What is Dry Aging?
The Chophouse Steak School Explains Why Dry-Aged Beef is So Delicious.
Dry Aged Meat: Trend or Tradition?
If you’ve perused the Chophouse menu either online or at the table, you may well have seen some of our steak selections described as “dry-aged”.
Far from a recent foodie fad, dry-aging is not a new invention at all. Before the advent of refrigeration and shrink wrapping, dry-aging was often the only way to prepare meat for storage and transport. Traditionally, the whole carcass, or cut pieces were left to hang for several weeks in a cool room.
Dry-aging went out of fashion around the 1960s as vacuum sealing became more prevalent. It’s only in the last decade or so that dry-aged has made its way back to the menus of premium steakhouse restaurants. And for good reason!
How Dry-Aging Makes Meat More Delicious
Dry-aging causes moisture to evaporate from the meat. Called desiccation, this process leads to greater concentrations of beef flavour getting trapped within the meat. Fresh red meat typically has a water content of about 75%. After dry-aging, it may drop to about 70%, meaning the meat still retains most of it juices – only they’re even more packed with concentrated flavour.
The process also causes natural enzymes to start breaking down the tough connective tissue in the muscle, resulting in a cut of beef with an exceptionally soft and supple texture.
Can I Dry-Age Meat at Home?
Dry-aging is essentially a simple process, so there’s no reason it can’t be done at home, provided you have a dedicated space to store the meat for the period of the drying process. All that’s really necessary is a mini-refrigerator large enough to hold the chunk of meat you want to dry-age. You can even buy a dedicated dry-aging fridge that maintains perfect temperature and humidity. There are plenty of how-tos available online. Just remember, you’ll need to purchase a large, high-quality piece of meat from the butcher and cut it into steaks once the aging is complete. We recommend a rib roast with the bone still in, or a whole rump camp.
Depending on the cut, the process can take between two to four weeks (longer isn’t generally recommended for a home setup).
Sampling Dry-Aged Steak at Chophouse
With our own dry-aging ‘beef bunker’ on-site at Chophouse Sydney and Chophouse Paramatta, we have no shortage of delicious-dry aged steaks for you to sample. Experience the succulent softness and mouth-watering meaty flavours of our Dry-Aged Jack’s Creek Black Angus Sirloin (400g) and Dry-Aged Riverine Premium T-Bone (500g).