We all know that beef is the most popular, and most discussed product when it comes to dry aging, however, this doesn't mean other meats should be overlooked. One question we frequently get asked here at SteakLocker are ‘what meats can you dry age’. We have put together some details on the other proteins that would work well with the dry aging process.
What Meats Can You Dry Age Other Than Beef?
When dry aging fish you can get amazing results much faster than with beef and because of this there is much less loss. Some larger fish can be aged to extremes but you should always consider applying the law of diminishing returns. Even in a week or 2 you will have something truly unique and special. At around 30 days you will get beautiful funky, fruity and even nutty notes with both the fish and fat flavors becoming considerably more complex. We have gone as far as 100 days on bluefin tuna and the result was like nothing we have ever tasted, in a good way. Probably 50 days is as long as you would want to take a whole Salmon and as few as 15 days for some of the smaller whole fish.
The drying of charcuterie is the opposite of the usual dry aging process in the sense that with dry aging most meats you want lower temperature settings, 35-39 degrees and higher humidity, 60-80%. But with charcuterie the temperature would be set between 45-55 degrees and 50-70% humidity. The key to successfully dry curing meat and getting extraordinary flavors from quality meat is following this process accurately and maintaining the recommended temperature and humidity levels within your dry age fridge. We recommend starting with a small batch to test and perfect your process before continuing on with a large batch.
There are cheese recipe making kits available and with a little effort and a lot of fun, you can make homemade cheese in your own kitchen. The kit we use comes complete with ingredients and equipment to make 8 different types of cheese, including Farmhouse Cheddar, Gouda, Monterey Jack, Feta, Cottage Cheese, Colby, Parmesan and Ricotta.
Dry aging a turkey is the same as dry brining a turkey in the sense that the end goal is to get the skin and meat to absorb salt, to create a crispy exterior and a tender interior. To learn more about dry aged turkey and how to dry age it correctly, check out our method in one of our previous articles.
One meat we often get asked about is lamb. We think that A 7 lbs. leg of Mutton is better suited than lamb to the process of dry aging because its meat tends to be tougher and from a sheep over two years old. The meat of a sheep between 12 and 20 months old is called a Yearling Mutton. The meat of a sheep between 6 to 10 weeks old is sold as baby lamb and a spring lamb is one five to six months old. So, if you decide to experiment with dry aging lamb, consider that to dry age a leg for more than 7-14 days will just increase these intense farm fresh flavors.
Overview of what meats you can dry age
So, from fish to charcuterie, cheese, turkey or lamb there are many proteins to explore and experiment with the dry age process. Hopefully this article has given you a better insight into what meats you can age in Steak Locker's dry age fridges other than beef.