Dry-aging beef, Part 3

Now that I’ve setup my dry-aging refrigerator, it was time to start dry-aging beef once more. This is a project. And as every good project needs a plan, here is my outline of my current plan and the first documentations.

The cut

My whole dry-aging escape started by tasting a delicious slab of meat at Peter Luger, NYC. This was something that I hadn’t seen in Finland so I begun to look into how I could do it myself. As in every steak, the more fat, i.e. marbling, is in steak the better it tastes. In a dry-aged beef, the same rule applies. Thus the cut I’ve been looking for has been the ribeye, or the entrecôte.

Beef cuts
Cuts of beef. Source: www.topratedsteakhouses.com

The ribeye is part of the upper back of the beef. It is a tender and well marbled piece of meat. The actual steak is surrounded by the ribs and a fat cap that underlines the hide. Both the bones and the fat cap protect the meat itself from drying during the dry-aging process.

In my previous installment of dry-aging beef, I didn’t receive the actual ribeye, but rather the chuck. The chuck isn’t as homogenic piece and the steaks cut from it fall apart easily due to the interleaved membranes. In my first installment I was able to get a piece of higland ribeye, but as the meat is really lean, the process created a tender meat but not intensely flavoured.

Dry-aging beef
Day 1: The freshly cut meat has arrived in my frdige

However, having a continuous dialogue with the previous Simmental supplier, I finally found out the name of this cut in Finnish (Fileselkä, i.e “Fileé back”) and managed to get the correct cut. I bought two 5kg pieces of the ribeye and boy they look good!

Dry-aging beef

Day 3: Dry-aging beef
Day 3: Everything works like a charm. Notice the reflection of a happy meat dryer in the glass door
Day2: Dry-aging beef
Day 2: The rose salt blocks are now visible in the picture.
Dry-aging beef
Day 5: The meat is already noticeably darker

After about three to five days, the meat is already significantly darker and really dry to the touch. The humidity in the fridge is relatively stable at 65% rh. An interesting observation is that the fat cap is beginning to contract as it dries. I think that this is completely normal, but as it contracts at a faster pace than the meat, it exposes more meat to the dry atmosphere and will reduce my loss.


Dry-aging beef
Dry-aging beef on a larger scale. Photo by: Filipe Fortes

I still have some way to go to reach a similar dry-aging setup the professional do. Let’s see how far I’m willing to go 🙂

4 Replies to “Dry-aging beef, Part 3”

  1. Just found your blog, searching for dry age at home info. You’re quickly becoming my new food hero! 😁

    And what’s the likelyhood for that in happening in Finland? Finding a fellow dry age afficionado looking for home grown solution & solving the problem too.

    I’ll keep an eye on how this progresses, as the fridge solution sounds/looks exactly like something I’ve been hoping to find. Also started my search at the dry ager…

  2. Hi! I’ll start in few days my first dry aging project, i’m working on my setup actually. I’ll use the same fans than you, very easy to fix, good Idea, thanks !
    But, i dont really understand the use of the salt blocs , could you explain why do we use it, and how to use it? You are the first one i see using it here , near from the meat. The other dry aging application use the salt blocs at the botom of the fridge… So, here is my favorite question, why?

    1. Hi Lori, sorry for the delay in answering.
      Officially the location of the salt blocks doesn’t matter, as long as they are in the same hermetic space, i.e. the same air circulates around the salt as the meat. I think I’ve just wanted to to use the other shelves for other use. So my rationale is only very practial 🙂

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