Today we are taking a closer look at wet vs dry aging beef. German from Meat n’ Bone has brought two incredible Tomahawk steaks. One has been wet aged for 30 days and the other has been dry aged for 60 days. We go into detail about what aging does to these steaks, but also we will be able to answer all your questions. So stay tuned to see if these are worth a try and see if the process of aging changes the flavor and texture.
Throughout time, people around the world have always looked for ways to bring out and add flavor to food. Food in its natural state is usually not the most flavorful, but it can be flavorful if you alter it by cooking it in different ways, adding seasonings to it, etc. So really aging beef is just another way of transforming a regular piece of beef into something full of amazing flavors. You age it by simply letting the meat rest in a controlled environment, usually in low temperature and high humidity, this allows enzymes to work their magic and break down the tissue in the muscle making the beef more tender. The most commonly known type of aging in Dry Aged, but in recent years it has become quite popular to Wet Age beef as well.
Dry Age vs. Wet Age
Dry aged beef is usually hung or placed on racks at open air, in temperatures that are slightly over freezing and are left to age for a few weeks, it can be anything from 7 up to 120 days. The controlled environment allows for the beef to age but not rot, as it is the perfect combination to avoid bacteria and moisture. When you dry age a cut of beef, it will usually result in a concentration of flavor as it loses quite a bit of its initial water content.
The wet age technique uses the technology of plastic and refrigeration. Once the cattle is slaughtered, the cuts are placed into a plastic bag and it is vacuum sealed and they are left to rest in the refrigerator. By vacuum sealing the cut a lot of the moisture in the beef is kept, but still allowing the enzymes to do their work and as a result create a more tender cut.
So the major difference between these two techniques is moisture and ultimately the cost for manufacturers. Dry age requires more control therefore being pricier.
I am so excited to try both and really dig in to see if there is much of a difference in flavor and texture. So let’s go ahead and grill us some Tomahawk…
- FOGO Premium Charcoal, the first ingredient. Light with FOGOstarters
- Dry Aged Tomahawk
- Wet Aged Tomahawk
- Season the tomahawks with salt
- We are going to reverse sear these steaks, so get your grill ready to smoke at 225 °F
- Once your grill reaches smoking temperature, place your steaks on the grill and let their internal temperature reach to 115 °F.
- Increase the temperature to searing hot, and place the steaks on the hot hot grill to give it a great crust.
- Remove the steaks and let them rest between 5 to 10 minutes
- … and enjoy!
The cheesy smell…
We start by comparing the bones of both Tomahawks, you can totally smell and see the difference. The Dry Aged has quite a cheesy flavor and it you can see some aging on the bone, as opposed to the Wet Aged, it looks like not much change has happened.
As we taste the Wet Aged, I can fill how tender it is and it definitely has great flavor. But I start noticing the differences once I try the Dry Aged, the flavor is more intense and for the lack of a better word, funky! The closer you get to the bone the more flavorful the beef will be.
You should definitely give these a try, whether you have a Dry Aged steak at a restaurant with which you can expect a high price tag, or you can do your own Wet Aged cuts at home. Either way its is a great technique to have amazing and tender steaks. It is all about finding your balance and how much intense flavor you want to put into your beef!
Let me know in the comments if you have tried Dry Aged or Wet Aged beef, did you like it?