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Why Is Hanging Meat Important? Does It Change The Taste

So if you have ever ventured inside our butchery, you will of seen at some point the huge freezer inside the shop, maybe the door has bee opened at a time you have purchased yor meat from us, well if so you will by sure seen our meat hanging from metal hooks.

So lets delve further in to this and why Griffins of Stone hang there meat.


As we purchase many of our animals by the carcass to reduce waste, so you will see the animals hanging in the freezer, this process, hanging is how we age the meat in a temperature controlled room, with great air flow. Our butchery is luckily enough to have a walk-in aging room, it's basically a massive fridge with a massive fan.


Whilst the carcass is hanging, the enzymes in the meat make the fibres of the muscles softer and more elastic, this is ultimately what leads to the meat becoming relaxed and tender. Similar to the Dry Aged Process. It is basically the aging is the start the process of decomposition. Do not worry there is nothing unusal here. When the temperture and the conditions are correct, the decay will not taint the flavour of the meat. The meat also loses moisture when its hanging this is a good thing when it comes to cooking, when meat underhaung it is wet and carries too much water, this is what you see in your pan when you are cooking, as well as causes the meat to shrink when you cook it. the mositure expands during cooking stretches through the fibres of the meat, this weirdly makes the meat drier when its cooked. When the meat is hung it becomes tastier and tender it is that simple.


Oh just incase you were wondering not all meat is hung the same, but don't worry we observe our meat very frequently. Almost all meat benefits from a few days hanging in our fridge to help it relax and settle the muscles, this allows the fat to solidify, it’s pretty much liquid in a live animal. When the meat has no marbling or good fat covering, they will not not stand the lengthy hanging times, this is because they are not protected from deterioration by the fat. Pork, lambs, and veal fall into this category, we still give them four to six days hanging to allow flavours to develop safely.

It’s also worth noting that if you intend to freeze meat, this is where hung meat is the absoutle best kind, for the follwoeing reasons: Once again water and moisture are the reason, as the expansion of water in wet meat expands as it freezes meaning ice crystals will tear and push apart the fibres of the meat. When our meat is properly hung you will have less moisture, and will contain more elastic fibres that are better suited to cope with expanding ice crystals. This will mean when you defrost the meat and then cook it, less water will leach out compared to wet meat.


This is easily the biggest reason for buying meat from a butcher compared to a big retailer or supermarket, is that the meat is unlikely to be hung properly. A supermarket doesn’t hang meat as it leads to weight loss which in turn leads to money (quite literally) going down the drain. A side of beef will looses 15-20% through ‘drip loss’ during the ageing process, and weight is money for the big retailers. Lets be honest they are all about the profits. So for them hanging meat is literally money down the drain.

So there you have it! This is why Griffins of Stone Hang their meat, for us it is the most important stage of our excellent butchery. It really is all about the quality of the meat, and is the main reason to buy from our butchery. We hope you’ve learned something new reading this, and it has made you think about where your food comes from.


Do not forget to read our other blogs, for more interesting facts about our local butchery.

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