The more you wait, the better the meat will be. Yes, it is true, especially when it comes to steak. The dry aging method is one of the oldest techniques ensuring the meat is exceptionally tender and delicious. This method has been used for nearly thousands of years. But to get the results, you must have patience, time, and the required expertise. This will result in a steak that is tender, firm, and full of flavors.
Dry-aged beef is famous for its flavorful richness and soft texture. The meat is kept in an open environment where it has to go through several changes. So, are you curious about this process? Do you have questions? Well, below is a detailed guide on the process of dry-aged beef. Check it out.
What Is The Process Of Dry-Aging?
This process takes time and can take several days, weeks, or even months to get the results. After the beef is slaughtered, it is kept in an open environment. Since it is kept in an open space, the moisture evaporates. Also, the meat goes through several chemical changes that occur naturally. These changes enhance the taste of the beef. When you touch it, you can feel the surface dry, but the inside remains juicy. All the changes make the meat more flavorful and tasty. This is why the market has a high demand for dry-aged beef.
However, most of the beef you consume, the commercially available meat, is wet-aged, but there is no match for the flavor you get from dry aging.
What happens when you dry-age beef? It results in two things:
- Firstly, the moisture is evenly evaporated from the beef. The beef generally has two portions: the fat part and the lean part. The fat part holds more water as compared to the lean portion. So, when evaporation occurs, the lean muscle gets shrunk, thus giving more flavor to the beef.
- During the process, bacteria are formed, which provides the flavor that will explode your taste buds, but in a good way!
Factors That Affect The Dry-Aging
The process of dry aging is delicate. It requires great expertise and knowledge of the butcher. So, when buying dry-aged beef, be sure to buy it from a professional. Different factors affect the quality of dry-aged beef. Some of these are:
The time the beef is dry-aged plays a crucial role. For the beef to get the best flavor, it usually takes around 14 to 60 days. So, when purchasing dry-aged meat, you can always ask the butcher about the time and pick according to your preferences.
One of the essential factors in dry aging is the humidity level. The humidity level should be around seventy percent. It prevents the beef from drying up quickly.
The ideal temperature is around 1 to 3 degrees Celsius. When you keep the meat at this temperature, it can age slowly and develop that delicious flavor you crave! Also, it prevents the spoiling of the meat.
The Air Circulation
You know that during the dry aging process, the meat loses moisture. The correct air circulation ensures that the meat does not get extremely dry. That is why it is vital to have a balanced air circulation.
The Cuts Of The Meat
It is true that dry aging can be done with any cut; however, some cuts perform better. Consistency is one of the essential factors that affect the taste of the beef during the dry aging process. You have to ensure that when you dry-age the meat, it does not rot. If you are careless, then it can spoil the excellent meat.
That is why it is recommended that you must only opt for good-quality cuts. Yes, the quality of the cuts also affects the process. Also, if you want to dry age at home, then you must pick the meat that still has some bones. This is so because the fat and bones present in the meat also protect the meat from rotting.
What Are The Benefits Of Dry Aging?
The dry-aged beef has the following benefits:
- The mouthwatering flavor is something that every meat lover craves. And dry-aged beef delivers just that since it gives the meat a nutty, deep flavor. Beef texture also becomes firm.
- You have seen above that in this process, the meat loses moisture. When the meat loses moisture, the texture becomes firm. Firm meat is chewy, thus enhancing your satisfaction level. Also when cooked, the steak becomes easy to cut.
- Another important advantage is that dry-aged beef is rich in nutrients. It consists of several vitamins and minerals that the human body requires. Also, you must know that beef is high in protein and it is low in calories. An average steak has around more than 60 grams of protein. However, the dry-aged steak is a more condensed version.
So, with every bite of the dry-aged steak, you are getting more nutrients as compared to standard steak. So, this means you are getting the taste and the essential nutrients. It is the best of both worlds!
You have seen that this process can become complex; however, with the added benefits, it is worth it. Since there are several factors that one has to consider, it is recommended that you get the dry-aged beef from the butcher. In this way, you will ensure that you are getting the best quality meat and the real taste.
In conclusion, it is not wrong to say that the dry aging process enhances your meat-eating experience. In this process, the moisture present in the meat gets evaporated evenly, thus making the beef tender, nutty, and rich in flavor.
For any restaurant, having dry-aging beef on their menu makes them stand out from the competition. It also helps in attracting the customer. So, be ready to indulge in the volcano of taste and remember to get the dry-aged beef from the butcher.