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Dry Aging

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
What are some of the guidelines for dry aging beef?

What equipment is required?

Does anybody work in a kitchen that dry ages their own product?
post #2 of 2
If you are personally aging a beef carcass, remember some important considerations about aging. The beef carcass or side should be aged in sanitary surroundings. Also, the aging area should be free of products such as kerosene, gasoline, paint, onions, and fish, since the carcass will absorb these undesirable odors. Because meat is a perishable product, it can spoil at temperatures of 40 to 60 degrees F. Therefore, maintain the temperature at 30 to 35 degrees F while the beef carcass is being aged. Sawdust should not be used on floors because it will contribute to air contamination. Carcasses and wholesale cuts should be properly spaced to allow complete circulation of air around the product. Freezing the carcass temporarily stops the aging process and should be avoided.
Recently interest has increased in short-time (12 hours) aging at 60 to 66 degrees F to speed up the aging process. The carcass is then placed in a 32 to 34 degrees F cooler to chill and complete the aging process. This procedure benefits cow beef more than steer or heifer beef, because cow beef is usually less tender. Apparently, carcasses with a thin fat covering would benefit more than fatter carcasses. However, the effect of this short-time, high-temperature aging on bacterial growth on and in the carcass is not understood fully.
Also remember that fat protects the meat from dehydration. Therefore, if you are aging a beef carcass with very little fat, you can expect a higher weight loss during the aging process than would occur normally with a fatter carcass. Maintaining the aging cooler at 85 percent relative humidity will keep weight losses down during prolonged aging. Carcasses with little external fat are more likely to pickup undesirable cooler odors and should thus be aged no more than five days.
Because of the drying process that takes place during aging, molds often grow on the carcass. If this occurs, merely trim off the mold (and accompanying fat or lean) at the time of processing and discard it. Do not use this trimmed-off portion in ground beef.
Some believe that it is possible to age beef in the refrigerator in the unfrozen, retail cut form. Research concerning the effectiveness of this practice is lacking. However, if you try aging beef in the refrigerator, eat it before an off-odor or off-color develops.

For most consumers, aging beef 7 to 10 days will result in acceptable tenderness, desirable flavor and modest weight loss of the carcass. Carcasses with little or no fat cover should not be aged beyond 3 to 5 days.

Here is a link to the dry age beef cam believe it or not.
Peninsula Foodnews: Dry Age Beef Cam
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