Dry-Aged Beef or Wet-Aged Beef – What’s the difference?
Dry-Aged Beef is what you’ll find here at Wyoming Legacy Meats. Grocery stores don’t usually stock this specialty item, and certainly doesn’t show up at the big box stores. We’d like to take a moment to share with you the difference between dry-aged beef and wet-aged beef.
Traditionally, all meat was dry-aged. That means the butcher hung it in large chunks for 3 to 6 weeks in a cooler that stayed just above freezing. This allowed the natural enzymes in the meat to start to gently break it down to make it oh, so tender. Because the meat hangs in the open air, the meat dehydrates a bit and forms a harder rind on the outside. Just as you reduce a sauce to concentrate the flavor, the same thing happens with the meat. The dry-aging process concentrates the beefy flavor in a satisfying way that beef going only through the wet-aged process will never attain.
THE INTRODUCTION WET-AGING
In the 1980s, the practice of allowing beef to cure in its own juices in a bag began – known as the wet-aging process. It makes good sense. Butchers need less space in their coolers as the beef can sealed up and stacked on a shelf. Because of the sealed bags, no moisture is lost. It does have a different flavor that many of us have gotten used to without realizing it. Some of the meat arrives in the store with only days of aging allowed.
Here at Wyoming Legacy Meats, you can guess that we choose to live the legacy. All of our beef goes through the Dry-Aging process. To take advantage of both methods, some cuts start with dry-aging to gain the flavor and then shifts to wet-aging to gain the benefits of this method. Our specialty cuts are allowed to continue to dry-age to bring out the premium flavor.
We’ve found is this blend of old-time and modern day practices works incredibly well. It takes more patience and planning to process meat this way, but the flavor makes it all worth it. Plus, it fits with how we do things out here in Wyoming. We don’t follow the crowds much, and that goes for our beef processing as well.
We do what makes the most sense to bring you the best tasting, healthy meat possible (we’re a bit obsessive about this). This quality processing does mean the meat costs more than at the grocery store. We aren’t here to please the masses; we just want to share the best with those of you who can appreciate the difference dry-aging beef brings.
Go ahead and taste the difference for yourself. Purchase one of our products and purchase the same cut from your local store. Cook them the same way and compare. We’re pretty certain that you’ll find ours has more savory richness to it.