07/29/2010 04:55 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Is Wet- And Dry-Aging Of Beef Overrated?

In a word: yes. But--and it's a big but--aging is crucial. The only thing more disappointing than an over-aged steak, in fact, is a steak that hasn't been aged at all.

Confused? You have every right to be. But be warned: Steakhouses and high-end butcher shops are playing off your confusion to rip you off. So without further ado, here's everything you need to know about aged beef and why good beef just doesn't need to age all that long.

Read more on Mark Schatzker at The Atlantic