For steaks connoisseurs, dry-aged beef is one of the most talked-about items on the menu. But what is it? Are aged steaks something you need to try or a trend? We’ll answer these questions and cover where to buy dry-aged beef to try this prime food.
What Is Dry-Aged Beef?
Dry-aged beef is beef allowed to dry for several weeks, usually placed on a drying rack or hung on an average of 30 days to 45 days. For the dry-aging process, a steak or butcher shop chooses large beef sections or primal cuts that include sirloin and rib eye.
Dry-aging is a unique yet expensive process whereby unwrapped meats are stored in a room where the temperature is controlled. The enzymes in the meat break down the fibers increasing the tenderness of the steaks. The dry-aging process can last anywhere between 7 and over 30 days (1).
What Does It Taste Like?
As an effect of the drying procedure, the dry-aged beef's flavor becomes more intense and rich, especially when left to dry for more than 30 days. This dry-age change in taste is a significant reason why people prefer these types of aged meat. An appropriately dry-aged beef will have a buttery and tender texture and beefier flavor.
Best Places To Buy Dry-Aged Beef Online
Crowd Cow has a wide selection of tender, juicy, and flavorful dry-aged meats. They are one of the better-known companies with other options such as pork, lamb, and seafood to choose from. You can place your dry-aged requests either thru online customer service or via phone line.
Snake River Farms
Snake River Farms specializes in American Wagyu and prime beef from the butchers. Aside from American Wagyu, the company is also known for its dried meats, Kurobuta pork, and other high-end cuts. Based on reviews, among their most popular items are their Tomahawk steaks, American Wagyu, and their Filet Mignon, which online customers include most of the time. Snake River Farms ships to all of the country.
Chicago Steak Company
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“Dry-aging beef smells like buttered popcorn and tastes like very rare roast beef.”
- Pat LaFrieda, Meats Distributor (2)
Porter Road is good for the health-conscious that want hormone-free grass-fed meats delivered to their home. They make it easy to include dry-aged meats in your options and have them shipped. You can also get pork, lamb, and poultry from their website.
Debragga is a prime food distributor that originated as a butchers' meat shop in New York. Anything you buy from them will take 24 hours before shipping. They offer great meats with good service and quick shipping.
How much does dry-aged beef cost?
The price of dry-aged beef is generally costlier than regular cuts due to the way it is aged. The extra steps and time that it takes to make aged meats mean that less can be sold. The dry-age procedure also reduces the weight of the steaks. Prices can range into the hundreds of dollars for two or three steaks.
Does Whole Foods sell dry-aged beef?
Yes. Whole Foods sells dry-aged steaks at many stores around the United States, but not all. Because the dry-aging procedure takes so much time, mostly 30 days or so, and reduces the steaks’ overall weight, many grocery stores do not sell it on-site and instead opt to special order as needed.
Should I salt dry-aged steak?
It depends. Whether or not you should salt dry-aged steaks will depend mainly on personal preference and what kind of flavor you want to have. Many chefs like to use Himalayan Salts while others prefer more traditional salts as everyone has a different opinion on how to salt the dry-aged beef.
Can dry-aged beef make you sick?
No. Dry-aged cuts will not make you sick. Because the steps that go into dry-aging are so tightly controlled, the steaks will not spoil. The meats can rot in the same fashion as regular meats at your home if left out in unacceptable conditions.
Is dry-aged steak juicy?
Yes. Dry-aged foods such as roasts can be juicer with a better texture than a similar cut. This is mostly because much of the moisture is sealed in, improving the overall quality of foods such as a porterhouse.
Is Dry-Aged Beef Worth It?
From our experience, dry-aged foods are undoubtedly worth it. The steaks offer a greater degree of flavor and a beefier taste. As for a good place where to buy dry-aged beef, we prefer Crowd Cow.
They offer some of the tastiest options for a rib roast, porterhouse, and other varieties. From our experience, they have good service and reasonable prices for the top caliber foods they sell.
We recommend Crowd Cow if you're also looking to purchase from the menu outside the subscription type services. They offer ala carte purchases for other options, including chicken or bone broth for sale.
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