Aged beef is highly popular due to its tender consistency and intense flavor. These qualities take form over time, as the moisture evaporates and the natural enzymes present in the cut of meat break down the connective tissue. Aged meat may be wet-aged over a few days and vacuum-packed, or dry-aged over a longer period of time.
Dry-aged beef is hung up during the drying process. After approximately 11 days, a significant improvement in tenderness and flavor intensity is noticeable, and this increases for several days afterwards. Many restaurants choose to dry-age beef for 20-30 days, and opt to dry-age only premium cuts of meats, which contain even fat distribution known as marbling. At all times, the room temperature and humidity must be strictly controlled to avoid spoiling and to facilitate the optimal aging process.