Wet Aging

A treatment of maturing meat alternative to dry aging, is the wet one, more commonly called vacuum.

This treatment involves sealing the piece that you will want to treat in a vacuum food plastic bag, which will then be stored in the refrigerator. Wet Aging has the advantage of predicting much shorter times than dry maturation (usually 1-2 weeks or more) and can be performed on pieces of meat of considerably smaller size, often single portions, to be served to the need.

During wet maturation, enzymes break down the food fibres, leading to a tenderizing of the meat. The bag also prevents the evaporation of juices, allowing you to preserve the weight of the product and limiting the need to eliminate trimmings. This lack of evaporation, however, also results in a less concentrated flavor than meat treated in Dry Aging.

Despite almost no moisture loss during wet treatment, the steaks prepared in this way can be less juicy once cooked. This is due to the fact that the myoglobin they initially contained, is extracted from the meat during the wet maturation (the bag will be filled over time with the liquid extracted from the meat). In the dry maturation, however, the water contained in the food evaporates, but the meat manages to retain myoglobin, which helps the steaks to remain nice juicy.

The meat matured with the wet treatment has therefore the advantage of being soft in a much less time than the dry process, to better preserve the weight, but to sacrifice the taste, which will be less marked. This last effect may be a fault for some diners, but a value for others who like flavors less strong than the Dry Age and who still want to taste soft steaks.

Curiosity: A particular method of Wet Aging is to froze the meat in a sparkling water bath so that it can be almost considered a marinade. The duration of the treatment is of a couple of weeks at the end of which the meat is very soft and depending on the ripening times presents to the taste of more or less marked notes of minerals depending on the type of trace minerals dissolved in the bath.

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