Why is wagyu beef so costly at a steakhouse, and is it even worth it? We assume your money is better spent somewhere else.

You don’t need a six-figure salary to check out a steakhouse … unless you’re checking out the wagyu beef section, certainly. Seriously, the cost of wagyu steaks on a steakhouse menu is enough to take your breath away. The tiniest wagyu steak sets you back greater than the biggest filet mignon (one of the most expensive regular steak on the menu). Usually, wagyu steak cooked can run more than $200 per pound (that’s $12.50 per ounce!), so what provides? Why is wagyu beef so expensive, and also could this uber-expensive steak really be worth it?

What is Wagyu Beef?
Words wagyu has a rather literal translation: “wa” implies Japanese, and also “gyu” is cow. However that doesn’t suggest that any type of Japanese cow qualifies. Wagyu beef breeds are meticulously selected, as well as hereditary screening is made use of to ensure only the most effective are permitted into the program. By paying so much attention the genetics, the beef comes to be genetically predisposed to have a better than the majority of steaks, and this tender, well-marbled beef truly does taste far better than the competition.

In Japan, only four kinds of cattle are used: Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled and also Japanese Shorthorn. American wagyu programs primarily make use of 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 nationwide treasure as well as prohibited any type of additional exportation of livestock, which means they greatly manage the marketplace on wagyu beef. American ranchers are striving to boost the production of this popular beef, however just 221 animals were exported to the United States before the ban was in area. That’s a small swimming pool considering that Japan uses kids testing to make sure just the very best genes are kept for reproducing.

The other thing that maintains wagyu so costly is Japan’s strict grading system for beef. The United States Division of Agriculture (USDA) classifies beef as Prime, Selection, Select or a reduced quality. The Japanese Meat Grading Association (JMGA) goes into method more depth with wagyu, grading the beef’s yield and also ranking quality based on fat marbling, shade, illumination, suppleness, texture, and also top quality of fat. The highest grade is A5, however the fat top quality scores are most importantly essential. These scores range from 1 to 12, and also by JMGA standards, USDA prime beef would just achieve a fat quality rating of 4.

Is Wagyu Beef Well Worth It?
There are a lot of methods to obtain economical meat to taste wonderful, so why decline so much coin on wagyu? For starters, it essentially melts in your mouth. The fat in wagyu beef thaws at a lower temperature level than most beef, which offers it a buttery, ultra-rich taste. All that fat additionally makes the beef juicier than a routine steak, and also since it has a lot more fats, it additionally has an extra enticing aroma.

If it’s so scrumptious, why would certainly we recommend avoiding wagyu at the steakhouse? Since it’s too rich to consume overall steak. Wagyu and also Kobe beef is ideal eaten in smaller, three- or four-ounce parts; a substantial steak would 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, get a steak that you can’t find at the regional butcher shop (like dry-aged steaks). Or go all-in for a tomahawk steak or one more honker that you could not typically cook. (Psst! We’ll show you exactly how to prepare a thick steak at home, if you’re up for the challenge!) Save the wagyu for a recipe like yakitori-style beef skewers, or typical Japanese recipes like shabu-shabu or sukiyaki that include very finely cut beef. These recipes will certainly let you enjoy the flavor of this high-grade beef in smaller sized quantities (without breaking the financial institution, as well).