Beef maturation is one of the most important steps for beef becoming a steak. Opinions differ which method of maturation is the best one to use. However, no matter if Wet Age or Dry-Age, the objective is the same: A tender and premium steak on your plate
Wet vs. Dry: What is the difference?
During Wet Aging the beef parts are vacuum-wrapped directly after cutting into Cryovac bags. At a temperature of +/-0°C the enzymes work to improve the beef. The flavour and consistency of the beef changes through these biochemical processes within the fibres. It tenderises and develops its characteristic aroma. The cool temperature slows down the maturation process so that the transportation time can be used to full advantage. These methods have been in place since the 1970’s. Apart from the minimal weight loss of the beef, the advantage is the preservation of the original meat flavour.
During Dry Aging the beef is “hung” for maturation. This comprises a very traditional method. Beef nowadays is matured unwrapped at approx. 1-3°C and a humidity of 75-85%. In the meantime, Dry Aging is more elaborate than in the past. This consistency of temperature and humidity is a decisive factor in the maturation – alternately, it is ruined. A typical characteristic of “Dry Aging” is the loss of the moisture content of the meat. The flavour intensifies – also by the evaporation of water. A maturation time of 3 to 4 weeks is not uncommon here. The advantage of this method: The flavour of the beef continues to develop during maturation and increases in intensiveness. The disadvantage: A butcher has to trim off a big part of the meat bulk from the edge and dispose of it.
Which one tastes better?
Wet Aged or Dry Aged Meat?
Finally, the personal taste decides which is better, “Dry Aged” or “Wet Aged”. Beef conoisseurs who love a natural meat flavour prefer steaks that have been cured using Wet Ageing. Those who favour dry curing reach for Dry Aged beef, as they value its unique “mature developed” flavour.
“At MAREDO we have always been using the Wet Ageing method, because we have committed ourselves to provide a steak flavour as natural possible for our customers.” In combination with the grazing of our cattle in South America, an extraordinary quality is generated”, explains Martin Ostermeier, MAREDOs meat expert.