Dry aging meat is an old artesian process that dates back to the middle ages. It used to be the only way to preserve meat longer than a few days. Before refrigeration was introduced in the mid 1940 almost all meat was dry aged. Cellars and caves were popular choices as they were generally cool and kept a relatively steady humidity.
Dry aging is unique in its ability to naturally amplify the flavours of beef whilst yielding an unmatched tenderness that cannot be replicated by any other method of meat aging preservation.
Benefits of dry aging steak:
Nowadays, most steaks you buy from the grocery store are preserved using a relatively new technique referred to as ‘wet-aging’, introduced in the 1950’s. This preservation method involved vacuum-sealing the steaks in plastic. The issue with this method is that it affects the taste of the meat. As beef ages, the enzymes present in the meat begin to break down the proteins into amino acids and fats, yielding a rich, savory flavour. The longer the meat aging process, the more intense and complex the flavours become. If you have ever tasted the result of both meat preservation techniques, the difference is apparent. With wet aged steak tasting more metallic and lacking depth of flavour, whereas dry aged steak has more intensity, ranging from a subtle nuttiness to bold blue cheese like notes.
Whether dry aged or wet aged beef is better has actually become quite a debate amongst foodies. Dry aging has centuries of tradition on its side, while wet aging has really only been viable since refrigeration became widespread in the 1950’s. In general, all meats benefit from some amount of aging before being sold and consumed. In the days after harvesting, enzymes go to work on the muscle tissue, breaking it down and making it tender. The biggest difference between the two kinds of meat is in the flavor and tenderness. With dry aged steak, at 21 Days a subtle nuttiness begins, at 28-35 days slight mushroom and umami flavors develop, then 45 days and beyond will bring bold blue cheese notes.
Although naturally, the age, breed and grazing environment are important elements of producing great tasting, flavourful beef, the dry age meat process ensures that even the highest grades of beef can achieve the best, most complex flavour possible.
Dry aging fridges
It is clear that dry age steak has more intense flavor, however, the process of dry aging meat is lengthy and is reliant on the right levels of heat and humidity. Due to the complexity of the meat aging process it is advised that you invest in a separate dry age fridge entirely. The reason for this is to achieve the best results. It is advised that you don’t dry age your steaks in a location where other foods are being refrigerated due to the risk of the cross-contamination of flavours. This cross-contamination could result in your milk tasting like dry aged beef and vice-versa. Steaklocker provides a professional yet affordable meat aging fridge range that specialises in the dry aging process of beef and steak and eliminates any risk regarding the meat aging process.
Visit our range of dry age fridges to find out more about our products and the benefits of using them to dry age your beef.