“To age or not to age, that is the question”… well our question is not exactly worthy of William Shakespear, but a very important question when buying beef on-line. It is often hard to obtain information about the beef you are purchasing when buying beef on-line. It is however, an important question when searching for that perfect cut, or creating that perfect burger.
The act of aging beef is often a misunderstood activity. As you have discovered we live in a conflicting and often confusing world of extremes. On one hand “fresh beef” is frequently advertised and boasted but yet the most expensive steak restaurants brag on steaks that has been aged up to 75 days in some high-end steak houses. Sound like a conflict? Well it is! You see, aging is the process of keeping the beef in a controlled environment for a period of time. Whereas fresh beef is the concept of processing the beef into products immediately with not time for curing.
Answer: If you want tenderness and taste, then the best answer is aged beef! Fresh beef will not be as tender nor as flavorful. When aged, the natural enzymes in the beef breakdown muscle fibers and cause an increase in tenderness and intensity of flavor. However, beef is not like wine. More is not better. Research shows that after about 14 days there is very little tenderness improvements but a great increase in cost. In short, the ideal time frame would be 10-14 days.
At JT2beef we dry age our beef about 12-14 days. This time period allows plenty of time ensure tender cuts of beef as well as intensifying the flavor for each cut. Check out this article to learn more about comparing aged beef vs. fresh beef:
Tip: Aging beef is of value, (maximize taste and tenderness) find beef products that have been aged but not aged so much that the cost overshadows the quality.
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