The Aging of Beef

Appears in
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine

By French Culinary Institute

Published 2021

  • About
Beef is often aged under special conditions to tenderize the meat and enhance the flavor. Originally, beef was dry-aged, whereby the entire carcass (or a large piece of meat) was hung in a controlled environment with a temperature ranging from 1°C–3°C (34°F–38°F) for at least three weeks. This method, which is infrequently used today due to its cost, causes the beef to lose moisture and to develop, through enzymatic activity, a deep, rich flavor. The aged exterior must be trimmed from the carcass, and the loss of moisture causes the carcass to drop a considerable amount of weight, which means a major reduction in yield. This translates to a much higher cost to the consumer. However, it also results in exceptionally tender, firm-fleshed meat having a great depth of flavor.