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cryovac wet-aged beef - stinky?

post #1 of 11
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hi, I went to a meat packing house that also serves to the general public and bought a huge hunk of skirt steak for cheap, it came in a cryovac bag. I've never had experience with this. When I opened up the bag, it reeked! I trimmed some of the fat and washed it and that seemed to help. I cooked some of it today, and put the rest in the freezer and it tasted fine.

I've read that wet-aged beef just stinks coming out of the cryovac. Most of the beef we get at big box stores is wet-aged as well right? How come it doesn't have the same smell? Is this smell normal? should I throw the rest out?

thanks!
post #2 of 11
That's anaerobic rot you're smelling. It must have sat around unfrozen for a while, and the only bacteria that can grow in that hermetic environment is anaerobic bacteria. Plastic is the worst thing that ever happened to food. I wouldn't throw it out unless it was changing color. Rinse well, trim maybe and cook. You'll find the fat changes taste faster than the flesh.
post #3 of 11
I don't know about the aging method that was used but I once bought a rib roast and had to remove the fat cap myself - it reeked! It was fine after removed but that aged stuff on top was disgusting.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #4 of 11
The stuff you get at the store has been cryovaced, but it has been exposed to oxygen for a while, so the smell diminishes. The smell is very common.
post #5 of 11
I see this smell when I open up large Top rounds, even prime rib. I think its the blood and the meat not being able to vent. If I leave the meat out, the smell gets better. Think of it as opening up teenagers hamper after a week, that would kill ya.
I talked to a friend (Chef) The other day and he dry ages his Large cuts of beef in the Refer with a clip fan. You can do this with any cut of beef with a fat cap. You would make sure it could drain, and turn meat daily. Dry age up to 14 days, cut off the outside dry rotten looking meat and fat. This would be a good idea if you have another Refer in the garage or shed...............Take care Bill.......P.S.This maybe a good post to start
post #6 of 11
It is a condition of the gas pack from te cyrovac system. To tell if it is rot or cyrovac gas pack, just open it up, wash it and leave it open for 30 minutes in the cooler. It will stop smelling if it is the gas pack and not rock.
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post #7 of 11
It is partly from the packaging, but mostly the amount of blood that the protien is sitting in. As it "ages" it begins to breakdown and basically rot. Its not bad for you, just trim and cook.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #8 of 11
"Wet aging" meat in the packer's cryovac was a big topic around el mundo barbecue and online barbecue forums (fora!) a few years ago. The general consensus is that meat actually benefits from aging several weeks in the cryovac pack. The benefits supposedly being better taste and tenderness.

You can probably tell from my caveats that I wasn't completely convinced. True, and not completely convinced one way or the other. I've certainly held meat much longer than I expected to ("We still have THAT?") with no bad results and maybe, just maybe, some good ones.

Yes the smell is intense, but wipe and dry will kill it pretty quick. Washing in additon will help, but only a little. Call it optional.

As to anaerobic "rot:" We sometimes toss terms around a little loosely. Actual anaerobic rot is usually the result of a type of bacterial organism called lacto-bacillae aka LABs. If, in addition to the smell you get when you open the bag, there's significant discoloration (not just darkening, but green or rainbow), and/or sliming, and/or the odor persists after the cleaning, the meat should be discarded. Otherwise, you're good to go.

BDL
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post #9 of 11
Yup, like I said, "I wouldn't throw it out unless it was changing color."
post #10 of 11
Yup. What he said.

BDL
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post #11 of 11
Usually the more blood in the crovac or visking packaging means the older the product . Keep in mind a solid piece of beef is mostly sterile on the inside like we are, and bacteria really goes rampart when its cut, chopped or punctured. But like BDL says In essence ::When in doubt, throw it out""
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