What Is Waygu Beef? And Is It Worth Buying?

Why is wagyu beef so expensive at a steakhouse, and also is it also worth it? We believe your money is much better spent elsewhere.

You don’t need a six-figure income to check out a steakhouse … unless you’re taking a look at the wagyu beef area, of course. Seriously, the cost of wagyu steaks on a steakhouse menu suffices to take your breath away. The tiniest wagyu steak costs greater than the largest filet mignon (the most expensive regular steak on the food selection). Typically, wagyu steak price can run greater than $200 per pound (that’s $12.50 per ounce!), so what provides? Why is wagyu beef so costly, and also could this uber-expensive steak in fact deserve it?

What is Wagyu Beef?
Words wagyu has a quite actual translation: “wa” means Japanese, and also “gyu” is cow. But that doesn’t indicate that any type of Japanese cow qualifies. Wagyu beef breeds are thoroughly chosen, and also hereditary screening is utilized to ensure only the most effective are allowed into the program. By paying a lot attention the genetics, the beef comes to be genetically predisposed to have a higher quality than a lot of steaks, and also this tender, well-marbled beef truly does taste much better than the competitors.

In Japan, just four sorts of cattle are utilized: Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled and Japanese Shorthorn. American wagyu programs primarily utilize Japanese Black, although there are a couple of Japanese Brown in the mix (called Red Wagyu in the States).

Why is Wagyu Beef so Pricey?
In 1997, Japan declared wagyu a nationwide treasure and also banned any further exportation of livestock, which indicates they greatly regulate the market on wagyu beef. American breeders are striving to raise the production of this sought-after beef, however just 221 pets were exported to the USA prior to the ban remained in place. That’s a tiny swimming pool thinking about that Japan makes use of progeny testing to guarantee only the very best genes are maintained for breeding.

The various other point that keeps wagyu so expensive is Japan’s strict grading system for beef. The USA Department of Agriculture (USDA) identifies beef as Prime, Choice, Select or a reduced quality. The Japanese Meat Grading Organization (JMGA) goes into method more deepness with wagyu, rating the beef’s return and also ranking high quality based on fat marbling, color, brightness, suppleness, structure, and also top quality of fat. The highest grade is A5, however the fat top quality scores are most importantly important. These ratings range from 1 to 12, and by JMGA requirements, USDA prime beef would just accomplish a fat high quality score of 4.

Is Wagyu Beef Well Worth It?
There are plenty of tricks to obtain affordable meat to taste excellent, so why decline a lot coin on wagyu? For starters, it essentially melts in your mouth. The fat in wagyu beef melts at a lower temperature than the majority of beef, which gives it a buttery, ultra-rich flavor. All that fat likewise makes the beef juicier than a regular steak, as well as since it has extra fats, it likewise has an extra attractive scent.

If it’s so tasty, why would certainly we suggest skipping wagyu at the steakhouse? Due to the fact that it’s also rich to eat as a whole steak. Wagyu and also Kobe beef is ideal eaten in smaller, 3- or four-ounce sections; a huge steak would certainly overload your taste. Considering its high price, you intend to appreciate every bite!

To make one of the most out of your steakhouse experience, buy a steak that you can not discover at the regional butcher store (like dry-aged steaks). Or go all-in for a tomahawk steak or an additional honker that you might not typically prepare. (Psst! We’ll reveal you exactly how to prepare a thick steak in the house, if you’re up for the obstacle!) Conserve the wagyu for a recipe like yakitori-style beef skewers, or conventional Japanese meals like shabu-shabu or sukiyaki that include very finely sliced beef. These recipes will certainly allow you appreciate the flavor of this top quality beef in smaller sized quantities (without breaking the bank, as well).