When beef is ‘aged’, it is allowed to sit in between the time it is slaughtered and cooked. During this time, the microbes and the enzymes in the meat interact to help break down the connective tissues in the muscles. This gives you a much more tender cut and deepens the taste profile as well. A properly aged steak cooks better and eats better, as well. It’s really the best way to eat beef.
Back in the day, when you ordered a steak from your local butcher, it was probably hung for at least a few weeks. The primary reason for this was there wasn’t a lot of ‘chiller’ space available. It was usually hung in small wooden houses above chilly creeks and broken down into smaller pieces as it was needed. Any crust or rough edges on the beef due to contact with the air would be removed and disposed of. This is the process of ‘dry aging’.
Dry aging these days is a little more difficult and an usually much more expensive. If you are purchasing meat from a trusted and inspected source in any developed country, certain temperature and air quality guidelines must be met to ensure the meat you are eating is properly dry aged. We always carry a few Dry Aged steak products, as they offer customers with a different taste profile when compared to non-aged steaks.
The other method of aging beef is ‘wet aging’. This is a very similar process in which the cuts of beef are taken directly from slaughter and allowed to age for up to 45 days before they are portioned into steaks. The only difference from dry aging is that the steaks remain in a vacuum sealed packaged to ensure there is no contact with outside air. The temperature must still be controlled perfectly. You maintain many of the same benefits as with dry aging, but it is easier to store packed cuts and therefore the costs is less.
We have most of our steaks aged for 21 to 30 days. These steaks are superior to others that are cut immediately after slaughter, usually on large assembly lines. This adds a tremendous amount of flavor AND provides a steak that is much more tender. Almost every ultra-exclusive steakhouse in the world uses steaks that are properly aged prior to cooking. We like for our customers to receive that same product in their own home.