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AZMDTed

Umai bag in garage fridge

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Hi all,

 

I thought I was being smart and doing everything right as I prepared to start dry aging.  I could use extra freezer space so I decided to get a mid size fridge that would give me freezer space and fridge space to dry age. I found one on sale and it showed up yesterday and it’s humming along in my garage.   My Umai bags are also here. Then I do more research and find out that Umai and garage fridges don’t do well together in the winter.  BTW I’m in Maryland and we are at the edge of the current frigid spell.  Teens at night and about 30 now, but single digits next week.  

 

My my garage gets to 50 during the day but down to 47 at night, probably lower next week.  I’m not worried about the temp of the fridge, I’ve read enough to know that it will be okay. The only thing in the freezer is an 18 pound turkey I just picked up at Walmart for $7.  I’m not worried about it thawing in the freezer.  My concern though is with airflow and moisture control in the fridge. 

 

With it it being so cold the fridge won’t have to work much to maintain a good temp, and without it working normally I’m concerned that there won’t be enough air movement to help absorb the moisture loss from dry aging.  To help that I’ve added a glass brownie dish with two pounds of coarse sea salt on the bottom of the fridge. I also just put in a computer case fan that I have on a timer to run for an hour, off for an hour, 24x7.  The fan is on the bottom as well facing across the salt.

 

Once the winter breaks I shouldn’t need this, but to get through my first dry age that’s my plan.  Any thoughts from those who’ve been there, done that?

 

Thanks. 

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Hello @AZMDTed  we are about in the same temp zones.  i'm in VA, just south of IAD.  I just did a Costco 17pound rib roast w/ an Umai bag in my garage frig, and it turned out fine.  I started it on Nov 19th, and pulled in out on Dec 25th.    It was great. no issues from what I could tell. I did open by frig about once a day or so to check it out or pull soda/water out to drink.  Other than that, that was it.

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A follow up now that I'm back.  The Strip Loin looks like it is aging the way it should.  There was a mild beef smell when I opened the refrigerator door as seems to be common.  The salt I had in the glass dish under the meat was rock solid.  We got hit with the 'bomb cyclone' the day we left and the weather reports showed a week or more no higher than the 20s. Before I left I put a thermometer in the fridge that also recorded the high and low temp records, and it stayed between 31.7 and 37 degrees during the 3 weeks I was gone.  I'm glad I added the fan and salt as insurance, but there's no way to know if they were really needed or not. 

 

The meat will be about 30 days aged on Saturday and that's when I'll take it out of the DryBag, clean it up and fire a couple steaks up on the Joe. 

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Fan, good idea but I'd just let it run 24/7.

 

Salt in my opinion is just a waste of salt and not needed. 

 

Your temperature stayed in range and that's really the only critical part. Using a hydrometer you have to get above  80% humidity to cause bacteria problems and I doubt that happened. Can't wait to see the finished product. 

 

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I took my Coscto Strip Loin out of the Umai bag yesterday after 30 days of dry aging.  It went into the bag at 13.6 pounds and came out at 11.3 pounds. I cut the steaks first then trimmed the bark.  Even with light trimming I had 3.25 pounds of bark. That’s okay though, a third of that is already simmering for Pho for lunch and the rest is in the freezer for more stock later.

 

I was left with 15, 1” thick steaks about 8oz apiece that were dark red and firm.  I got the kamado to 600, seared each side for two minutes, then moved them over the divide and conquer space to come to proper temp.  Mine was medium rare and my wife’s was medium.  I tossed a chunk of hickory on the coals just before I put them on to get some added flavor.  

 

They were very good.  Firm, but tender. No hint of funk, just good steak. I may try 35 days next time just because I can.  

26EAA79E-3893-4D9D-84EA-EC57731BF2A9.jpeg

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Steaks looking good. 

 

I sent my dry age refrigerator with son when he went off to college this past fall so no dry ageing for me at the moment. Maybe when he comes home this summer I'll get a primal in before he goes back next fall. 

 

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