Like fine wine and cheese, some things get better with age. It's the same with beef. Aging makes it tender and full of flavor. It ensures the finest and tastiest meats possible. Aging beef doesn't take years, however. It varies from about three to four weeks, but it requires controlled and properly maintained conditions.
Should All Beef Be Aged?
Yes. The only exception is ground beef. Unlike fresh seafood and poultry which should be consumed as soon as possible, fresh beef is bland and tough. Aging results in more concentrated beef flavor and more tender meat. All beef, whether it's Prime, Choice, or Certified Angus Beef, benefits from the aging process. It enhances that particular grade of meat to its highest potential and best quality.
How is the Aging Process Accomplished?
The process begins as soon as the meat is butchered. Day by day, natural beef enzymes break down a meat's muscle fibers which results in tenderization. Depending on the temperature, this process can happen at different rates. So, controlled conditions are necessary to guarantee proper aging action. Optimum temperatures range between 34°F and 38°F. Large variations in temperature during shipping, handling and storing will result in inconsistent aging and loss of nutrients and flavor. The actual aging process can be accomplished in two ways: wet-aging and dry-aging.
Wet-aging: Wet-aging is accomplished by storing cry-o-vaced beef cuts at a temperature of between 34°F and 38°F. The beef should age for a period of 21 to 28 days.
Dry-Aging: Dry-Aging is accomplished by storing exposed bone in beef cuts in a controlled environment with low humidity and constant air circulation. As a result, moisture evaporates from the beef producing a stronger flavor. The process is similar to that of a chef reducing a sauce to achieve a more intense flavor. But, dry-aging doesn't effect the juiciness of the meat.
A strict selection process, combined with a well monitored aging program has produced a product we are proud to label "Wells Gold". Our quality control manager and production manager oversee every step of this program. They hand select the highest quality subprimals to be dry-aged for a period of 18 to 21 days. They choose only those cuts grading Prime, Choice and Certified Angus Beef with the most favorable color, texture confirmation and marbling, Include "Wells Gold" in your menu. We guarantee your customers will taste the difference!