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I will never understand how restaurants can get away with charging a hundred bucks for a piece of old beef steak. Sure, it’s delicious, melts in your mouth, but, c’mon, does a man have to sign an arm-and-leg lease to enjoy a good steak? Anyway, should’ve started by saying that I’m a big fan of aged food; cheese, fish, meats.

You name it! The bad news is that these are not the types of foods one can make at home. Or so I thought after stumbling upon this recipe. The funny part is that I was actually looking for a way to clean the freezer without using anything, well, toxic, when this little jewel sprung right into my eyes.

So, why should you try aged meat? Well, because it’s easy to make. On top of that, get this: the oldest beef cut in the world is 13 years old! Imagine having ready-to-eat meat at home without having to brine, refrigerate, go shopping, or hunt. Well, it’s possible, and I’m going to show you how to do it.

So, without further ado, here’s how to make your own aged beef.

Gathering the ingredients

As I’ve said, this recipe doesn’t require any special ingredients like salt, vinegar, or whatever else people use to preserve meat (not touching that topic with a ten-foot pole). Still, the cut of choice will ultimately determine the taste. The recipe I mentioned about involved large cuts of meat – the bigger, the better. Would be a good idea to go to a butcher’s instead of hitting the supermarket. Anywho, avoid small cuts, and choose meats that pack some fat – whole ribs, porterhouse cuts, rib steak, or New York strips.

That’s basically it as far as the ingredients are concerned. For aging, I would advise using a zip-lock bag instead of food wrap – does a better job at keeping the air out; meat should age on its own. The last thing you’ll need is more air.

Arguably, refrigeration’s the best way to go about aged beef, but considering that our grand used to prepare meat long before fridges were invented, I would venture to guess that the root cellar is also a good choice.

As for quantity, a two pounder’s more than enough in my opinion – if you’ve never eater aged meat in your life, better make a smaller batch. Otherwise, you’ll get stuck with something with an extra chunk of meat.

All done gathering your stuff? Great! Let’s get to the ‘cooking’ part.

How to Prepare Aged Beef

Step 1. Prepare the fridge or designate a shelf in the root cellar.

Make sure that fridge’s clean. Stinky food, molding, and, grime will affect the aging process. So, if something smells bad in there, better toss it in the trash. One more thing: remove cheese, garlic, onion, or fish from the shelf assigned to the aged meat. Garlic and onions are fine, but not during the aging process (gives the meat a funny taste).

Step 2.  Set temp and check humidity

The funny thing about meat: if it’s kept in above 40 degrees Fahrenheit temps, it will go rotten. On the other hand, if you stick it in a below 32 degrees Fahrenheit enclosure, it will freeze. So, in this case, the sweet spot would be 36 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the fridge’s thermostat accordingly and don’t forget to check the humidity inside (should be around 60%, give or take).

Most modern setups can display values such as temp and humidity. Still, if you have an older model, I would strongly recommend buying a hygrometer (a device that measures indoor humidity). It’s quite affordable and can be used around the house as well.

Step 3. Preparing the meat.

If you decide on paying a visit to your local butcher, ask him to leave the meat as it is; most tend to trim the excess, which is a definite no-no in this case. Wash the meat a couple of times, dry with paper towels or something, and place in a zip-lock bag.

Advice: if you want to hasten the aging process, try wrapping your meat in cheesecloth. Keep in mind that the cloth must be changed each day to prevent sudden dehydration.

Step 4. Store the meat in your fridge or root cellar.

Grab a small oven tray from the pantry, put the meat inside, and stick in the freezer. That’s it! All you need to do now is wait for the meat to age.

Additional considerations on aged meat

Color’s very important in figuring out how long should the meat age. For instance, if your cut has a darker color to it, the aging process takes anyway from a couple of days to one week (don’t forget to check up it each day). On the other hand, if the beef cut has a lighter color, it needs at least 7 days to age. Still, I wouldn’t advise you to keep it longer than 30 days. Always remember that there’s a fine line between edible aged meat and a spoiled chunk of something.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the fridge’s thermostat might not be able to keep up with the process. When you’re done checking the meat, recheck the temp and humidity.

The whole idea is to allow the meat to dehydrate on its own – that’s why it’s a good idea to turn on the fridge’s fan and to set it on low. In some cases, the in-build fan may not be enough. Not to worry – just grab a laptop or desk fan and place it inside the fridge on the same shelf as your aged meat.

When the aging’s complete, remove the cloth from the meat and set it on a plate. I should warn you though that the meat might give off an unpleasant smell even after removing everything from the fridge. Don’t worry about that – use a knife to cut the outer layer. Leave a little bit of fat.

Now, given the proper conditions, meat can be preserved longer than 30 days. However, if you plan on taking it out of the cloth and ziplock bag, you should eat it within one or two days.

That’s it for how to make aged beef steak. What’s your take on this? Hit the comments sections and let me know.

Sure, it’s delicious, melts in your mouth, but, c’mon, does a man have to sign an arm-and-leg lease to enjoy a good steak?

“There’s almost nothing you can’t can!”, answered the dashing and well-prepped prepper from behind the screen. Since yours truly has been up to no good recently, I thought I would entertain you once more with yet another ‘masterpiece’ on food-preserving methods.

Why the title? Well, as you know, there are some things which go along marvellously with the canning process and some things that do not. Or so they’ve told me. Anyway, quite recently I learned that with a little bit of patience and thorough research, anything kind of prepping food could be, well, canned.

This time, I’ve set upon doing a really wild experiment – attempting to can cheese. Yes, you’re probably asking yourself right now why would I bother doing that when I can probably find the same product in the supermarket at a super-low price?

Because I can do without spending extra money on something I can do in the comfort of my own home. More than that, Velveeta cheese, aka the guinea pig of my first attempt at canning cheese, is an all-time favorite for both myself and my family.

Although I always make sure that there’s at least one unopened pack inside the fridge, I can’t keep up the pace with the rest of the family. What I like about Velveeta is its silky and smooth texture which reminds me of Cheddar. Actually, it’s sort of a cross-over between Cheddar and mozzarella – goes along great with pasta dishes, but can also be eaten plain, with some nuts and grapes on the side.

Anywho, for my first attempt at canning cheese, I’ve used a 16 oz block I got from my corner store. My aim was not only to prologue its shelf life but also to add even more variety to the pantry of emergency foods. And so, after a little bit of experimental kitchen time, I came up with this easy cheese-canning method. I can’t say for sure, but I think you can replace Velveeta with mozzarella or another soft cheese. So, here’s what you’ll need to do in order to get canned Velveeta.


  • One block of Velveeta or a similar soft cheese (aim for family packs).
  • Pressure canner.
  • Old-school grater or electric food processor.
  • Canning jars.

Have you done gathering all the necessary gear and ingredients? Neat! Let’s make some canned cheese then. FIY, although in the US the closest thing we have to canned is string cheese, in other corners of the globe, canned cheese is very common (think about Feta or cottage cheese). Anyway, here’s how you turn a block of regular Velveeta into a canned delight.

Step 1. Get all your ingredients together and put some water in the pressure canner. Don’t forget to set your electric canner to 10 PSI for the best results.

Step 2. Take a soft cheese knife and cut the block into manageable pieces.

Step 3. Carefully grate each piece. Don’t apply to much pressure, though. Remember that you’re working with Velveeta which can become mushy if you squeeze it too hard. On the other hand, if you choose mozzarella over Velveeta, you can skip the grating part and sort of make thin stripes with a fork or something.

Step 4. Prepare your canning jars. While making the recipe, I’ve learned that warming up the jars a bit goes a long way instead of waiting for them to cool down as you normally do when canning various other stuff. So, after washing the jar with liquid soap and water or boiling them, while they’re still warm, place them inside your pressure canner.

Step 5. Grab the bowl or plate of shredded cheese and fill each jar. Don’t forget to leave a small space between the jar and the lid (at least 2 inches). As the cheese melts, it will leave behind a tiny amount of oil.

Step 6. After filling each jar with cheese, place the lids, and tighten them gently. As always, don’t apply too much force because the canner will do that on your behalf. A word of caution before putting on the lids – make sure the jars’ mouths are clean and that there’s no extra moisture. To make sure the lids create an airtight seal, I would recommend submerging them in hot water before putting them on the canning jars.

Step 7. Bring the water inside the canner to a boil and cover. Leave the jars to simmer for about 40 to 45 minutes.  Remove the jars from the canning machine and allow them to cool on their own. A solid piece of advice would be not to force-cool the jars. You’ll end up smashing them. The spread’s ready to be eaten right after the jars feel cool to the touch.

That’s basically it! Now, this recipe will get you about four or five regular canning jars of chunky Velveeta. If you like a smoother spread, try boiling the cheese beforehand. Take a big pot and toss the cheese inside. Use a spoon to stir the mixture.

When the cheese has melted, and one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Continue to stir. After the mix begins to thicken, kill the flame, and place the pot aside for five minutes. Don’t allow the melted cheese to cool down completely, as you will not be able to can it. Repeat the process above in order to can this batch of cheese.

Well, I hope this answers your question on the fine and very subtle art of canning. Yes, we can, and yes, we will do it, because our household emergency stashes will thank up from the bottom of their heart. Hope you’ve enjoyed my piece on canned cheese and do hope that you will try to prepare at least one batch. Let me know in the comment section how this experiment turned out for you.

Well, as you know, there are some things which go along marvellously with the canning process and some things that do not. Or so they’ve told me.