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"I'm thinking of trying to dry age cuts of beef at home. Has anyone tried this and do you have any recommendations besides the usual ones, (ie, 32-38 degrees, 85% humidity, good air circulation(fan?), bateria light(put one in the fridge?)) I'm planning on using a small refrigerator with nothing in it except the beef.

Also, any ideas on what I can use to cut the beef after it's done aging? I plan on buying Shell of Beef with the bone in it. It's a 15-20 lbs cut but I have no idea how to cut the bone with the meat still on it. Any help or recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks"


June 18, 2006 at 6:18 pm
(1) Paul says:

A nationally known butcher named Merle Ellis discovered a technique for dry aging beef at home. Here are the complete directions he offered some years ago for this technique.


1. Only the top grades of beef can be dry aged successfully. Use USDA Prime or USDA Choice – Yield Grade 1 or 2 (the highest quality of Choice) only. These have a thick layer of fat on the outside to protect the meat from spoiling during the aging process.

2. Buy a whole rib-eye or loin strip. [You cannot age individual steaks.] Unwrap it, rinse it well with cold water, and allow it to drain; then pat it very dry with paper towels.

3. Wrap the meat in immaculately clean, large, plain white cotton dish towels and place it on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator – which is the coldest spot.

4. Change the towels each day, replacing the moisture-soiled towels with fresh. Continue to change towels as needed for 10 days, to 2 weeks. (See Step #7 for cleaning towels.)

5. After the desired aging time, you’re ready to cut off steaks from each end, trim as desired, and allow the rest to continue to age in the refrigerator.

6. If, after 21 days, you have not eaten all the meat, cut the remaining piece into steaks, wrap each steak in freezer-proof, heavy-duty plastic wrap, and freeze. The steaks will keep for several months in the freezer.

7. To clean the towels for re-use, soak the soiled towels, immediately upon removing them from the meat, in cold water overnight. Next, soak them in cold, salted water for 2-3 hours to remove any blood stains. Then launder as usual. [In olden days, butchers used to cover sides of beef with cotton "shrouds" during the aging process - this is essentially the same thing.]

October 26, 2006 at 2:21 pm
(2) JOE ROD says:


January 31, 2007 at 2:51 pm
(3) Kelani Zi says:

This technique is widely regarded to be extremely dangerous for a person to attempt, especially if the beef doesn’t have adequate fat cover. If any one factor is off, you will end up with contaminated meat, and at BEST a nice visit to your local emergency room, at worst, you could die.

August 27, 2008 at 10:09 am
(4) Steak Snob says:

A buddy of mine told me you could buy a beef aging fridge. He said it’s small like a wine fridge. I searched the web a little with no luck.

February 23, 2009 at 8:25 pm
(5) dave says:

You would think after all the diy technology. someone would come up with a “system” for home dry aging beef. a refrigerator with the correct humidity settings and temp, like the other guy said “a small frig” is there nothing like this on the net. I mean there is everything else on the net on how to….

March 10, 2009 at 1:27 pm
(6) Joe says:

I recently found a way to dry age in my fridge.
The product is called the Drybag. I bought bags and vacuum sealer they sell, then sealed a boneless ribeye into the bag and put it in my fridge for 3 weeks. The bag allows the meat to loose moisture and dry age without picking up the fridge odors. After trimming, the steaks came out perfectly tender.
Be sure to ask the butcher not to trim off the fat, its cheaper that way and leaves more for trimming. Also you have to have meat on a wire rack, so the air can go around the entire piece.
You can check out http://www.drybagsteak.com

March 20, 2009 at 10:24 am
(7) Dave says:

I have now since found a way to do dry age beef. I purchased a small glass front can cooler (dedicated to this project), a refrigerator thermometer, a small fan at top, put a tray of water at bottom. Threw in a full loin and let it age for 15 days. True there is less yield, but the results were out of this world and well worth the wait.

March 21, 2009 at 12:18 am
(8) Steve says:

Having a dedicated fridge would be awsome, but my wife says I already have enough foodie equipment in the house. I decided to try those drybags, since I am itching to get dry aged steaks on my grill this spring.
They sealed pretty easily and I have a striploin I bought at Costco aging in my fridge right now. Its been 5 days, the meat is now darker and feels firm on the outside, I can tell it is drying. I will age for 21 days like these drybag guys recommend.

April 3, 2009 at 10:16 pm
(9) Steve says:

I took out the ribeye this afternoon (19days) for some friends that came over, trimmed it out… the meat is nicely dried and cooked perfectly. Since the steak is dry aged it cooked very evenly and had great smooth consistent texture.
The flavor was unbelieveable. Costco has good meat actually and quite reasonable.

April 8, 2009 at 10:00 am
(10) Kami says:

I tried the drybagsteak.com solution for dry-aging at home and have had really good results–clean, consistent flavor, excellent texture. I used a choice strip from Costco and aged it for about two weeks. The bag is rather thin and sealing it took a little patience, but it formed a beautiful seal. The meat darkened without the greying or patches of spots I’ve seen on pre-trimmed aged meat before. When I peeled off the drybag, the surface was smooth, firm and easy to trim. Their site refers to an article about research that was done regarding the safety. I’m sold on the flavor and ease of use. For the record.

April 13, 2009 at 2:31 pm
(11) James DeGovia says:

There are many ways to age beef however, I believe it is best to do it the old fashion way. When I worked at Jackson Lake Lodge in the Grand Tetons as a chef….we use to age sides of beef at a time.

1. You clean the beef and trim the majority of the fat off.

2. Make a salt and pepper mix, brush olive oil all over the beef then spread your salt and pepper mix on the beef.

3. If using a refrigerator or a walk-in, use the temperature of 45 degrees constant.

4. Hang the beef either in cheese cloth or just bare in a kitchen enviroment for a few hours then place it back in the fridge. Repeat this process until the meat begins to turn brown. Use a meat scraper or a cheese grader to scrape the meat cleaning it lightly. Re-apply your olive oil and salt and pepper mix. At this point you will have to repeat this procedure about every two to three days. It will take about two weeks until you can cut aged steaks from the beef. After the cut…continue the aging process.

5. Remember…..there will be bacteria forming on the surface, do not worry for the bacteria is your aging process. This is why you have to scrape the meat and re-apply your olive oil each time.

April 30, 2009 at 1:05 am
(12) Jonathan Williams says:

I read about this over a year ago in the Wall Street Journal. I decided to try it with a small dorm size fridge. It worked well, but was very limiting and the fridge eventually died. So I found a very good used full size unit and have done several cuts so far. A tenderloin, a strip and now a rib-eye. They have all been VERY good. I try to let them age at least 2 weeks before I start using them. By 3 weeks they are fantastic. The process I use is very straight forward.

1 – The refrigerator is kept at 33 degrees (I use an indoor/outdoor digital thermometer).
2 – I rinse the beef in cold water and dry it well with paper towel.
3 – I use stainless steel hooks and hang the meat (instead of laying it down).
4 – I DON’T cover it with any shroud.
5 – I cut as much as I need for a meal and then trim all of the exterior.
6 – I keep the steaks at room temperature for at least 2 hours before I grill them.

So far this has worked well. But I do wonder about using a cotton shroud for it. I see others have, but haven’t seen the reason for doing that. Does anyone know why it would be useful?

May 17, 2009 at 10:22 pm
(13) Dave says:

I’ve been aging beef and bison for 4 years or more now. I began by aging single thick cut beef steaks for 3-10 days. The results were always tastey, but sometimes scary. I am always cautious to give the steak a good hardcore wash and sear the living bejeesus out of all outer surfaces, but I know I took some chances when I first started out.

Now I have a dedicated full sized refrigerator. I buy whole primals on the bone (always on the bone). I’m able to get Prime ribeye cuts at $5/lb through wholesale routes.

The flavor is in the funk. That is all there is to it. I trim the ends of the meat and the fat cap, but will use that fat to lube the grill. But the ends… I know it’s scary, but I will cook them until very well done, chiffonade them small (does that term apply to meat?), and serve them as the meat side of the best philly cheese steak you’ll ever have.

One of the best innovations I’ve come across is the mock sous vide. Yes, I know it would technically be done underpressure, but I’ve adapted back away from that. I have a fryolater vat that I can hold at 110F. I drop in the whole piece, unwrapped, into canola. I let it sit for as long as necessary… as in 4hrs for large cuts. The meat gently comes up to just under a rare doneness and holds there.

When I’m ready to roll I take the meat out, wash off the canola (the meat doesn’t absorb even a drop), season with salt, and blast it on cast iron for the crust. Again, covering all sides, starting with the fat and including the bone. Finish with a bath of sweet butter and thyme in the pan.

Obviously this produces a hell of a lot of smoke. But you’ll never have a better steak. Buttery goodness, a uniform doneness from crusty edge to crusty edge. Perfectly rare.

And because the primary heating was done gently for hours, rest time is fairly minimal.

June 30, 2009 at 9:55 pm
(14) Luke says:

For me, the DrybagSteak method of dry aging is working really well. I get a great dry aged steak and it’s clean. It has gotten so I don’t even order dry-aged steak when I go out anymore because the quality is so hit ‘n miss. The 21-day aged steak I do at home with Drybags is always good–and I can be sure it really has 21 days of age on it. I also like having the choice of whether I age select for a group of buddies or organic, grass fed for the wife!

July 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm
(15) Phillyboi says:

Here is a quick tip that works the same as dry aging but can be done on 30 min. This is directly from Americas test kitchen and I will not cook a steak any other way

Simply rinse and dry your steaks. Season with kosher salt and pepper

Line a half sheet pan with foil and place a wire cooling rack in the pan.

Place steaks on on the rack and put into a 200 deg oven for about 30 min or until interior temp comes up to 130 or so

Then finish on a hot grill.

As the beef rises in temp the enzymes become activated resulting in much more tender steak. Since u are bringing up to temp slow it has time. Works just as well with cold or room temp meat. Just make sure it is dry outside

October 5, 2009 at 2:55 am
(16) Theresa says:

Doesn’t the salt affect the flavor if you attempt to reduce the moisture by pulling it out this way? I think the drybag idea sounds like a truer and safer way to get the true results at home.

October 15, 2009 at 1:43 am
(17) beef non connisseur says:

Can you use the vacuum seal bags for garments?

October 26, 2009 at 8:29 pm
(18) steaklover says:

bringing the steak to temp over two hours definetly helps with the tenderness, but the dry aged flavor comes from slow dry aging which removes moisture over time ,& concentrates the flavor.

March 12, 2010 at 3:06 pm
(19) Char-Woody says:

I have been testing the DryBagSteak vacuum and bags the last month. I have tested individual steaks, and the full loin cut of Ribeye, and NYStrips.
I was not sold on the individual steak drybagging. Number one, your trim waste is excessive. What was left was good on flavor but I will only do the Loins from now on. I just cut and Foodsaver Bagged about 18 great looking 20 day cured steaks for spring BBQ’ing. They are in the freezer as I type.
And looking forward to some great tender juicy Ribeye and NYStrip steaks.
BTW.. I did thinner Ribeye, NYStrip and Choice Sirloin individual steaks and was not impressed.
Good luck.

May 30, 2010 at 8:22 pm
(20) Ginase says:

To Johnathan,

The cheese cloth or shroud is helpful in reducing the weight loss. Meat processors have been using this for many years; just think money………the shroud is relatively inexpensive, being a cotton or cotton poly mix made on large circular knitting machines, and the flavour intensification continues but with a lower weight shrinkage.

Does that help?

November 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm
(21) George says:

I have been aging beef in my fridge at home for 5 years. I go to the local butcher and get a 5 bone fresh standing rib off the steer or cow. Wash with cold water, dry thoroughly.
I have a meat drawer in my fridge with temp control. I keep it at 35 to 39 degrees. Not sure about the humid. My first time was the one I worried about the most. Did not want to ruin a 120.00 piece of beef. But they have turned out wonderful every year.
Using cheese cloth wrap roast several times till covered. Replace cloth everyday. The first 3 days cloth will be messy, after that the blood slows and the cloth will be cleaner day after day, till the last 2 days no blood much at all. I aged 8 to 10 days. Remove from wraping and trim off ends and old fat and other dark spots.
It is the best I have ever had. Roast in 325 oven till meat is 120 turn oven off and remove at 130. Let rest 20 mins before cutting.

December 27, 2011 at 7:25 pm
(22) Stephen R Stanfield says:

I just tried my first aging of beef. I purchased a Select(because that is all I could find) 7 bones Bone in Ribeye that weighed 23.38 lbs. Unwrapped cryvac covering, rinsed and patted dry. Sprinkled Montreal Steak Seasoning(liberally) all over meat and wrapped in Cheese cloth(purchased at Lowes in paint dept.), placed in refrigerator at 34 degrees on grating over a Cookie sheet. After 5 days, changed cheesecloth, ( two small puddles of blood about the size of a half a dollar coin was all that was in pan), checked it about every three days and no further fluid showed in pan. Took it out after 21 days(total) and trimmed off hardened portion(about 1/2 inch all over) and cooked it between 225-250 degrees until it reached 122 degrees in center (app 3 1/2 hrs). Let it rest app 30 minutes and cut out meat away from bones. Served 9 people with enough left over to serve another 6-7 servings. Absolutely the best prime rib I have ever eaten. I cook ribeyes(individually) quite often and the whole rack occasionally(normally for Christmas). One could cut it with a fork and the flavor was wonderful. Went to butcher yesterday and am starting to age another for my birthday, Jan 28, will let that one age 31 days. I know this is different from most people’s experience and method, but it worked for me. I am guessing the salt in the steak seasoning sealed the outside and held juices in and the enzymes did their job breaking down the meat. A new tradition is born.

January 4, 2012 at 10:03 pm
(23) Chef Mike Benninger says:

Hey Stephen…

I am sure that your steaks were perfect, i do very much the same thing. I buy the full racks at Costco, usually 8 bones, somtimes 9, open the roast, wash in cold water, pat dry and place on the bottom shelf of my spare fridge on a fine rack, bones side down at 34F, loosly wrapped in white cheese cloth I buy at a local fabric shop by the yard.

I change the cloth every 3 days, doing it as quick as i can so the temp doesn’t vary much. I only go out 15 days, and the loss is usually around 20% (plus trimming, another 15% or more).

My last roast started a bit under 24lbs and between drying and trimming, become a hair over 16 lbs before it hit the grill. It cost $135.00, but I cooked it whole and fed 12 people at a backyard buffet with lots of beef ribs left for later.

Best steaks they ever had…

January 11, 2012 at 12:41 am
(24) Shawn says:


I use the same method and is working great. Comments like those of “Kelani Zi ” are ignorant at best. what many people don’t realize is that Meat Beef in particular rots from the outside in. any bad bacteria is in the outer thin layer and as long as the meat has not been peirced it remains sterile inside. as long as you trim off the outer layer and bring the outer 1/8-1/4 inch surface/edge/layer above 160 (seared) you should have nothing to worry about.

February 5, 2012 at 11:04 am
(25) DS says:

I use the method listed above and am on my fourth Rib Roast. Ribeye roast. Costco for me. Usually 7 to 8 lb. 21 days and have gone 28 but will try to stay around 21. Just found USDA choice KC strip on sale and am trying my first, non ribeye dry age. Got a 10 pounder, bone in. I use my spare fridge, which is a little above 32 deg. I use a large plate with a trivet that elevates the piece above the plate and allows air to circulate. I found, at Dollar Tree, some plain white linen towels that are about 2′ x 2′ and work perfect. at a dollar each, I have 6 I use then wash. I change these every day for the first week, and once the blood soaking has pretty much ceased, I go to every other day. I plan to use a new blade in my saws-all to cut the bone in steaks. This gets addicting and I almost hate to go back to regular steaks.

October 15, 2012 at 2:04 am
(26) Jake says:

I tried dry aging a couple times and it has worked out great for me.

I first tried doing this after watching an episode of Good Eats. I followed the show’s instructions: loosely wrap in a towel, place over a roasting tray with a rack under it for drainage, place in coldest part of fridge, change towels daily. After a week I cut away the spoiled bits and cooked it. It turned out perfect.

Despite my success, I have friends that absolutely refuse to try this method in fear of food poisoning. One friend in particular said someone he knows got sick after doing this, which only served to increase his fears. I hinted that his friend may have done something wrong in the process or used poor quality meat, but he would have none of it.

If Alton Brown, the science food guy, can teach people this method on the Food Network, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to try.

December 11, 2012 at 1:28 am
(27) Jay says:

Paul had Merrill’s advise. I followed his method for 4 years now. For Prime Rib Boneless: first year was USDA Select for 7 days – nothing really great. The second year i used USDA Prime for 14 days and it was great! So tender and delicious! The Third year i used USDA Choice and aged it for 21 days. it was okay but when you have Prime forget the other grades! This year i am confident that my refrigerator will hold well enough for the full 28 days and it is USDA Prime grade from Costco. About 13 to 19 lbs each.
When i did the Prime in the Second year – i cut away the ugly brown and gray till i saw the Marbled Dark Red meat! This is good! don’t cut off more than is needed. i wrapped the meat in cotton towels that i got from Costco. Held the towels in place with about 7 Rubber Bands per slab. everyday for the other years until the day of usage. i rinse them in Oxyclean every day also.
On Christmas Eve when i serve them to about 50 family members
you can see the excitement, and the taste UNREAL!
I generally leave the slabs out at room temperature for a couple of hours with my own homeade dry rub – no wet rub. i then place it in a 500 degree oven until it brown well on the outside. i then turn the temp down to 375 until my internal temps reach the desired doneness. one slab is Medium Rare while the other is Medium to Well. For the past 3 years no one has gotten sick ever!
Alton Brown and a lot of “Food people” cannot say how long, what to do, the right way is safety, safety, safety! They have to say this! But like the reknowned Butcher Merrill had put it in detail if you follow it
you will come out with a great product!

February 14, 2013 at 11:03 pm
(28) Steakum says:

Am I misinformed that if you cook something to a certain temperature, it will kill bacteria? Also, this is airborne bacteria cultures we’re mostly talking about that grow on the meat, right? I have dry aged at home with much success and no illness. I typically sear the meat(as well as bringing the whole piece up to temp). Fill me in. Is there something I’m missing here about getting ill?

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