The 411 on Dry Aged Beef
Dry aging meat is an ancient method of preservation when people couldn’t eat the whole animal in one sitting. The modern version of aging beef is similar to our early hunter ancestors, but thankfully with a few more controls to get it right every single time.
At Steak Almighty we dry age bone in beef primals in controlled conditions of humidity, temperature and airflow. This controlled process does a bunch of magical things to elevate the already high quality, pasture raised beef we source from small scale Ontario farmers.
For simplicity’s sake we’ll just consider the top three reasons why we believe dry age beef is is just better:
- First, it tenderizes beef through a natural enzymatic process that breaks down tissue and muscle fibers, that process maxes out at about 28 days.
- Second, it reduces water content through evaporation and dramatically concentrates beefy flavours.
- Third and the most distinctly dry aged thing, is the development of good penicillium moulds found in cheese that gives dry aged beef it’s bold, charcuterie-like flavour.
Steaks like striploins and ribeyes are dry aged as whole bone in primals for between 30 and 120 days. Grass fed beef is typically quite lean and performs well to about 45 days of age, our homegrown Ontario Wagyu tops out at 60 days and grain finished AAA Angus can go all the way up to 120 days.
There are other bonuses to dry aged beef as well, like the ability to get a super seared crust very quickly because of the low surface moisture, or the boost of umami with higher concentrations of glutamic acid as a natural result of dry aging.
So you’re probably asking, “Can I dry age beef at home?” You definitely can, and there are all kinds of blog posts and videos you can find on the internet about it, it's literally a Google search away. In fact, it’s how we started too. But at Steak Almighty we’re not just dry aging beef, we’re dry aging the best beef Ontario has to offer from farmers who use sustainable practices to raise their cattle.
Here’s the rub, if you’re going to treat yourself to an awesome steak, make it a dry aged one and, if you’re into a robust beefy flavour incomparable to anything you’ve ever eaten, go for something 60 days and over.