Why is wagyu beef so costly at a steakhouse, and is it also worth it? We believe your money is much better spent in other places.
You don’t need a six-figure salary to go to a steakhouse … unless you’re considering the wagyu beef area, of course. Seriously, the rate of wagyu steaks on a steakhouse food selection is enough to take your breath away. The smallest wagyu steak costs more than the largest filet mignon (the most expensive routine steak on the menu). Generally, wagyu steak ribeye can run more than $200 per extra pound (that’s $12.50 per ounce!), so what offers? Why is wagyu beef so costly, as well as could this uber-expensive steak actually be worth it?
What is Wagyu Beef?
The word wagyu has a rather literal translation: “wa” implies Japanese, as well as “gyu” is cow. However that does not indicate that any Japanese cow certifies. Wagyu beef breeds are meticulously picked, and also genetic screening is made use of to guarantee only the very best are permitted right into the program. By paying a lot focus the genes, the beef becomes genetically inclined to have a higher quality than a lot of steaks, and this tender, well-marbled beef actually does taste far better than the competitors.
In Japan, just 4 types of livestock are used: Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled and Japanese Shorthorn. American wagyu programs largely utilize Japanese Black, although there are a few Japanese Brown in the mix (known as Red Wagyu in the States).
Why is Wagyu Beef so Pricey?
In 1997, Japan declared wagyu a national treasure as well as prohibited any type of additional exportation of cattle, which means they largely regulate the marketplace on wagyu beef. American herdsmans are working hard to raise the production of this sought-after beef, but just 221 pets were exported to the USA before the restriction was in place. That’s a tiny swimming pool taking into consideration that Japan utilizes children testing to ensure only the most effective genes are kept for breeding.
The other thing that keeps wagyu so expensive is Japan’s rigorous grading system for beef. The USA Division of Agriculture (USDA) categorizes beef as Prime, Choice, Select or a reduced quality. The Japanese Meat Grading Association (JMGA) goes into way a lot more depth with wagyu, rating the beef’s return and also ranking top quality based upon fat marbling, color, brightness, firmness, appearance, and also top quality of fat. The highest grade is A5, however the fat quality ratings are most importantly essential. These ratings range from 1 to 12, and by JMGA criteria, USDA prime beef would only accomplish a fat top quality score of four.
Is Wagyu Beef Worth It?
There are lots of tricks to get cheap meat to taste fantastic, so why decrease so much coin on wagyu? For beginners, it essentially melts in your mouth. The fat in wagyu beef melts at a reduced temperature level than the majority of beef, which offers it a buttery, ultra-rich flavor. All that fat additionally makes the beef juicier than a normal steak, and since it contains much more fatty acids, it additionally has a more attractive aroma.
If it’s so scrumptious, why would we suggest missing wagyu at the steakhouse? Because it’s as well rich to eat as a whole steak. Wagyu and also Kobe beef is best eaten in smaller, three- or four-ounce parts; a substantial steak would overload your taste buds. Considering its high price, you intend to value every bite!
To make the most out of your steakhouse experience, acquire a steak that you can not locate at the regional butcher shop (like dry-aged steaks). Or go all-in for a tomahawk steak or an additional honker that you might not normally prepare. (Psst! We’ll reveal you how to prepare a thick steak at home, if you’re up for the obstacle!) Save the wagyu for a dish like yakitori-style beef skewers, or standard Japanese dishes like shabu-shabu or sukiyaki that feature very finely cut beef. These meals will allow you delight in the flavor of this premium beef in smaller sized amounts (without breaking the financial institution, too).