Why is wagyu beef so expensive at a steakhouse, and is it even worth it? We think your money is much better spent elsewhere.

You don’t need a six-figure income to check out a steakhouse … unless you’re taking a look at the wagyu beef area, of course. Seriously, the rate of wagyu steaks on a steakhouse menu suffices to take your breath away. The tiniest wagyu steak sets you back greater than the largest filet mignon (the most costly normal steak on the menu). On average, wagyu steak price can run more than $200 per pound (that’s $12.50 per ounce!), so what offers? Why is wagyu beef so costly, and could this uber-expensive steak really be worth it?

What is Wagyu Beef?
The word wagyu has a pretty actual translation: “wa” means Japanese, and also “gyu” is cow. Yet that doesn’t indicate that any type of Japanese cow qualifies. Wagyu beef breeds are thoroughly chosen, and hereditary screening is used to ensure only the best are allowed right into the program. By paying so much interest the genetics, the beef ends up being genetically inclined to have a better than most steaks, and also this tender, well-marbled beef actually does taste better than the competitors.

In Japan, only four types of cattle are used: Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled and Japanese Shorthorn. American wagyu programs largely use Japanese Black, although there are a couple of Japanese Brown in the mix (referred to as Red Wagyu in the States).

Why is Wagyu Beef so Costly?
In 1997, Japan stated wagyu a national prize as well as outlawed any type of more exportation of cattle, which indicates they greatly regulate the market on wagyu beef. American herdsmans are working hard to boost the production of this popular beef, however just 221 animals were exported to the United States prior to the restriction remained in location. That’s a small pool considering that Japan utilizes children testing to guarantee just the very best genetics are maintained for breeding.

The other point that keeps wagyu so pricey is Japan’s strict grading system for beef. The USA Division of Farming (USDA) identifies beef as Prime, Choice, Select or a reduced quality. The Japanese Meat Grading Association (JMGA) goes into way extra deepness with wagyu, grading the beef’s yield as well as ranking high quality based upon fat marbling, shade, illumination, firmness, appearance, as well as top quality of fat. The highest grade is A5, yet the fat top quality ratings are most importantly important. These scores range from 1 to 12, and also by JMGA standards, USDA prime beef would only achieve a fat high quality rating of 4.

Is Wagyu Beef Worth It?
There are plenty of tricks to obtain affordable meat to taste excellent, so why drop 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 gives it a buttery, ultra-rich taste. All that fat additionally makes the beef juicier than a routine steak, as well as considering that it has more fatty acids, it likewise has a more attractive fragrance.

If it’s so delicious, why would we suggest missing wagyu at the steakhouse? Since it’s too rich to eat all at once steak. Wagyu as well as Kobe beef is best eaten in smaller, 3- or four-ounce parts; a significant steak would certainly overload your taste buds. Considering its high price, you intend to appreciate every bite!

To make one of the most out of your steakhouse experience, acquire 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 another honker that you could not usually cook. (Psst! We’ll reveal you how to prepare a thick steak in the house, if you’re up for the challenge!) Save the wagyu for a dish like yakitori-style beef skewers, or standard Japanese meals like shabu-shabu or sukiyaki that include thinly sliced beef. These meals will let you appreciate the flavor of this premium beef in smaller amounts (without breaking the bank, too).