Why some steakhouses

To answer that question, you’ll need to look at the other popular method of aging steak: wet aging. This process, according to Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, is the newest addition to the historical timeline of steak aging — the reason being that you need two things that the second half of the 20th century created in abundance: refrigeration and plastic.

To perfectly age a steak, the meat is chilled, vacuum-sealed in plastic, and stored in a refrigerator, which YO Steakhouse says hovers at around 35 degrees Fahrenheit. The meat can then age for as long as the chef deems necessary. For example, Gibsons Steak of Chicago ages all of its steaks for up to 120 days. This aging allows the natural bacteria and enzymes present in the steak to break down the meat, creating the tenderness that everyone looks for in a good cut.

As Cattlemen’s explains, aging in an oxygen-free environment reduces the risk of spoilage, retains moisture, and creates less waste. In dry aging you often have to cut away the spoiled and dried out outer sections to get the best meat in the center. Wet aging eliminates this problem entirely, allowing you, the eater, to technically have more steak and pound-for-pound value due to the retained moisture.

Dino S. Williams