What is dry-aged beef and why should I care?
Today we are going to dive into what all the hype is about behind dry-aged beef. First of all, there are two ways that beef can be aged, one is wet-aging and the other is dry-aging. What's the difference? Wet aging is the most common method for aging beef, if you buy your beef from the grocery store chances are the beef is wet-aged. In wet-aging, the beef is wrapped in plastic and then allowed to age for a week or so to tenderize the beef, the moisture that is released from the beef is kept inside of the plastic wrap and therefore in your beef. This 'waters down' the flavor of your beef since the flavor is somewhat diluted by the extra water that is trapped in your beef. So why do grocery stores and most big beef companies wet-age? Money. Beef is sold by the pound, so any water released from beef during aging is money lost to the company. Even a small amount of water weight lost across thousands of pounds of beef is a big loss for the beef companies. This makes sense for the big companies that want to protect their bottom line, but the problem is we as consumers are essentially paying for water that dilutes the flavor of our beef.
Dry-Aging on the other hand, is the process of allowing beef to age and tenderize in a clean climate controlled environment with good air-flow to encourage the extra water to age out of the beef. In this environment, as your beef tenderizes through the aging process, the beef flavor we all love is also becoming more and more concentrated. We have found that the 'sweet spot' for dry aging is about 14-18 days. At this aging duration, you get a lot of tenderizing and a good full flavor on your beef without too much waste. Age much longer and you end up having to trim off and waste a lot of beef, age much less and you don't get the same rich flavor.
Dry-Aging is a must for premium beef, combine this process with properly raised beef and you have a winning combination! If you haven't experienced the difference yet, give one of our steaks a try and you'll know exactly why dry-aging is a very good thing for beef.