If you have seen Wagyu beef on such a restaurant menu, you’re probably aware of its high price. So, what exactly is Wagyu beef? To understand the basics of Wagyu beef, you’ll need a short crash course in the Japanese language and culture. “Wa” means Japanese, and “gyu” refers to cow, so Wagyu translates to “Japanese cow.” So, why are Japanese cows so much more expensive than their American cousins. What makes Wagyu beef such rare meat? This article is dedicated to helping you understand what is wagyu beef, why it is such elite meat, and how much does Wagyu beef cost?
What Is Wagyu Beef
Wagyu refers to four different Japanese cows: Kuroge, Akage, Nihon Tankakon, and Mukaku. These cows are bred to have more intramuscular fat stores in their meat, and the protein is scattered more uniformly in their body.
Wagyu is rated based on how much meat the animal can produce and whether much marbling. Therefore, you can only sell A3-A5 Wagyu in the market.
The farmer generally breeds the cows until they reach ten months, after which they are transferred to a fattening farm. They are held in farmlands and nourished a combination of fiber and a high-energy supplement made from rice, grain, and pasture until they become 50% fat. This fattening process affects how much does Wagyu beef cost. Kobe beef, which is made solely from steers or emasculated bulls, is one of the most valued Wagyu.
Healthy and Tasty Wagyu Beef Meat
Four different breeds of cow produce wagyu beef:
- Japanese Black – Originally bred as a working animal, Japanese Black beef is valued because of its dense marbling.
- Japanese Brown – A slimmer, healthier cattle breed with a gentle, mild flavor.
- Japanese Shorthorn – Although also slim, Japanese Shorthorn is high in inosinic and glutamic acid, which gives the beef a flavorful taste.
- Japanese Polled – Close in body mass to Brown and Shorthorn, Japanese Polled has a fuller-bodied texture and a deep, meaty flavor.
Traditionally, sake or beer is applied to the cattle’s food. The livestock is gently massaged to avoid muscle spasms due to Japan’s rough terrain.
Beef that would be perfectly marbled, buttery, and juicy is produced using these breeding methods combined with the cow’s DNA. It is also better than consumer beef because it involves more monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Wagyu beef is prized not only for its softness but also for its nutritional benefits. It is high in essential nutrients and has a higher proportion of healthy cholesterol. Wagyu beef also has the highest concentration of conjugated linoleic acid of any livestock breed.
How Much Does Wagyu Beef Cost
Wagyu beef can reach up to $200 per pound, and the livestock themselves can fetch up to $30,000. In comparison, the average price of an American cattle is about $1,500.
This expense is passed on to the customer in the form of a higher per-meal value. The Miyazaki Wagyu, for example, rates $24 per ounce at an American premium restaurant, comparable to $52 for 8 ounces of prime rib or $6.50 per ounce.
The Japanese government strictly regulates Wagyu supply. This procedure includes genetic screening, so only the cows with the best genes are eligible to remain in the breeding farm. This process alone determines the meat market and how much does Wagyu beef cost.
Marbling Wagyu Beef
Wagyu beef has an unrivaled degree of marbled meat due to these breed standards coupled with prolonged fattening times.
Wagyu marbling also has a stronger flavor. Wagyu fat melting at a lower pressure than that of other cattle, giving it a thick, buttery taste not found in other cattle breeds. Since this fat is unsaturated and strong in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, Wagyu marbling is also tastier but much healthier.
Japanese Black cattle come in a variety of breeds, such as the highly coveted Tajima-Gyu. Tajima-Gyu cattle produce the most coveted area Wagyu breeds, including Matsusaka, Omi, and Kobe beef. Kobe beef is the best of the best. This is the most highly prized and premium beef globally, with separate quantities often costing more than $200. So, it’s no wonder why Kobe-style restaurants usually serve wagyu steaks at a high price.
How To Cook Wagyu Beef Boneless Strip
Experts suggest defrosting it in a pan and refrigerate it for 24 hours if your beef is frozen. Thawing in a skillet helps capture any grease that might occur.
When cooking your steak, use tongs rather than a fork. The steak would be punctured with a fork, allowing the juices to release. Instead, leave half of the cooking process for your steak to settle. This causes the steak’s oils to stream right into the center.
- Plan ahead of time. Make sure you know what kind of steak you’re cooking. If you don’t overcook a beef, it will be more juicy and tender.
- Preheat the grill or the broiler to its highest setting. Charcoal briquettes will be ashen grayish and red-hot to the touch. The cast-iron skillet or grill pan must be hot but not smoking while cooking on top of the range.
- Flavor your steak to match with salt and pepper or a mixed seasoning.
- Lightly brush the surface of your pan.
- Use the times described on the Steak-Cooking Chart as a reference to sear the meats on the first side. Whenever the juices start to cascade on the surface, toss it.
- Finish cooking your meat on the second side, using the timer on the steak cooking chart below as a reference. On the second side, reducing time will be necessary. Steaks can cook fast, so keep an eye on them.
- A meat thermometer or contact may be used to assess this. When you contact a rare steak, it should feel pretty soft and have a 120° – 125°F. Medium rare steaks will look pretty and squidgy when touched and measure 130° F, while average steaks will feel firm and index 140°-145° F. Steaks that are will be firm and have a temperature of 160° F.
- Leave 5 minutes for the meats to rest before serving. This allows the oils to flow from the meat’s core to the outside, making the steak juicy and flavorful.
Genuine Japanese beef is so much more than a plain, everyday meal. The Wagyu feeding experience highlights the rare quality of true body Wagyu. To fully understand how much does Wagyu beef cost, the years of professional farming and the dedication to protection and quality control must be met. The popular Wagyu beef produces a distinctive taste, texture, and tenderness, which allows us to understand how much does Wagyu beef cost. Find out more about Wagyu beef food preparation and pricing here.