In this article, we will answer the question “How long can you keep dry-aged steak in the fridge?”, and how to dry-age beef at home?
How long can you keep dry-aged steak in the fridge?
This depends on what cut you are working with and what taste you like for your dry-aged beef. The typical dry-aged beef flavors start to develop from the onset of the 21st day.
By the 28th or 35th day, the beef develops umami and mushroom-like flavors. From 45 days onwards, bold blue cheese flavors accumulate.
7 days mark the breakdown of the main structural protein of the steak. But the distinct flavor and texture of the aged steak are absent.
Dry aging is associated with the risk of spoilage which can be avoided by using steak lockers that let the steak age under controlled humidity and temperature.
By 21 days, steak has lost 10% of its weight through evaporation. The water evaporates from the front and back of the steak because the sides are insulated by bone and fat. The fat begins to darken and the steak flavors become concentrated with subtle nutty notes.
30 days old dry-aged steak is known for its rich, mushroom and umami flavors. Byt his time, the steak loses 15%of its weight.
At this stage, the meat becomes very lightweight and develops sharp flavors with bold blue cheese notes. The fat develops the flavor before the meat does.
By the 90th day, the meat develops a white protective film over its surface. This white crust is removed before sale.
A 120-day old dry-aged steak has intense flavors which come across as funky for some people. By this time, the meat has lost 35% of its initial weight. The high cost and funky flavor attract a specific audience of most of the high-end restaurants.
How long does it take to cook a dry-aged steak?
First of all, you need to prepare your dry-aged steak for cooking. Get rid of the dried-out outer layers and the dark areas. Ideally, the steaks should be 1.5-inches thick.
The type of steak cut and the method adopted for the dry-aging affects the cooking time of the steak.
A dry-aged steak is cooked in half the time it takes to cook fresh steak. This is attributed to the lower moisture content of the dry-aged steak. It is recommended to slightly undercook the dry-aged steak because over-done steak cannot be saved.
Why does dry-aged beef taste better?
Dry-aged beef is produced by subjecting the beef steaks to a constant airflow at low temperatures for days or weeks. This allows the natural enzymes to break down the muscle tissue that results in the production of complex and concentrated flavors.
Wet aging involves aging the beef in plastic shrink-wrap. However, dry aging is more costly than wet aging because it causes moisture and consequent weight loss, plus, the meat has to be trimmed of its dry exteriors.
Dry-aged beef is more juicy, tender and beefier, than wet-aged beef. Even after the loss of as much as 20% of its original weight, dry-aged beef is worth the effort and expense due to its heavenly flavors.
How to dry-age beef at home?
It is recommended to dedicate a separate fridge for dry-aging if you frequently dry-age beef at home. This ensures the development of uninterrupted flavors.
Besides, it prevents the pungent flavors of the dry-aged meat from escaping and ruining the flavor of the other food products in your fridge.
Step 1: Buy the freshest prime or boneless beef rib or loin roast from your trusted and certified local meat shop.
Step 2: Gently rinse the beef and pat dry it using paper towels. Loosely wrap the beef in 2-3 layers of cheesecloth and set it aside on a rimmed baking sheet.
Step 3: Refrigerate the beef for 3-7 days. Longer aging periods result in a more flavorful beef. After the first 24 hours of refrigeration, unwrap the beef and re-wrap it within the same cheesecloth. This will prevent the collection of lint on the beef.
Step 4: Just before roasting, trim the dried out fat or flesh of the aged beef using a sharp knife. Do not remove the good fat as it adds a lot of flavors. Roast the beef as-is or cut it into smaller steaks.
In this article, we answered the question “How long can you keep dry-aged steak in the fridge?”, and how to dry-age beef at home?