Pardon me, it's hanging? Where and with whom? And why?
Like many industries, the cattle industry is full of terminology that can raise eyebrows without proper explanation. Letting the beef "hang" is no exception.
The first beef (heifer #3973) has just arrived to our butcher Dave Dirks in Hastings, Nebraska. Dave, a self-described "old-school butcher" has 30 years of experience and knows quality, which is why he takes your beef through a requisite pit stop called
"hanging" prior to having it shipped out to you. The process takes about two weeks, but it's more than worth it. Here's why:
What is hanging?
Hanging is the process that occurs following harvest by which beef is suspended from a rail. It serves a couple of purposes: 1) the suspension of the beef lengthens muscle fiber and prevents "cold shortening." Any top chef will tell you that identifying cold shortening takes years of experience, and is crucial to curating the best possible beef. It is described as the stiffening of the muscles and makes meat tough and less tender. All Honest Beef is hung in a manner that prevents cold shortening, ensuring quality. 2) Hanging is the position in which most beef is aged.
What is aging?
Aging beef allows the natural enzymes in the meat to break down the tissue, thus increasing tenderness. Aging also allows the water in the meat to evaporate, concentrating the flavor to give a beefy and full-bodied taste. Un-aged beef is less tender and less tasty.
Why two weeks?
Most grocery-store beef is wet aged (vacuum-sealed and soaked in their own juices) for only 7-10 days. However, evidence shows that aging beef for less than 12 days has little effect on taste. Honest Beef ages for 14+ days to ensure premium quality.
So now you see, there’s really no need to be jealous about your beef hanging out with someone else. In the end, it will make both of you better.
Any other questions about aging? Feel free to contact us anytime!
Fire up that grill! Your beef will be at your doorstep before you know it.