Dry aging is the way all beef used to be aged up until the 1970’s when vacuum packaging was brought to the meat industry.
Dry aging is a time honored, old world tradition where primal beef cuts are aged for 28-50+ days in a controlled open air environment. During this process the external surface of the meat becomes hard and envelops the meat with a crust. The beef inside the crust develops a fine rich concentrated flavor and tender texture as the natural moisture in the muscle is evaporated. When the beef has reached the desired age, the inedible outer crust is carefully removed and the meat can be cut into steaks that will have an incredible flavor.
To properly dry age beef you must have separated refrigerated space with precise temperature, relative humidity and air circulation controls along with specific UV lighting to control bacteria growth to create the perfect environment. Dry aged beef is more expensive than wet aged beef because you typically lose about 20% of the meat during the dry aging process. Dry aging is best for cuts of beef that have higher marbling such as Prime and Upper Choice grades. The most typical dry aged cuts are from the short loin (Porterhouses, T-Bone, Bone-In Strip) and the ribs (Bone-In Rib Eye Steaks).
Other factors which affect the taste and texture of beef are breed of cattle, feed and USDA grade. Proper aging of beef is always a beneficial enhancement.