Friday, October 22, 2010

If you don't already know what Dry Aging a piece of Meat exactly means then we can't be friends. I have to put my foot down somewhere.

Wet aging is done by allowing the beef to age in a vacuum packed bag.

Dry-aging steak is aged in the open air at controlled temperature between a 34 F and 38 F with an ambient humidity level adjusted between 50% and 75%, required for a 7 to 14 day period longer to age properly. Wet-aged beef can mature in as few as 7 days.

Meat is muscle, and muscle is composed of protein structures that break down with the aging process, resulting in more tender cuts of meat and more flavor. It's the benign bacteria within the meat itself that causes the degradation.
Air circulation is essential in managing dry aging and is perhaps the biggest reason why dry-aged beef costs substantially more, since the extreme evaporation causes significant shrinkage.

Typical shrinkage is 10 to 15%, which is costing the consumer and proveror about 25% more than wet aged beef. A dry-aged steak is obviously more expensive because hey require an investment in space, time, patience and cost. I would say that 95% percent of the United States now eats wet-aged steaks, while Dry-aged is mostly a New York thing these days. If and when you get your teeth around one, call me up but until then your next bet is to read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. Happy Mooooooing!

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