Wet vs. Dry-Aged Steaks

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by bdd8, May 28, 2012.

  1. bdd8

    bdd8

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    What are "Wet-aged" and "Dry-aged' steaks? What is the difference? Allen Brothers sells both and Meyers only sells "dry". 
     
  2. twyst

    twyst

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    Wet aged beef is aged in a cryovac bag and  gives you a higher yield before cooking.   Dry aging is "air aged" in a temperature and humidity controlled environment.   You get much less yield prior to cooking, but you also lose less moisture during the cooking process.

    Dry aging is more expensive because of the process and because of the lower sellable yield, but its also generally regarded as a better product because the beef flavors are more concentrated.

    Dry aged beef looks and smells pretty disgusting before the butcher trims it up, but it sure is delicious!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  3. bdd8

    bdd8

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    Thanks Twyst for the explanation. Might order both wet/dry porterhouses to sample from Allen Brothers to see if I can taste the difference. Or not. And just order some dry-aged steaks.

    What did you mean when you said wet-aging gives you a "higher yield before cooking"? 
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  4. twyst

    twyst

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    If you end up doing a side by side Id be really interested to hear a report back after!   Ive never done a side by side from the same premium butcher and am curious as to how big you find the difference.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  5. bdd8

    bdd8

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    Will keep you posted if I do. I might. Worth trying at least once. 

    What did you mean by "...more yield before cooking" when talking about wet-aged beef?
     
  6. twyst

    twyst

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    Lets say I buy two 10 pound ribeye racks, and I dry age one and wet age one.   After wet aging, I still pretty much have 10 pounds of usable ribeye.  Meanwhile, the one that is dry aged has a good bit of moisture evaporated from it as the flavor concentrates, and then requires pretty extensive trimming to get rid of the "rotten looking" outer crust.   You may get say 7 pounds of usable ribeye from that rack.  (Im making up figures, I dont know exactly how much you lose, but its a fair amount)

    On the other hand, after aging, if I grill a 16 oz ribeye from each rack exactly the same way, the one that was dry aged will actually weigh a little more after the cooking process than the one that was wet aged.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  7. bdd8

    bdd8

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    Ok gotcha pal. Thanks.
     
  8. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Wet aged beef is aged in the cryo so the weight does not change. Dry aged beef looses about 25% of it's weight between drying a trimming and that's why dry aged beef is more $$ per pound.

    Wet aging uses the enzymes in the blood to help tenderize the meat. Dry aging enhances the flavor of the meat by reducing the moisture content.

    If you cut a dry aged boneless 16 oz steak and a wet aged 16 oz boneless steak the most noticeable difference is that a 16 oz Dry aged steak is going to appear physically larger.

    FWIW wet aged meat can smell pretty rank as well after aging for four weeks.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  9. bdd8

    bdd8

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    I was reading how one of our "premier" (local Toronto) butcher shops ages their beef. It sounds like they are dry-aging since they are air-dried in their own cooler correct?

    http://www.thehealthybutcher.com/organic_meat.html

    Is it "wet-aging" ONLY if put in a cryovac bag? 
     
  10. someday

    someday

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    "wet aging" is really just the process of letting the enzymes present in the meat begin to break down and tenderize the meat. The term "aging" is really not a very good term for it, nor particularly relevant to be honest. The process takes, at most, a few days and most steaks and meat you buy at the butcher or grocery store will have this, mostly just by the processing, packing, shipping, and selling time. The process will tenderize the meat but do little or nothing for flavoe development.

    This process happens naturally whether the meat is cryovaced or not. The cyrovacing just ensures that little moisture will be lost during the couple of days it takes to achieve the enzymatic effect. 

    Truthfully, wet aging is more of a marketing term. 

    Dry aging is a whole different ball game. It essentially concentrates flavor through moisture loss (less water means more concentrated flavor) and a bacterial or some sort of fungus or something (can't remember which, but something grows on the outside) grows a "crust" on the outside of the meat and emparts a distinctive "tang." This crust is cut off from all around the steak/primal before cutting into portions. 
     
  11. chefedb

    chefedb

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    CRYOVAC OR VISKING Started in the 50s and was done with a vac. cleaner. Air was sucked out of bag and then sealed. The wholesalers found the meat would last longer.However today is different , Today it is totaly vaceum packed and the package is actually heat shrunk at the same time. (all air removed) The more blood in the bag the older the meat till it gets to a point of actually going bad. You will loose weight because as the meat sits it throws off moisture from within,

       Dry age requires a special fridge and special controled enviorment .There is a fine line between going bad and dry age. The fridge must be a dry box (very littl humidity or moisture ) The bad bacteria can be controled with black light (ultra violet) which retards growth of some mold. 

          Someone above mentioned a cooked dry aged steak will not lose much weight . This is correct as the moisture is less internally then a wet aged steak. Most Great Steak Houses dry age. IE The Palm, Smith Wolensky, Old Homestead. Peter Luger  etc. Their steak cost them and you more. Is it better? I think so but then  everyone has their own opinion. Most of these places use top choice and prime grade only. The Palm steak chain even though family owned could not get enough good meat to sustain it's volume, so they purchased their own cattle ranch and grow and breed their own meat.
     
  12. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Wet aging can only be done to a noticeable affect in the cryo. Meat is cry is put in cryovac during processing. Standard SOP for every manual I have written is a two week hold time on cryo meat.

    Wet aging will alter the flavor profile after two weeks. You can test this at home by wet aging a strip loin, rib eye or tenderloin for 2-4 weeks before cutting it into steaks or roasting.

    Some steak houses do offer wet or dry aged steaks. I'm not sure I've ever seen wet aging used in a marketing sense to sell meat on a retail or whole sale level.

    Dry aging is another whole can-o-worms and falls into the caveat emptor category for the consumer.

    Dave
     
  13. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Many years ago before individual cryovac and vac.heat shrink many steakhoses used to submerge their precut steaks in a 2 inch pan filled with oil. This prevented oxygen or air from hitting the steaks and actually kept them fresher longer. I have not seen this done in about 15 years, but it was common practice
     
  14. duckfat

    duckfat

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      I have seen some places submerge steaks in oil but never for wet aging but rather to marinate. That process was  common for steaks and lamb chops with garlic oil in the 80's. In reference to wet aging I'm only talking about primals and sub-primals. IME "Aging" individual steaks is an effort in futility.

    Dave
     
  15. chefedb

    chefedb

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    I have never seen it done for for wet ageing eitherI  nor did I say it was . it was a way to have steaks last a long time prior to individual cryovac or heat shrinking or souvide it kept all air and oxygen away from steak

    Marinating lamb chops with olive oil and rosemary  and steaks with assorted seasonings and herbs is mostly done for flavor not to preserve them.
     
  16. spikedog

    spikedog

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    are we  all talking about steak and lamb chops that are about to go bad and we just want to sell them,
     
  17. chefedb

    chefedb

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    If they are going bad, I dump them. READ the post , you submerge them under the oil while they are good to keep air and oxygen from making them go slimmy and bad. And it was in the day before cryovac was even invented., and you were probably not born yet.