Hacienda-Sur-Beef-Steak-costa-rica6

Dry-aged steaks are different from fresh-cut steaks.  During the dry-aging process, we’ve removed a significant amount of moisture to concentrate and enhance the beef flavors.  Some beef cuts lose as much as 25% to 30% of their weight in water.

        One consequence is that they will quickly become dry if you overcook them.  So we recommend cooking dry-aged steaks no more than medium rare.  Keep in mind that a dry-aged steak will not be as “bloody” as a fresh-cut steak cooked to the same doneness.

        Here are our 7 top tips on how to prepare your dry-aged steaks to perfection.

        1. If your dry-aged steak is frozen, then thaw it slowly — preferably in the refrigerator 2 to 3 days prior to cooking.  Then remove from the refrigerator an hour before cooking to allow it to reach room temperature.

          If you don’t have 3 days to slowly thaw your steak, then thaw it more rapidly by placing in a bowl of cold water.

       2. Wait until just before cooking to season generously with salt.  If you apply salt too soon, it will pull moisture out of the meat.  And when the surface of the meat is wet, it is more difficult to sear and seal the steak.  Also, be generous with the salt, because some of it will come off the steak during the searing and resting phase of cooking.

        3. Quickly sear both sides of the steak with high heat, either on the grill or in a very hot pan.  Searing will caramelize the meat surface and seal in juices. (Searing in a pan avoids the possibility of excessive charcoal flavors from the grill.)

          The secret to a good sear is to make sure that the surface of the steak does not have any unwanted moisture, which is present when the steak is still cold (condensation) or when salt is applied too early.

        4. After searing, transfer the steak to a lower, indirect heat until the desired doneness.  If you have a large grill, build the fire on one side.  Sear on the hot side, and then move to the cooler side to cook with indirect heat.

        5. Use tongs rather than a fork to handle your steak.  Every time you puncture the steak, it breaks the sear and juices escape.

        6. Use a meat thermometer to determine when the steak is cooked the way you want.  Insert the meat thermometer from the side of the steak to its center, and leave it there until you are ready to serve.

       If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can use a chef’s trick to estimate doneness.  While gently touching your index finger to your thumb, press the meat around the base of your thumb.  This firmness is what your steak should feel like when it’s cooked rare.  Now touch your middle finger to your thumb, and press the meat around the base of your thumb.  This is how firm your steak should be if you want medium rare.  Using your ring finger will give an approximate firmness for medium.  And using your little finger will give you well done (but we’re not going to ruin a dry-aged steak by cooking it well done, right?)

       7. Allow the steak to rest on an almost-too-hot-to-touch plate for about the same amount of time that it was cooked.  This is one of the most important, and most frequently ignored steps.  Resting allows the juices to redistribute and settle before cutting.  If you cut too soon, all the juices will end up on your cutting board or plate, and not in the steak.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Avatar Grettel says:

    I would love to have a recipe for the best way to prepare and cook burgers and if you have a type of thermometer you recommend. Thanks.

    • Avatar Loray says:

      The ground beef that you find in grocery stores is not aged, and therefore has a high water content. A lot of people add bread crumbs or an egg to the meat to keep the burger patties from falling apart. That is not necessary with our dry-aged ground steak, because the dry-aging process removes a lot of the water. As a result, you only need to add salt (and maybe a little black pepper) when you make burgers with our ground steak.

      Another tip: Don’t judge doneness of our burgers by color in the center. Most grocery stores make ground beef from scraps that sit around most of the day while they cut steaks. As a result, the air reacts with hemoglobin in the meat, and it loses a lot of its red color. We don’t use scraps … we only use steak to make our ground beef. And we cut, grind, and vacuum seal it very, very quickly. So the meat retains its red color, sometimes even when cooked to medium. So I always judge doneness of the burgers by gently pressing on them. You’ll notice the firmness start to change when they are medium rare.

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