The Beauty of Aging Steak

Mavis Loh Blog

Dry aging

This method is a centuries-old practice is used to preserve meat so that it doesn’t spoil. The meat colour is darkened as blood in the meat’s muscle oxidises when exposed to air but this doesn’t mean that your meat has spoiled. Instead, dry aging allows the meat to develop a complex, nutty flavour. However, as moisture is extracted from the meat, the volume of your meat will be reduced. Cooking wise, you can proceed to cook dry-aged meat just like any non-aged ones on the BBQ grill. But remember your meat has lost much of its internal moisture and weight during the aging process. Therefore, you should cook your meat to the desired doneness with a shorter amount of time. You can re-apply moisture as you grill with olive oil or melted butter while BBQing to prevent the meat from completely drying out.

Wet aging

On the other hand, this more a recently developed technique that relies on refrigeration and vacuum-sealed plastic. Wet-aged meat at the market has been vacuum-sealed so there is minimal to no contact with air. Wet aging allows your BBQ meat to age in its blood and natural juices. Additionally, you can try letting it age with some of your favourite marinades! Wet aging may impart a metallic or sour note to the meat. But as a bonus, you won’t be losing any of your meat’s volume to dehydration. Currently, wet-aged meat is more readily available than dry-aged ones. Before cooking, simply drain the external juices from the package. Then, season the meat and grill or pan-sear as you normally would.

Regardless a dry or wet aged steak, both of them will taste noticeably different than a steak that hasn’t been aged. Over time, you’ll be able to notice those differences just as you might with grass versus grain fed beef. This is a case where you need to trust your own palate and do a lot of steak eating.