Why Is Wagyu Beef So Expensive And Is It Worth The Price
If you’ve ever seen Wagyu steak, or more likely Wagyu sliders, on the menu at an upscale steakhouse, more likely than not, it was one of the most if not, the most expensive food item at the restaurant. As much as Wagyu beef has a reputation of being the best steak you’ll ever eat, it’s also known for costing an arm and a leg. According to Business Insider, Grade A certified Wagyu raised in Japan can cost upwards of $200 per pound, and the individual cows that produce them are worth $30,000 at auction, or 40 times that of a typical cow sold in the U.S.
Considering how much of a delicacy Wagyu beef is, it might seem like Japan has a monopoly on the product, however, the price you’re paying isn’t just an upcharge. Eat This, Not That explains that farm-raising Wagyu cattle is a very involved, time-consuming process, one that includes genetic testing regulated by the Japanese government. Cows must have a certain DNA rating to be bred for Wagyu beef, and it doesn’t end there. Business Insider elaborates that Wagyu cows undergo a two-year fattening process where they are fed “a mixture of fiber and high-energy concentrate” and carefully monitored until their body mass reaches 50% fat.
Is Wagyu Beef Worth The Price
Anyone who can appreciate a good steak will no doubt find Wagyu beef worth the price. The difference between any regular cut of beef and its Wagyu equivalent lies in the , which comes from intramuscular fat cells. “These cows were bred for physical endurance, giving them more intramuscular fat cells,” Business Insider states. “The fat is distributed more evenly throughout their muscle, which is why Wagyu beef looks pink and tastes so tender.” Regular beef, on the other hand, isn’t cultivated in a way that produces nearly as much marbling, and when cooked, doesn’t yield the same results.
The reason for this, as MasterClass explains, is that during the cooking process, the marbled fat melts into the muscle fibers of the steak, allowing it to retain more moisture and flavor. Wagyu beef has much more of this. Too much fat might seem like a bad thing, but MasterClass shares that Wagyu beef fat contains higher levels of a heart-healthy fatty acid called oleic acid. Not to mention, Wagyu beef is also higher in monounsaturated fats, rather than saturated fats found in other red meats . If you want to enjoy steak to its fullest possible potential, Wagyu is certainly worth its price tag.
Like Steak But Not Sure If Prime Is Worth The Money
I recently conducted a blind taste test of USDA Choice, USDA Prime, Certified Angus, and Grass-fed ribeye steaks.
Prime is definitely the most expensive of those 4, but did it taste the best? Find out my results in this recent article and brief video where youll see it all unfold!
Just click that link to see it on my site!
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Choosing The Right Cut Of Steak
Cuts of steak can be broken down into three sections. Startingon the upper back and moving down to the mid-back are the ribs, theshort loin and the sirloin.
- The rib area contains cuts such as the Rib-eye Steak, the RibRoast, and the back ribs. This is the least tender section of thethree.
- The short loin area produces the T-bone, Top Loin Steak, Tenderloin and the Porterhouse.
- The Sirloin gives the Sirloin Steak, and the Top Sirloin.
- Other steaks like the chuck, round, and flank come from those areas and tend to be tougher cuts of meat.
- Strips steaks, such as New York Steak are cut from the T-bone area.
If you are looking for the most tender cut of beef, it is thetenderloin. Other cuts from this area are filet mignon,chateaubriand and tournedos. Though these are the most tenderthey are also less flavorful.
The rib-eye, or rib steak can be a little less tender but far moreflavorful. Small streaks of fat throughout the meat mean moreflavor. So with more marbling you get less tenderness but moreflavor.
Finding a balance between the two, gives you the best steak. Top loin and sirloin are slightly less tender but have more flavor thantenderloin. With cooking cuts of meat such as these there is noneed to marinate or even cook past medium rare.
Some of the most flavorful but least tender cuts of beef aretri-tip or flank steaks. These are also favorites on thebarbeque. Your best bet is to marinate these cuts beforecooking. Also, leave the fat on until after the meat is cooked.
Trusted By Families And Restaurants Since 2002
Recently we were given several packages of Wagyu beef slice. I made Sukiyaki for my grand-kids and they just loved the meat. They usually dont eat beef but they enjoyed it very much. I wish we can buy their meat in Toronto. Their barley fed pork loin was also very tasty. Thank you.
My family have been going here for a few years now, and they have always been super friendly and very accommodating to our large purchases! I now go here with my bf, and it is the same quality food and service that we look forward to every week. We pretty much will not go to any other places to buy our ‘meats’ because it just taste like… gross compared to Nikuya’s. Alot things though do get sold out fast – so it is a bit hard to get the yummy stuff we want.
Bought kurobuta sausage, sliced kurobuta pork belly, wagyu beef shabu shabu. Pricey but not out of line with wagyu from T& T. Excellent selection, fresh, well presented and handled. My 1st time there, friendly helpful salesperson answered all my questions with patience. Easy parking. Small place but packed full of yummy. Highly recommend. Will be back.
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What Grade Is Japanese Wagyu Kobe Beef
All of our Japanese Wagyu Kobe Beef Steaks are accompanied by original certification, which may be provided upon demand. On the meat quality score standards, this is the Worlds greatest Beef Steaks, which is A5 Grade Japanese Kobe Beef that has consistency as well as taste, juiciness, and tenderness on the meat quality score standards.
How To Enjoy Kobe
Kobe is a delicacy, prized for its luscious marbling and extraordinary richness. Bite-sized portions are best, and, with just a simple seasoning of salt, youll find that the intense umami that Japanese A5 Wagyu is known for carries all the flavor you need. Cooked hot and fast in the traditional Japanese cooking style, the fat from the Kobe will render out and help create a perfect, crisp sear on the outside, with a supremely tender, ultra-marbled middle giving you the perfect symphony of textures. Finish with sea salt, a touch of soy sauce and wasabi, or even miso paste and a fried garlic chip for the most elevated eating experience. Learn more about How to Enjoy Kobe at home.
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Finding Cheap Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef is actually not too expensive within the city of Kobe, though no matter how you spin it, its going to be a nice meal out. Outside of Kobe city the price increases with the distance, and precious little of the meat is actually shipped out of Japan. Other Japanese wagyu cows are also made into very delicious Japanese steaks, though thats another hunt entirely.
So in terms of the most expensive beef in the world, affordable means less than $60USD per person its not breaking the bank, but its not ramen, either. And considering how expensive regular Japanese beef is, a $50USD or $60USD Kobe beef lunch is not hilariously out of range, though I cant deny its splurge status.
Finding affordable Kobe beef in Japan is all about location, location, and timing. First, you need to get over to the city of Kobe, as this is where the most governmental regulation can be found. Theres no sense in shelling out for Kobe beef if you cant ensure its authenticity. The next step is one youll probably already have done: go to the Sannomiya neighborhood, the bustling downtown area surrounding Sannomiya railway station.
Best Homestyle Butcher: Dartagnan
DArtagnan has incredible range of other meats
Website is a little confusing
DArtagnan has long been a favorite of chefs and committed carnivores, thanks to its range of high-quality meat and wild game sourced from small, responsible farms and ranches. Its Wagyu comes with the same ethosyou can buy both USA-raised Wagyu and top-grade Japanese Wagyu from the prized Black Kuroge breed of cattle , raised using traditional methods. Both options are hormone-free and antibiotic-free. You can find a range of steaks, ground beef, and even an Italian-style Wagyu beef bresaola. DArtagnan is, frankly, hard to beat.
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What Is American Kobe Beef
American Kobe beef is a type of beef that is raised in the United States.
It is not an official breed, but rather a marketing term used for cattle who have been born and raised in America and are fed only grain-based diets.
The meat from these cows has very little marbling, which gives it a pale coloration when cooked.
This means that American Kobe Beef will be much less tender than other types of beef such as Angus or Wagyu.
However, this does not mean theyre bad!
In fact there are many benefits to buying American Kobe Beef because they are often organic and hormone free due to the regulations set by the USDA .
Where To Buy Kobe Beef
Despite the promises that have been made, it is necessary to state the cold, hard reality that authentic Kobe beef is only offered at EIGHT restaurants throughout the whole United States. Its not accessible on the open market or in grocery shops, unfortunately. It is not located in the frozen food section.
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Can’t Find What You’re Looking For
Kobe Beef is instantly recognized throughout the world as an icon of Japan and as one of the culinary worlds most precious and luxurious gourmet food items. Simply put, Kobe Beef is Japans most luxurious food.
The aura surrounding Kobe Beef stems from its meticulously controlled quality standards and zealously guarded distribution. The Kobe Beef Association exerts control over every aspect of its creation.
Every cut of certified Kobe Beef originates from 12 super father Tajima bulls who are chosen by the Hyogo government, and whose offspring are raised by a handful of farmers within an officially designated geographic region. The best of these offspring, which are rated A4 or A5 by sanctioned auctioneers, receive the Japanese chrysanthemum Nojigiku-han mark a symbol of authenticity.
The Kobe Beef Association qualifies and hand-approves auctioneers, distributors and retailers, including Crowd Cow, to sell this small amount of luxurious beef. Read more on our blog.
To officially qualify as Kobe Beef, the cattle must be graded through a meticulous 8-point certification process. Cattle must be of the Tajima bloodline be born and raised in Hyogo prefecture by farmers who are nominated and accepted into the Kobe Beef association be professionally rated by member organization inspectors and must achieve at least an A4 or A5 score for meat and marbling quality. At Crowd Cow, we offer only the upper end of Kobe Beef, A5 rated cuts. Read more on our blog.
Flavor Texture Fat Content And Tenderness
The Porterhouse gives you the best of both worlds on the flavor front. With mild-tasting tenderness of the Fillet pitched against well-marbled buttery Strip steak.
Overall, its not heavily marbled, and it does not have a fat cap, so it is not overly fatty. But it offers enough marbling to make it the right side of flavorful.
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Best Variety: Chicago Steak Company
Courtesy of Chicago Steak Company
Does not sell Japanese wagyu
Website can be confusing to use
The Chicago Steak Company dates back to 1865 and offers a select choice of American and Australian wagyu. The companys wagyu is graded A4 or A5, depending on the cut, and offers an extra touch of luxury for those looking for something beyond the typical USDA Prime beef. Each cut of beef is individually wrapped, vacuum sealed, and individually registered with a number to guarantee quality.
All items arrive in a black and gold gift box, flash frozen, and shipped in a reusable insulated cooler with dry ice.
Beyond beef, the company also sells other meat including pork, chicken, sausage, ribs, and other additions like mac and cheese and bread pudding. Gift boxes are available, making them an easy choice for someone who loves quality steak.
How To Cook And Eat Wagyu Steak
So lets say you want to experience what all the hubbub is about, and youre ready to shell out for some good wagyu beef. What do you choose? And what do you do with it? Heres what we learned from our tasting to help guide you through the process, and, hopefully, make sure you get a great experience for your money.
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What Is The Difference Between Kobe And Wagyu Beef
Though the terms Kobe and wagyu are often used interchangeably, especially for marketing purposes in the U.S., they do mean different things. Wagyu is a Japanese phrase that translates to Japanese cattle the word wa means Japanese and gyu”means cow.
In Japan there are four wagyu breeds: the Japanese Black, the Japanese Brown , Japanese Shorthorn, and the Japanese Polled. Kobe beef comes from a specific breed of cow, the Japanese Black, raised in the Hyogo Prefecture region of Japan, where the city of Kobe is. Thus, all Kobe beef is wagyu beef, but not all wagyu beef is Kobe beef.
How To Cook It Steak On A Grill Or Smoker
The Porterhouse should be cooked at super high heat on an open grill. With that being said, it is a big, expensive piece of meat, so it needs care and attention.
The best way to achieve this is to use a multi-zone method. Once the grill is up and running follow our simple guide for one of the best Porterhouse steaks you will ever taste:
- Remove the steaks from the fridge at least an hour before you want to cook them. They are thick and will need that time to get to room temp.
- Make sure your grill grate is clean. Give it a good brush to remove old food debris and then lubricate it with a folded paper towel dipped in oil.
- Season with plenty of salt and pepper. This adds flavor and helps ensure a great crust.
- Now place on the grill at the hottest end and sear for approximately 2 ½ minutes. Youre aiming for a deep brown color, with a small amount of black char to the edges.
- Next, move the steak to the center zone, turning it through 90 degrees to achieve that eye candy criss-cross effect. Cook for a further 2 ½ minutes or until you see beads of blood and juice forming on top of the meat.
- Now flip and return to the hot zone. Cook for 2 ½ minutes and return to the center zone again, with the twist, to get the grill marks we want. If you get flare-ups, move the meat to the safety zone until the flames die down.
Remember: the steaks rise another 5 degrees once removed from the grill.
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Why Can You Eat Steak Rare But Not Chicken
Beef doesnt carry many parasites which can infect us, so raw beef is safer to eat than other meats, it is not 100% safe though, as bacteria can still be on the surface. Rare beef on the other hand is safe to eat. This is because beef meat is extremely dense, and bacteria cannot penetrate and infect the meat.
Is Kobe And Wagyu The Same
Due to the fact that Kobe beef embodies everything that makes Wagyu superior! It is often regarded as the worlds most profusely marbled steak. Upon slaughter, animals must follow certain specifications in order to be labeled Kobe. Only 3,000 head of cattle qualify as real Kobe cattle each year as a result of these severe requirements, making them extremely rare.
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Do You Know The Difference Between Kobe And Wagyu Steak Plus How To Tell If Your Restaurant Is Lying About Where Their Beef Came From
Kobe beef is the worlds most famous red meat, but also misunderstood, extremely rare, and cloaked in mystery. Kobe is an actual place, and its beef is one regional style of Japanese Wagyu , as Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon is to all American cabernet. Japanese Wagyu, including Kobe, is more widely available in this country than ever before, which is good news for food lovers. The bad news? It is still scarce, and only a sliver of the many restaurants claiming to serve it offer the real thing. Instead, many serve whats known in the trade as wangus, a hybrid of domestically raised Wagyu breeds and common Angus and call it Kobe. Some dont even bother using any Wagyu breed at all.
An Inside Edition report a few months ago publicly shamed New York establishments Old Homestead Steakhouse and Le Bernardin for having Kobe on their menus that wasnt Kobe . After upscale brands including McCormick & Schmicks settled class action lawsuits for erroneously claiming to serve high-priced Kobe beef, many menus switched to the vaguer Wagyu. Despite the outcry, consumers still dont often know the difference between the terms.