The steps of meat ageing

Meat ageing is one of the most important stages of beef on the way to a first-class steak. There are different opinions about the best way to age meat. But whether wet or dry age, the goal is the same: a tender and high-quality steak on the plate.

Wet vs. Dry: What’s the difference?

During wet aging, the meat pieces are packed directly after cutting into special Cryovac bags and vacuumed. At a temperature of +/-0°C, the enzymes work to improve the meat. These biochemical processes within the meat fibres alter the taste and consistency of the meat. It softens and develops the typical aroma. The cool temperature slows down the ripening process making optimum use of the transport time. This method has been practiced since the 1970s. The advantage is not only the low weight loss of the meat but also the preservation of the original meat taste.

In dry aging, the meat is “hung” to age. This is a very traditional method. Nowadays the meat is aged unpacked at approx. 1-3°C and a humidity of 75-85%. In the meantime, dry aging has become much more complex than in the past. The constancy of the climatic conditions decides at this point about meat ripeness or its spoilage. A typical feature of dry aging is the loss of fluid in the meat. Taste is concentrated – also through the evaporation of water. A maturing time of 3-4 weeks is not unusual. The advantage of this method: the taste of the meat evolves as it matures and becomes very intense. The disadvantage: The butcher has to cut off a large part of the meat from the edge and dispose of it.

Well, which tastes better? Wet aged or dry Aged meat?

The preference for “Dry Aged” or “Wet Aged” should be determined by your personal taste. Meat lovers who love a natural meat taste prefer steaks from wet age ripening. Lovers of dry ripening will appreciate the Dry-Aged-Beef because they appreciate its ” refined ” taste.

“At MAREDO we have always used the wet aging method because we are committed to serving our guests a steak taste that is as natural as possible. In combination with the pure grass feeding of our cattle in South America, this creates something special,” explains Martin Ostermeier, meat expert at MAREDO.

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