Dry-Aging vs Wet-Aging
All beef needs to be aged before eaten, otherwise it is tough and bland. When aging, a natural enzymatic process occurs, breaking down some connective tissue and developing richer flavours.
Wet-aging involves vacuum sealing primals (large sections of the beef), sealing in all moisture for minimum waste and thus contributing to the lower price.
In Dry-aging, whole bodies or large primals and left exposed to the air in a temperature and humidity controlled environment, allowing water to evaporate, leaving the resulting cuts with a more concentrated beefy flavour. Because of that water evaporation, dry-aged beef has more actual beef per pound of beef and more flavour per bite. The microbial process that occurs in dry aging is also a little different and it contributes to a pleasant nutty flavour. Any exposed meat not protected by fat or bone dries out and needs to be trimmed away – with less saleable beef from that trimming and water evaporation, the price has to be a bit higher to make up for loss.