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Everything is Better with Time - Dry Aged Beef

December 03, 2018

Oak Barn Beef - Dry Aged Beef

Everything is Better with Time - Dry Aged Beef

My excitement grows as the holidays draw near because I know there will be ample time to connect with family and friends. I think we all tend to have a favorite relative that we especially look forward to talking to at family reunions.

For me, that was my great uncle George, the most charming 94 year-old to ever walk the planet. He would always share stories from the “good ole’ days” that ranged from him skipping school to go fishing to pranking his elementary teachers.

With those stories came some even greater quotes that were intended to expound upon George’s life lessons. Here are a couple that may sound familiar to you . . .

“We used to walk to school uphill both ways in the snow and we knew we had it better than most.”
Lesson: Stop complaining and find gratitude amidst the obstacles.
“You can wish in one hand and spit in the other, and you see which one fills up faster.”
Lesson: Dreams are never fruitful without hard work.


But, by far, George’s favorite saying was, “Everything gets better with time and technique.”

For the most part, George was referring to his seemingly unbeatable card game winning streak, but I find there is a lot of truth in that sentiment. With time comes maturity, wisdom, more experiences and therefore better technique. Time is a variable that cannot be substituted and creates the biggest impact on all areas of our lives. In fact, the impact of time even follows us to the food we find on our plates.

If you’ve been following along with Oak Barn Beef, you have probably already asked yourself,

“What exactly is dry-aged beef?” Well, dry aging is utilizing time and technique to make the highest quality beef for you and your family.


Here's the process:

  1. To go through dry aging, all of our beef is placed in a climate controlled room for 14-21 days to allow naturally present enzymes to break down collagen.
    1. Collagen holds muscle fibers together and causes beef to toughen, so when it is broken down, it is much more satisfying and easy to chew (also known as tenderness).
  2. This process also encourages water evaporation which creates a more intensified flavor.
  3. Beef that goes through dry aging becomes much more tender and has a richer flavor profile than beef that does not go through that process.

Normally, you would need to go look at a menu at a fancy steakhouse to get that high-quality beef. Now there’s nothing wrong with wanting to get all dressed up for a nice dinner, but through Oak Barn Beef you not only provide your family with high-quality protein that has been dry aged for maximum flavor, but you can enjoy and customize the experience at your own home!

And, as George always used to say, “There’s nothin’ like staying home for real comfort and conversation.”

FAQS about Dry Aged Beef:

What is the best cut of dry aged beef?
The best cut of Dry Aged Beef is up to your personal preferences and love for beef. The most common steak favorites are:

There are a few things you should consider when choosing which dry aged beef cut you should try:

    • If you like a smaller portion of beef, Filet Mignons or New York Strip Steaks will fit you best! 
      • Filet Mignons are known for being the MOST tender cut of beef. Dry Aged Filet Mignons (also known as Tenderloins) are a muscle in the loin of the animal that does not have a lot of locomotive power, which means it is not used a lot. It is going to be so much more tender because of this.
      • New York Strip Steak is also known for being extremely tender. This cut is still hand cut to be 1.25" thick and around 0.85 pounds. It will not be a large meal like a Ribeye or T-Bone.
  • Amount of Lean
    • Depending on your diet, some people prefer more lean cuts than well marbled cuts. Cuts with high marbling will have the most flavor and juicy taste, but the cuts with less marbling will be more lean.
      • *Marbling= Intramuscular fat that is the white in the middle of the steak
      • More Marbling:
Marbled Dry Aged Beef
      • Less Marbling:
All of our beef cuts are dry aged for 21-days. This process is done at the butcher and it helps the beef become more tender and flavorful than the start of the process. Take the factors listed above into consideration when choosing which Oak Barn Beef Dry Aged Beef you want to order!

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Is dry aged beef really better?
You may be asking yourself if dry aged beef really is better than the typical grocery store beef. The answer is YES!

Dry aging beef is like aging a fine cheese or wine- the lucrative process gives the beef time to mature to truly bring out its best self.

The natural enzymes in the beef break down tough muscle tissue, which results in a much more tender and flavorful beef cut.

Take it from our customers:

  • Huntington Beach, CA:

    • There is a huge difference between Oak Barn Beef and all the others. Oak Barn Beef wins it hands down! There is no comparison to the quality & taste of Oak Barn Beef!
  • Brooklyn, NY:

    • For dinner, tonight, I threw an Oak Barn t-bone on the grill... and it was AMAZING! .{..} It was so tender and flavorful... so great. Whatever you are doing on your ranch, you are doing it right!
  • Lincoln, NE:

    • Hannah is top notch and so are her products. She takes the best care of her customers and makes sure the quality of her product is 100! We love Oak Barn Beef. That says a lot as we raised our own for years and needed a new provider after leaving our ranch!

Best Dry Aged Beef

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How does dry aged beef not spoil?
Since Dry Aged Beef is a method to tenderize the beef, a large cut of the beef is put through the lucrative dry aging process to avoid contamination. Dry Aging Beef requires a large cut to ensure the whole cut is not lost.

During the Dry Aging Beef Process:

During the Dry Aged Beef process, the meat has an outer surface that contains microbial growth and become dried out throughout the dry aging beef process. As long as this is sealed and in a stable, clean, and temperature/humidity controlled condition, the meat cannot be penetrated by the microbial growth.

After the Dry Aging Process:

When the beef is done with the dry aging process, the exterior crust is cut off and the inner portion is edible and absolutely delicious. Dry Aged Beef has an intensified flavor, aroma, and a tender texture. Some say the dry aged beef can be cut with a fork because it is so tender.
Preparation of Dry Aged Beef:
In addition to the interior part of the beef being safe, during the beef preparation process (grilling dry aged beef) the beef can be safer when cooked to the proper temperature. Here's a chart to show the proper cooking temperature of beef steaks:

Dry Aged Beef Cooking Temp

When properly prepared and cut, Dry Aged Beef is 100% safe and even more delicious!


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Which steak is better dry aged or wet aged?

Oak Barn Beef Dry Aging Process:

After the animal is butchered and before the beef is cut into individual cuts, the carcass is hung, so natural enzymes in the meat have a chance to eat away some of the muscle tissue. Like a good cheese maker, butchers watch the beef to give it time to "mature." 

Most of the time, butchers only dry age the primal cuts (which are the high end steaks) but we dry age the whole carcass because we believe that your family deserves more than just high quality steaks, but high quality roasts and ground beef, too! Ideally, dry aging takes place in a climate controlled room where the humidity and temperature is carefully watched to make sure the conditions are perfect for the natural enzymes!

Because of the extra time the meat has to mature, dry aged beef is a darker red color and not the cherry red you see in the grocery store. Most grocery store meats are given 7-10 days to "mature" but experts say that dry aging makes the most difference between 17-28 days. We dry age all of our beef between 21-28 days, which is what makes it the best dry aged beef.

Wet Aging

Wet aging was developed along with advances in plastics and refrigeration. By wet aging, beef cuts are vacuum sealed in plastic. They are often shipped to their destination (grocery store, restaurant, etc.) after this process.

Wet aging is what happens in the 4-10 days between slaughter and consumption while the meat is vacuum sealed. The reason this is aging is because the 4-10 days gives the enzymes enough time to tenderize the meat. Wet aging is better for the packers because there isn't weight loss in the meat, like there is in dry aging. It is also less costly for the manufacturer since the meat does not need to be stored/monitored.  If wet aging is more economical for the manufacturer/processor, that results in a lower price for the consumer, too. This is why wet aging is less expensive than dry aged beef most of the time. 

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Is Dry Aged Beef or Wet Aged Beef better? 

If you are still wondering, "but which is better? Dry aged beef or wet aged beef?" 

There are evident differences between the two kinds of meat. A lot of times, they are described a difference in flavor of the beef.

  • Wet aged beef can be described as a slightly metallic and a mild flavor.

  • Dry aged beef is known for being extremely tender and having an intensified beef flavor.

The majority of people are most familiar with a wet aged beef flavor, since that is the meat you purchase at the store. But if you are a person who likes premium beef, dry aged beef is something you should try. 

Dry aging beef is like aging a fine cheese or wine- the lucrative process gives the beef time to mature to truly bring out its best self.

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Can you age your own steak?

Is dry aged beef safe?

Does dry aged beef smell?

Do dry aged steaks cook faster?

Does aged meat have mold?

Can you freeze dry aged beef?

Can you age ground beef?

What does dry aging do to a steak?

Is dried beef healthy?

At what temperature is beef dry aged?

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