Originally Posted by hbark
Jimmy -- I've tried to read up about info on the whole dry aging thing, and just don't get it. I read all over the place how dry aging improves the flavor. But how can the beef stay in the refrigerator that long without going bad? I know I'm missing something here....
Going BAD means nasty bacteria are growing on the meat...These need time and moisture.The bacteria get there when the butcher at the grocery breaks the seal on the cryovac wet aged box beef they get from the packer and handle, cut and wrap for display. A hunk of beef on the foam tray wrapped in plastic or butcher paper holds in this moisture, the bacteria grow and after a few days of the kids opening the refer and staring in looking for something to eat, the meat gets Stinky and Rotten.
When we dry age in your refrigerator we take the Roast and Season it with whatever containing Salt, I use Montreal Steak Seasoning, wrap it in Cheese Cloth and stick it in the refer. The salt and wicking action of the cotton cheese cloth Removes the moisture and therefore bacteria can't grow. There are other enzymatic things happening to tenderize the meat that take time the more time the more tender. We get a Meatier flavor because as the the moisture is removed the flavor Concentrates.
There is no such thing as Fresh Beef, virtually all beef in the US is slaughtered and either Cryovac Packed (wet aged) or Hung (dry aged) and allowed to Age 2 weeks before it hits the grocery stores...The high end Butchers will slaughter and Hang (dry age) 4 weeks or more before cutting and distribution but understand this is in a Very Controlled Environment that can not be duplicated in a Home Refrigerator and should not be attempted. My Butcher Dry ages 3 weeks SOP, I called and ordered an 8lb Standing Rib Roast and asked him to cut and further age 2 week for pick-up on 12/26. I will bring it home, Rub with Montreal, wrap and let it further age an additional week until I Smoke it on New Years Day, for a Grand Total of 6 Weeks of Dry aging!...The meat will be super Rich and Meaty and Cut Like Butta'...
Understand this can be taken too far and the Meat will get gamey and as the English call it "High" aka Funky! The longest aging I know of is 65 days at David Burke's Steak House in Chicago, supposed to be unbelievably awesome!
I hope this clears up the concept for you. If you have additional questions sent them in a PM...JJ