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If you don't have ABSOLUTE control of the temp in your fridge I wouldn't. Alton makes it look easy enough. If you can't keep the temp stable and low it won't be food safe.

Didn't you say you were doing this for a party? I wouldn't. You said you ordered it? If it comes in a cryovac, you could wet age it as long as you keep the fridge cold. If you do it in your normal fridge the temps will fluctuate too much to be food safe.

Chris A does a great job at his site:

Virtual Weber Dry Agin
You can do a bunch of research on that topic. Based on what I know, it is best done in a controlled atmosphere where humidity and temperature are held at an optimum setting. You can actually just let it age a day or two in the fridge unwrapped or wrapped in a towel. That said, I have prepared awesome Prime Rib (as good as any restaurants where I have been served PR) after letting it sit only 24 hours in my fridge and it probably would have came out the same had I not let it sit. I don't know, it is just a habit. I get my PR at COSTCO it is choice and has most likely been aged prior to packaging. One of COSTCO's roasts I will cut into 3 equal pieces which are probably 5-7 lbs each. Last month I paid $95 for one, yesterday the same roast was $75. But that is three good meals, with leftovers. What I will do is Vaccuum pack it at home. Then when I am ready to cook one I will take it out of the freezer and let it thaw then unwrap it and let it sit for one day in fridge prior to rubbing it down. then let it sit another day with the rub before I place it in the oven or smoker. And, it comes out perfect every time. Use the temperature probe. So is it the aging I do or the aging the processor me. All I know is it works. And my PR is always moist enough with lots of flavor.
Just so you know, a refrigerator is a dehydrator which pulls moisture out of the air. Notice that your ice cubes will shrink with time. So that sums it up. But I guess that assists in the aging process though.
here is a good link on the subject
go to beef and click it for dry aging.
process takes 10 to 28 days and you will experience an approximate 20% weight loss according to "professional cooking 5th edition" by gisslen however the meat will not experience the same shrinkage during cooking as "wet aged" beef. additionally my experience working with this product while sous chef for the bank's executive dining room was you will lose about another 10 to 15% in trim and this trim is unusable.
if you have never seen true dry aged beef be prepared for a visual shock as it's appearence is to say the least unwholesome looking but the taste is pure nirvana!!!!
i agree with smokinokie that to do dry aged beef you need very specialized equipment and as much as i love alton brown his method isn't even worth trying as the results that you would acheive bear no resemblance to true dry aged beef
hope it helps some
ps. don't even get me started on "wet aging" as the two are like comparing apples to olives inspite of what the packers may try to tell you
Some comments from the Food and Safety Information Service:

The average family refrigerator just doesn�t have what it takes to properly age beef. It is very easy to get a good colony of bacteria going in that meat during the couple of weeks it takes to age a piece of beef.
Worse still is this recipe for a trip to the hospital that�s been floating around the Internet. Take your prime or choice steaks, unwrap them, rinse with cold water, wrap in a clean kitchen towel and place on the coldest shelf of your refrigerator. Every day for 2 weeks take the steaks out and change the towel. At this point you are promised a fantastic steak, provided you live though the digestive process after eating it.
Here's a link to a good reference:

Aging of Beef
David - First, if you only have access to only one refrigerator that is frequently opened and closed, don't even think about dry aging. You'll have no control over the temp and humidity ranges that are recommended.

That said, I've dry aged beef several times with success, using pretty much the same method in the Weber link posted by Smokin'. It's been done in a 2nd refrigerator that I have in my basement that is used only for the storage of excess beverages. No food is stored in the refrigerator and I make sure that it's very clean. I normally follow this process for no more than 3-5 days.

The temp is confirmed at around 34F-35F and I put the meat on a cake rack over a sheet pan with a towel on top. I open the door only once a day for 20-30 seconds to change the towel and drain off the sheet pan if needed.

Also, keep in mind that dry aging will result in a slightly different taste. Personally, I prefer it. Others may not.
Originally posted by SmokinOkie:
Here's a link to a good reference:

Aging of Beef
While this link has some good background information, it's not good for someone looking for specific instructions for aging beef at home.

He refers to using a humidity level of 80-85%. That's way out of range, and it will result in high levels of surface moisture.

Excess surface moisture will enhance bacterial activity, increasing the possibility of pathogen growth and food poisoning.

Dry aging works by denying bacteria the moisture it needs to survive and grow. By keeping the humidity below a certain level, the surface will become dry and bacteria will be inhibited.

Conversely, a high level of relative humidity leaves the surface wet and increases the probablity of bacterial growth.

At 85% humidity, the surface will not dry properly. It's so high that moisture will actually bead up and collect on the surface of the meat. The low airflow environment of a home refrigerator will amplify the problem.

For home aging, I recommend keeping it to a 60% maximum. At that level the meat will begin to dry within a day, and will form a slight crust within 3 days.

You can go as high as 70%, but I wouldn't do it without using special equipment. I've been dry aging beef continuously for years, and I use a data logger set at a 5 minute sampling interval. If the temp and/or humidity go out of range it sets off an alarm.

dls's recommendation of using a dedicated fridge is also right on. It's very difficult to ensure you don't go out of parameters otherwise.

I'm not sure where the author got the 85% number. Maybe it's a typo, maybe it's intended for professional producers who use it in combination with ultraviolet lighting, enhanced airflow rate, etc. I don't know. I can say that it's out of safe range for a home cook.
Thanks for posting more specifics.

I pointed to that link, not the other 53 I have on aging, as he has a PHD in Animal Science and many of the forum readers what to know the "whys" of what happens. I'll let the scientists argue the percentages. I doubt if any home users are measuring humidity.

In the end, I don't recommend people at home dry age. Just to many issues.
Originally posted by SmokinOkie:
[qb] Thanks for posting more specifics.

I pointed to that link, not the other 53 I have on aging, as he has a PHD in Animal Science and many of the forum readers what to know the "whys" of what happens. [/qb]
That's fine, but your link describes a method that is completely unsafe for home cooks. It seemed to me that needed pointing out.

Originally posted by SmokinOkie:
[qb]I'll let the scientists argue the percentages. [/qb]
Fortunately none argue the point because it's simple. You want the meat to become drier, not wetter. That's easily tested by observation, and using a hygrometer will verify everything and make for 100% reproducability.

Originally posted by SmokinOkie:
[qb]I doubt if any home users are measuring humidity. [/qb]
I've never actually met one that isn't. It's easy to do, just as easy as measuring temperature with a Polder.

Here's one popular hygrometer. It's reliable, and it's very convenient because it's wireless. You're up and running in two minutes.

Originally posted by SmokinOkie:
In the end, I don't recommend people at home dry age. Just to many issues. [/qb]
Fair enough, but I find myself on the same side as Alton Brown here. I think that's throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Dry aging as the great steak houses do is best left to the pros and those in-the know. But Alton's method is a scaled down, simplified version that offers some benefits, including safety.

I eat at Peter Luger's every time I'm in NYC and Del Frisco's every time I'm in Dallas. And Alton is in no way recommending that you attempt to duplicate what these guys are doing.

If you haven't read Alton's recipe--or tried it--see for yourself, Dry Aged Standing Rib Roast .
Alton says:

Place into a refrigerator at approximately 50 to 60 percent humidity and between 34 and 38 degrees F.
That's the target range.

If you can't keep your fridge at 38 or below and 50 to 60 percent humidity, don't do this. That little statement carries a lot of weight about food safety a lot of people would potential overlook.

The home fridge, with the door opening and closing is NOT food safe, just check the temps to see. If you let the temp get above 39 you're risking food issues you don't want.
thanks for that link. i searched high and low for my 1954 USDA butchering manual but can't find it anywhere Mad
at any rate i remebered something in the back of my mind which was jogged by joesph's post and that was airflow!!!!! the 80-85% humidity however i remembered (go figure)
what is amazing though is the required velocity of airflow at .5 to 2.5 meters per second that is required to successfully age the beef without excessive product drying and subsequent waste and that that airflow is the one variable as time and temp are the constants. so we have an art component added to a straight forward method (oh how i do love the technical end of any process). now this is where it really got interesting to me and that is the air exchange rate per hour. on the low end that is 1.8km/hr and the high end 9km/hr and that is one huge varible (and i thought cooking a brisket was tough!!!!!) so we truly have an artist at work here and partially explains why dry aged beef is so expensive as the person who is controlling the airflow certainly has to be a major labor cost. again thanks for the link!!!!
glad you liked the link!! and if you need one more check mark under the don't do it consider this. as an acf certified chef under no circumstances would i ever attempt to dry age beef even using commercial restaurant equipment as even that is not sufficent to produce true dry aged beef. if you want to make a poor immitation of it then by all means try it out but my personal advice is;
1- the product will not be the same as even the lowest minimum time is 21 days to produce true dry aged beef and these recipes are calling for 3 to days.
2- make sure you have good health insurance cause i think that you will need it if you do try to make the real thing

but i do want to thank you david!!!!!!!!!!!!
this question was great because it really made me think and one of the things i thought about was angelo our neighborhood butcher when i was a kid and how he taught me to love meat Big Grin
Originally posted by SmokinOkie:

Best of luck. Anyone who does it, let us know what you did and what you thought of the results.

Smokin' [/qb]
Smokin' - Per my post upthread, I pretty much follow the Alton Brown method. As mentioned, I have a 2nd fridge that I can dedicate to the process. If I did not, I wouldn't be messing with it under any circumstances.

To monitor the temp and humidity, I use this weather machine with a remote sensor from Oregon Scientific.

I let it go for 3-5 days then pull and roast it. Anything longer is best left to the pros with special equipment.

Bottom line...

Is this true dry aged beef? Nope, not at all. You need to age for 3-4 weeks.

Is it an improvement over not dry aging? Yep, at least to me it is. Even for the short period of time involved, I find a significant change in the taste that I can only describe as being "more intense".

Do I find it dangerous? No, not for the method and time involved. Realistically speaking, how many of us buy a piece of fresh meat today and end up cooking it a few days later and all we have done is simply refrigerate it until then.

When I want the real deal, I'll pickup a dry aged PR from Allen Brothers, a local purveyor of specialty meats to some of the better restaurants throughout the country (including Del Frisco's as mentioned upthread by Dennis-UT). Even though I get a significant discount through a contact there, it's still considered quite a luxury and doesn't happen very often.
Just ran across this, thanks everyone for all the good information.

I have a dedicated non auto defrost refer I use for all my meat. Including dry aging. I never thought about the humidity, but one of those remote reading weather stations seems like a practical way to do it. The temperature is always 32-36, which I monitor when I am try aging, or even any meat curing. My refer's humidity is probably less than recommended, by my guess, so I don't really have to worry about mold, but jerkying potential. I make sure any dry aging meat is handled very carefully.

I agree with SmokinOkie that that wet towel method is a good way to meat (sic) you emergency room doctor, or at least contemplate that meating. Eeker

I wouldn't even attempt this in auto defrost model or one that is used and opened on a regular basis, even with AB's plastic box. Auto defrost heats the condenser coils to melt any ice build up, that water drains off to somewhere Eeker and this warmed air is pumped through the refer to some degree. Eeker

Also anything I do dry age, I am also very careful about my handling and cooking temperatures. All the cow I have ever done this way is as good as it can get Cool

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