Beef dry-aged in drybag

By Christopher R. Raines

I first learned about the technology to dry age a beef in a bag (yes, this is possible) a few years ago when I was a graduate student at Kansas State University (thanks to this study and this study).  In short, the bag allows for moisture to evaporate while maintaining a plastic barrier on the meat.  Now the “drybags” are available to consumers for in-home dry aging.

The start-to-finish process was nicely described in this blog post from steamykitchen.com (@steamykitchen on Twitter).  I purchased some bags and was able to seal them (need to seal the bags at a lower temperature or otherwise you’ll burn through the bag since it’s thinner than most vacuum bags) using the commercial vacuum packager at the PSU Meats Lab.  Two keys to succesful dry-aging of beef at home with these bags: (1) the refrigerator needs to be <40°F and (2) the meat needs to be on a wire rack or propped up in a way that ensures air can circulate around the packaged beef.

Below is are some photos of the process. The beef pictured was from a carcass (YG 3, Pr-, grain-finished, Angus x Simmental steer, fed at the PSU Beef Center) that was hung to age for 10 days (dry aged) and then the boneless rib was dry-aged for an additional 18 days in the dry bag.

Left, beef in regular vacuum bag. Right, beef in a drybag -- it appears 'bloomed' due its permeability and opportunity to access oxygen.

Beef in the drybag looked like this for about 2 days, then started to darken as moisture evaporated.

After 28 days (total) - 10 days hanging, 18 in the drybag.

Trimming away the dried lean and oxidized fat.

Trimmed it up to get this fine looking beef rib roast.

Of course, that was one big roast! So, some 1.5"-thick steaks were cut and grilled for supper Christmas Eve eve.

The roast was outstanding (the ends are more done than the middle, perfect if some guests like their beef more "done" than other guests).

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3 thoughts on “Beef dry-aged in drybag

  1. Thank you, Chris, for sharing this method. Dry aging has almost be come a “lost art.” This DrybagSteak technology makes it possible to preserve the legacy of this sensory experience.

    • Thanks!

      This method for dry-aging very feasible for a do-it-yourselfer and other at-home gourmets.

      From what I’ve heard/read, one of the critical factors to control that are often “abused” is temperature. You need to do this at <40F, folks — lots can still "grow" inside that bag!

      Definitely a slick process worth trying!

  2. Pingback: Beef dry-aged in drybag | meatblogger.org | Organic Grass

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