Dry aged beef steak refers to the beef which is hung and dried after the animal is slaughtered. The drying can be done as a full carcass or the slaughtered animal can be cut into small pieces. The drying can be done either by hanging the meat or placing it in a rack. In most cases dry ageing beef is done so that the meat does not decompose and that the same can be stored for longer periods. Wet aging on the other hand refers to beef which has been stored in the freezer without draining its liquids.
Wet aged beef and dry aged beef become different in that, the process for wet beef aging normally takes a shorter period of around four to ten days while the process of dry aging beef takes fifteen to twenty eight days. In the aging process, wet aging ensures that the beef retains both its moisture and colour while in dry aging they mainly drain the moisture in the beef. While wet aged beef can be easily and readily found in any store and at all levels of the distribution chain from the producers, the wholesalers to the retailers, dry aged beef however can only be found in steak restaurants and high end butcher shops. The process of wet aging is cheaper than that of dry aging.
This is because of the items involved in the process and the time taken to carry out the process. Wet aged beef retains its appetizing colour and in the case of dry aged beef, the drying process creates greater concentration of the beef flavor, taste and also makes the meat texture be tenderer. Another main difference between the two categories is the taste in that wet aged beef tastes metallic and does not have a concentrated flavor while the dry aged beef hasa roasted and nutty concentrated flavor. The process also differs in that while wet ageing is done in vacuum sealed plastic bags, dry ageing on the other hand is done by hanging the meat or placing in on racks under walk in refrigerators with controlled temperatures.
Whether dry aged beef is better than wet aged beef, this is still an ongoing debate as it all depends on personal preferences. The preferencing can be brought about by what one prefers that is color, taste and flavor concentration, how much money one is willing to spend on the beef, and location like in the case of dry aged beef how close or how far is one from the specific storeswhere dry aged beef is sold.