Dry aged steaks are gaining popularity coast-to-coast. Dry aging makes beef develop a distinct, appealing, and interesting flavor.
Not long ago, though, if you wanted dry aged steak you’d pretty much have to go to a good steakhouse (like one of mine!) where we had sophisticated, commercial meat lockers that maintained a regulated environment to keep meat safe over a long period of time while effectively allowing the delicious aging process to occur. As my buddy, Meathead writes in his article, How To Dry Age Steak At Home, “You can’t age beef by just throwing it in the fridge and waiting for it to get tender. Oxygen and bacteria can mess it up.”
So as dry aging gains popularity, I’ve seen an increase in the availability of small, residential agers like the Steak Locker SL150. Click here to read my review. With a little effort, even a hobbyist can get great results at home with this equipment. Even though many steak lovers would love to add a nice aging locker to their residential kitchen, the price tags can be a deal killer. That’s why DrybagSteak’s Umai Dry affordable dry aging bags caught my eye. With UMAi Dry you can dry age steak, charcuterie, or slow-fermented dry sausage in your refrigerator without risking spoilage for an affordable price. They’re a great way to start dry aging steaks and also charcuterie without breaking the bank.
UMAi Dry has a lot of different kits for aging big ribeye hunks, brisket, sausage and salami. Unless you’re already skilled in making homemade sausage, beef is a good way to start. For around $30 you can get UMAi Dry’s Ribeye/Striploin Kit which includes three large aging bags, adhesive strips for sealing them and Dry Aging Time Labels to record your start and target end dates.
Please note; UMAi Dry is not a vacuum bag: it’s a membrane that allows for both oxygen and moisture exchange.
The basic process is fairly simple; just vacuum seal your meat in UMAi’s special bags and age it in your refrigerator. You can complete a hot seal process using boiling water without a vacuum sealer, but since I already have one, that’s what I used. Here’s a short video from UMAi Dry that shows how to seal and age.
Once sealed I placed my ribeye on a sheet pan with a rack for proper air circulation.
It was challenging to get that 8.76-pound bone-in ribeye into the bag. Some size limitations apply. After aging for 40 days it was 7.11 pounds with a trim weight of 5.07 pounds.
The meat was tender and sweet with the distinct flavor of dry-aged beef. Although that characteristic aged flavor was subtle compared to my humidity and temp-controlled lockers. I think I would age it longer next time to increase the flavor. It still did a good job, especially considering the price.
If you only plan to age steaks a few times a year, UMAi Dry Steak Aging Bags let you accomplish that with little pain at the cash register. Those who get hooked on aged steak and want to explore aging sausage and salami should consider a stand-alone dry aging refrigerator which can be had for $1,000 to $2,000 depending on size and features.
Dry Aging Bags
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