Some Steakhouses Let Meat Sit Out For Weeks To Grow Mold, And They WANT You To Know

August 12, 2015

Did you know that upscale steakhouses let their beef sit out for several weeks before serving it? There's actually a great reason why, as terrible as that sounds.

steakhouses let meat grow mold
Photo: The Saloon Chicago

These steakhouses use dry-aged beef, where the beef is hung on a rack to dry for several weeks (15 to 28 days). This process evaporates moisture in the muscles and promotes enzymatic breakdown of connective tissue which together yields very flavorful meat.

Just wait, it gets even better.

The process of dry-aging usually also promotes growth of certain fungal (mold) species on the external surface of the meat. But don't worry, this does not cause spoilage. The mold actually forms an external "crust" on the meat's surface, which is trimmed off when the meat is prepared for cooking.

These fungal species complement the natural enzymes in the beef by helping to tenderize and increase the flavor of the meat. The genus Thamnidium, in particular, is known to produce collagenolytic enzymes which greatly contribute to the tenderness and flavor of dry-aged meat.

Science is awesome.

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