Dry-aged beef refers to beef that is hung (or placed) on a rack to dry for several weeks. This is typically done in a refrigerated unit and done in either full or half carcasses. It is possible to do this at home with smaller and more specific cuts however make sure you have the proper equipment to ensure that your meat does not spoil.
The dry-aging process transforms the meat in 2 different ways:
1. Extracts moisture out of the muscle - concentrating the beefy flavor and taste
2. The beef's natural enzymes break down the connective muscle tissue - creating a more succulent and tender beef
So why do you care? Well, if you are getting something that is "dry-aged" you can count on that meat being premium and higher quality. You can't dry-age any beef, it has to have a high fat content that is evenly distributed throughout the cut. aka. beef that has more marbling. Read our marbling post to learn more about why marbling is important, but in short, higher marbling means more flavor. So a marbled cut that has been dry aged brings out the flavor and tenderness of the meat even more - a one way ticket to flavor town please.
The one con is that the final product will cost a pretty penny ($$$). The process of dry-aging is extensive that requires a lot of work and patience then on top of that you'll have to use a more premium beef with adequate marbling.
All in all, if you're looking for the most flavorful piece of beef, getting something dry-aged is the way to go.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?