuum sealer to remove as much air as possible. If a vacuum sealer is not available, it’s best to wrap as tightly as possible then defrost and consume it as soon as possible or less than three months. If there are only small bits that end up with freezer burn then they can just get cut away, any larger will affect the quality, flavor, and texture of the beef.
There are three common methods to defrost a frozen cut of beef; to defrost within the refrigerator, defrost under cool running water and to defrost within the microwave. The most effective way is to defrost within the refrigerator, this will ensure that it’s evenly defrosted cuts that don’t become watered down. Running cool water over the wrapped cut of beef will also produce an even defrost but it does require a lengthy time of running the water. Finally, while defrosting within the microwave is the fastest, it does produce the most uneven end product because parts of the cut can begin to cook and become inedible.
How to take care when freezing dry aged beef
- Wrap the meat well using heavy duty plastic or a resealable bag ensuring all air is squeezed out to avoid freezer burn.
- For extra shelf life, it is possible to vacuum pack the meat to prevent any oxygen reaching it.
- It is imperative you avoid further moisture loss as this could leave your delicious dry aged beef chewy.
- Dry aged beef can be stored in a freezer for around 6 months.
Why you might want to know the answer to ‘can you freeze dry aged beef’
There are a number of reasons why you might want to freeze dry aged beef.
- If you have bought already aged beef but don’t want to eat it yet.
- You have aged your own beef to the maximum time you want but aren't ready to eat it yet.
- You have aged a large cut or amount of beef and want to save some for a later date.
- Since the dry aging process is long, you want to have a freezer stocked up whilst you wait for the next lot of aging to complete.
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