Simple question: Why are dry aged steaks so delicious?
First things first - let's explain the process...
Dry-aging beef means that once butchered, portions of the beef are allowed to rest in very carefully controlled environment - typically a closely watched, refrigerated setting. The temperature needs to stay between 36 degrees F and freezing. Too warm and the meat will spoil. Too cold and it will freeze, which stops the aging process. You require a humidity of about 85 to reduce water loss - something that's essential in the process. Once this is done, the following happens...
Moisture loss: A dry aged piece of beef can lose up to around 30 percent of its initial volume in water loss, which significantly concentrates its flavour.
Tenderization: It occurs when enzymes in the meat act to break down some of the tougher muscle fibres and connective tissues. A well-aged steak will be noticeably more tender than a fresh steak.
Flavor change Properly dry-aged meat will develop deeply beefy, nutty, and almost cheese-like aromas - which are what you get at a good steakhouse.
The vast majority of supermarket meat will be butchered and packaged quite quickly. It's also usually wet aged - meaning that it ages in plastic - not freely and allowed to breathe. Big difference in the final result and flavour.
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