What’s The Difference Between Dry
Dry-aged steak is a method of aging beef that involves preserving it in a dry environment. It is a way to extend the shelf life of the meat and prevent it from spoiling. The beef is typically aged for 90-120 days.
Wet-aged steak is a term that refers to a method of preserving meat by placing it in a container, typically a vacuum-sealed container, for a period of four to 10 days. This allows the meat to marinate in its own juices, which prevents it from losing its moisture content but still allowing it to break down naturally and tenderize.
Is one better than the other? Both methods are effective and can be used to create various dishes but most meat lovers tend to lean towards dry-aged steaks and beef simply for the flavor. While dry-aged steaks have a more intense flavor, wet-aged steaks tend to lack the same depths of flavor.
What Is The Difference Between Wet Aging And Dry Aging Beef
A term often thrown around in the culinary and beef world isaging. The waiter at a steakhouse may tell you, “This cut of beef has been dry-aged for flavor and tenderness.” Others will tell you their steaks have been wet-aged for, again, flavor and tenderness. Both aging methods will result in a delicious steak. One is not superior to the other, it just depends on how the beef will be used in the end. Both can be served by candlelight accompanied by a glass of red and a view. The difference will be price, taste, and whether you are at a restaurant or your own kitchen table.
Bringing Out The Meat’s Natural Flavor
The final step in dry-aging is to bring out the natural flavors of the meat. This is done by leaving the beef in a specific environment, which allows the natural flavor and aroma of the beef to come out. These flavors will, of course, vary by the type and cut of meat you are working with. However, in most cases, the dry-aging process helps to bring out a nutty, heavy beefy flavor.
The amount of time that the steak is allowed to dry will vary depending on the desired results you are looking for. While many suppliers will age their steaks for 30-45 days, some will age them for much longer.
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Differences Between Wet Aged Vs Dry Aged Steak
Wet aged steak and dry aged steaks have differing flavors and textures enhanced by the individual aging processes. A dry-aged steak imparts a flavor that is both earthy and nutty, with a sustained piquancy, producing a steak that is both meaty and robust. When browned, the essence has been described as intense and round, with a lavish aroma. Dry aged meat is characterized by an extraordinarily tender steak because the aging process is lengthier, making the fibers within the muscle more moist and flavorful. This same procedure gives the beef a slightly tart taste, akin to bleu cheese.
Wet-aged steaks produce a vibrant fresh, metallic flavor, a bonus to steak lovers who prefer their meat newly harvested. Wet-aging steak tastes better in a lean cut of beef like a flat-iron steak, where the steak is less marbled with fat. Beef cut for dry aging starts out much thicker than wet aged meat but will lose considerable mass during the aging process. In the end, they both produce an excellent tender and juicy steak.
What Dry Aging Does To Meat
In dry aging, the beef is hung in the open air in temperatures just above freezing, which allows enzymes in the meat to begin breaking down connective tissue. The process of dry-aging takes several weeks and must be done in carefully monitored conditions to ensure food safety.
When beef is dry-aged, it loses a great deal of its moisture content, and also must have the outer pieces trimmed off in order to obtain the highest quality meat. As such, consumer costs are much higher for dry-aged beef.
In the process of dry-aging, the beef becomes extremely tender and acquires a much more intense flavor due to the loss of water content over time. This concentration of flavor in combination with the tenderness of the beef is the reason dry-aging continues even to this day.
Science of Dry Aging Beef
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Why Dry Age Or Wet Age Meat
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.
Why Do We Dry Age Our Grass Fed Beef
People have been aging meat for millennia. Why? Aging beef enhances flavor and makes the meat more tender. Its a lot like aging fine wine to bring out complexities and different flavor profiles. In this months blog post, well do a deeper dive into what it means to age beef and why its important for your taste buds. You can definitely taste the difference!
Dry-aged beef is a premium product, compared to most beef youll find at the store. Its more expensive to produce, requires an expert butcher and you need to keep the beef at a constant temperature and humidity level. The natural process of dry aging draws the moisture out of the meat and brings out a big beefy flavor.
Aged beef is showing up on more fine dining and steakhouse menus. The reason is simple, its a better end product. Theres an artisan aspect to producing top quality aged meat. Traditional and/or grass-fed beef is usually aged anywhere from 8 days to 45+ days. Some purveyors are now aging 100 days or more!
Wet Aging vs. Dry Aging
There are two methods for aging meat: wet-aging and dry-aging. Wet aging is simply individual cuts of meat that are vacuum sealed the beef ages in the plastic Cryovac. Because theres no oxygen in the bag , the enzymes in the beef help tenderize the meat. Wet-aged beef is actually a faster process than dry aging and also less expensive to produce.
Is Dry Aged Beef More Expensive?
Does Grass Fed Beef Benefit From Being Aged?
Where Can I Buy Quality Dry Aged Beef?
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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.
With Careful Attention And Patience It’s Possible To Dry Age Beef At Home For Steaks With Unparalleled Flavor And Tenderness
Dry-aged beef in a cast iron skillet. Damn, that looks good. This is the only method I know of that’ll get you that steakhouse-quality charring without the benefit of a grill or an 1,800°F broiler.
Sometimes I get emails from readers that say something along the lines of “You said in article X one thing, then, a couple years later, in article Y, you said almost the complete opposite. What gives? Don’t you believe in science, and doesn’t science deal in facts?”
There’s only one kind of science that isn’t open to contradicting itself: the bad kind. Science needs to be open to accepting and considering contradictory evidence and redefining “facts,” by definition. Heck, if new theories weren’t allowed to be formed and conclusions debunked with further experimentation, we’d still believe in crazy things like spontaneous generation, static universes, or even that searing meat seals in juices. And then where would we be today?
I bring this up because, a few weeks back, I went through great pains to test and explain precisely why you cannot dry-age meat at home, no way, nohow. Today, I’m going to explain to you exactly how you can dry-age at home, how relatively simple it is, and how it can vastly improve the eating quality of your steaks and roasts until they are better than what you can buy at even the best gourmet supermarket.*
*And, unlike many sources that claim similar results, I actually have the blind taste tests to prove it!
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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.
What To Do After Wet Ageing The Beef
When its ready to cook, get the beef out of the refrigerator. Remove it from the cryovac seal and rinse it off. Dont get scared if a bit of funky smell hits your nose. Its normal.
After you discard the cryovac, rinse the meat, and dry it, the smell should decline. However, if the smell is too foul at this point, it means that something mightve gone wrong during the process.
Then, start cutting the meat into smaller pieces. Season them with some salt, pepper, and thyme. You can get creative with the seasoning. Then, cook and enjoy the tenderness of your premium delicacy of meat.
If youre not ready to cook it just yet, another option is to put the beef in the freezer for a month or two. The meat wont continue to age in the freezer. The freezing temperature shuts down the active enzymes.
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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.
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 Does It Mean To Age Beef
The term Aging also referred to as hanging, simply describes how long the beef is kept after slaughter before being sold or eaten.
If a side of beef has been aging for 21 days, it means that the beef has been in a chiller for that amount of time to allow the meat to become more tender and flavorful.
To put it in laymans terms, while the meat is aging, it is slowly starting to decompose, softening the tissue which makes the meat more tender.
There are different schools of thought as to how long to let meat age, but the usual lenght of time is 14 28 days.
Less than 14 days and the meat will not have had sufficient time to make much impact on the breaking down.
Over 28 days and the beef taste will become stronger, and in the case of dry aging, the amount of spoiled unusable meat that will need to be trimmed, will push up the cost of the saleable beef.
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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We Use The Wet Aging Method At Pre
Wet aging means that the aging process happens at refrigerated temperatures, usually around 28ºF to 35ºF, in a vacuum-sealed bag. No oxygen is in the bag for the aging period. The beef ages in its natural juices. The enzymes in the beef allow it to tenderize and build up all the flavor.
By the time we open these bags and cut the beef into steaks, they are flavorful, tender and delicious and ready to eat at home. Our beef ages for at least 4 weeks. Since we comes from New Zealand and Australia, the wet aging process happens while it is on a sea freight boat crossing the ocean.
The best way to transport Pre beef to the United States is by shipping the product on sea freight container ships through the Panama Canal all the way to the port of Philadelphia, PA. The total journey takes four weeks from the time the ship leaves Australia and New Zealand until it docks in Philadelphia. That may seem like a long time to bring over our refrigerated beef, but because Pre is wet-aged, it actually works to our benefit.
Beef needs to age at least four weeks, held at the proper temperature, in order for the muscle fibers to break down and become the tender beef that we strive for. The long journey across the Pacific Ocean is just the right amount of time for our product to wet age to perfect tenderness.
Once the beef arrives at our production facility, it is hand-trimmed and cut into individual steaks. It is then packaged and vacuum-sealed as individual steaks to sell in stores!
What Are The Effects Of Dry Aging
The result of a good dry aged steak is considerably noticeable in flavor and texture. The taste is more beefy, earthy and richer than a regular steak, while texture is much smoother.
When dry aging, please be aware that the outside of the steak will become dry and crusty. Before grilling, it is best to trim the entire outside crust with a sharp knife. By doing so, keep in mind that youre about to lose around 20-25% of your steak. Thats why we always recommend aging thicker steaks instead of small ones.
The time needed for dry aging beef varies on preference. Here at OS Meatshop, we take the following day marks into consideration:
21 30 days: great juiciness and tenderness, along with a balanced dry aged taste.
45 50 days: great juiciness and tenderness, along with a strong dry aged taste.
60 + days: losses in juiciness and tenderness, along with a very strong dry aged taste.
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Dry Aged Vs Wet Aged Steak
Aging beef tenderizes the meat and enhances flavors. If youve had dry aged steak youll know how much of a difference it makes. Flavors are deeper and meat is more tender. Even tough cuts can be improved by aging. But high quality beef, like filets, get so tender you can cut them with a fork. It takes time and money but the result is better meat. There are two main ways to do it, dry aging and wet aging. Dry aging is the older technique. Its been used to age all sorts of meats and cheeses for centuries. Wet aging is a newer method that involves vacuum sealing in plastic bags. Both produce tender beef. So dry aged vs wet aged steak, which is better?
Aging is a way to enhance the steak. Dry aged beef is hung in the open air to dehydrate at a temperature just above freezing. This can also be done in a meat refrigerator. Its left to age for weeks or even months. The steak builds a thick, moldy coating thats cut away before cooking. Steakhouses often show off their dry aged steaks in glass cases so you can pick which one you want. Dry aging is a fantastic way to tenderize beef but should only be done by a professional. The process creates an earthy, nutty flavor. The longer its aged the more pungent the taste.