Dry aged beef. Is there a taste difference?

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dadetigl
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2006/03/22 19:41:06 (permalink)

Dry aged beef. Is there a taste difference?

I recently received a gift certificate for www.nimanranch.com meat store. They have lots of different cuts of meat available. All very expensive. They have both fresh and dry aged (21 days) ribeyes and strip steaks. I'm not sure if I have ever had a dry aged steak before. My question is: will I enjoy the taste or would I be better off getting the fresh cuts? Is it all that much of a different flavor than what I would get from a butcher or the grocery? I have heard that some people think that dry aging can make the steak taste gamy or off. Others say it is the best steak they've ever had. Considering that two 2-inch ribeyes go for about $55 + $20 shipping, I would hate to waste the money but I am leaning towards getting the 2 dry aged ribeyes because of the gift certificate. Just to try it out. Would I be better off with the dry aged strip steaks rather than the ribeyes or should I just get some other non-dry aged cut of meat?
If I get them, I will be grilling them. Is anything more than salt and pepper needed?
What do you think?
#1

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    lleechef
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    RE: Dry aged beef. Is there a taste difference? 2006/03/22 22:11:19 (permalink)
    Go with the dry-aged meat!!! It will be definately darker than fresh, less aged red meat. They actually put it in a walk-in with fans to age it. When I was the chef at the Trillium in Michigan we bought nothing but dry-aged prime ribs, strip loins and tenderloins. The strip loins came in butcher's paper with a coating of green fur........which of course I trimmed off, then cut the steaks. They are sublime.
    As to the question of strip steaks or ribeyes.......depends on which cut you prefer! Don't put anything but salt and pepper on this delicious beef.
    #2
    dogmeat
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    RE: Dry aged beef. Is there a taste difference? 2006/03/23 06:36:14 (permalink)
    Dry aged beef is the top of the food chain. During the "drying" about 20% shrinkage occurs and the meat really becomes intense and develops a very distinct texture and flavor. Understanding the lack of moisture would point to a room tempertature start and undercooking, whichever cut, by one level. Some steak houses are underlighted to compensate for this procedure and not to alarm the guests by the deep red interior color of the steak. Perhaps a little high end unsalted butter, fresh ground black pepper and a touch of coarse sea salt and you have an unforgettable steak. Nimanranch is a geat outfit to do business with, enjoy!
    #3
    Cosmos
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    RE: Dry aged beef. Is there a taste difference? 2006/03/23 08:34:25 (permalink)
    We ocaisionally have our butcher put up some meat to dry for us. We quite enjoy it.
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    Sundancer7
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    RE: Dry aged beef. Is there a taste difference? 2006/03/23 08:41:14 (permalink)
    This thread aroused my curiosity and I spent quite a bit of time researching the process. What I found is there are at least two different ways to age. Wet and dry.

    No wonder dry cost more. There is shrinkage and time involved and according to the attached web site, much more flavor and very tender.

    For you that are curious, I hope the attached link helps.

    http://www.askthemeatman.com/dry_aged_beef.htm

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #5
    scott123
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    RE: Dry aged beef. Is there a taste difference? 2006/03/23 11:53:17 (permalink)
    Niman ranch is definitely a well respected meat outfit, but at the same time, I wouldn't buy mail order steak. Dry aging helps improve the tenderness/taste of beef tremendously, but it's meaningless if the steak isn't well marbled. You can dry age a lean rib eye from now until the cows come home and it'll still be a mediocre steak. For this reason, you have to see the steak, in the case, before you buy it. I would go with a selection of cured meats/fresh sausages. Those you can't go wrong with.

    Dry aged meat has a stronger more robust flavor. A handful of people might call it gamey, but I think the vast majority of people wouldn't use that term. You have to like beef, though. I think a lot of people think they like the taste of beef, but when confronted with a really beefy tasting aged steak, figure out that they don't love it that much.

    True dry aging, involving well marbled meat actually aged for longer than 21 days, is a hard to find commidity. Well marbled meat is scarce enough, but it's the rare butcher that will hang their beef long enough. It's just too easy to cut the corner, age the beef a little less and make more money in the bargain. If the meat is selling well (and dry aged beef is very 'hot' right now) there's not enough incentive to age the beef. When they age it slightly less the beef still sells. The butcher then says to him/herself "these idiots don't know the difference" and, what they do? They reduce the aging time even more. I witnessed this phenomenon when I worked at Whole Foods. It was great meat, but the demand outweighed the supply and the butchers had dollars in their eyes rather than an obsession for quality.

    Are there exceptions? I'm sure there are. But good luck finding them.
    #6
    Oneiron339
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    RE: Dry aged beef. Is there a taste difference? 2006/03/23 15:35:35 (permalink)
    "Good Eats" on the Food Channel had an interesting show recently on dry-aging prime rib. He showed how to do it yourself with minimal effort and expense. The reason behind the aging as noted above, is to remove moisture and concentrate the flavors. Most places don't do this because the price per pound goes down when the moisture is removed.
    #7
    dadetigl
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    RE: Dry aged beef. Is there a taste difference? 2006/03/23 21:14:12 (permalink)
    Thank you for the feedback.
    I think I will order the two 2 inch thick dry aged strip steaks and invite a couple of my carnivore friends over for dinner. My wife, unfortunately is a vegan, so NONE for her!
    We live in the Tampa area and used to go to Bern's Steakhouse on special occasions. I looked at their website today and saw that they dry age their own steaks for 5-8 weeks. It has been 10 years since we have been there, but I really remember how much I enjoyed the strip steak. It was, and still is, expensive, but I was always amazed that the waiters recommended that you order less than you think that you can eat.
    Steaks from the grocery I can cook fairly well, but for these badboys I need some advice. Salt and pepper only plus maybe some butter or olive oil right?
    I have a pre-Home Depot Weber Summit grill with 4 burners. It does not get extremely hot. Any suggestions how I can cook these steaks to rare with a warm red center? How much cooking time? I would hate to screw these up.
    Thanks for the help.

    PS. llechef, I'm going to be bummed if these steaks come with green fur on them.



    #8
    scott123
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    RE: Dry aged beef. Is there a taste difference? 2006/03/23 23:37:48 (permalink)
    If your grill doesn't get that hot, rare with a good char on the outside is going to be difficult.

    If you've got a good ventilation system- a reeeally good ventilation system, I'd pre-heat the heck out of a big ass cast iron frying pan and use that. In the time it takes for the exterior to have a good amount of color, the middle will be warm/red. If the pan is big enough, it should be perfect for two ribeyes without overcrowding.

    P.S. I still think you're making a mistake, though. You gotta see the steak you're buying. You can't leave that judgement call up to someone else.
    #9
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