Why We ‘Age’ Our Beef

Hey we get it, sometimes our beef looks a little… well, different from what you might be used to in the grocery store.  So what gives, why are we selling ‘aged’ beef?  Don’t we want to provide the freshest possible cuts to our patrons?  The answer is a little complex, so please allow us to explain.  

First of all, let’s consider that aging beef isn’t something we came up with.  It’s a very common practice, but is most common in high-end steak houses and the like.  You rarely see any big grocery store meat department engaging in this practice.  There’s a couple of reasons for that, but let’s focus on our operation, and why we do in fact age our beef.  

There’s two reasons really, the first of which is tenderness.  If we were to harvest a cow, and then cut steaks directly afterward, the steaks would be incredibly tough.  Aging the beef, which is to say letting enzymes break down the muscle fibers in the meat, makes the various cuts more tender.  An aged ribeye is going to be considerably more tender than one that is not.  There is no room for conjecture here, this is some pretty hard science.  

The second reason we age our beef, or more to the point ‘dry-age’ our beef is to allow for moisture evaporation.  Now the obvious question is, does that lead to dried out steaks (which no one wants)?  Dry-aging beef does not lead to dried out steaks, quite the opposite really.  From a value standpoint, consider that when you buy dry-aged beef, you are buying more meat, and less water.  Meat is bought and sold by the pound, and in this store, we’re not charging you meat-prices for water!  You can be sure that grocery store steaks carry a considerable amount of water weight, and that is at least part of what you are paying for.  

So whether you are considering buying your beef steaks for overall tenderness, or for overall value, you can be sure that what you are buying from The Ventura Meat Company stands head and shoulders above what you will find at other retailers.  

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