Have you ever wondered what separates a great steak from an average steak, or why you can never achieve that steak house quality at home? Answer: dry aging.
The greatest steakhouses in the world age their meat like they age their wine: in a cold, dark place blending art and science to get the most out of their beef. It is also very expensive– at-home aging cooler can cost anywhere between $300-22,000. Woof. I like steak, but not that much.
What we need is a simple method that gets results in our own refrigerators. Alton Brown, noted food wizard and Southern gentleman, has a way to achieve both with a pie tin, wooden skewers, and a few paper towels.
Brown holds to the three big rules of steaks that you should definitely adopt whether you dry age or not:
1. Buy grass-fed beef when possible
2. Salt steaks well ahead of cooking
3. When it comes to heat “put the spurs to it”
If you want to try dry aging plan ahead– Brown’s method is a 4-day process. He also shows us his unusual grilling method using a charcoal chimney and mixing bowl. It isn’t the way I usually grill, but you can’t argue with the mahogany crust it he gets on the porterhouse.