ASK MAUREEN: Don’t Mistake Oxygen for Air; or UMAi Dry® for a Vacuum Bag

Everyday we receive emails and phone calls from customers asking for information, advice, reassurance.  Our front line “BagLady” Maureen provides knowledgeable answers in an ever-patient manner.  Her many years as a teacher are a tremendous asset.

In her honor, we introduce “ASK MAUREEN.”  This column will share Maureen’s answers to “life’s persistent questions.”

Today, a very, very common question:

  • I’m confused….does air get in or only out of the umai dry bags? what is “oxygen exchange”? J

Hello, J.

What you need to understand is that “air” is not the same as “oxygen.”  There are two reasons we emphasize that UMAi Dry® is oxygen-permeable:

1)  Oxygen helps produce good dry aged results.

2)  Oxygen prevents the scary anaerobic bacteria that can form within vacuum packaged food.

If you  are vacuum packaging food, you absolutely MUST remove all air or risk spoilage of the food or dangerous conditions within the bag.  UMAi Dry® does not pose that risk.

UMAi Dry® is applied with a vacuum sealer only to pull the bag into best contact with the moist surface of the meat—not to form a vacuum.  It is the bond that forms between that meat surface and UMAi Dry®  that is the key.  You only need 75-80% of the surface to bond with UMAi Dry® for consistent, reliable results.

Initially, UMAi Dry® will appear to hold a vacuum, meaning it keeps “air” out.  However, it allows oxygen molecules to pass through the material, just as it allows moisture to release.   It is like a membrane—protecting the meat, but not “suffocating” it. The enzymes in the meat get the oxygen they need to tenderize and improve the flavor during dry aging.

While you can breathe both oxygen and air, it is the oxygen that will keep you alive.  Similarly, while you can seal a piece of meat into both UMAi Dry® and a vacuum bag, it is the UMAi Dry® that allows the meat to transform like fine wine.

Hope this helps!


10 days left to take advantage of free shipping!

Any order over $100 to any U.S., Canadian or APO address will enjoy free shipping through June 17th.

  • Give the gift of a new, easier-to-use FoodSaver Starter Kit + VacMouse for that friend or family member who has heard you rave about the great steak you have made possible with UMAi DrybagSteak.
  • Buy a bundle of 25 bags on the Commercial shipping page and share the fun with friends.
  • Bag up a couple of ribeyes so you might finally be willing to wait that magical 35 or 45 days for the amazing umami of richly dry aged beef.
  • Take advantage of this special opportunity to save big with free shipping.

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The sealer he’s been dying for and FREE shipping!

How do you reward the best father in the world?  Upgrade that old sealer he’s embarrassed to take out in front of his friends… Help him stock up on supplies for dry aging steak this summer…

Now is the perfect time to do all the above because we are offering free shipping with a purchase of $100 to the U.S. and Canada!  Just click the image above to begin shopping.

Table for two? You don’t have to spend a fortune or leave home!

This year, skip the overpriced restaurants, stuffy suits and treat her to a beautiful steak in the comfort of your own home.  With all the support you need on our website and forum, both full of great information, advice and conversations with real UMAi Drybag Steak users, you can spend less time with questions and more time together.

Try out these recipes for Valentine’s Day:

Featured Recipe:
Peppercorn Crusted Filet Mignon with Balsamic Red Wine Sauce
From Steamy Kitchen

A perfect spurge to woo your sweetheart.  Steamy Kitchen shows you how even the most clueless cooks can create this masterpiece to “Oooo” and “Awww” her.

Featured Dessert:
Tiramisu Chocolate Mousse – Pick’em Up and Lay’em Down
A perfect chocolate finish to a romantic dinner from Food Wishes. “Most foodies know that Tiramisu is a decadent dessert featuring coffee soaked ladyfingers layered with a zabaione and mascarpone, but what many people don’t know is that the recipe’s name is one of the best culinary double entendres ever.”