Dry Aged Steaks 101 (We’ll Be Offering Them Soon!)
Dry aging has become a big buzzword when it comes to meat, and you might be wondering exactly what it means. Aged steak? Could it be possible for old meat to be better than fresh?! Sounds weird, I know. But like fine wine, meat can be aged. This is done using a carefully controlled process that results in a steak that’s so delicious, you’ll be hooked instantly. Dry aged is the creme de la creme when it comes to steak.
The flavor becomes richer and the texture luxuriously tender. Methods of dry aging have a long history of use as a means for preservation before the advent of refrigeration. Over centuries the process has been refined to produce the most delicious meat. Read on to learn why this process makes dry aged steak taste so good and how it’s actually done.
Aged Like A Fine Wine Or Gourmet CheeseLet’s get down to the nitty gritty of the steak aging process. Dry aging steaks could be thought of in a similar way to how cheeses are aged. The subprimals of meat are placed in an enclosed environment where the temperature and humidity are precisely controlled. This creates a reaction in the meat where natural enzymes begin to break down the molecular structure of the meat.
The conditions cause moisture to be pulled out of the meat, hence the term “dry”. Mold forms on the outside of the meat, but don’t panic. It’s the good kind of mold, the same way blue cheese is a good kind. When the steaks have finished aging, the mold is cut away revealing the incredibly delicious and tender meat inside.
Why “Dry” Actually Means A Better SteakThe fact that moisture is pulled out of the meat is a big part of what makes these steaks taste so good. Meat is naturally almost three quarters water, so when you remove that moisture content the flavor becomes very concentrated. Additionally, there are chemical reactions that occur during the aging process that cause some flavor compounds to become stronger and others weaker.
Some components of the molecular structure of the steak are broken down into smaller pieces that have far more flavor than in their original form. These complex reactions produce a steak with flavor that excels far beyond the ordinary. There’s another technique known as wet aging where steaks are aged inside vacuum sealed bags. They don’t lose any water and as a result the flavor and texture is not altered in the same way as dry aging.
If you’ve ever checked the price on a dry aged steak, you know that they’re significantly more expensive than non-aged steaks. This is due to the effort and time it takes to age the meat, and the fact that the loss of moisture and trimming results in a lot less meat than you started with. Dry aged meat is a specialty product that takes time to produce, like fine cheese or fine wine. We’re really excited to be able to offer dry aged steaks from our new butcher shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. These steaks are truly an incredible culinary experience and are well worth the wait! It’s also possible to purchase dry aged roasts and subprimal cuts (whole tenderloins, prime rib, etc).
At Beck & Bulow, we pride ourselves on our excellent customer service. We’re always here to help if you have any questions regarding your meat, want help making selections, or are just looking for some cooking tips. Every time you call our office, you’ll be directly connected with one of our team members right here in Santa Fe, New Mexico where we’re based. And if you’re a New Mexico local, be sure to check out our new butcher shop! The retail location is centrally located on Cerrillos Road near Saint Michael’s drive - look for the building with the murals.
Don’t Hesitate To Reach Out To Our Awesome Team
When it comes to nationwide delivery, every cut of meat and seafood is pressure sealed and flash frozen immediately after butchering at the peak of freshness. Our butcher at the shop is third generation, and any meat that’s not butchered in house comes exclusively from master butchers who make every cut with care and precision. All delivery orders are hand packed at our Santa Fe warehouse, shipped in a reusable cooler with dry ice and delivered straight to your doorstep. Check out our selections of pasture raised bison, beef, elk, lamb, wild boar, poultry, seafood and more.