What the heck is dry aging?
Are you familiar with the benefits of dry aging?
If you’ve only heard the term in passing or have never heard it before, you may wonder what it means.
Once you've had dry aged beef, it's really hard to go back. If you’re fortunate enough to have been to a true butcher shop or higher end steak house, then you’ve probably eaten aged beef.
But what does it mean really?
Dry aging is essentially hanging your beef up for a long period of time in a cooled environment. The beef is usually hung in sides or quarters, and has a nice layer of fat to protect the meat.
But why would you want ‘aged’ meat anyways? Aren’t fast food restaurants always trying to boast the ‘freshest’ beef?
As is often the case in life, patience is a virtue. Dry aging is a simple but time-consuming task that yields incredible results. Fresh is fast. Fresh is easy. But aged beef is worth the wait. The benefits become most noticeable after about 21 days – we typically hang our beef for between 21 and 28 days.
What are those benefits?
Well first, aging tenderizes the meat. Like, really, really tenderizes it. The natural enzymes in the beef start to break down the connective tissue (toughness), which results in much more tender cuts when it is butchered. The difference is unbelievable.
Another reason to age beef is that it evaporates moisture from the muscle tissue. Ever cooked some beef that looked like soup in the pan after a few minutes? Dry aged beef doesn’t behave that way because some of the excess moisture is gone. But the real bonus? That actually concentrates the flavour and taste of the cut. And since you pay by the pound, it also means more beef for your buck since you’re not paying for water.
Typically beef aged beyond 7 to 10 days is difficult to find outside of steak houses and quality butchers. It certainly can’t be found at the grocery store. But all our beef is aged a minimum of 21 days – because we really like great beef.
If you haven’t tried well aged beef before and would like to, then definitely get in touch with us to see when we’ll be butchering next!
Willie & Jorie