If you haven't yet tried dry aged steak, you need to, if you have already discovered a love of dry aged meat like us, you already know how tasty it is. Dry aged steak can be hard to get your hands on as it is only served at some of the top end restaurants due to the time, cost and risk involved in producing it.
Fortunately, Steak Locker has created a meat aging fridge that takes the risks away and allows you to dry aged steak in the comfort of your own home. In this article, we are going to be talking you through the dry aged steak process so you know what to expect.
The first element in the dry aged steak process is to ensure you get a good quality and cut of meat. We recommend making friends with your best butcher or meat source and order a cut. Ensure the cut is “Bone In” and a Prime or Choice sub primal. Finding a great butcher is a good way to ensure you get reliable and quality meat.
After collecting your meat, unpack the beef and pat it dry with paper towels. Do not trim, this is because as the meat ages, it loses some of its weight through evaporation, we don’t recommend trimming the beef until after the dry aged steak process is complete. You may wrap the cut loosely in a triple layer of cheesecloth, but you don’t need to – it is a little cleaner but a lot more labor intensive as you have to change the cloth every week.
The next step in the dry aged steak process is to set your beef on the Steak Locker rack with all sides exposed to the forced air flow. Ensure the UV (Germicidal Light) is always on while the meat is in the Steak Locker. Let the cut rest for at least 28 days or up to 75 day; the longer the beef ages, the tastier it gets.
When you have finished dry aging your beef, the dry aged steak process doesn’t stop there. When ready to portion out a steak and not the entire cut, use a sharp knife and cut off a 2.5 inch steak along the bone. Shave off and discard the hard, dried outer layer of the meat. Cut away any dried areas of fat, but leave behind as much of the good fat as possible. You are now ready to grill or cook your dry aged steak. You can place the remainder of the primal cut back into the Steak Locker for additional dry aging time. Alternatively, if you do not desire additional dry aging time, cut the entire sub primal into steaks and freeze them individually. We recommend using a vacuum sealing machine and bags to prevent freezer burn.
More information about the dry aged steak process
Now we have covered each of the steps of the dry aged steak process, we wanted to explain other things you can expect. This includes loss due to the dry aging process: As your sub primal cut is dry aging, slowly dehydrating and losing water, it concentrates the flavor but also loses about 15-25% of its starting weight. This is predominantly the reason that this type of high quality product costs at least 70% more than the non-dry aged product. However, it will reward you with the most tender and truly naturally flavorful beef.
Depending on your choice of cut and due to the nature of the dry aging process, it is almost always preferred to cut at least 1.5 inch thick steaks.
The longer you leave the beef to dry age, the more intense the flavors will be. From 28 days you can expect a rich nuttiness as well as mushroom and umami flavors. It really is a personal preference when it comes to the length of time you leave your meat to dry age, if you leave your meat up to 75 days you can expect more pungent flavors and bold blue cheese notes. You can see the full flavor timeline in one of our previous articles: How long can you keep dry aged steak in fridge.