How Long Can You Wet Age Beef?

The method for wet aging beef at home is very straightforward. Understanding which beef cuts benefit from wet aging, how long the process can last, and how to handle the beef once it is finished is the trick.

Since the natural enzymes in the muscles slowly break down the fibers, wet aging beef makes it more tender. Wet ageing enhances the tenderness of select grade ribeyes and strip loins and is ideal for tough cuts like brisket.

Wet ageing is performed almost exclusively for improved tenderness. Beef tenderloins are so tender already that there is no point in wet aging them. Wet aging has no effect on the flavor profile of beef like dry aging does.

between 4-6 weeks

What is dry aging?

Wet aging is less expensive, but it is also more time-consuming. Generally speaking, it is not a process conducted at home. The meat is left in an open area where it can breathe fresh air.

This permits and even promotes the growth of particular bacteria that give dry-aged beef its distinctive flavor. This process requires a lot of resources, making it unattainable for the typical home cook.

How do you wet age steaks?

The beef is vacuum-sealed in a bag to wet age steaks. While being transported to market, they are kept chilled at a temperature of between 29 and 34 degrees Fahrenheit.

Due to the steaks’ packaging in their own juices, there are a lot of natural enzymes present. The enzymes in the meat tenderize the steak during this time.

Steaks contain tough segments of connective tissue, which are broken down to make them easier to eat. At least five weeks, and possibly even longer, can pass before these enzymes stop working on the steak tissue.

This is done without losing weight through dehydration. The main advantage of wet aging over dry aging is this. Consequently, the meat has less flavor because there is more liquid to dilute the potent meat flavors.

Can you wet age beef at home?

It is possible to wet age beef at home, but there are some risks involved. Meat should be aged in a climate-controlled setting with the humidity levels being closely watched.

It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to reproduce these conditions in a typical household refrigerator.

Your family refrigerator’s varying conditions make it very likely that bacteria will develop and proliferate. These bacteria can develop to dangerous levels during the 14-day meat aging process and may cause food poisoning.

How do you wet age beef at home?

A butcher should sell you a vacuum-packed primal cut of beef. This is the kind that would be used to make cuts for the market straight from the slaughterhouse. It should be sealed in cryovac packaging.

It is a good idea to check the date that your beef was killed and packaged. This will give you a good estimate as to how long your meat can be wet aged. If you cannot find this information, ask your butcher.

Do not open this package when you get it home. Your best chance of keeping bacteria out is the vacuum seal. The meat is exposed to the air and thousands of potential contaminants when the package is opened. After aging, many of these could be extremely harmful.

There is a good chance that your meat has already been exposed to dangerous bacteria during manufacturing and transportation. If the bacteria are present, the beef cannot be aged because there is no way to test for it at home.

When you get it home, it is a good idea to double check the packaging to look for any punctures.

You should set your refrigerator to 35 degrees Fahrenheit. 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower temperatures are too cold. The temperatures can cause the beef to freeze slightly.

The action of the enzyme will be stopped, preventing the beef from becoming more tender. This becomes hazardous when the temperature rises above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is ideal for bacterial growth, which could result in food poisoning.

Place your beef in the refrigerator, and give it 45 to 60 days to age. Rotate the beef one per week while it is aging. While not entirely necessary, it really helps to keep your beef’s texture consistent.

By moving the beef, you can check for any areas where it might be slightly frozen and make sure the seal is still intact. Online recipes advise you to wrap the steaks in paper towels and store them in the fridge, changing the wrappings every day.

It will undoubtedly be a miserable few days and a trip to the hospital.

After the time has passed, you have a few choices. The beef can be frozen for up to two months if you aren’t quite ready to eat it. The freezer’s temperature will stop the enzymatic process and keep the meat safe for consumption.

You can cut the cryovac packaging open if you want to consume your meat right away. Remove the beef, then wash it under the kitchen sink’s faucets. You may smell a strange odor, but this is normal.

The smell ought to disappear after you discard the packaging and rinse the meat. You should throw away your meat if it doesn’t or if the smell is extremely unpleasant. The smell is unmistakable, so you’ll know if the meat has gone bad.

After that, you can start cutting and seasoning your beef so that it cooks to your preference. Remove any discolored areas because they won’t taste as good.

Give “store bought” a try if you’re concerned about messing it up. You can buy excellent quality dry aged beef from SnakeRiverFarms.

Dry vs Wet Aged Steak What’s Better? Very Surprising Results!

FAQ

Can you wet age beef for 90 days?

In general, a product must be aged for at least 14 days in order to be considered “wet aged,” though the process can take up to 60 days. The meat will become significantly more tender and flavorful over time.

How long can you wet age beef in the refrigerator?

Wet-aging is essentially the opposite of dry-aging beef, which is done outside. This technique involves preserving a cut of beef in a cryovac bag before cooking. Following that, the meat is kept in a refrigerator for at least 14 days at a temperature of 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can you age beef for 60 days?

Large Cuts of Beef, Dry-Aged 45–60 Days At this point, the milliard effect is fully in play, producing succulent steaks that can compete with the best steakhouses. Flavors and aromas become almost exotic as the aging process continues past 45 days, which for some people is a little too much.

How long does it take to wet age meat?

Wet aging is relatively new. All you have to do is vacuum seal the meat and store it in the refrigerator for 7 to 28 days. While the tissue is still being broken down by the enzymes, the bag seals out air to prevent contamination.

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