Why Is Wagyu So Expensive
The rearing method is what makes this beef expensive.
In Japan, to qualify for the Wagyu mark, the cattle have to be reared and fed according to strict guidelines.
Breeding cattle and pregnant cows are grazed on pasture while calves are fed in a specific way, with special feed, to ensure that the meat has a lot of marbling.
Young Wagyu calves are fed a milk replacer by hand and they get jackets to wear when the weather gets cold.
They stay on a farm until they are seven months old before they are sent to auction to be sold to fattening farms.
On the fattening farms, Wagyu cattle are raised in barns and are given names instead of just a number.
They are kept on a diet of rice straws, whole crop silage and concentrate, and allowed to grow up to about 700kg, which takes about three years .
Every single cow has a birth certificate, which identifies its bloodline, so every piece of Japanese Wagyu steak can be traced back to a farm.
There is a myth that cattle are fed on beer and massaged daily in Japan but this is not true. However, they are sometimes brushed with a stiff brush to increase blood circulation and to relieve stress.
There is a Welsh Wagyu producer who does feed his cattle local craft beer and occasionally massages his cows though.
What Is Kobe Beef / Wagyu Beef
The dry aged Wagyu ribeye I got today was the best I’ve ever seen from the USA. If I didn’t know where it was from, I would have thought it was Japanese!Chef John Villa
Wagyu cattle grazing in the field.
Wagyu beef is the hottest meat in todays marketplace. It is striking because its high degree of marbling adds an extraordinary depth of flavor making Wagyu Beef the most tender, most succulent and best tasting beef one can find. In this article, we decipher the Wagyu vs. Kobe question.
DeBragga offers three different varieties of Wagyu beef. All are exceptionally fine tasting all meet the exact rigid requirements of the Wagyu Beef in Japan. Unlike other purveyors, DeBragga also dry ages Wagyu and offers a selection of Dry-aged Wagyu Rib Roasts.
I made the Wagyu Beef from Japan last night. I have never had its equal. The family loved it. Warren A. Hampton, Esq.
Is Wagyu Beef Fat Healthy
It has up to 300% more monounsaturated fat than normal beef due to the high marbling of the meat, as well as incredibly high omega 3 and omega 6 content. Wagyu beef has the lowest cholesterol levels of all meats, even lower than fish or chicken, and it contains oleic acid which is considered good for your heart.
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Why Is Wagyu Beef Illegal
Between then and the 2001 US ban, only the most absolutely elite restaurants imported the beef. The US initially banned Kobe beef cattle exporting due to fears of spreading mad cow disease in the early 2000s, and for the next decade, the bans were lifted and reinstated and lifted again, according to NBC News.
How To Thaw Wagyu Steak
While for other steak can be actually good to cook without thawing, when it comes to Wagyu, it is best to thaw it before use.
The best way to thaw Wagyu Steak is by placing it in the refrigerator and waiting for it to slowly thaw. If your Wagyu comes in vacuum packaging, don’t remove it when placed in the refrigerator.
Another way to thaw Wagyu is by using water. Again, you should keep the vacuum package and only apply Cold water. This will speed up the thawing process.
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Kobe Beef Price And Wagyu Beef Price
Kobe beef is rare and expensive, even in Japan.
Kobe beef price per pound in Japan is about $300, but you can pay around $500 for the best cuts of meat at finer establishments.
Given its scarcity and price tag, most Japanese have never tasted it, and those who have generally reserve it for a very special occasion.
In the US, you can expect to pay $50 per ounce . While wagyu can be half that.
History Of Beef Cattle In Japan
Historians record that cattle, pigs and chickens were introduced to Japan between the years 500BC and 300AD as domestic animals from the Asian continent by early immigrants . This has been narrowed down to co-incide with the introduction of rice cultivation towards the end of the third century AD . Cattle were used in mining, forestry, transportation and rice farming whilst horses were fundamentally used by the military .
Buddhist leaders prohibited the eating of flesh – especially from four legged animals. The native cattle became known as Tsuru and those in Okayama Prefecture were earning a premium in 1830 because of their physical prowess. Breeding was based on maternal traits as records were only kept of dams.
Lifting of the ban on eating meat commenced during the Meij Restoration which started in 1867. Selection of the native cattle had been on working performance and not for milk or meat production. Cattle were shipped from Kobe to Yokohama shortly after the port was opened there. The beef became popular with foreigners and was called Kobe Beef. Even after the consumption of beef was permitted, cattle were fundamentally reared for draught purposes though some feeding commenced.
High prices were paid for the crossbreds at the turn of the century, but by 1910 they were considered to be inferior for work so all crossing ceased. There had been some improvement in size and milk yield, but productivity and meat quality had deteriorated.
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Are Wagyu Cows Treated Well
There are plenty of stories out there about the special treatment Wagyu beef cows receive, including tales about how theyre massaged daily, fed beer and sake, and how soothing music is played in their holding pens. Unfortunately, these tales are unfounded, though the cows are treated humanely and with respect.
Whats The Difference Between Kobe And Wagyu Beef
Wagyu refers to any kind of beef that is from Japan, while Kobe beef , claimed to be the best steak in the world, is from a certain breed of cow that has been fed, raised, slaughtered and certified in a specific area in Japan.
There are four breeds of Japanese cow: the Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Poll, and Japanese Shorthorn breeds. Wagyu can come from any one of these cows, but Kobe beef can only come from pure Japanese blacks that have:
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What Steak To Try First
You have the whole cow to choose from and every steak is different. Depending on what you are going to cook, you will be better off with a different steak.
Your middle cuts are always a great starting point as it is something you will be able to compare. The Ribeye is going to be the most fatty, for some people, too fatty but for other it will be the most incredible flavor they have ever had. The Ribeye cap on an piece of A5 beef can be the most succulent bite of beef ever.
This is how we cook an A5 Miyazaki-Gyu Ribeye:
We do import a Bone-In Ribeye which is more similar to what we Americans use to eat. It is a thick-cut steak.
The Striploin is a little bit less fatty than the ribeye, it is also a more consistent steak. For me, this is the best steak for sharing.
That said, if there is one A4 steak to try it is The Filet Mignon. Usually the filet mignon is tender, but kind of “meh” when it comes to flavor. Not A5, when it comes to A5 steak the intramuscular fat in the Filet Mignon makes it probably the best eat out of the bunch.
Where Did Wagyu Beef Originate
Wagyu is a breed of Japanese beef cattle that come from cattle that are native to Asia. These Japanese Wagyu Beef were originally chosen to draw heavy loads based on their endurance. The four breeds of Wagyu are the Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled, and the Japanese Shorthorn. The top wagyu cattle used are Black and Brown.
Each of the four Japanese cattle has its own branches of breeds or strains. The Japanese Black strain includes Tottori, Tajima, Shimane, and Okayama. The Japanese Brown is also known as the Japanese Red and has the strains Kochi and Kumamoto.
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Domestic Wagyu And Kobe
In recent years, Wagyu cattle have been exported from Japan to countries like Australia and America. In these countries, such cattle are referred to as Domestic Wagyu, and are raised under controlled breeding programs, ensuring true Wagyu quality. In America, 90% of authentic Domestic Wagyu rate as USDA Prime, the highest possible rating afforded to beef. Cuts from these cattle typically exceed the quality of other Prime steaks. American Wagyu beef cuts include boneless strips, filet mignon, flat iron, and even burgers. These luxurious steaks will definitely impress your friends and family at your next barbecue!
Unfortunately, while Kobe beef is trademarked in Japan, that trademark does not extend outside the countrys borders. Many shady restaurants, grocery stores, and wholesalers will attempt to sell non-authentic Wagyu beef and steaks as Kobe, Kobe-Style, or Wagyu in order to charge higher prices. If youre thinking buying Wagyu, Kobe, or Kobe-style steaks, check out our Wagyu and Kobe Beef Buyers Guide to learn how to ensure your steaks are derived from authentic Wagyu breeds.
Does Authentic Kobe Beef Get Made Into Burgers
Technically, Kobe beef could get processed into burgers, but no steak enthusiast would turn delicious Kobe beef into burgers. Kobe is some of the highest-quality beef you can buy, so making it into ground beef is something no true fan would do. Kobe meat would lose its famous texture if it were to get turned into a burger patty, too. If you see burgers marketed as Kobe at the supermarket or in a restaurant, theres a good chance that its not real Kobe beef theyre selling.
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Wagyu Vs Kobe Beef: What’s The Real Difference Here’s Your Guide To Japanese Steak
Everyone has heard the praises of Japanese beef at least once while venturing out to their favorite steak restaurant. Japanese beef known as “wagyu” and, more specifically, the type of wagyu called Kobe beef, is known for being one of the highest quality meats in not only Japan but the world. If you are a meat lover, you know it’s considered the epitome of fine dining. But what, exactly, makes Wagyu vs. Kobe Beef so unique?
Why Pay So Much For Kobe And Wagyu Beef
While Wagyu beef can be found relatively easily outside of Japan, genuine Kobe is significantly harder to find. Sushisamba, a fusion Japanese-Brazilian bar with joints around the world sell the stuff for as much as a pound a gram which would make a small size steak at least £100.
So why pay so much? There are two key factors here: The scarcity of the beef and the taste. The stringent criteria, as outlined above, for Kobe beef make it harder to get from pasture to plate . The cost of importing that genuine Kobe from the field in Hygo Prefecture also adds to the cost.
The taste or experience of eating Kobe Beef is the second factor. The breed, and production method, of Kobe beef results in a steak with a high percentage of fat that is weaved throughout the steak. This gives it the beef an extremely delicate texture that melts in the mouth.
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What Is The Nutritional Value Of Wagyu And Kobe Beef
Wagyu and Kobe meat have similar health benefits of other steaks, including being rich in iron and protein. And while these steaks are high in fat, thats not necessarily a bad thing, contrary to popular belief. Much of the fat content in Wagyu and Kobe come from their excellent marbling that runs through the meat. Not only does that fat produce the rich flavor of these steaks, but it also consists of mostly monounsaturated fat, which is actually heart-healthy! The fat in these meats are also high in Omega 3 and Omega 6, which are good fatty acids that your body needs for energy and bodily processes.
Where Does It Come From
In Japan, there are four genotypes that make up the Wagyu breed Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Shorthorn and Japanese Polled.
Originally, the Japanese used Wagyu as work animals, because of their robust stature and physical endurance. Over the years, the breed has become revered to the point that in 1997 the Japanese Government declared Wagyu as a national treasure and banned exports of the cattle to other countries.
However, some embryos and live cattle had already been exported from Japan to the US, from where Australia sourced their first Wagyu genetics in the early to mid-1990s. Since then, Australian producers have now grown their cattle numbers significantly, to the extent that Australia produces more wagyu cattle outside of Japan than anyone else.
Most of the beef from this production is now exported, with a proportion being consumed here in Australia where demand is also increasing.
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Wagyu Might Not Be As Good When Eaten As A Steak
In Japan, Wagyu beef is eaten in dishes like Sukiyaki and Shabu Shabu, where the beef is sliced thinly and cooked briefly.
The UK Wagyu beef import ban was lifted in 2015 and there was a rush to put this fabulous meat on the menus.
You can also now buy Wagyu beef from specialist butchers and even some supermarkets in the UK. Just expect it to be very expensive, at around £200 a kilo.
In London, we are used to eating Wagyu steak as the premium option.
It is much more expensive than other beef but it doesnt mean that it is the best choice when you order a steak the meat might be very tender but due to the high-fat content, but it could also be a bit too fatty to eat.
Having an understanding of Wagyu beef grades will make you better informed when you next order a steak.
Why Do People Like Wagyu So Much
Wagyu beef quality is considered by four categories, says Todd Brazile, executive chef for Sodexo at Space Center Houston: Marbling, color and brightness, firmness and texture, and the quality of the fat.
You can expect Wagyu beef to be more tender and juicier than standard beef, with a nice buttery flavor, he says. Quality Wagyu has marbling, the streaks of fat that run throughout beef, within the muscle and not just around the outer edges.
“The fat is special, toomelting at a lower temperature, so that a mere perfect sliver of raw product will literally melt on the tongue, providing pure unadulterated happiness and bliss,” Brazile says.
Unlike many kinds of red meat, which have gotten a bad reputation for being less diet-friendly than white meat or fish options, Wagyu beef is actually heart-healthy, Brazile says. This makes it a great option for diners who are in the search of quality beef, without wanting to ruin their heart-healthy way of eating.
“The mono-unsaturated to saturated fat ratio is higher in Wagyu than in other beef, and the saturated fat contained in Wagyu is different,” he says.
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How Is Wagyu And Kobe Steak Consumed In Japan
Wagyu and Kobe steak are often consumed in very traditional ways in Japan. Commonly, these steaks are sliced super thin and topped on dishes of rice or noodles. Or, they may be thinly sliced and served with sides of veggies, rice, and noodles. The Japanese usually broil or boil the thin strips rather than fry or grill them, as weve grown accustomed to in the Americas.
Many American restaurants that serve real Kobe do offer some traditional Japanese-style dishes, but many also put Americanized versions of chunky Kobe steaks and grilled beef on their menus. Either way, the outcome is tasty!
It Literally Melts In Your Mouth
Thanks to the marbled texture and high percentage of fat, Wagyu beef is moist, tender, and mouth-wateringly flavoursome.
Nobody wants a sweat-inducing chew-fest when theyre chowing down on a great burger. You want to sail effortlessly through the experience and savour the rich and buttery taste of the meat with every mouthful. Thats why a Wagyu beef burger will always be superior to the regular old beef patty.
Has all this talk of Wagyu beef got you frothing at the mouth? Head over to your local Ribs & Burgers joint to try our new Wagyu beef burger range.
Try our Wagyu Original, Wagyu Big Cheese or the Wagyu Bacon & Vintage Cheddar today!
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What Kind Of Feed Is Given To Kobe Beef
Kobe cattle are generally fed the same diet as any Wagyu cattle. Each farm may have slightly different feeds for their cattle, but you can expect them to be fed with mostly a grain-based diet, including corn or corn meal, fermented sugar cane stalks, wheat, barley, soy beans, and other grains. Most animals may also consume some grasses, like straw and hay, like they would in their natural habitats, but their diets are usually fortified with grains.
Grain-fed cattle usually put on weight faster and develop more fat. This process is what leads to the marbling you expect to find in Wagyu and Kobe beef.