Originally Posted by linecook854
I'm glad someone else believes this is good for the steaks! I did this at my current job and the head chef was mortified and said to never do that again as they "were all dried out and unsafe to eat since they're not wrapped in plastic". Never tried it on fish before but I imagine it works well since it did great on poultry as well.
Does this method of storing steaks actually make wet-aged beef's shelf life shortened? I mean we are not actually aging the steaks we are just not wrapping them in plastic (as is the standard method at the places I've worked in at least).
Well, I don't know about shortening the shelf life. If you treat the product properly from butchering, handling, storing, etc, then I don't think that plastic wrap makes much of a difference in terms of sanitation or safety. The only issue that might arise is physical contamination from, say, something dripping on it or whatever. If you dedicate a speed rack to the purpose of storing portioned meat, then this risk is minimal.
We also had a dedicated meat/protein walk in, so there was little to no risk of cross-contamination with veggies/fruit. I would think that, even in a multi-use walk in, risk could be minimized with careful layout design and planning.
We used this method on both wet aged and dry aged steaks, both with great results. As far as I know, the idea isn't to do any aging or flavor development with this method, its more to provide a dry surface in which to sear in a hot pan.
The idea that you are somehow going to turn the steak into beef jerky by leaving it uncovered is unfounded. The steaks at this place I worked were the best I've ever had. Pan roasted, basted with butter and herbs, properly rested.
We used to change out the sheetpans and paper every night as well.
If you store the meat on the sheetpan for an extended amount of time (several days, etc) then it might have an effect on the shelf life, I honestly don't know. We had high enough turnover that nothing hung around for more than a couple days, max.
I've discussed this method with other cooks/chefs before and they mostly had a similar reaction to your current chef. I'm sure people on this forum will tell you the same thing...all I can tell you is that from my experience, when done correctly and handled safely, it produces a superior steak to any that I've had before or since.