Where Can I Buy Wagyu Beef In San Francisco and Bay Area?

Wagyu beef is one of the most famous meats in the world – and with good reason.  It is the most exclusive, delicious, tender dining experience known to us. But there is so much more to Wagyu – it’s packed with nutrients and unique health-improving properties, and is also the healthiest meat on the planet!  Let us show you around the beautiful world of Wagyu meat, and why its reputation goes before this incredible experience. 

What Is Wagyu Beef?

Let’s start with the name: Wagyu. 

“Wa” means ‘Japanese,’ and “Gyu” means ‘cow’ - pronounced “wagyoo.”  One of the unique and fascinating qualities of Wagyu cattle is that they are genetically predisposed to marble fat within the muscle structure, rather than outside it. 

As a result, this creates what is known as IMF (which stands for intramuscular fat) – and this is the secret to Wagyu’s perfect flavor and color. The intramuscular fat gives the meat its incredible pink and white marbling, the trademark of excellent Wagyu beef. 

Wagyu beef goes through a stringent grading process, with a range of scores reflecting the yield, marbling, color, fat quality, firmness, and texture of the meat.  To reach the highest quality standard – A5 – the meat must attain outstanding scores in all these areas.  If the grading is any less than perfect, it cannot be A5 quality. 

In terms of health benefits, Wagyu beef is high in monounsaturated fats, which lower LDL cholesterol (that’s the cholesterol we don’t want in our system).  When we say high, we mean high – at a staggering 63 times the amount of monounsaturated fats contained in fish, it’s actively suitable for anyone wanting to lead a healthy lifestyle.  It also contains stearic acid, which helps reduce the risk of heart attacks and diabetes.

Related: Why Is Wagyu Beef Healthier Than Other Meats?

What Makes Wagyu Beef More Expensive And Delicious Than Other Meats?

Wagyu cows are very, very special indeed.  They lead truly unique lives and are carefully taken care of by experienced and dedicated handlers every step of the way.  

So, why is this exactly? Well, as we now know, these cows are amazing.  Firstly, the fatty deposits which marble Wagyu must build in precisely the right place and at the perfect rate within their muscle fibers (not outside of them) to produce the highest grade of meat. 

Wagyu cattle graze for around three years after weaning – to give an idea of what this means, standard cows only typically graze for about eighteen months.  This extended grazing period means there is sufficient time for the marbling to develop naturally in their muscle fibers.

Wagyu cows must not suffer exposure to stress in any form – that would speed up their metabolism (by way of the ‘fight or flight’ response) and could burn up their precious fat stores.  Sources of stress get quickly identified and resolved immediately by expert carers – for example, if two animals in a herd don’t get along, they get separated immediately.  Peace in the herd rapidly returns, and the cattle can get back to what they do best – feeling serene and happy, laying down those beautiful intramuscular fats. 

Related: 8 Things You Didn't Know About Wagyu Beef

There is a popular myth that Wagyu cows are force fed: this is categorically not the case.  Force-feeding would achieve nothing other than to cause unnecessary suffering, and – yes, you guessed it - stress.  In turn, this would again burn up fat stores – in short, stressed or unhappy animals don’t taste good or stay healthy.  The diet of Wagyu cattle is very carefully controlled, with the perfect nutrition in their grazing pasture, complemented by selected feed.

Some believe that Wagyu cows drink beer to stimulate their appetites – while that may work for some humans, it does not work that way for cattle.  Wagyu cows are revered as a precious commodity, with clean, fresh water available to them at all times – and not a beer in sight.

The tireless dedication and care the cows receive throughout their lives mean Wagyu beef is known to be the tastiest, most delicious, and exclusive meat in the world. Authentic Wagyu is challenging to come by, and only a select few have access to the finest quality cuts. 

Every authentic Wagyu cut is traceable from fork to farm.  Only a select proportion of authentic Wagyu - inspected and graded by heavily regulated, skilled inspectors, make the grade to perfection – A5 – the best of the very best.  Three separate, highly respected inspectors classify each selection. They train for years and are indeed masters of their craft. 

At an auction, a Wagyu calf can trade for around 40 times the cost of a standard steer - a Wagyu heifer sold in 2002 for 50 Million Yen! The investment needed to raise Wagyu is staggering, but for the very best of reasons – the quality speaks for itself.

Where Can I Find The Best Wagyu Beef In the San Francisco and Bay Area? 

If you’re reading this, then you’ve come to the right place. 

A-Five Meats are the experts for all your fine dining Wagyu needs.  We offer a delivery service straight to your door, and all our meats are chilled – not frozen

By shipping our meats chilled rather than frozen, our clientele receives only the freshest specimens, carefully hand-selected.   We’ve travelled the world to bring you the very best – Wagyu is our unique passion, and we want to share our elite experience with you.

Our meats are chef-selected and packs are available for delivery straight to your door, and cuts can be presented personally at our a La Carte butcher shop in San Francisco in the Bay Area.  Our subscription service includes a range of heritage beef breeds to allow you to experience a full range of mouthwatering, delectable cuts.

Of course, Wagyu is always the star of the show - but it’s a beautiful and convenient way to share the individual nuances of different types of culinary experience of the highest quality. 

We are here to give you privileged access to our exceptional selection.  We would be delighted to extend a warm welcome to you – whether that’s through our online ordering service, or here in San Francisco in the Bay Area.

What Is The Best Way To Keep Wagyu Beef Fresh? 

The most important thing you can do to make sure your Wagyu beef stays fresh and tender is to plan when you are going to use it.  If you intend to use the meat straight away, put it straight into the refrigerator as soon as it arrives.

When storing Wagyu in the refrigerator, it should be kept in the original packaging, and stored in the coldest part of the fridge. This will ensure the meat is not exposed to air which can cause the surface of the meat to oxidize - not something that affects flavor but is a less appealing presentation.

If the Wagyu is not for use in the next 48 hours, it should go straight into the freezer.  Correct storage in the freezer is crucial: it should be kept in the original packaging.  Wagyu stored this way is good for up to twelve months, although the sooner it is used, the fresher it will be. 

To correctly defrost Wagyu, it should be kept in the original packaging and clingfilm when removing from the freezer.  The meat should then thaw slowly in the fridge – around six hours per pound of beef is a rough guide for how long it should take. 

Some people thaw meat in cold water, but it can be risky: the water should be frigid, and should never come into contact with the surface of the meat at all.  To do so is to risk contamination and affect the quality of the cut.

Once the meat is fully thawed, remove from the refrigerator and allow to temper.  This can be as short as five minutes or up to an hour for larger roasts. Cooking closer to room temperature helps ensure the meat cooks evenly and thoroughly.  You are then ready to continue your culinary journey to a world of luxury.

The experience of enjoying Wagyu beef is renowned the world over – and it is clear this is for the very best of reasons.  Raising Wagyu cattle is a calling, with generations of farmers passing their wisdom down through the ages.  Only a select few bloodlines qualify as authentic Wagyu, and of those that remain, only the highest of standards are acceptable as part of the stringent grading process.

At A-Five Meats, we have scoured the planet to bring you the perfect and exclusive cuts from a unique selection of hand-picked farms around the world. 

Come on over to our website, or drop in and see us – we can’t wait to meet you and to help you start our journey to fine dining.