What does "Aged Beef" mean?
60 day dry aged, wet aged, price per kg carcass weight … what does this mean?
Dry Aged beef is beef that has been hung, or placed on a rack to dry for a period of time in a controlled chilled environment. The key effect of dry ageing is the concentration of the flavour as well as the increased tenderness.
So as the beef "ages" it basically shrinks as moisture is evaporated from the muscle. Also the beefs natural enzymes break down the connective tissue within the muscle and this is what makes the beef more tender.
Dry aged beef is not normally sold in supermarkets due to two reasons.
Firstly the loss of weight in the beef as it loses moisture means less profit. Dry ageing can take 10 - 28 days and usually more than 30% of the carcass weight is lost as moisture. So many supermarkets and meat suppliers do not want to age their beef for long as it takes directly from their profit as all beef in generally sold as price per kg.
Secondly, the amount of space that is required. A lot of supermarket beef is only hung for a short period of time, as in a few days, so that it can be and the shelf and making a profit sooner.
Wet Aged refers to the ageing process where the beef is aged in a vacuum sealed bag to retain moisture. This is a more common way of ageing beef as there is no moisture loss, however the same principal applies of the breakdown of enzymes of the connective tissue within the beef to increase tenderness.
All Braelands Beef is hung and Dry Aged for 14 days as this is the period of time that is most suitable for our beef and we have found gives a premium result every time. We then vacuum seal all of our beef cuts (except the sausages) to continue the "wet ageing" process. This gives our customer the choice to continue to age some or all of their beef cuts.
This ageing process we follow, in conjunction with the quality cattle we produce is the perfect formula for top notch beef every time!
Below is a photo of Lou (8 months pregnant!) standing with a Braelands Hereford carcass that is hanging (dry ageing) for 14 days.