If you are looking for restaurant quality meat from home, dry aging meat is the answer. But what is dry aging?

Dry aging is the process where large cuts of beef are aged from anywhere from several weeks to several months before being trimmed and cut into slices of steak. This process not only helps the steak become more flavoursome but also makes it far more tender than when it is fresh.

What are the benefits of dry aging beef at home?

When beef is dry aged, its overall structure is changed which increases taste and quality. These are the three main changes to beef:

  • Moisture loss: A piece of dry aged beef can lose around 30% of its initial volume in water loss which concentrates the flavour even more. A lot of this water loss occurs in the outer layer of the meat, some of which gets desiccated so must be trimmed before cooking. The larger the piece of meat you start dry aging with, the better yield will be.
  • Tenderisation: This occurs when enzymes naturally present in the meat to break down some of the muscle fibre and connective tissue. When this process happens, the meat’s carbohydrates, protein and fats are turned into super-flavorful sugars and amino acids like glutamate. A well dry-aged steak will be noticeably more tender than a fresh steak.
  • Change in flavour: This is caused by enzymatic and bacterial action. Meat which is dry-aged properly will develop deeply beefy, nutty aromas.

How to cook dry aged beef at home

  1. Bring to room temperature: After removing the dry-aged beef from the dry age refrigerator, or a separate fridge to your usual one, trim away the dried portions and slice the beef into individual steaks. It is best to allow the meat to sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes depending on the size of the cut.
  2. Season your dry aged beef: Season the beef very minimally with salt. You do not want to season too heavily as this will take away the strong flavour created by the dry aging. Too much seasoning will obscure the natural flavouring.
  3. Grill or roast the beef: For individual pieces of dry aged beef, grill on high heat and on an open-flame grill or grill pan to get a caramelised sear on the outside and perfectly rare interior.
  4. Cook to medium-rare: Whether you choose to grill or roast the beef, it is best to cook the beef to medium rare. This prevent losing any flavour or tenderness created from dry aging.

Due to the size of the meat and the space needed for moisture loss, specialist dry aging fridges are the best option for dry aging beef at home. Dry age fridges allow you to dry age meat in a carefully controlled environment with consistent temperature, humidity and airflow. If you are looking for a dry aging fridge for your home, Steak Locker  has a great range of restaurant quality dry age fridges available.