Why is wagyu beef so expensive at a steakhouse, and is it even worth it? We think your money is much better invested in other places.
You don’t need a six-figure salary to see a steakhouse … unless you’re taking a look at the wagyu beef section, obviously. Seriously, the cost of wagyu steaks on a steakhouse menu is enough to take your breath away. The tiniest wagyu steak costs greater than the biggest filet mignon (one of the most costly routine steak on the menu). Usually, wagyu steak cooked can run more than $200 per extra pound (that’s $12.50 per ounce!), so what gives? Why is wagyu beef so expensive, as well as could this uber-expensive steak in fact be worth it?
What is Wagyu Beef?
The word wagyu has a rather actual translation: “wa” indicates Japanese, as well as “gyu” is cow. But that doesn’t indicate that any type of Japanese cow certifies. Wagyu beef breeds are thoroughly chosen, and also genetic screening is made use of to make certain just the best are permitted into the program. By paying so much focus the genetics, the beef becomes genetically inclined to have a higher quality than a lot of steaks, and also this tender, well-marbled beef actually does taste much better than the competitors.
In Japan, just 4 types of livestock are used: Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled as well as Japanese Shorthorn. American wagyu programs largely use Japanese Black, although there are a few Japanese Brown in the mix (known as Red Wagyu in the States).
Why is Wagyu Beef so Expensive?
In 1997, Japan declared wagyu a nationwide treasure and prohibited any kind of additional exportation of cattle, which suggests they mainly manage the market on wagyu beef. American breeders are striving to raise the manufacturing of this popular beef, but just 221 animals were exported to the USA before the ban was in area. That’s a tiny pool considering that Japan utilizes children screening to ensure only the most effective genes are kept for reproducing.
The other thing that keeps wagyu so costly is Japan’s rigorous grading system for beef. The United States Division of Agriculture (USDA) identifies beef as Prime, Option, Select or a reduced grade. The Japanese Meat Grading Association (JMGA) enters into way much more deepness with wagyu, rating the beef’s yield and ranking quality based on fat marbling, color, illumination, firmness, appearance, as well as high quality of fat. The highest grade is A5, however the fat quality ratings are most importantly crucial. These ratings range from 1 to 12, and also by JMGA standards, USDA prime beef would just attain a fat top quality rating of four.
Is Wagyu Beef Worth It?
There are plenty of tricks to get affordable meat to taste wonderful, so why decline so much coin on wagyu? For beginners, it essentially melts in your mouth. The fat in wagyu beef thaws at a lower temperature than most beef, which offers it a buttery, ultra-rich taste. All that fat additionally makes the beef juicier than a routine steak, and considering that it has extra fats, it also has a more appealing fragrance.
If it’s so delicious, why would certainly we suggest missing wagyu at the steakhouse? Because it’s as well rich to eat overall steak. Wagyu and Kobe beef is finest eaten in smaller sized, 3- or four-ounce parts; a big steak would certainly overload your taste. Considering its high price, you wish to appreciate every bite!
To make the most out of your steakhouse experience, buy a steak that you can’t discover at the local butcher shop (like dry-aged steaks). Or go all-in for a tomahawk steak or one more honker that you could not generally prepare. (Psst! We’ll show you how to prepare a thick steak in the house, if you’re up for the challenge!) Conserve the wagyu for a meal like yakitori-style beef skewers, or typical Japanese dishes like shabu-shabu or sukiyaki that include very finely cut beef. These dishes will certainly allow you take pleasure in the flavor of this premium beef in smaller amounts (without breaking the bank, also).