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Difference Between Dry Aged And Wet Aged Steak

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Why Dry Age Or Wet Age Meat

Dry Aged Beef vs Wet Aged Beef: Beef Education Butcher Series

The reason why steak is either dry aged or wet aged is tenderness and taste. Both meat aging methods make the steak more tender than a regular steak. Dry aged is the more tender of the two but both methods create a very tender steak. Dry aged steak should be done by a professional in a meat refrigerator but wet aging can be done at home.

Taste is another reason. Dry aged steak eventually takes on a nutty, earthy flavor that can even be a bit tart. Its a flavor some steak eaters pay thousands of dollars for. Wet aged meat usually tastes just like a regular steak.

What Is The Difference Between Dry Aging And Wet Aging Beef

Dry-aging beef is a time-honored process where animal carcasses or primal cuts are hung up and exposed to the air at a cold temperature. This process can last for weeks or even months.

Wet-aging, on the other hand, is when beef is packed, vacuum-sealed, and refrigerated soon after slaughter. This aging process usually occurs in transit, from where the meat is packed to its delivery to your supermarket shelf.

How To Dry Age Wagyu Steaks At Home

Dry aging Wagyu steaks can be done at home at a fraction of the cost of ordering them at a steakhouse. You’re going to need a small electric fan, space in your refrigerator, a tray, and a wire rack. Place the wire rack on the tray, then add the subprimal cut. Face the small fan toward the meat and turn it on to circulate air around all sides. Put the tray in the back of the refrigerator on the lowest shelf and let the dry-aging process work its magic. Once a week, flip the meat and wipe clean any moisture that has dripped into the tray.

If your main goal is to give your dry-aged Wagyu ribeye or another cut a more tender mouthfeel, two to four weeks should yield the results you’re hoping for. Waiting four to six weeks helps you achieve superior tenderness and give the beef its signature earthy dry-aged flavor. Six or more weeks is only for those who genuinely love the funky aromas and taste of dry-aged beef. If you’re unfamiliar with prolonged dry aging, we suggest you work your way up to this level.

When it comes time to take your dry-aged Wagyu steaks out of the refrigerator, you’re going to notice an unappealing, dark red, purple, or brown coloring and possibly even mold. Don’t panic. Simply trim this layer to reveal a beautifully aged deep pink and white marble. Cut your beef into individual steaks and prepare your favorite way.

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Whats So Good About Dry Aged Beef

Stanbroke 2 years ago

Its luxurious, it can be costly and for some first-timers, the taste can take some getting used to. But for hobby cooks, meat lovers and grill aficionados, dry aged beef is one of the ultimate steak experiences. But whats so good about dry aged beef?

Read on to learn what dry aging is, how it works, the benefits of eating dry aged beef and how to enjoy the ultimate high-end steakhouse experience at home.

Final Thoughts: Dry Aging Vs Wet Aging


To determine which process of aging is best, its essential to try the meat for yourself. Although dry aging is a passion that many culinary professionals dedicate their lives to, dry aged beef is much less common than wet-aged beef. Head out to your favorite steakhouse, or try one of these processes at home.

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What Is A Wet

Wet-aging is essentially the opposite of the open-air process of dry-aging beef. This method of perfecting a cut of beef before cooking involves storing the beef in a cryovac bag. From there, the meat is stored in a refrigerator for 14 days or longer at around 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

During the aging process the meats will tenderize to near-perfection until the chef decides its time to toss the steaks on the grill.

Which Is Better Dry Aged Or Wet Aged Steak

Which is better, dry aged or wet aged steaks, depends on what you want out of your steak. Theyre both great choices but for slightly different reasons.

Dry aged steak is more tender than wet aged because it can be aged for so much longer. But along with that tenderness comes a change in flavor. The aging process makes the steak taste nutty, earthy and in some cases a bit tart. Some love the taste but you may not. Dry aged is also a lot more expensive than wet aged, and it should be done by a professional in a meat refrigerator. Theres also some meat loss with dry aged due to moisture evaporation and the top moldy crust is cut off before cooking.

Dry aged can take weeks or months to finish while wet aged is usually done in 7-14 days. If youre in a hurry, wet aged is the only choice.

Wet aged is more tender than regular steak but generally not as tender as dry aged because it doesnt age as long. But because its only aged for a week or two, the taste remains pretty much the same as regular steak. For me this is a huge plus because I dont like the taste of dry aged meat.

Another benefit of wet aged steak is that you can do it all by yourself at home. All you need are plastic bags and a vacuum sealer which arent that expensive. The cost of the machine is less than most dry aged steaks in a steak house. And you can do it again and again.

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What Is The Difference Between Wet And Dry Aged Meat

Wet aging is when meat is aged inside a vacuum pack the moisture is retained within the vacuum pack.Dry-aged beef is aged uncovered which allows the cut to loose moisture.The main difference between the two methods is a degree of flavor difference. With dry aging the fats oxidize and changes the flavor. The reduced moisture causes more intense flavor. Beef is mainly wet-aged because it allows moisture to be retained. With dry aged beef the moisture loss increases costs and is reserved mainly for steak aficionados. Wet aged beef is more common and with its less funky flavor, it appeals to a wider beef eating population.Dry aged beef is easily discernable based on the taste, aroma and price difference. Dry aged beef is always sold as such and demands a higher price because of the loss of moisture which must be compensated for in the price.

Heres a video that shows you a bit about dry aging your own meat at home.

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Dry Aging Disadvantages & Limitations

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Because of the moisture loss and trimming associated with dry aging, the method is limited to large cuts of meat called primal cuts. These large chunks have enough mass to be dry-aged and remain worthwhile, as smaller cuts would likely have little to no usable meat remaining after dry-aging.

Primal cuts are also ideal for dry aging for another reason: fat marbling. In these large cuts of meat, the fat is evenly distributed throughout the meat . This allows for consistent drying throughout the cut and helps produce more usable meat. One fine example of this is the Wagyu Beef, which is primarly stored as dry aged.

Dry aging is also limited by supply capacity. Due to the space, cooling, and sanitary requirements of dry-aging, it is much more costly to dry-age meat, and that cost is passed on to the customer in the form of higher prices.

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Wet Aged Vs Dry Aged Flavor

The flavor of dry aged steak changes depending on how long its aged. Over time, the outer crust of the steak because harder and often moldy. This part is cut off before cooking so you dont eat it. The meat flavor profile becomes nutty, earthy and sometimes tart. Steak lovers pay thousands of dollars for meat thats been aged for months and has a strong pungent flavor.

Wet aged steak isnt aged for that long so the flavors dont typically change. It tastes just like regular steak only its more tender. Wet aging can be done by yourself at home so its more about tenderizing the meat than changing the flavor.

Why Is It Called Dry Aging

Dry Aging refers to exposing the meat to oxygen in a controlled environment. In such an environment, the water evaporates from the meat, so it matures dry. The process takes place in a specially designed dry aging cabinet where all relevant aspects of the environment, such as airflow, humidity, temperature, and bacteria levels, are monitored.

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How To Select Aged Steaks

When comparing dry aged vs wet aged steak, its important to consider the cut and size of the beef thats being aged.

A thick richly marbled steak is better for dry aging. During the dry aging process, meat sheds a lot of moisture and shrinks in size. You need more than a single serving of beef. Generally an entire slab of beef, or at least large cuts, are hung, dried and cut before cooking. Dry aging also involves trimming the top moldy crust of beef prior to cooking which also shrinks its size.

A fairly lean and much smaller steak is better for wet-aged beef.Wet aging is done a single serving at a time. Essentially, the exact cut of beef youll be cooking is what gets wet aged. Theres no size or moisture loss so you don t need a huge piece of beef.

Both aging processes produce a more tender steak but some cuts are better than other for a particular process. here are a few recommendations to try.

Dry Aged: Porterhouse, Bone-In Ribeye, and Bone-In Strip Steaks.

Wet-Aged: Filet Mignon, Flat Iron, Flank and Boneless Strip Steaks.

Keep in mind, dry aged steaks take more time to age and lose mass which makes them more expensive. They also get an earthy flavor the longer they age. Wet aged steaks taste more like traditional beef.

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How Does Dry Aged Meat Taste

Dry aging causes meat to lose part of its moisture content, with moisture levels normally ranging from around 75 percent to 70 percent moisture content. Dry-aged meat has a beefier, fuller taste as a result of this process. When the meat is dry-aged for an extended period of time, it becomes more soft and has a more intense taste.

What Is The Best Steak To Dry Age

For the greatest results, most butchers prefer to age entire or sub-primals of their meat. Strip loin , boneless ribeye , and top butt are some of the most typically dry aged cuts . With dry aging, these steak cuts retain their taste and texture while also improving dramatically in flavor and texture.

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How Long To Age

Our friends over at the artofmanliness did an amazing article on the subject. While the most common timeframe for a steak to be dry-aged is 30 days, a handful of very high-end restaurants can age up to 240 days. A steak aged this long is not for everyone since it has a very funky flavor and its also very expensive, so it is for someone who enjoys the intense beef flavor. For that, we recommend sticking to 30 days aged beef because it is the most commonly requested age in steak.

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The Difference Between Dry

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Quality steak is worth waiting for, and aging is a crucial step to ensure beef is as tender and flavorful as possible. There are two main ways to age steak, which are dry-aging and wet-aging. While humans have been dry-aging steak for many centuries, wet-aging came about with the invention of plastic and vacuum-sealing. Both are worth trying, but which is preferred will be based on preference as they have different flavors and textures enhanced by their processes.

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Wet Or Dry Aging Wagyu Steaks Start With Good Silver American Wagyu Beef

Thanks to Good Silver’s American Wagyu Beef, you don’t have to plan a special night out at an expensive steakhouse for a fantastic dinner. Instead, bring the in-house steakhouse experience home by ordering from our selection. Whether you prefer wet-aged or dry-aged Wagyu steaks, our selection of 17 cuts is sure to include your favorite cut that you can age to perfection. If it’s convenience you seek, all you have to do is open your shipment and grill, roast, smoke, sear, or braise your steaks into beef bliss.

Is Dry Aged Beef Really Better Than The Alternatives

Those who enjoy meat are really starting to better understand the benefits of dry aged beef. When you first open up a packet of dry aged beef, youll probably notice a distinctively intense, rich smell. Once cooked, the molecules inside the beef begin to wake up with heat and that smell wafts up to our noses and senses. This is where dry aging takes a step beyond cooking just a regular steak.

Clint, head butcher at Peter Augustus Camp Hill location, says its all about the texture. Aged meat is super tender, fantastically tender. The meat is softer, making it easier to cut through, and easier to digest.

And the taste? Its hard to describe. says Aaron. It has a richer, nuttier, beefier flavour. Its almost cheese-like.

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Experience Aged Beef The Texas Way At Yo Ranch Steakhouse

While we dont like to give away all of our secrets at Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse, we do invite our guests to come out and enjoy a true taste of Texas beef.

Whether you want to celebrate a special occasion like Valentines Day or you just want a safe place to enjoy a gourmet meal, our downtown Dallas steakhouse is the place for you.

How Long To Wet Age Steak At Home

What is the difference between Wet Aging and Dry Aging Beef?

Wet aging steak typically takes 7-14 days. During this time, the steaks naturally occurring enzymes work to tenderize the meat.

Hard areas of connective tissue found within the steak are broken down which makes it easier to eat. Enzymes continue to work on the steak tissue for as long as its being aged.

This is done without losing weight through dehydration which is one of the main benefits of wet aging over dry aging.

If you dont know how to wet age beef then do some research before you try. Temperature and humidity levels have to be tightly controlled during the process. I wouldnt try it in a regular refrigerator. Bacteria can start to grow inside the bag which can make you sick.

If you do try it, dont age the steak for too long. Some say wet aging can be done for much longer than 14 days but the chance for bacterial growth becomes higher the longer the aging process continues. Whenever I wet age steak I stick to around 7-10 days. By 7-10 days I usually get the tenderness I want so any more time would be a waste.

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The Best Ways To Prepare Aged Steaks

Dry aged and wet aged steaks are both cooked the same way on either the grill, in a cast iron skillet or the oven. Generally, the best steaks are cooked simply with just pepper and salt for flavor. But you can add other seasonings, rubs or sauces if you like.

Let dry aged steak thaw at room temperature for at least 30-60 minutes before cooking. Let wet-aged steaks rest for around 30 minutes so it can reach room temperature. Dont cook them right out of the fridge.

Sear both sides of your steak first with very high heat and then cook the inside on lower heat. I like to baste my steaks with butter in a skillet after searing.

Once your meat is ready to cook, follow these steps:

  • Heat the grill or skillet as hot as possible.
  • Coat each side of the beef with coarse pepper and salt.
  • Sear each side for a minute or two. This creates a crispy, caramelized coating with grill marks. Juices are locked in when you sear the beef.
  • Move the beef to lower heat and cook until ready. The time it takes depends on how you like your meat. I like to baste the steak in butter as they slowly cook inside.
  • If you use a meat thermometer to cook beef, medium-rare is around 130°F.
  • Remove the steaks and let them rest for around 10 minutes before eating.
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