What Are the Most Popular Cuts of Wagyu Beef?
Wagyu beef is known the world around for its tender, fatty body and umami-rich flavor. This gourmet meat is practically synonymous with luxury and is commonly touted as one of the great delicacies of the modern age.
However, even some connoisseurs of Wagyu don’t realize there are different cuts of this prime meat. So we are going to take a look at all the different cuts of Wagyu beef and talk about which ones are the most popular and highest quality.
The filet is often considered the prime cut of beef from the cow and is usually the highest-quality and most expensive cut of meat. Filet is known for its soft, tender profile and melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Wagyu filets are made from the parts of the cow that are not worked very hard, so you get a lean and tender cut.
Wagyu filets are known for their supple body and velvety flavor. You can always tell a good filet thanks to the marbling pattern on the meat. Depending on where you are, filet tenderloin may be referred to as Tournedos, Medallions, or Chateaubriand.
The best method for cooking filet is dry heat with a very hot pan.
Strip steak style originates from New York.
And, Wagyu strip steak cuts are becoming increasingly popular among international markets. Strip steak comes from the short loin and sits on the line between the ribeye and tenderloin in terms of toughness and texture. Strip steaks work best on a traditional grip and have a low fat content, which reduces potential flare-ups during grilling.
Wagyu strips are pulled from a dense part of the tissue and so exhibit a wonderful marbling effect when that cut makes it cook even more delectable. Strip steaks are best cooked quickly on high heat with little spice or sauces to lock in the natural juicy flavor of the cut.
Ribeye is another popular kind of Wagyu cut that, as the name implies, comes from the rib meat of the cow.
Ribeye steak is slightly fatty as the rib cage has relatively little weight on it, leading to an attractive marbling effect when cut and prepared. In general, ribeye cuts are used to determine the overall quality of the cow meat. The excess fat from ribeye produces a tasty, savory flavor as it melts while being cooked.
Ribeye is fairly versatile but is cooked best on a very hot pan on the grill. The trick is to sear it first at high heat then cook at a lower temperature to lock in the juices and flavor. You can use sauces and spices, but Ribeye can also be eaten plain with just the excess fat for extra flavoring.
Short ribs come from the chuck area of cattle near where the breastbone meets the ribs.
Short rib has traditionally not been a common way to eat Wagyu beef but it is becoming more popular as Wagyu becomes more widespread. Chuck ribs are a bit tougher than other cuts of meat due to the presence of more connective tissue and muscle, but when cooked correctly short ribs get that fall-off-the-bone smooth texture and mouth-watering flavor.
Wagyu short rib is generally best served braised but it can be grilled on high heat, smoked, or indirectly heated. They are a versatile cut that can take a wide range of flavor profiles while retaining the characteristic Wagyu texture and marbling.
Chuck meat comes from the forequarter of the cow and is known for being one of the larger cuts of meat and one of the most flavorful.
Chuck steak is versatile and can be cooked in the oven, pan-seared, or grilled outside. Although chuck is often considered ‘subprime,’ Wagyu chuck has all the flavor and texture of a tenderloin or sirloin cut.
It is commonly believed that Wagyu beef is only good for cuts, but ground Wagyu chuck makes a delicious burger or patty due to the fat content and supple body. It takes a bit of extra effort, but ground wagyu chuck can be a novel take on the traditional meat.
Flank meat comes from the lower abdomen of the cow and has a lot of different names, depending on where you are from.
Flank meat is often considered ‘subprime’ but Wagyu flank shows that even flank cuts can have the texture and quality of a high-grade filet.
Flank is also highly versatile and can be grilled, pan-fried, braised, and broiled. Wagyu flank, in particular, is great for braising as the simmering unlocks the meat texture and characteristic Wagyu flavor.
Wagyu flank is relatively uncommon but is coming in on a new wave of meat cuts. Traditional flank tends to be tough and slightly chewy, but Wagyu flank benefits from the genetic marbling of Wagyu cows that makes their meat so tender.