Dry aging beef at home with DryBagSteak.

A few weeks ago, I was in contact with DryBagSteak. It’s an American company who developed a way for the civilian cook to dry age beef at home, thus saving loads of money as store bought dry aged meat is quite expensive. I asked them if I could try their technology and they kindly accepted. I received those bag some time ago now, but didn’t find the time to get to the testing, but now is the time.

beefsealed

Dry aging meat is the process of aging beef in  a temperature controlled environment some say up to 4 months. This develop tremendously the flavour and help tenderize the meat. The best steakhouses or restaurants in the world use this technique to serve amazingly tasty beef. You can also find this kind of meat in most high end supermarket or good butchers but there is a price to this kind of quality.

One solution is to use a crude aging technique, consisting in wrapping a piece of meat in kitchen towel and leave it in the lower part of the fridge, changing the towel everyday, replacing it by a clean, dry one. It can work, but it can go very wrong also, and given the price of a good piece of meat, you don’t want that to happen.

That’s when DryBagSteak comes in. The key behind the technology is a specially designed vacuum bag. This bag is extremely fine, so fine that it allows moisture out of the bag, but prevent bacteria and other nasty thing to get in the bag, reducing greatly the chance of wasting good meat. For more information about the specific of how it works, go to their website: DryBagSteak. I wouldn’t want to say stupid things, you can also contact Thea through the website, she is the most helpful person.

Let’s get back to my testing. I bought a piece of organic sirloin approx 1.4 Kilos worth. I have to say it’s a pretty sight. The next step was to vacuum seal the meat in one of the special bag that they kindly supplied me with. Although DryBagSteak recommend the use of a snorkel vacuum sealer that they usually provide in a pack, I wasn’t ready to shell out money for yet another vacuum machine, so I decided to try and use my La.Va 300. The problem with that is that usual channel bags are designed to let the air out using their embossed texture. The dry age bag is a smooth bag and can only be used with a snorkel or chamber vacuum sealer. I scouted the Internet looking for an answer to my problem and found a guy who used a sleeve of an embossed bag inserted at the mouth of the DryBag allowing the air to be sucked out and the bag to be sealed, this was my solution.

First thing to do is to place the piece of meat in the bag, DryBagSteak recommend to snug it out in a corner for optimum contact, it’s what I did. Depending of the size of the piece of meat you’ll need to trim the bag to allow only 4 inches of space between the meat and the mouth of the bag.

Then, for the vacuum cheat. I cut a 4 inches sleeve out of one of my La.Va. embossed Bag, which by the way was a perfect fit for the DryBag, and placed it at the opening of the DryBag leaving an inch or so sticking out. I stuck the whole thing in my vacuum machine and sealed the whole thing. I have to say I had to do it three times before I got a proper vacuum and seal, so I would recommend the snorkel vacuum sealer to anyone serious about aging beef at home with this technique.

beefSleeve2 beefSleeve

At that point it is wise to leave the bag for a couple of minute and check on the seal to make sure that no air is still present in the bag and that the steak is in snug contact with the bag. I did so and it was perfect.

Last step, place the bag in the bottom of your fridge ensuring air circulation above and bellow. I realised at that point that my fridge has glass shelves not wire. It was a bummer, but I couldn’t let that being a problem. The solution was an oven rack that luckily fit perfectly in the fridge. I placed the meat on that makeshift shelf.

beefFridge2 beefFridge

Now it’s the waiting game. I’m going to leave the meat in the fridge for the next 21 days, I will take pictures every other day to show the evolution of the aging process. I will post some from time to time and I will write again at the end of the 21 days, when I’ll open the bag, cook and taste the meat. I will compare it to a non dry aged piece of sirloin and let you know my finding.

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14 Responses to “Dry aging beef at home with DryBagSteak.”

  1. Andrew says:

    Die Homepage von Andrew
    Hi,contact Andrew@lava vacuum packing. 07790792078. Lava will be selling the dry bag soon that will work in all makes of vacuum sealer!!!

  2. stevoski says:

    Die Homepage von stevoski
    I have a Food Saver by Tilia food vac that works great and have used it for years successfully with meats lasting two years with zero freezer burn or ill effects. Would this sealer work for this process? Has anyone out there tried these machines? Thanks!

  3. sofronios says:

    Die Homepage von sofronios
    I love to know your results for your testing bags aging process

  4. Gabrielle says:

    Die Homepage von Gabrielle
    ce quoi une feuille de Sopalin?

    est ce qu on ne risque pas de atraper une salmonelle?

  5. john v phipps says:

    Die Homepage von john v phipps
    Not sure if I understand this. Dry aging is aging meat while exposed to air movement. It allows the enzymes to develop and break down the meat. But also reduces the water content and intensifies the flavors. How is this any different from the cryovac bags in which most butchers receive primal cuts? Are these bags “one direction” porous?

    • casquette says:

      Die Homepage von casquette
      Yes those bags allow moisture to leech out, but prevent bacteria to get in.
      Check their website for more info.
      To be honest I couldn’t make it work. I guess you need their model of vacuum sealer. I tried some tricks I found on Youtube and I wasn’t successful using my La.va 300 and I tried it again when I was testing the SAMMIC SV-310T and it didn’t work as well. I couldn’t get a vacuum that lasted.
      I did age the meat using the kitchen paper system and it worked. I kept the meat in kitchen paper for two weeks, changing the paper everyday. After 2 weeks the meat smelt pretty good. I trimmed the dried part and it was nice and red inside. I cooked it and ate and I’m still alive and the meat was really good and tender. I’m sure the bags work, but I couldn’t test it successfully without their propriatary vacuum sealer.

  6. Ed says:

    Die Homepage von Ed
    Can you tell us a little bit more on the channel bag hac? I really don’t need another vac sealer in my life but would love to try these bags out.

  7. Stuart says:

    Die Homepage von Stuart
    What is the status of your sirloin? It’s been 6 weeks. I’m rather interested to see if this works.

    Great blog.
    Stuart.

  8. Die Homepage von Tweets that mention Veillir la viande a la maison avec DryBagSteak. | Cinquante quatre degrés -- Topsy.com
    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nicolas Aithadi. Nicolas Aithadi said: Veillir la viande a la maison avec DryBagSteak.: A few weeks ago, I was in contact with DryBagSteak. It’s an Ameri… http://bit.ly/cx2hRY [...]

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    [...] Dry aging beef at home with DryBagSteak. | Fifty four degrees [...]

    • djazira says:

      Die Homepage von djazira
      Bonjour Nico,
      Je suis sur ton site, très très intéressant. J’ai montré à une collègue pour voir. Elle m’a dit : Elle m’a dit que c’est génial ce que tu fais et surtout quand j’ai montré ton vrai métier.
      Juste un petit coucou de ta mère qui pense très fort à toi.

      Je vais quand même te poser une question : comment tu fais vieillir une viande à la maison et qu’est ce que cela apporte de bien à la viande ?

      • casquette says:

        Die Homepage von casquette
        Faire vieillir la viande la rend plus tendre et exhausse les goûts. C’est la meilleure façon de la manger. Pour vieillir à la maison sans équipement special: Tu places le steak dans plusieurs feuilles de Sopalin et tu le mets au frigo. Tous les jours, il faut changer le papier. Tu peux essayer de faire ça pendant une semaine la première fois, pour tester. Il faut sentir la viande avant de la consommer, elle ne doit pas sentir mauvais.

        Nicolas

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