Why is wagyu beef so costly at a steakhouse, and is it also worth it? We believe your money is better spent in other places.
You don’t need a six-figure income to check out a steakhouse … unless you’re looking at the wagyu beef section, naturally. Seriously, the rate of wagyu steaks on a steakhouse menu suffices to take your breath away. The smallest wagyu steak sets you back greater than the largest filet mignon (one of 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 gives? Why is wagyu beef so pricey, as well as could this uber-expensive steak actually deserve it?
What is Wagyu Beef?
The word wagyu has a quite literal translation: “wa” suggests Japanese, and also “gyu” is cow. However that does not suggest that any type of Japanese cow qualifies. Wagyu beef types are meticulously selected, and hereditary screening is made use of to guarantee just the best are enabled right into the program. By paying so much attention the genes, the beef becomes genetically predisposed to have a higher quality than most steaks, and this tender, well-marbled beef really does taste far better than the competition.
In Japan, just four types of cattle are used: Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled and Japanese Shorthorn. American wagyu programs mostly utilize Japanese Black, although there are a couple of Japanese Brown in the mix (known as Red Wagyu in the States).
Why is Wagyu Beef so Expensive?
In 1997, Japan proclaimed wagyu a national treasure and also outlawed any additional exportation of cattle, which indicates they mostly regulate the market on wagyu beef. American herdsmans are striving to increase the production of this in-demand beef, however just 221 pets were exported to the USA prior to the restriction remained in area. That’s a little pool considering that Japan makes use of children testing to ensure only the most effective genes are kept for breeding.
The other point that keeps wagyu so costly is Japan’s stringent grading system for beef. The United States Division of Agriculture (USDA) identifies beef as Prime, Choice, Select or a reduced quality. The Japanese Meat Grading Association (JMGA) enters into method more depth with wagyu, grading the beef’s yield and ranking top quality based on fat marbling, shade, brightness, suppleness, texture, as well as top quality of fat. The highest grade is A5, yet the fat top quality ratings are most importantly important. These ratings vary from 1 to 12, and also by JMGA criteria, USDA prime beef would just accomplish a fat high quality score of 4.
Is Wagyu Beef Worth It?
There are plenty of methods to obtain low-cost meat to taste great, so why decline so much coin on wagyu? For beginners, it actually melts in your mouth. The fat in wagyu beef melts at a lower temperature than the majority of beef, which provides it a buttery, ultra-rich flavor. All that fat additionally makes the beef juicier than a normal steak, and also because it includes much more fatty acids, it likewise has an extra appealing fragrance.
If it’s so scrumptious, why would certainly we suggest avoiding wagyu at the steakhouse? Since it’s as well abundant to consume all at once steak. Wagyu and also Kobe beef is finest consumed in smaller, 3- or four-ounce parts; a substantial steak would certainly overload your taste. Considering its high price tag, you wish to value every bite!
To make one of the most out of your steakhouse experience, buy a steak that you can not discover at the neighborhood butcher store (like dry-aged steaks). Or go all-in for a tomahawk steak or one more honker that you may not typically prepare. (Psst! We’ll show you just how to prepare a thick steak in your home, if you’re up for the challenge!) Conserve the wagyu for a recipe like yakitori-style beef skewers, or traditional Japanese meals like shabu-shabu or sukiyaki that include thinly sliced beef. These meals will let you appreciate the flavor of this top notch beef in smaller sized quantities (without breaking the bank, too).