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Dry Aging Beef at Home - the topic


Varmint
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So let's say we are planning to do a 6-7 lb. beef tenderloin on Xmas day.

Opinions about best way/temperature/etc. to cook said tenderloin?

I cook a lot of tenderloin and am going to do three for Xmas eve at my house.

I clean them pretty thoroughly (for roasting, I leave the chain on[side muscle]). I make a cut towards the tail and tuck it under the roast. I have a habit of tying the things. This keeps the side muscle attached and holds the tail together. It also pulls in the butt so that the entire roast has a quasi-uniform thickness.

These I sear and roast on racks in a 325-350 convection oven. About 25 minutes does for my 7-ups, so you may want to tweak down, or for a standard oven, increase the cook time. I pull at about 118-20 and let rest for twenty minutes. Not too much carry-up with these things, maybe 5-8 degrees.

Good luck, Hope this helps a little.

Nick

Edited by ngatti (log)
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I had written off electric knives a long time ago, too. Then, the other night, the subject came up in an episode of America's Test Kitchen, where they were using one to slice bonless pork loin. They also recommended one for cutting things with more than one texture, their specific example being a pecan pie/tart- it cut the crust easily and didn't crush the filling. I also remember an electric being used several times in The Fourth Star(though I don't remember what for).

Anyway, I'm reevaluating my position. How wrong can I go for <$25?

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So let's say we are planning to do a 6-7 lb. beef tenderloin on Xmas day.

Opinions about best way/temperature/etc. to cook said tenderloin?

BBQ on a rotissseri.

ps. I have an electric carving knive I use all the time.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I recently saw Pam Anderson on one of the Cooking Live reruns. She said that, after cooking the rib roast at 200 degrees, there would be virtually no carryover cooking time. As we will be cooking ours on the smoker at this temp., it would be good to know if anyone could verify this.

If you're going to get an electric knife, try it on for size, and try pressing the cutting trigger (for lack of a better description). I had one I loved for many years. It finally gave up the ghost and my mom got me another one, which I HATE. It is too big for my small hands, and the trigger is one that must be pushed up rather than pulled back. (I hope that makes sense). It's very difficult to push up with your finger while pushing down with your arm. It makes my hand cramp and I only use it when they're here.

Stop Family Violence

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  • 1 year later...

There was an episode wherein Alton Brown prepared a standing rib roast -- I believe the grade was something called ``supermarket prime" -- dry aged it in a 34 degree F. refrigerator for several days to reduce the moisture content and intensify the ``beefy flavor;" has anyone done this and is it worth the effort?

By the way, the two schools of thought on prime rib preparation; either pre-heat an over to about 400 F and roast for up to an hour for color, then reduce to 325-350 F the rest of the way. The other is to brown at high heat or evern brown on top of the stove and roast at 200 F, one hour per pound... either way, the idea is get the internal temp to 125-130 for rare and dark chestnut brown on the outside.

Any tips/comments/suggestions here? thanks

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I have a chef-friend who roasts a bone-in pork rib roast at 500 degrees for fifteen minutes and at 200 for about an hour (145 degrees on the thermometer). Its terrific and I have done it at home to considerable success. I have a prime rib in the refrigerator for Christmas dinner that I'm going to do the same way. Probably take it out at about 120 tho. I've never dry aged but would like to try after a little education.

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I dry-aged a rib roast last year for Christmas and I thought it made a huge difference in the flavor of the meat. I followed essentially the same suggestions as Alton, though I did it at the prompting of Cook's Illustrated. (Well, how much is there to "put uncovered meat in fridge. Wait.)

I think I did 5 or seven days. You'll need a nice chunk of free space in a fridge for the meat, rack and tray to catch the juices.

Highly recommended for flavor and for something to talk about at table.

Here is a blurb from Cook's about dry aging. Here is their recipe for Prime Rib.

Good luck!

(Edited to add URLs)

Edited by bigwino (log)
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I just read an article in Cook's Illustrated about dry aging in the fridge. They say to do it uncovered on a rack for 1 to 3 days and then shave off any dried out parts. In their tests even 1 day of aging made a big difference in taste tests.

I seriously doubt that one day would make a diff. I also am suspect of anything that Cook's prints but that's a different subject.

Professional aging is done in temperature and humidty controlled environments. There are different odors that could affect your meat in your fridge. I'm not saying it can't be done but I leave the dry aging to my butcher at Zier's in Wilmette, Illinois who has aged our Prime Rib (Prime Prime Rib to some) for 2.5 weeks.-Dick

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I just read an article in Cook's Illustrated about dry aging in the fridge.  They say to do it uncovered on a rack for 1 to 3 days and then shave off any dried out parts.  In their tests even 1 day of aging made a big difference in taste tests.

I seriously doubt that one day would make a diff. I also am suspect of anything that Cook's prints but that's a different subject.

Professional aging is done in temperature and humidty controlled environments. There are different odors that could affect your meat in your fridge. I'm not saying it can't be done but I leave the dry aging to my butcher at Zier's in Wilmette, Illinois who has aged our Prime Rib (Prime Prime Rib to some) for 2.5 weeks.-Dick

Could not agree more. Any one trying to age beef in a home ice box is looking for trouble.

My advice is do not try it, and I really enjoy Alton, but he misses the mark on this one.

Properly aged beef is one of life's true treasures. It needs to be done in a controlled atmosphere, with stringent sanitary guide lines.

woodburner

Edited by woodburner (log)
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I've tried Alton Brown's method, both with some standing ribs as well as a whole beef tenderloin from Costco, the kind wrapped in cryovac.

Usually, those cryovac tenderloins are so wet as to cook up mushy. I let it dry out for 5 days in my 50% humidity, 38º refrigerator (within recommended guidelines for aging), wrapped in a cotton towel that I changed daily, on a rack over a sheet pan. Drying this cut really improved the flavor and texture.

It did the same for the standing ribs, although not as dramatically, since they started out as a better cut to begin with. It does increase the density and richness of the flavor.

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I seriously doubt that one day would make a diff. I also am suspect of anything that Cook's prints but that's a different subject.

Professional aging is done in temperature and humidty controlled environments. There are different odors that could affect your meat in your fridge. I'm not saying it can't be done but I leave the dry aging to my butcher at Zier's in Wilmette, Illinois who has aged our Prime Rib (Prime Prime Rib to some) for 2.5 weeks.-Dick

If you don't want to trust a number of tasters saying one thing tastes better than another thing that is fine. I am sure you know best.

I think the point is that you can buy a regular piece of meat and deepen its flavors by drying it for a couple days instead of going out and spending $20/lb on buying dry-aged beef or going to a restaurant and paying $50 for it. Obviously the professionally dried one is going to be superior, but that is not the point at all.

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I'll tell you what's more dangerous...even thinking of buying a rib roast these days. I paused by the scale in the meat dept in the earthy crunchy grocery store where I work to watch a rib roast get it's price tag....$181.00!

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I age rib roasts sometimes, although they don't need it as much as cheaper cuts. I find the cuts that really benefit from it are things like bottom round rump roast or top round, the cheap roasts (relatively speaking!) that I tend to buy a few times a month.

I put the roast on a plate or in the uncovered roasting pan and set it in the fridge for 4 days or so. I have a fridge thermometer to make sure the temperature is in the right range. We've never gotten sick from this practice, or even encountered a dodgy-tasting roast. (Interesting--I've always noticed that beef left in its plastic wrap goes green and awful very quickly; yet beef left uncovered actually improves, assuming you shave off the dried-up surfaces before cooking.)

A couple months back I actually split up a bottom round rump roast: I set aside a big chunk to age for 4 days, and I roasted the remaining portion the day I bought it. The unaged roast was tough and lacking in flavor. Four days later, the aged part (from the same roast, remember) was relatively tender and very tasty. It was a marked improvement.

For beef roasts--rib roast or the cheap round roasts--I coat the meat with pepper and kosher salt and put it in a 500 degree oven for fifteen to twenty minutes. Then I lower the heat to 300 or so, stick in the probe thermometer when the oven cools down a bit, and take out the roast when it hits about 120 degrees (or 116 for rib roasts, which I like a touch rarer than round roasts). Let it rest while making gravy from the drippings. By the time it's rested for 15-20 minutes, it's typically a nice medium rare, albeit a little well-done around the edges--the price I'm happy to pay for a good crust.

Edited by fendel (log)
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I just posted this in another thread before I found this one--wish I knew how to link it. Hope no one minds my pasting it here:

Well, I'm "dry-aging" a rib roast in the fridge right now, and I'm up late searching the web because I'm anxious about it. :unsure:

Both the Alton Brown show and the America's Test Kitchen website claim that even one day's aging in the fridge has a beneficial effect, and frankly, that's as far as I'm willing to take it with $80 and my reputation with some in-laws on the line.

One thing AB left out of his show--and by the way, who is seriously going to take a huge ceramic tree planter and put it in their oven--is that beef will absorb other flavors from the fridge, like butter will.

So far it's been unwrapped in the fridge for 12 hours, and I can already see some darkening patches on the fat, and a few additional brown areas on the cut sides. I pulled it out and took a sniff, and I must say it smells reassuringly good. A strong smell, but not a spoiled one.

Anyway, my evening of web research has turned up a tentative answer to the question that launched this thread: tenderloin has little to no protective fat coating its surfaces and is therefore not a good candidate for long dry-aging. Hence no aged filet minon.

The dinner is tommorow night. I'll post the results afterwards. . .

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The results are in. . .non-scientific of course, since there was no control roast. :wink:

The roast was very tender and tasted good, but I don't beleive 24 hours of aging made a difference in the outcome. Based on the rate of change I beleive the roast would have appeared and smelled completely unpalatable after a second day, far from the "slight funky smell" AB mentioned.

If I ever try it again, I'll practice temperature control of my fridge first, let the meat sit on a rack, and make sure to remove the jar of kimchi and the stinky cheese.

My research turned up one more thing: According to some websites, Morton's and Ruth Chris do not dry age their beef. I have never tried either chain, so I can't compare. But if they don't have the expense of dry-aging, do their steaks cost less on the plate, or do they have a better profit margin than their dry-aging competition?

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My research turned up one more thing: According to some websites, Morton's and Ruth Chris do not dry age their beef. I have never tried either chain, so I can't compare. But if they don't have the expense of dry-aging, do their steaks cost less on the plate, or do they have a better profit margin than their dry-aging competition?

ruth's chris' website suggests that they serve aged prime beef. same with morton's website. it's not clear whether they're doing it on premises, although i wouldn't be surprised if they weren't, given the number of restaurants involved.

Edited by tommy (log)
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Small nuance: Although both Morton's and Ruth Chris served "aged beef," I believe they both use "wet" aging instead of "dry aging." Makes for less weight loss and less of that "beefy" taste.

"These pretzels are making me thirsty." --Kramer

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Small nuance: Although both Morton's and Ruth Chris served "aged beef," I believe they both use "wet" aging instead of "dry aging." Makes for less weight loss and less of that "beefy" taste.

that sounds right, as neither says "dry".

so the question becomes: is wet aging cheaper than dry aging.

edit:

ok, looks like it's going to be open for debate. interesting article

Edited by tommy (log)
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From Lobel's website:

"There are two types of aging: dry aging and wet aging. Dry aging is the choice of the discriminating chef. The wet aging process involves sealing meat in airtight Cryovac bags. Wet aging does less to enhance flavor and tenderness than dry aging.

Dry-aged meat is increasingly difficult to find because the process is expensive and time-intensive. During dry aging, the meat's natural enzymes act as tenderizers, breaking down the connective tissue that holds the muscles. At the same time, the evaporation of moisture improves texture. Dry aging continues until a thin coating develops on the meat surface. The coating seals in flavor and juices during aging, and is then trimmed off. Loss of weight results from the evaporation of moisture and from trimming, and both of these processes add to the cost of dry aging meat. "

"These pretzels are making me thirsty." --Kramer

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ok, looks like it's going to be open for debate. interesting article

Comparing dry aged meat from Lobels and wet aged meat from Food Emporium is ridiculous. The quality of the meat is different from the start which makes the dry aging vs. wet aging debate worthless. Throw in freshness, cryovac, butchering, etc. and there are so many other variables involved.

"These pretzels are making me thirsty." --Kramer

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