Dry Aging USDA Prime Meat

Dry Aging the USDA Prime Meat:

This is optional, but if you have the time and the space in your refrigerator, you can dry age the rib roast for several days to bring out additional flavor and produce a more buttery texture in prime rib roast (aging allows the natural enzymes to break down some of protein in the meat).

Dry-aged beef can be expensive to purchase and hard to come by. Some top-quality butchers will offer already dry-aged roasts for sell. If you can find one and can afford one (as they are pricey), purchase the roast. This will cost your more, so the decision is yours!

A food safety note: Home refrigerators aren’t as consistent or as cold as commercial meat lockers. Before aging meat at home, get a Refrigerator Thermometer and be sure your refrigerator is set below 40°F.

How to dry-age beef at home – The good news is that you can dry-age beef at home:

Only the top grades of beef can be dry aged successfully. Use USDA Prime or USDA Choice from the best meat source in your area. Buy a whole prime rib roast, rib-eye roast, or loin strip. You cannot age individual steaks. Unwrap the beef (do not trim), rinse it well with cold water, allow the meat to drain, and pat then pat the meat dry with paper towels.

Wrap the roast loosely in a triple layer of cheesecloth or a plain white cotton dish towels; and set it on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet or other tray. Place the wrapped roast on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator (which is the coldest spot in your refrigerator). Refrigerate for 7 to 10 days; the longer the beef ages, the tastier it gets. After the first day, carefully unwrap and then rewrap with the same cheesecloth to keep the cloth fibers from sticking to the meat.

When ready to roast, unwrap the meat and, with a sharp knife, shave off and discard the hard, dried outer layer of the meat. Shave away any dried areas of fat, too, but leave behind as much of the good fat as possible. NOTE: There can be much waste as the dried and sometimes moldy meat needs to be trimmed away before cooking and eating it. Roast whole or cut into steaks.

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