Dry aging meat is how beef has been cured for centuries. It has became popular in resent years in contrast to wet aging, which is really just a way for packers to make the way they cut and ship meat within 24 hours sound good. Dry aging, on the other hand, is a natural way for meat to break down over time and become more tender and flavorful.
The old-timers always said to hang your beef for 14 days. I like to shoot for 21. This grass fattened carcass has been hanging for 25 days.
The key to good dry aging is a controlled cooling room. I like the temperature to be between 36 and 40 degrees. Good air flow is also necessary. Humidity is another great factor. 75-80% seems to be ideal.
Dehumidifying a cooler is not an easy task. This is because the process of pulling moisture out of the air involves cooling the air for the water to separate. When you are slightly over freezing already, dehumidifiers tend to freeze up before they do much good. We found this bad boy last winter and she has really been working well. Although, occasionally we do have to let her defrost. There is actually a lot of moisture in hanging carcasses that needs to be removed for good curing.
Surface mold overtime is not uncommon at all. Dry aging seals the outer layer of the fat or meat and allows the muscle to naturally break down without drying out.
This chuck roast is just as tender and moist as can be.
Aging beef is noticeable. Most meat at the super market has not been aged at all. Dry aging allows nature to run her course. In time she breaks down the muscle fibers and allows meat to naturally become tender. Quality beef takes quality time to cure.
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