Dry-aged meat can remain in a fridge from 28 days up to 120 days. We find out how one man is exploring the possibilities of this cooking technique to create the ultimate beef steak.
Mirco Beutler, a Dubai-based German native, is more commonly known as the 'Dry-Ager Guy'.
With over 12 years’ experience in 5-star hospitality, he has recently opened the ‘world’s first Dry Age Meat Boutique’ in Dubai. As well as selling prime cuts, customers are offered guidance on how to select the best cut for their palette, and advice on how best to cook it.
Some of the boutique's most popular cuts include the tomahawk, porterhouse and T-bone steaks. Alternative options such as lamb, duck, deer and camel ouzi are also available.
The dry-aging process
Muscles in meat contain approximately 70% water. By removing this moisture, the meat becomes more tender, and the taste is more concentrated. For this process, specialised fridges are used. 'Dry-ager' has a range of custom fridges available to buy, which can cost over €6000.
These fridges will keep the meat temperature between +1,5°C and +2°C, which is ideal for removing moisture. Furthermore, to improve the ageing process, the climate of the refrigerator is controlled by keeping a constant humidity within.
After 14 days, the process will have removed moisture and tenderised the meat. Following this, it takes another 14 days for complex flavours to develop.
How to dry-age meat at home
If you want to forego the skills of a butcher or the cost of a specialised dry-aging fridge, here are some tips for dry-aging at home.
The choice of meat is essential because the size and weight of the meat will decrease due to the process. Therefore, a large cut of beef with a fatty exterior is preferred. The fatty layer will reduce the loss of meat when trimming at the end of the process.
One reason that dry-aging at home can be considered expensive is that having a separate fridge is strongly advised. A dedicated fridge is needed because the smell of the meat can be powerful during the process, leaving other items in the fridge smelling and tasting unpleasant. Also, the temperature and humidity are more likely to be at a constant in a separate fridge.
Insert a small fan inside the fridge to maintain airflow. Then, put a wire rack on top of a tray. The tray is to collect any drippings. Make sure the bottom of the rack is elevated so that airflow is possible on all sides of the beef. Any part of the meat that has no airflow will rot. Next, put your cut of meat on the rack and let the dry-aging process begin.
After 28 days, remove the cut from the fridge and trim off the unwanted outer layer of meat and fat exposed to the air. Then finally cook your home dry-aged steak and enjoy. Much like cheese, the longer you dry-age the meat, the more unique the taste will be.