Wet aged? Dry aged? We could just wing it here but chose to visit the website of Washington Beef for a more official explanation. Here’s what that organization has to say:
Beef aging does not pertain to the age of the cattle but instead refers to the amount of time the meat has been stored and refrigerated after slaughter. Aging beef involves storing meat at refrigerated temperatures to enhance tenderness and flavor.
There are two choices for aging beef, wet and dry aging. Let’s explore the two methods:
Wet aging includes storing meat in sealed airtight bags under refrigeration (32°F to 34°F) up to 3 weeks. Wet aging results in traditional beef flavor and is the most common aging method.
Dry aging is less common than wet aging due to the complexity and cost. Beef is stored uncovered in a refrigerated room (32°F to 34°F) under controlled humidity and air flow for up to 4 weeks. Dry aging results in distinctive brown-roasted beefy flavor.