Recently one of our long-time customers, who has become a good friend, reviewed our beef on Facebook. In her review she described an experience she had with her 10-year-old granddaughter. They had gone out to a restaurant and she says, ‘of course she ordered a burger.’ As she’s eating, she asks her grandma ‘what’s wrong with my hamburger?’
Of course, there was nothing wrong with her hamburger, but I knew what she meant. It didn’t taste like the Beneker Family Farms beef she was used to eating.
The difference in taste comes from the way we raise and take care of our cattle, coupled with the dry-aging process that flavors the beef before it is cut and packaged.
One question I am commonly asked is what do you mean by dry aged beef? Dry-aging is a way of preserving your beef that enhances flavor and tenderness. When your grandparents were buying beef, dry aging was the most popular way to preserve beef. There are several reasons that is not the case anymore.
One reason is that it takes time. In the dry-aging process the beef is harvested and then hangs without any kind of packaging in a temperature-controlled cooler, in our case, for 10 days. This is where the natural biochemical and dehydration processes happen which create that enhancement in the flavor of our beef. That’s the difference that our customer’s granddaughter was tasting. It’s also what creates those tender steaks that you can literally cut with your fork.
Some people have asked me, ‘why 10 days Jayme? Why not 15 or 30 or 45?’ Well we have tested this, and we have discovered that the 10-day window creates all the tenderness you would want in your steaks with the amount of flavor that our customers enjoy. Because the longer it hangs the more that dry-aged flavor comes into play.
The second reason is that the beef loses water as it hangs and that creates a loss in the number of pounds in the beef. So, it’s more expensive to dry-age.
Because dry-aging takes more time and is more expensive, larger retailers can get more total pounds from their yield and can sell beef in a faster time frame using other preservation methods. That’s why you’re not seeing dry-aged steak and hamburger at your restaurants and grocery stores unless you’re looking for it.
Beneker Family Farms beef is in a different kind of business. Just like we put in the time and attention to detail in raising our cattle, we think the investment in the dry-aging process is important in providing you with literally the best beef you have ever eaten. At a value that you can afford to feed your family. Plus it’s raised by farmers you know.
I invite you and your family to put us to the test. Build your own bundle big or small. Then purchase the exact same cuts from the grocery store and prepare them the same way. I think that you will taste just what our customer’s granddaughter is talking about.