Dry Aged Beef Vs Wet Aged Beef

Dry Aging Steaks: The Secret to Intense Steakhouse Flavor

Class is in session at Angus University – an ongoing series of blog posts that will help you understand more about your beef.

Once every couple of months (or more often. Or less often. Who knows how this is gonna play out?), we’ll drop a blog post intended to help you learn more about steaks or beef in general, our process for bringing the finest Above Prime beef to your table, our cattle and anything else that seems interesting and informative.

Or Call 844-34-ANGUS (844-342-6487) X503.

Let’s Dig Into Today’s Topic: Wet Aged Beef Vs. Dry Aged Beef

Before we start comparing the two processes, let’s hammer out the most basic question first: what is aging and why do we dry age steaks?

The main purpose of aging your beef is to make it more tender. During aging, enzymes get to work on your meat, kick-starting the process of breaking down the muscle fibers and connective tissue.

It’s that connective tissue in particular (collagen) that makes a piece of meat tough, so some type of aging is a virtual necessity when it comes to most types of meat.

That means that nearly all meat goes through some type of aging process before it hits supermarket shelves or (in our case) farmers market coolers. Besides making your final product more tender, wet or dry aging steaks intensifies the flavor of the beef, and improves the texture.

Now, for literally thousands of years, the only way to age a steak was dry aging.

Wet aging came on the scene just in the last few decades as plastics and refrigeration technology improved.

The wet aging process is faster and cheaper than dry aging for beef. There is also less moisture loss in wet aging, so the final product weighs more. Thanks to these cost factors, since a supermarket is more interested in earning a profit from their beef than in providing the most flavorful meat possible, a supermarket steak is usually a wet aged steak.

And while wet aged beef is fine, here at Snow Creek Ranch, we believe the dry aging process helps make our hand-selected, hand-cut steaks even more intensely beefy and delicious than they otherwise would be.

To explain why, we need to get into the weeds of each process a little.

Wet Aged Beef

During wet aging, your beef is sealed in a plastic container with a brine, and it’s own blood and juices. To our taste buds, this can give the meat an ‘off,’ or metallic flavor.

Also, it’s just kind of gross.

As I mentioned earlier, your supermarket steak is usually wet aged because it’s faster, plus there’s less water loss and trimming before putting it on the shelves.

All of this translates to a cheaper process, and a heavier steak. And since you’re paying for that meat by the pound, you end up paying for some water.

The way you can check this is to note how big your wet aged steak is before you grill it, and how much it shrinks during cooking.

Dry Aged Beef

To dry age beef, the freshly processed side of beef is hung whole to rest in a climate-controlled, dry aging facility (ours is in Pierce, Colorado).

Unlike wet aging, dry aging allows your meat to breathe. This means that a lot of the moisture evaporates, so your final steak price doesn’t include water weight. This evaporation also intensifies the beefiness, since there’s less water for the same amount of muscle tissue.

When you go to a nice steak house, chances are they are serving a dry aged steak. In fact, one of the reasons Doc got into the cattle business is because he loved a great steak, but had trouble finding the intense flavor he was looking for without spending a fortune for an expensive night out.

Doc’s nearly pure line of Black Angus, a feeding program that produces exquisite marbling, and 21 days of dry aging meant that Doc and his family could enjoy a higher quality steak than is available almost anywhere else.

It’s an affordable luxury we’re proud to bring to your family table too!

Or Call 844-34-ANGUS (844-342-6487) X503.

Why Dry? Aging Your Steak Like a Fine Wine.

There are a few major factors that we believe make dry aging a better process for producing a mouth-watering, high quality steak.

Dry aging makes your beef a better value for the flavor also!

  • Tenderness – The first difference you’ll notice between wet and dry aged beef is tenderness. Snow Creek Ranch’s dry aged steaks are so tender, they’re almost buttery in texture! They almost literally melt in your mouth!
  • Flavor – When folks try our beef for the first time, one of the ways they describe the experience is ‘intense.’ The 21 days of dry aging concentrates the juices of the steak, making the flavor more robust and providing a very full or ‘round,’ mouth feel.
  • Juiciness – Thanks to the reduction in its ability to hold water, and to the concentration of fat due to the aging process, dry aged beef is noticeably juicier than wet aged beef.
  • Shrinkage – Depending on how you measure it, a steak dry aged for 21 days may contain 10% less water and discolored meat than a wet aged steak.

    So your Snow Creek Ranch steak is not only more flavorful and tender than supermarket beef – it’s a better value as well!

  • Where can I get Snow Creek Ranch dry aged steaks?

    The 2 easiest ways to get your hands on a Snow Creek Ranch Dry Aged Steak are:

    1. Visit us at Denver area farmers markets. Check out our schedule.
    2. Sign up for our meat by mail program, Beef Champion. Just make a monthly deposit to build up your account, then withdraw beef against your balance any time you’d like, and we’ll deliver it right to your door!

    Or Call 844-34-ANGUS (844-342-6487) X503.

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