Meat Aging: The Great Debate

Pepper-and-Spice-Rubbed Rib Eye Steaks Photo © Con Poulos
By Chelsea Morse Posted January 22, 2014

Dry aging, wet aging or no aging? The country's top steak chefs weigh in.

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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