Dry-Aged Beef: What’s all the fuss about?

Oct 22, 2020 | Meat and Seafood

Since our founding, we have prided ourselves on the quality of the premium meats we sell at our butcher shop in Aurora, Ontario.

We know that quality comes from selecting the right partners, getting the right cuts, and experimenting with innovative methods of enhancing flavour. That’s why we’re passionate about bringing dry-aged beef to York Region.


What is dry aged beef?

Dry-aged beef refers to the process of taking a piece of meat and putting it into a controlled, open-air environment where its flavours will be enhanced and intensified.

While all meat is dried to a degree, dry aging takes things to the next level.


How does the dry aged process work?

It’s science, really.When meat is exposed to air, moisture is extracted from the meat over time. As the meat begins to dry out, the natural enzymes in the beef begin to break down, allowing the muscles to become more tender.

Bacteria will also begin to form. However, this is nothing to fear! Think of it like an old cheddar. Taste is enhancing with each passing day!


How long does it take to dry age beef?

Length of time results in beef taste that appeals to individual preference.

Ideally, we like to age our beef for 30 to 35 days and find that this results in a tender and flavourful cut; longer aging times will continue to develop the complex meat flavour of the beef and we are happy to customize and age for longer, if desired.


Does dry aged beef really taste better?

You’re likely wondering how dry aged beef tastes in comparison to regular beef. You also might be wondering if dry aged beef is really worth all the time and effort that goes into the drying process.

If so, we invite you to experience it for yourself, before you make any assumptions.

“A premium feature of dry aged beef is that you have to ensure that you are using only the highest quality grades of meat, as the process requires meat with a large, evenly distributed fat content (AAA or Prime). This higher marbling content allows the aging process to penetrate the product evenly and create that cream flavorful taste.” — Norpac Beef

When it comes to beef, the longer you let it age properly, the stronger the taste will become. It’s up to your unique palate to determine how intense you want your beef to taste.


How does dry aged beef not spoil?

While the inside of the beef stays moist and red during the drying process, the outer crust of the beef dries, protecting the meat inside.

The key to proper drying is in keeping conditions consistent and controlled. In other words, we want the meat to begin to decompose, but not begin to rot. Humidity, air flow, and temperature must all remain balanced to produce the perfect dry aged beef.

“Sitting in this perfect aging environment allows for natural enzymes to break down the connective tissues in the beef that are responsible for toughness. When these tissues are neutralized, it creates a product that is not only very consistent in nature, but also unparalleled in tenderness.” — Norpac Beef


How do I cook dry aged beef?

For those ready to try dry aged beef for themselves, there are a few things to know about cooking it at home. While you can cook the steak just like a regular steak, skip out on the seasoning. Your dry aged beef will have enough flavour on its own.

Dry aged steaks will also cook faster, so be sure to keep an eye on them.


Where can I buy dry aged beef?

Maunders Marketplace, your Aurora butcher! Call ahead to put in your order.


Norwich Family Farmed Beef at Maunders Marketplace

Norwich has selected small family run beef farms to create a hormone and antibiotic free product without compromising any of the superior flavour and tenderness of a great beef product.

Norpac selects only the cream of the crop to fit into the Family Farmed Beef program. The beef is then dry aged to enhance both flavour and tenderness.

Cuts available at Maunders Marketplace include: Prime Rib, Tomahawk Steak, Porterhouse, T-Bone, and Sirloin. Special Appearances – Tenderloin, Tri Tip and Steak Tail.


Marvel at Maunders Marketplace

If you have any questions about our dry-aged beef, be sure to let us know! We’re here to discuss all things beef with inquiring customers.