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time to try out my new Dry Bag System! the Conclusion!

thebarbequeen

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I was one of the lucky folks who won a Dry Bag Steak aging kit!  Trying it out on a ridiculously large (17.25#) ribeye from Costco (it was what they had that day, so there ya go).  This size is pushing the limit of the large, sub-primal size bag and I had a bit of a time sealing it.  I really want to keep it whole, but I may be cutting it in two in a few days and resealing in smaller bags if the bond seems too loose.



The vacuum sealer is part of the full "starter kit".  It is quite hefty, you can use a foodsaver but they recommend this type. There are tips on their website that are worth heeding regarding "propping open" the slot in the bag while you are sucking the air out.

A New York strip would be much easier to learn on than dealing with all the ruts in this ribeye. I tried 3 times to get more air out, and decided that was enough, I'll see if it does the trick. I e-mailed Dry Bag with my air space concerns and got a super prompt and thorough answer from Maureen, in customer support.  The website's instructions and videos, and their user forum are really informative, and in my case, essential!



in the subprimal size bag, pre-air sucking.  If you are dealing with a chunk of meat this big, I recommend a helper!



It was really tricky rassling this big hunk o' flesh around, trying to keep the suction open and smooth out the bag's air pockets and especially trying to get those darn ruts flatter.  A helper or cutting it in two would've been wise, but this is me we're dealing with here!  The next size up bag would have worked better, as well.  When I order bags, if I want to do more giant cow parts like this I would get some.



here we are after 4 days, at 37-38 degrees. There are NO odors or liquids coming off the meat. Where it got a good seal, it is really adhered to the meat itself.  I'd say so far, so good.  Hoping to go for 20-21 days and have a steak feast for the kids!
 

virginiasmokesignal

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Barbie Queen, It looks good so far, I hope that they turn out OK.  I read somewhere that the bags from "Dry Bag Steaks" had a two way system that let gas out and no air in to make the steaks more tender.  I am not sure about the air left in your bags, but it may be that all the air is not irremovable The way they are made.  What we really want is the Q-View and to know how tender and juicy the steaks are, and how they taste!  Keep up the good work and keep us informed on how the steaks are, I, for one, want to know how they taste so keep us informed.

Your SMF Friend,

Barry 
 

SmokinAl

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Very interested to see how this works out too.
 

fpnmf

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Thanks..I have been waiting to hear about that kit!!

  Craig
 

thebarbequeen

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DAY 10, update on the Dry Bag









Still no odors or anything "off" about it. It has shrunk some, and the air pockets I had at the ends have a little more room than they did before; still not sure I want to re-bag.
 

alelover

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So basically you just seal the meat in a special bag and let it sit in the fridge for 3 weeks? And that's it? The special bag is what does the trick?
 

scarbelly

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That is very interesting for sure. If you already have a sealing machine can you just buy the bags?
 

chef willie

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Can't wait to hear about the results on this one. That Costco beef is Choice to begin with, always a treat as is. Gonna be some lucky kids....
 

thebarbequeen

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So basically you just seal the meat in a special bag and let it sit in the fridge for 3 weeks? And that's it? The special bag is what does the trick?
yeah, that's pretty much it. It's kind of like gore-tex for meat. Moisture goes out but not back in.  Their website, they have a link from the forum, is very informative, and there's a youtube too.
 


That is very interesting for sure. If you already have a sealing machine can you just buy the bags?
You can buy just the bags. Their forum on the dry bag website has tips on how to use your foodsaver; you kind of make a "turtleneck" to help get the right suction.
The price in bags, when I did the math, is not bad, especially when you save $20+/lb for aged beef, and for the $ of one sub-primal size bag, I've got at least 15-16 big  steaks, or save $30-40 / steak by not having to go to out! I'd still want to go to our steakhouse for the martinis and manhattans though.  darn, now I want a steak AND a drink!  Bartender?

Well, just as I'm finishing this, I get an email from Dry Bag support, aka Thea and Maureen, regarding my bonding,re-bagging questions. Their response time and quality are super! Here's some of what they had to say:

"There is no need to be concerned about the loosening at this point.  As you master the application of DrybagSteak, you will get a better initial bond and the "floppiness" that has happened during this first trial will be significantly less.    DrybagSteak material will only bond with fresh meat--freshly cracked out of the vacuum material from the processor, typically referred to as cry-o-vac.  The moist, gooey proteins on the surface enable the material to bond with the surface and it is through that bond that DrybagSteak enables you to accomplish safe, successful dry aging.  

In other words, do not plan on rebagging--now or later.  If you want to cut off part of the subprimal and leave the rest to continue to age, you will need to try and protect what is currently bonded.  The cut end may or may not rebond with a fresh piece of DrybagSteak material.  Your best bet is to trim a piece of material from a Dinner Party bag and rest the meat cut side down so that the open wire rack can press the material onto the relatively moist cut surface.  Make sure that the storage temperature and air flow are optimal, as always."   
 
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tyotrain

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That cool can't wait to see how this turns out.. I will have my eye on this one
 

nwdave

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So, this is done in a fridge eh.  Well that let's me out.  Our fridge is FULL.  Didn't you get one of the old style Tila Foodsavers from Mud Duck?  It uses a nozzle to suck out the air rather than the trough the newer ones use.

SO, the real question is when's dinner?  I'm sure, from Bellingham to Portland, there's some very hungry smokers looking for some of that fine meat and we're close enough to 
by.
 
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john442

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Very curious as to how this turns out.

I have a buddy who always buys the NY whole loins from costco and leaves them sealed in their cryovac bag in the fridge for 2 more weeks.

He swears they are better that way.  Is he really doing any good? Would this be considered "Wet-Aging"??
 

thebarbequeen

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yep, John that's what they're calling wet aging a lot, I did dry/diry-ish aging in my spare fridge before I knew all the science and technique.  There's lots of info on the internets about aging, while I was waiting to see if I would win the contest I did a bunch of research. Cool stuff to learn. If you have food or travel channel, you've seen some of the premier steakhouse aging rooms. I may have to get a block of himalayan salt for my spare fridge now. 

Hi NWDave!  I've been a little out of touch the last couple of months,  yep, I bought Mudducks tilia foodssaver and it ROCKS! just like you said it would. I had WAY too much fun bagging and freezing my last two butts, chucks and pastrami!   You can use them for the DryBags but it takes a little tinkering. And what's this about our "fridge is full" you mean you only have one??  What? where do you keep your beer?? and your brining / rubbed butts? You're not keeping the cars in your garage are you? that's where the fridge goes.  Please clarify this for me, I'm confused. 
 
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flbobecu

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[quote name="alelover" url="/forum/thread/104369/time-to-try-out-my-new-dry-bag-system#post_608082"]
So basically you just seal the meat in a special bag and let it sit in the fridge for 3 weeks? And that's it? The special bag is what does the trick?
[/quote]


Yes. The bag lets moisture out.

Or, in it's simplest form, you can age the meat without any bags - but you absolutely need a dedicated fridge for one without a bag, because it smells (good) and you can't have anything in the fridge that gives off any odor, or it will leach into the meat as well.
 

nwdave

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Hey, some of us aren't big city folks.....Don't have a garage.  We have 2 large upright freezers and one small chest freezer (which are also FULL, I might add).  Converting the greenhouse to a storage unit and that's where one freezer and the chest live now.  I'll be making some more space (time for spring cleaning) for a fridge out there but we must be patient.  Beer?  After living for 3 years in Germany, never could get back into drinking this light weight beer they sell here in the states.  Nah, I'm more a Maker's Mark or a good Mosel wine type of person.
 
Hi NWDave!  I've been a little out of touch the last couple of months,  yep, I bought Mudducks tilia foodssaver and it ROCKS! just like you said it would. I had WAY too much fun bagging and freezing my last two butts, chucks and pastrami!   You can use them for the DryBags but it takes a little tinkering. And what's this about our "fridge is full" you mean you only have one??  What? where do you keep your beer?? and your brining / rubbed butts? You're not keeping the cars in your garage are you? that's where the fridge goes.  Please clarify this for me, I'm confused. 
 

pops6927

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Too bad you didn't do a test first on the loin, cutting off a small 1" steak and cook it up fresh so you can compare it to the finished product as long as you can remember the initial taste.  If you can't, you'd probably have to grill double the amount to freshen your memory, wouldn't you say? 
 

thebarbequeen

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Too bad you didn't do a test first on the loin, cutting off a small 1" steak and cook it up fresh so you can compare it to the finished product as long as you can remember the initial taste.  If you can't, you'd probably have to grill double the amount to freshen your memory, wouldn't you say? 
That did occur to me, but if I do this right, it should be like apples and oranges!  There's even been a couple of times the last 2 weeks that I've thought," I could get some steak for dinner" then I remember I've got some serious steak coming
, and that little ol' new york in the store just starts paling in comparison!  Having a dinner party next weekend and breaking it out!!
 

thebarbequeen

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OK, I LOVE IT AND NEVER WANT A "FRESH" STEAK AGAIN!  Took it to 19 days, so we could have a big meat sendoff party for the college kids.  so, Day 19:



I had some concerns about the "bond" I got with the vacuum, but as I had hoped, it was good 'nuff.



out of the bag, slightly waxy, NO odor - you had to stick the meat right in your nose to smell anything!



went from 17.27# to 15.5# 



cut in half to make trimming easier, you can kind of see that at just 19 days, there isn't much to trim.



these are the knives I used.  The trim in the bowl is just extra fat, the "aged" trim is on the plate.



and after trimming to 12.54#. (5.8 oz of that was fat trim, not due to aging)



ok. all trimmed off, i went by the feel of the meat, not so much the color.











well, that was a lot of good food porn, there.  Let's move on, shall we?



I got 13 steaks, cutting about 1-1/4 in. thick. About $7.00/steak, $7.28/lb for aged ribeye! 

Sea salt and CPB, and into the fridge for about 3 hours, then out for about 1



This is my instant read, Thermoworks hand held with fast speed k-type probe. I can always read it!



As they came off the grill for a little rest, I gave them all a pat or 2 of blue cheese butter.



the world's worst money shot.  I'll take it myself next time...



college kids. They love their meaty goodness. They weren't being all dramatic, we looked over and this is what we saw!





So, Will I do it again?You bet!  just bought 2 more ribeyes at Costco today - Have just enough time before my brother's birthday!
 

Bearcarver

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You killed them !!!

And they didn't even finish their steaks!!!

Looks great Barbe!

Bear
 

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