Reference timeline charts the changes that occur during dry-aging
Day 1 to 14
During the first two weeks, evaporation is the most important change. Loss of water mass causes the beef to lose weight but intensify in flavor. Enzymatic changes start to occur after the first week, breaking down tough tissues and fibers. The beef’s flavor profile remains largely unchanged.
Day 14 to 28
Evaporation continues, but at a slower rate. Enzymes now begin to break down proteins, fats, and glycogens, transforming them into new, savory components like sugars, fatty acids, and amino acids. Beef starts to take on a nuttier, more savory profile.
Day 28 to 42
Weeks four to six are usually the sweet spot for dry-aged beef. Beef by this point has reached maximal tenderness and flavor concentration. The beef’s flavor profile, meanwhile, is well-balanced, with a depth and complexity of flavor that is robust without being overwhelming.
After week six, new flavors begin to overtake the original taste of the steak. Sharp, pungent aromas and flavors develop. Many compare the taste of steak aged eight weeks or longer to blue cheese. For some, these steaks are the height of luxury, but for others, the intensity and sharpness of flavor is off-putting.