Nothing compares to the taste and texture of dry-aged beef. Any steak lover will tell you: there is a massive difference in the taste of a freshly cut steak and a dry-aged steak.

Dry aging beef is the process whereby a subprimal cut of beef is rested under extremely controlled conditions for a period of time from days to months. It requires relatively high humidity and cool temperature in order to encourage the enzymatic breakdown that transforms the beef into richly flavored, juicy steaks you can cut with a fork.

Steak lovers should never miss out on the taste of dry-aged beef. And while every single one of us has come across dry-aged beef in a high end steakhouse, have you ever thought about what goes on in the aging technique that transforms average beef to something incredible and worthy of the premium price tag? 

Why is a piece of beef aged?

When decomposition of beef is controlled (the process of dry-aging), it breaks down the collagen in the meat that was holding together the muscle fibers. This collagen is responsible for tenderizing the meat. Once the beef has undergone this process, you will have a portion of protein that is extremely tender. This way, you end up with a steak that’s tender and full of flavor. 

The role of enzymes.

The process of enzymatic breakdown takes about eight days. However, this depends on the species of meat you are using. In order to complete the process of maturation, the meat has to produce enough quantities of lactic acid. This process ends up loosening the cell bandage, which in turn breaks the hardened muscles.

The dry-aged steak will only have all the enhancements you want if it has been aged properly. It should be given a minimum of three weeks and a maximum of eight weeks to develop properly. During this time, the meat will gain all the special flavors. Patience is key: a dry-aged strip steak that has been matured for a short period will not have any of the flavors you are looking for. You get to taste such extraordinary flavors because of the processes we just covered, where the proteins and enzymes work together to create a rich, authentic taste. 

Contrary to popular belief, there is no mold in the dry-aging process, only enzymes to break down the connective tissue, loss of water to concentrate flavor and oxidation to add new flavors.

So, if you take one thing away from this blog post, let it be: while the science of dry-aging may be confusing, the results are worth the wait. Let the enzymes and proteins do the work for you. Looking to buy a SteakAger, browse our products here.