Dry Aged Steak

What makes the steaks at the steak house so darn good?

Dry Aged Steak

Well, there are a few things starting with the beef.  Most steak houses buy Prime beef which has a lot of marbling, or fat dispersed within the muscles tissue.  Prime beef is not easy to come by for the regular consumer, but you can find Choice beef in many markets which is a delicious alternative.  Second, steak houses age their steaks which improves the flavor and texture.  There are two methods, wet aging and dry aging.  My preference is dry aged steak.  The dry aging removes excess moisture and allows the enzymes in the steak to break down the muscle tissue resulting in very tender meat.   I thought that technique was impossible to replicate in a home kitchen since steak houses have climate controlled storage rooms where steaks age for anywhere from two weeks to a month.  It seemed beyond my reach.  I am happy to report I was wrong.

Dry Aged Steak

For this fourth, and final, post for the Texas Beef Council* I want to share with you a new way to make your steak.  A few months ago I was watching an episode of Good Eats and Alton Brown was demonstrating how one can dry age a steak with nothing more than paper towels, a cooling rack, and a baking sheet.  I was skeptical, to say the least, since his method was so simple, but I was also intrigued.  Could I dry age steaks at home?  I decided to give his method a try and I was very happy with the results.  Of course I have made a few adjustments to the process because of my own experience and preferences, and what results is a steak that is surprisingly juicy, tender, and bursting with robust flavor.  Serve it with a good baked potato** and you may never need to go to the steak house again!

Dry Aged Steak      Serves 4
Adapted from Alton Brown

2 thick cut steaks totaling 16 ounces (at least 1-inch thick, choice preferred)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Additional equipment:
Paper towels
Cooling rack
Sheet pan

Dry Aged Steak

Completely dry the steaks on a paper towel.  If the steak has been sitting in blood, or other liquid, rinse the steak well before drying.

Dry Aged Steak Dry Aged Steak

Place the cooling rack on the baking sheet.  Place the dry steaks on a double thickness of paper towel.  Wrap the steak completely and refrigerate for 48 hours, or until the paper towel is starting to dry out.

Dry Aged Steak Dry Aged Steak Dry Aged Steak

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and removed the paper towels.  The steaks should be darker in color and the surface slightly dry.  Wrap the steaks in a single sheet of paper towel and refrigerate for an additional 24 to 48 hours, not exceeding 4 total days of drying time.

Dry Aged Steak

When ready to grill remove the steaks from the refrigerator and unwrap.  Allow to warm to room temperature, about one hour for a 1-inch thick steak.  Brush the outside of the steak with the vegetable oil.  In a small bowl combine the salt, pepper, sugar, and paprika and season the steaks evenly on both sides.

Grill over medium-high heat until the steaks reach your preferred level of doneness.  The easiest way to determine this is with an instant read thermometer:

Rare 120 F
Medium Rare 125 F
Medium 130 F

Once the steak is cooked allow to rest, tented under aluminum foil, for ten minutes before slicing and serving.

Dry Aged Steak


Dry Aged Steak

*Evil Shenanigans Product Review Policy and DisclosureThe Texas Beef Council is providing me with a monetary stipend for providing this recipe.   Any opinion expressed is my own and is not influenced in any way by the manufacturer/PR firm.  I only review products that I have personally tested and endorse.

**To make a perfect baked potato just wash and dry the potato, coat in olive oil and kosher salt, then bake at 400 F for about 1 hour, or until the flesh is tender and the skin is crisp.  Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

© 2011, Evil Shenanigans. All rights reserved.

Author: Kelly

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  • Wow! I also had no idea you could do that at home. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • This looks amazing. I’m definitely trying this! I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks so much!

  • This definitely looks worth giving a try — your photos of the steak are mouth watering! Theresa

  • Since cooking techniques for red meat is my achilles heel, I loved reading through all the details of how you dry aged this meat. I can’t wait to try it for my boyfriend, he will be totally impressed! 🙂

  • I had no idea steaks could be aged at home! I can’t wait to try this. I love Good Eats.

  • aging steak at home!!! amazing 🙂

  • marye

    How cool is THAT? I had no idea… Your pictures are amazing as always.

  • Looks Amazing! That would be an awesome dinner to have before my Double Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream that I made for St Patty’s Day and posted on my blog today. They are HEAVENLY….now I just need a good dinner for before!

  • Wow… I had no idea that you could dry age steaks at home. That’s definitely good to know. I think we’ll have to put steak on the menu sometime in the near future!

  • Thank you so much for this post. I actually prefer the taste of the steaks I make at home over those made in quality steak restaurants because I season them better and cook them to my desired doneness, which is medium-well (I’m sorry! I know that purists don’t like that haha, and it is not the same as eating a hamburger :D.).

    Nevertheless, I am intrigued by this method of dry-aging steak. I recently read that the steak we buy at the store are wet aged. Where did you buy your steaks? They look like they came from a butcher. Does that mean they were not wet aged? If so, how will dry aging affect a wet-aged steak? In other words, is there any difference with dry aging a wet- or not wet-aged steak?


  • Another cleaner, safer, more consistent way to dry age: DrybagSteak technology for dry aging. Check it out.

  • Mamoria – I got my steaks at the local Costco, and as far as I know they were not wet aged. I have done this method with a regular grocery store butcher counter steak with excellent results. If the steaks are in fact wet aged then dry aging for a few days will just remove any excess moisture and improve the steaks flavor.

  • Liz

    Those slices of steak look PERFECT! A former grocery store owner taught me to wet age beef by keeping it in the cyro pack in the coldest part of the fridge for a month before serving. I’ll try your method next.

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  • My husband is going to go NUTS over this!!! I never knew you could dry age steak and nor does he. We are constantly at the meat market buying steaks for him. I will have to do this and let you know how it comes out. I cannot wait.. or shall I say WE. Thank you for sharing.

  • I’ve never thought to dry age steak at home, but this is so easy!

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  • Thank you for posting this. I will be trying this very soon.

  • Wow, that does look like a perfect steak! I do adore steak houses, but not the prices, so this seems too good to be true. I’ll definitely try this one!

  • masum billah

    I bought a SteakAger and I love it. It totally changes the way I think about grilling my steaks the flavor is incredible.

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