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Dry-Aged Beef: Wyoming Pure's Superior Secret

Dry-aged beef ribeye tomahawk steak

At Wyoming Pure, you already know that we are committed to providing the absolute best-tasting and most-flavorful beef on the market. But what you might not know is how. Of course we use superior cattle genetics and finish our cattle on premium feed that help ensure exceptional tenderness and marbling, but another thing that really sets our beef apart from the rest is what happens after slaughter – a process called dry-aging.

Because dry-aging typically brings higher-costs and a larger amount of carcass shrinkage, most beef producers and processors choose not to dry-age their beef. Wyoming Pure, however, will never compromise the taste of our product in order to cut cost-saving corners. We proudly dry-age our beef for 21 days in order to deliver the most premium beef on the market. 

What is Dry-Aged Beef?

Dry-aged beef is beef that has been aged, uncovered and surrounded by air, for a period of time anywhere between 7 and 120 days. You might be able to tell the difference between a fresh-steak and a dry -aged steak by their color and texture: a fresh steak will be bright red and chewy, whereas a dry-aged steak will be darker in color and more tender. As the dry-aging process takes place, moisture is drawn out of the beef which reduces the size and darkens the color. As the meat loses water, the beef flavor is concentrated, bringing a more-prominent flavor. A crust forms around the meat during the process, which is removed before the steaks are packaged. The dry-aging process also also breaks down enzymes in the meat which brings a more-tender bite.

What Does Dry-Aged Beef Taste Like?

The exact flavor of dry-aged beef can depend on many factors like the type of meat, how long the meat has been dry-aged, and the humidity and temperature conditions in which it was aged. But, the flavors that best describe our dry-aged steaks are:

Sweet and Caramelized: As the steaks dry during the aging process, the sugars in the meat become more concentrated, resulting in a lightly sweeted flavor profile  

Umami: Japanese for “yummy” or “savory”, the fifth taste sensation is savory and meaty. The aging process intensifies the flavor of the beef and gives a beef-forward finish 

Tender: As the muscle tissues break down in the meat, natural enzymes and bacteria work their magic to break down tough muscle fibers and encourage the beef to develop a tender texture. 

Some dry-aged beef that has been aged for longer than 30 days begins to develop nutty, funky, or mineral tastes. Some audiences adore these flavor profiles, but we prefer the uniquely balanced flavors of our beef aged at 21 days.

Dry-aged beef steaks
Wyoming Pure dry-aged steaks before the aging crust has been removed
Steaks at various stages of the dry-aging process

The Science Behind Dry-Aged Beef:

 Meat is composed of muscle-fibers, connective tissues, and fat. The connective tissues consist of collagen and elastin, which are responsible for the toughness of meat.  

When the meat is first cut, the muscle fibers are held together by this connective tissue. However, during the aging process, enzymes and bacteria in the meat begin to break down the connective tissue, which is why dry-aged steaks turn out more tender. The constant air flow and controlled temperature keeps the beef from spoiling while ensuring superior flavor and tenderness.

How Long to Dry-Age Beef:

The amount of time that beef is dry-aged depends on the preferences of the buyer or producer. The longer a steak is dry-aged, the more-intense the flavor of the meat is. If meat spends too much time dry-aging, the flavor may become too intense and seem off to the consumer. 

7 Days

During the first 7 days in the meat aging fridge, the main structural protein of the beef will have started to break down. However, at this stage in the process it is only early days, this means the beef is still bright in color and would not be officially classified as ‘aged’ when sold. This is due to the fact that it will not have had enough time to begin developing the unique flavors and texture typical of dry aged beef.

14 Days

14 days is the minimum point in which beef can be considered dry-aged. Some moisture begins to be lost and the flavor of the beef begins to intensify. Tenderness in 14-day dry-aged meat is more significantly noticeable than 7-day dry-aged beef.  

21 Days

After around 21 days the meat will have lost around 10% of its original weight as a result of evaporation as the moisture is slowly drawn out of the beef. Although the meat will have lost weight, the flavor will have become more concentrated and intense which many people describe as having a more subtle beef flavor.  At this stage, the fat of the meat will not have shrunk yet however you may notice that the beef has started to darken. Both sensory tenderness and juiciness will be more noticeable at this stage.

30 Days and Beyond

After 30 days of dry-aging, the meat will have lost around 15% of its original weight and the flavor will begin taking on a more intense nutty flavor. The intensity of this nutty flavor will continue to deepen the longer the beef is aged.

At Wyoming-Pure, we think the 21-day dry-aging period is the sweet spot of tenderness, juiciness, and flavor without any odd nut flavors in the beef.

Dry-Aged Ribeye vs Fresh Ribeye

As you can see, dry-aging can be a time consuming and a costly process. However, this process is something that we believe sets our beef apart and because we are committed to providing the absolute highest-quality of beef, this is something that we simply will not compromise on. When you purchase from Wyoming Pure, you can rest assured that our hormone-free and antibiotic-free beef will be unmatched in flavor and unbeatable in quality. If you’d like to try out the Wyoming Pure difference, we encourage you to give us a try! We ship nationwide and offer free local delivery with a $75 minimum order.