All too often you will read a menu or an ad or a review saying “ the beef is aged 21 days” or “our beef is wet aged for 30 days” or even, “ their beef is dry aged up to 6 weeks”. And the impression in some cases is that it is all the same thing. Well, nothing could be further from the truth.
As you may have already read in our section on Dry Aged Beef, we lose upwards of 50% of the original weight of a muscle when we dry age it. The humidity loss after thirty days is 12-15% and after 45 days is 15-20%. The trim loss, (the dried ends, fat and bone) is another 30-35%. For this reason Dry Aged Beef is usually about 30-50% more expensive per steak than wet aged. So when you see the word “aged” followed by a given amount of time, and there is no reference to wet or dry, you can safely surmise that this is wet aged beef. If someone was dry aging and losing 50% and charging a whole lot more, they would definitely make sure to emphasize that aspect.
Now there is nothing wrong with wet aging. Wet aging is leaving the muscle to rest in a plastic bag in a refrigerated room. All beef needs at least 3 weeks to start to tenderize. Naturally Raised Beef needs more than 6 weeks because the animals are more mature when they are processed. In fact, the reason most supermarket beef is tough is because it is not sufficiently aged, period. It costs a lot of money to sit on inventories of beef for over a month when the suppliers want to be paid in less than 10 days. Most retail stores and supermarkets are not able or willing to do this.
At DeBragga.com, we take great pride and are renowned for the aging we do, Wet aging and Dry aging. Our reputation is based entirely on willingness to do the right things to make sure you get meats like you cannot get anywhere else.