After a cow is slaughtered, skinned, gutted and cleaned, beef ageing is the process by which the carcase is kept under climate-controlled conditions to hone the natural breakdown of its connective tissues, and foster the evaporation of its moisture.
There are two main reasons why beef is aged:
The specific ageing process depends on which broader method of ageing is undertaken. There are two ageing methods most commonly used: Dry-ageing and wet-ageing.
The dry-ageing method primarily works by hanging the (non-covered) beef carcass inside a closed room at a controlled temperature (usually 0° to 4 °C) and relative humidity (75%-80%) levels. Doing so calibrates:
The wet-ageing method works primarily by storing primal cuts of the beef carcass inside closed, vacuum-sealed bags at a temperature of 0 °C to 7.2 °C.
Unlike dry-ageing techniques, wet-ageing means that the meat is not in contact with the air, but rather ages in its own natural juices. This way, the concentration of enzyme µ-calpain activity in breaking down the beef’s connective tissues is very, very high. Unlike dry-ageing, the process of water evaporation and the growing of exterior fungal crust does not take place. The process of wet-ageing beef is thought to make the beef incredibly tender and deliver a slightly metallic but still very tasty flavour.
The agelong debate has been whether one should choose for dry-aged or wet-aged beef. Dry-aged beef delivers an incredibly deep rich and nutty taste, while wet-aged – when done right – provides an almost unmatchable degree of tenderisation through the high concentration of enzyme activity. Though it is very difficult to find, we recommend sourcing grass-fed beef that has employed a mix of both dry and wet -ageing techniques — allowing you the best of both taste and tender worlds!Buy Aged Beef