If you buy a prime rib roast fresh from the store it should look like the picture above. The meat should have a lot of fat marble throughout the meat and the meat itself should be a nice red color. If the meat is a light pink, it isn’t going to taste that great. Notice how the fat is almost perfectly white. Also, since the butcher recently cut the meat, the meat and the fat are flush (evenly flat on the side).
When you dry age meat in your own refrigerator there are a few things you need to do:
- Store your meat in a plastic bin with holes drilled into it to allow for air flow, yet the meat is safely separated from your other food to avoid cross contamination
- Place the meat on a paper towel and change it daily, this will help wick moister away from the meat and dry it out
- DO NOT OPEN AND CLOSE YOUR REFRIGERATOR OFTEN, you need to keep the temperature below 40 degrees at all time. Constant temperature fluctuation can spoil the meat.
After 4 days your prime rib roast should look like the picture above. Notice how the fat on the outside is no longer perfectly white, it will have a leathery dry look to it. It is okay if your roast has a slight odder, that is just the enzymes breaking down the meat. However, if your roast smells bad or rotten, then you have a problem. If you did everything right, it shouldn’t smell bad at all. One way to know your dry aging the meat properly is look at the color, the meat should be a shade darker but still nice and red. If you look closely on the side of the meat, you will notice that the fat sticks out a little bit because the meat should have shrank just a little bit due to moister loss. So now the side of the roast should no longer be 100% perfectly flush, the fat should stick out just a little. Let the roast rest for at least 1 hour before cooking. If the fat is leathery it is perfectly fine, if you notice parts of the outer meat looking leathery, then trim that part off before cooking (just don’t over trim). If you would like to learn how to cook a dry aged prime rib roast check out my post from last year!