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Originally posted by Vicki B:
Hey guys, when you are referring to aging in the fridge, what exactly do you mean?

Yesterday I purchased an 12 lb brisket and two 4 lb flanks at RD, I put one flank in the freezer, but left 1 flank and the brisket in the fridge. How long can the RD cryo meats stay in the fridge if they are not dated with a use by? I have only aged meat (prime rib roast) out of package in fridge a few years ago. Help!

Nothing beats a well grilled, dry aged Delmonico steak. Unless you have a separate fridge with temp and humidity controls, it's impossible to do at home.

However, wet aging comes close to delivering the same flavor and tenderness...think of a Lexus vs a Mercedes Smiler

Two things are needed for wet aging, beef packed in Cry-O-Vac and a packing/slaughter date. The C.O.V. must be flawless - no holes or punctures or separated end seams. Meat properly sealed in C.O.V. will have ni air pockets and adheres to the meat very tightly.

Packing date vs "sell-by" date. Two entirely different things. If you know the packing date, you can wet age up to 50 days for large cuts such as packer brisket...30 days for smaller cuts. Sell-by dates (found on the price tag) will vary from store to store. Some times you'll see a sell by date stamped on to the C.O.V. ---usually on chicken, pork tenderloins and "added value" meat products (pre-sauced spare ribs for instance) That date is supplied by the packer and should be adhered to.

If you wish to wet age beef at home, ask your butcher to supply you with a packing date found on the shipping case. That's the only way you can reliably time line your wet aging limit.
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Seems to be a common unknown to many people, so always good to have a discussion.

Here's another old but good thread:More on Wet Aging

I acutally have two 18 lb'ers briskets in the fridge. I asked the butcher for the kill dates on the boxes that they have (since these were already out). It's a risk, not knowing the actual date, but for me, when I have a date I'm not sure of, I'll still age them 30 days (figure they possibly could have been 2 weeks old, Sam's goes through too many for them to be older than that.

KEY thing about the date is the max date, how long you want to push the envelope. I see 21 days as "optimum" but most brisket agers tend to go longer (isn't longer better) Big Grin

FYI, make sure it's in the original cryovac. You can NOT wet age something that's been cut and put in trays and rewrapped. Air has gotten to the meat surface and if you reseal it, that air carries goodies that will turn the meat bad when aged.
Last edited by Former Member
Originally posted by Smokin'
...not knowing the actual date, but for me, when I have a date I'm not sure of...

I've noticed on my PB's that Sam's case date and sell by date is 21 days, I hope/figured that was probably close for the briskets.

My homemade wet aging cooler, works well as a second frig when not in use for aging.
Pork in cry-o-vac will not age as long as beef will. Why? Dunno but it doesn't. I would say Sam's 21 days is a not only a sell by, but "use by" as well.

By the way, beef that has been wet aged over 30 days will have a "bloom" when first opened. A very robust "beefy" odor that should dissapate within an hour. Pork will do the same but keep in mind, there's "bloom" and then there's "stink" If your pork stinks, it's gone. Chances are, it will be slimey as well. If you're thinking, " doesn't smell too bad" sure you're stocked up on plenty of Charmin Big Grin
Good to see this brought up again. Few things I enjoy more than a well aged steak. I do not possess the proper equipment to dry age anything, but wet aging requires very little investment and is easy enough for Joe Average to do.
Before I attempted wet aging on my own I researched and read everything I could get my hands on just to make sure I wouldn’t jeopardize or short change any food safety.
Usually the hardest thing to come up with is the kill date, and that is what everything is to be based on. If I buy at one of our mom and pops or a local locker the kill date isn’t an issue. If buying from one of the big chains it is next to impossible to get the kill date. In those cases I only buy cuts of meat that they sell a lot of. As Smokin said I doubt that they’re much over 2 weeks old. I routinely wet age my briskets, prime ribs, and rib eyes 21 days. I try to not let my wife know I’m ageing meat in my refrigerator. It totally grosses her out and I’m just too tired to keep trying to explain to her why the meat she likes so well tastes so much better than anyone else’s
MaxQ, thanks for starting this thread so I can get the info I needed.

My flank has a slaughter date/production date on the package along with a use by. I didn't look at the one I already opened for tonights dinner, the empty wrapper is sealed in a garbage bag already. I was happy to see all that info on the package. I will have to look at the one I put in the freezer yesterday. Next time I get the flank in the Cryo I will keep it in the fridge according to all the info above.

I am gonna check out the brisket later and keep it in the fridge no longer than 30 days after slaughter date (hope it has one.)
Originally posted by Vicki
Next time I get the flank in the Cryo I will keep it in the fridge according to all the info above.

Well, MaxQ helped line out the basics, but there are a few other things we haven't told will need a dedicated frig(something that is not opened very often) it is better if it is cold say at least 35-37*.
I just got a new cookback called "Wicked Good Barbecue and there are two full pages in the book dedicated to the subject of Brisket Selection, Wet-Age and Trim Instructions. And very well written I might add.

But part of the wet-aging portion spoke of using a dedicated fridge for the aging that will hold temp between 35-37*. Any cooler and they state that the tenderizing enzymes will not release.
I recently wet aged 5 whole ribeyes and 3 large beef shoulder roasts weighing approx 30 lbs ea about 30 days with great success. They were all in cryo vac with a kill date. The roasts did have a "bloom" to them when opened but when rinsed off and cut up that seemed to disapear and tasted great when cooked. They were very tender and awesome flavor. The ribeyes are to die for cut 1 1/4 inches thick and grilled to medium rare. I do turn them every other day. I age my briskets 35 to 45 days and then freeze before using as it seems to help with tenderness with the freezing process.
I should add that when I gut up the beef ribeyes and the shoulder roasts I put thme in food savor bags and seal them for the best storage and end results when cooked later. I for one think that wet aging a choice or prime cut of primal cuts of beef is well worth the effort and produces an awesome flavor and tenderness that you sure don't get at he grocery store. I should also add that I have a great contact at a Tyson beef plant and can buy at employee pricing. I have told him he can never leave end his employmet there!!
Hi guys, I am a little confused. I believe that Smokin said you can not cut up and repackage cryo meat for wet aging because of the bacteria. 2nd Hand Smoke mentioned that he cuts up and repackages. Is there some danger involved in doing that, or am I misunderstanding him and his is wet aging first then cutting up and freezing afterwards for later use???

I just want to get all the facts straight. I also have time to do research because my fridge needs to be fixed and I really wont be "wet-aging" until it is in the proper temp zone anyway.

All this info is so appreciated, as always, thanks!
Vicki I wet age the whole beef ribeyes and shoulder roasts in their original cryovac packages and then after the aging process I cut up and repackage with my food savor and freeze. I think what Smokin meant was you shouldn't cut up whole primal cuts of meat and then repackage and age. You should age it and then cut up and repackage and freeze in that order.
The theory is that a primal cut will be a sterile muscle put into a sterile environment, so it can't have any bacteria growth. Now if you cut that up, you are taking a chance on introducing bacteria to the cuts and then amplifying the problem by putting it into a low oxygen situation(vacuum sealing) and as it is aging the frig will hit the danger zone every so often. VERY RISKY

Personally Vicki, I'd give that frig a try with your packer, put on bottom shelf so it doesn't have extremely cold air hitting it. I'd not open the door though if at all possible.

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