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Old 05-06-2005, 04:55 PM   #1
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Aging Meat in Oil?

A long time ago I did food delivery for a steak and pizza restaurant between work seasons.

They kept their beef tenderloins submersed in a bucket of oil in the cooler.

I recall being told they were aged, but I can't recall if they aged them in oil at the restaurant or stored the aged steaks in oil.

To my horror, the first thing they did when a tenderloin was ordered was to remove it from the oil then deep fry it for a few seconds before grilling.

They made great steaks, but I wonder what I would think of them now ....


At any rate, to my question, can I age steaks in oil in the fridge with a fair degree of safety, or just store them that way short term?
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Old 05-06-2005, 07:05 PM   #2
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Shawn, I'm sorry I cannot anwser your questions. But what I can do is say, I'll never eat another steak from a restaurant again!
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Old 05-07-2005, 10:35 PM   #3
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Can't answer your question, but.
The thought behind the deep frying was probaly to seal in the juices. Hot oil is much better at transfering the heat than air. Also, the because of the heated oil the exterior flesh cells of the steak wouldn't be damaged as much as from searing (which actually releases moisture from the meat). Chris ducks for cover as angry steak searers look squarely his way. 8-[


What the hell do I know... it sounded good.
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Old 05-10-2005, 12:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexLaw
I don't know how putting the steaks in oil would actually "age" the steaks. The purpose of aging is to get air to the beef under the right conditions. You have a bunch of stuff going on there, including removing moisture from the beef, concentrating the flavor. You won't get that if the beef is submerged in oil.
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Correct. But you will prevent it from aging further and you'll retard spoilage. Once you dry-age you've got to trim off the dry, grey areas and cook it fairly soon thereafter. My guess is that they were holding them longer that way.


Quote:
the because of the heated oil the exterior flesh cells of the steak wouldn't be damaged as much as from searing (which actually releases moisture from the meat). Chris ducks for cover as angry steak searers look squarely his way.
You're right, of course, but I'd use a different descriptor than 'damage'! Flavor, perhaps. It's been known for years that searing does not 'lock in juices'; it caramelizes the sugars on the meat surface and for that to happen there is a little moisture loss. But--to me--it's a requirement for a truly delicious steak.
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexLaw
I don't know how putting the steaks in oil would actually "age" the steaks. The purpose of aging is to get air to the beef under the right conditions. You have a bunch of stuff going on there, including removing moisture from the beef, concentrating the flavor. You won't get that if the beef is submerged in oil.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K Kruger
Correct. But you will prevent it from aging further and you'll retard spoilage. Once you dry-age you've got to trim off the dry, grey areas and cook it fairly soon thereafter. My guess is that they were holding them longer that way.
Ok, no aging in oil.

I guess I need to back up a bit to check my understanding. Aging is really tenderness through cellular decomposition right? And it doesn't just happen at the surface exposed to oxygen, deep inside the muscle it occurs as well right? I thought this would be an anaerobic (oxygen not required) process. (Do I get the prize for word of the week? ) Maybe the oxygen works it's way in somehow.

Thanks for the advice gang.


On Edit: corrected typo, changed sequence, clarified intent
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:27 PM   #6
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So if the cow does aerobics it's more tender?
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Old 05-10-2005, 07:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Captain Morgan
So if the cow does aerobics it's more tender?
only if it holds it's breath
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Old 05-10-2005, 07:36 PM   #8
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I guess I need to back up a bit. Aging is really tenderness through cellular decomposition right? And it doesn't just happen at the surface exposed to oxygen, deep inside the muscle it occurs as well right?
Well, yes, you're right but the results are different. I assumed by your first post that they were dry-aging and then preserving their results. But wet-aging (what happens when packers cryo their meats) is the other possibility. But the difference in the two is evident.
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Old 05-10-2005, 07:53 PM   #9
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thanks Kevin, I'll take you at your word on it, dry aged is the thing ... but I wonder, if oxygen is not required how then would putting meat in oil halt the aging process?

The reason I started the thread was to see if I could get cheap 'A' not aged steaks and transform them into something better. The aged stuff is just so much more tender there is no comparison.

I picked up 21 day aged 'AAA' (aged Prime) striploins for my Friday cook when I was home, on sale at $22/kg (2.2 lbs/kg). Grilled them over Maple leaf lump and they were worth every penny, but you know, why pay more if you could pay less for nearly the same thing.
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Old 05-10-2005, 08:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Finney
Can't answer your question, but.
The thought behind the deep frying was probaly to seal in the juices. Hot oil is much better at transfering the heat than air....
Yeah, I agree that's why, but it's still WRONG dammit! I just knows it in my bones.
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Old 05-11-2005, 01:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
...how then would putting meat in oil halt the aging process?
It's not so much that it would 'halt the aging process', it's more that it would preserve the dry-aging that had already been done (if, in fact, it was dry-aged prior).

Quote:
The aged stuff is just so much more tender there is no comparison...why pay more if you could pay less for nearly the same thing.
The dry-aged stuff is much more tender--the wet-aged is only marginally moreso than beef not aged, imo. You can pay less and then dry-age yourself. The difference is marked. But you have to do some trimming when the dry-aging is done, and it takes several days.

My point was that if (in fact) what they were doing was dry-aging first, then preserving their results by storing the meat in oil, that would work. The wet-aging process might start anew with the meat in the oil but it would not be significant; would not affect the already completed dry-aging process.

(Btw, your price of $22/kg is a steal.)
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Old 05-11-2005, 10:49 AM   #12
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I have dry-aged rib roasts many times in the fridge on a rack over a pan. I think you notice a bit of an improvement even after one day, but to really notice the effects three or four is better. I've gone as many as five days.

A lot of people do not recommend dry-aging at home at all--bacterial concerns. If you can keep your fridge very cold (a second less-used fridge is nice), I think it's perfectly fine to try. I have never had problems. But the conditions become more important after six or seven days. I would not recommend going any longer than that in a fridge-at-home situation.
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Old 05-11-2005, 08:11 PM   #13
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I dry aged a whole top round that ended up being Christmas roast beef. I didn't get to age it as long as I would have liked. But it did improve the flavor and tenderness.
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