Certified Angus Beef's Retail Wizard David O'Diam Explains the Differences of Wet vs Dry Aged BeefTue, 29 May 2018 10:13:48 CDT
When beef is harvested, it’s not typically delivered to a consumer’s plate in the same day. The holding process it goes through-called aging-serves an important purpose.
“It improves the palatability, or how the beef is going to taste. So, when we look at palatability there’s really three main components, and its tenderness, juiciness and flavor,” said David O’Diam, director of retail for Certified Angus Beef LLC. “So, obviously the tenderness component of that is really paramount within there, with flavor falling really closely behind. So, as we look if there’s a way to improve that tenderness, it’s going to improve the way that beef ultimately eats and consumer satisfaction there in.”
To watch a short video clip featuring David O’Diam, director of retail for Certified Angus Beef LLC, explain the reasons we age beef, the different types of aging and their cost implications, click or tap the PLAYBOX in the window below.
There are two types: wet aging, which means leaving the product in a bag to retain moisture. And dry-aging, where it is exposed to the open air of a cooler.
“So, really what it does is, it concentrates that flavor; meat is about 75 percent water, so it allows it to dry out a little bit,” O’Diam said. “Think of a bottle of wine making it into a wine reduction sauce, so we take that flavor that’s in the full bottle and really reduce that down to where the flavor becomes much, much more intense in just a smaller format. Same concept within dry aging. Both achieve equal amounts of tenderness but just different flavor profiles are developed throughout that process.”
Most beef served at restaurants has been wet-aged around 21 days. Dry aging is far less common but is a growing trend.
“Again, the vast majority of aging is done at foodservice and again this is the vast majority again of which is being wet - we are working with some retailers in trying to distinguish themselves from the other folks,” he explained. “And we truly we look at foodservice as kind of the signal carrier or the flag carrier if you will, in regard to where the industry goes, so is what we see taking place at foodservice, typically a few years behind that would be retail.”
It’s all a balance. Beef marketers need to look at what their customers want, while also giving it to them at a price they will pay. Dry-aging does add to the ticket.
“We are already taking that fairly expensive piece of meat and drying that down,” concluded O’Diam. “Drying it down means a little bit less weight, which means price goes up a little bit higher. So, it sometimes can be a little bit of a cost inhibitor there, but none-the-less the end product is pretty special.”
Source - Certified Angus Beef
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