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What is DRY AGED meat? (And why does it matter?)

Many SMM farms finish their meats through a process of dry aging, which is defined as follows:

Dry-aging is a process that tenderizes meats, concentrates the flavor and produces a superior taste and texture.

Dry aging is costly because the process requires time and expertise. Meat that is dry-aged is hung for extended periods of time in a specialized cooler at carefully controlled temperatures and humidity levels.

The dry-aging process changes meat in two ways. First, moisture is evaporated which creates a greater concentration of flavor and taste. Second, the meat's natural enzymes break down the connective tissue in the muscle, which leads to more tender meat. (The dominant mode of aging meat in the United States today is 'wet-aging' primarily because it takes less time and is less expensive. Wet-aged meat cuts are vacuum packed in plastic and boxed for immediate distribution.)