Why is wagyu beef so pricey at a steakhouse, and also is it even worth it? We think your cash is better invested somewhere else.
You don’t need a six-figure wage to go to a steakhouse … unless you’re checking out the wagyu beef area, naturally. Seriously, the price of wagyu steaks on a steakhouse food selection suffices to take your breath away. The smallest wagyu steak costs greater than the largest filet mignon (the most expensive regular steak on the menu). On average, wagyu steak price can run more than $200 per extra pound (that’s $12.50 per ounce!), so what gives? Why is wagyu beef so expensive, and could this uber-expensive steak in fact deserve it?
What is Wagyu Beef?
The word wagyu has a pretty actual translation: “wa” implies Japanese, and also “gyu” is cow. However that doesn’t imply that any kind of Japanese cow certifies. Wagyu beef types are very carefully picked, and also hereditary screening is utilized to make certain only the very best are allowed right into the program. By paying so much attention the genes, the beef becomes genetically predisposed to have a higher quality than many steaks, as well as this tender, well-marbled beef truly does taste much better than the competition.
In Japan, only 4 kinds of livestock are utilized: 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 Pricey?
In 1997, Japan stated wagyu a national treasure and also prohibited any type of more exportation of cattle, which implies they greatly control the market on wagyu beef. American breeders are working hard to raise the production of this desired beef, yet only 221 animals were exported to the United States prior to the ban was in place. That’s a little pool considering that Japan makes use of children screening to guarantee only the very best genetics are kept for breeding.
The other point that maintains wagyu so costly is Japan’s strict grading system for beef. The USA Department of Agriculture (USDA) identifies beef as Prime, Selection, Select or a lower grade. The Japanese Meat Grading Association (JMGA) goes into means more depth with wagyu, rating the beef’s return and also ranking top quality based upon fat marbling, shade, brightness, firmness, appearance, and quality of fat. The highest grade is A5, however the fat high quality scores are most importantly vital. These ratings vary from 1 to 12, and also by JMGA requirements, USDA prime beef would only achieve a fat high quality rating of four.
Is Wagyu Beef Well Worth It?
There are lots of tricks to get economical meat to taste excellent, so why decline a lot coin on wagyu? For starters, it literally thaws in your mouth. The fat in wagyu beef melts at a lower temperature level than most beef, which gives it a buttery, ultra-rich taste. All that fat likewise makes the beef juicier than a regular steak, and because it consists of a lot more fats, it likewise has an extra attractive scent.
If it’s so delicious, why would we suggest avoiding wagyu at the steakhouse? Due to the fact that it’s too rich to eat as a whole steak. Wagyu as well as Kobe beef is finest eaten in smaller, 3- or four-ounce sections; a huge steak would certainly overload your taste. Considering its high price tag, you want 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 store (like dry-aged steaks). Or go all-in for a tomahawk steak or an additional honker that you might not usually prepare. (Psst! We’ll reveal 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 traditional Japanese meals like shabu-shabu or sukiyaki that feature thinly cut beef. These recipes will let you appreciate the taste of this high-quality beef in smaller amounts (without breaking the financial institution, also).