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Know Your Meats

Meat Aging: The Great Debate

Meat purveyors often tout their aging process, but which method is best? The country's top steak chefs weigh in.

Dry Aging: Meat hangs in a dry room for a period ranging from days to months. As moisture evaporates and enzymes break down muscle fibers, deep flavors develop.

"I like stronger flavored things, and a nice dry-aged piece of steak can have a cheese-like quality, a funk that I really like."—Marc Forgione

Wet Aging: Steaks are sealed in airtight bags, marinating in their own juices.

"When you dry-age a steak, what you're losing is the blood. But blood is flavor. It's succulence and moisture, and it adds a really wonderful flavor."—Christopher Coombs

No Aging: Surprisingly, one of America's most exacting chefs is a proponent of unaged steaks.

"I want my steak to taste like steak, to have that minerality of the blood and flavor of the animal, not a fermented quality."—Grant Achatz

Related: Ideas in Food’s Wagyu Steak Project
How to Cook Steak Sous Vide
The Best Steak Recipes

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