Why You Should Be Air-Drying Steak At Home

With today's prices, going out to a steak dinner might break the bank. So, steak enthusiasts and home cooks are always searching for ways to cook the perfect steak at home. Even if you buy a high-quality steak from your local butcher, you're still likely to spend less than you would on a night out. Perfecting your technique, from buying the proper steak to cooking, does take a bit of practice, but the rewards will be worth it. 

Amazing Ribs outlines his method and emphasizes starting off with a great piece of meat, either USDA Choice or USDA Prime. He also recommends a two-phase cooking method using indirect heat for cooking the inside to about 95 degrees Fahrenheit, then searing over high heat to get that nice crust your steak gets delivered to your table with.

For home cooks, sometimes you can have the best gadgets and swear by your cast iron skillet and your steak tips and tricks, but still, be let down by the results. This is where air-drying your steak can elevate your at-home steakhouse experience.

Dry-aging steak at home starts with the highest quality meat you can find

To get steakhouse results at home, try air-drying your steak. Touted by the likes of J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, Alton Brown, and Marcus Woodham, it is a way to tenderize meat before cooking. Often done in a controlled environment at high-end butchers and steakhouses, the meat is held at 34 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity set at 80 percent, max. The meat hangs out there for a month up to 75 days, per Amazing Ribs

According to The Meat & Wine Co., dry-aged steak "tastes decidedly beefy ... while also taking on subtler hints of other delicious flavors, such as warm buttered popcorn." Like cheese, the longer a steak ages, the funkier it gets, which may put some people off. 

To air-dry your steak at home, you can follow Alton Brown's method, which, for the regular home cook, is easily achievable. Wrap your steak with one piece of paper towel and rest it on a cooling rack/sheet pan set up in your refrigerator for 24 hours. Replace the paper towel as needed for three days. Before cooking, let it come to room temperature (which is perfectly fine), and sprinkle it with salt, letting it rest again before cooking. Amazing Ribs recommends buying USDA prime cuts and your very own steak-aging refrigerator that you keep sanitized, as aging a steak in your everyday refrigerator could introduce mold and other nasty things, ruining the aging process.