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ALL ABOUT WAGYU AND ITS DIFFERENT GRADES
Wagyu beef is one of the most popular keywords out there and it is a complicated subject. The word "Wagyu" translates to "Japanese Cow" (Wa means Japanese and gyu means cow). Technically, Wagyu beef should only be used when talking about cattle raised in Japan. However, at some points Wagyu genetics made it out of Japan, to the US, which then exported it to Australia... and now we have “Wagyu” beef from all over the world.
What makes Wagyu beef different is its genetics, it has a very particular flavor profile and it it is much more prone to mabling than your other cattle breeds such as Angus, Hereford, etc...
Cows are beautiful living, breathing animals and their envrionment is almost as important as their genetics. So a Wagyu cow raised in say Colorado is going to taste very differently than a cow raised in Japan or Australia. Moreover, the system for grading the quality of Wagyu is not standarized... America has one, Australia has one and Japan has one (read more about how the world grades beef). In order to help our customers, at Meat N’ Bone we came up with a blend of these systems to simplify it for our consumers.
ABOUT JAPANESE WAGYU A5
Japanese A5 beef is considered the rarest and most exclusive beef in the world. The meat is lighter in color than the bright red meat we are used to. It is almost pink. Wagyu A5 beef is rare even in Japan, only a very small fraction of all the beef produced qualifies as A5.
It is extremely rich, which makes it great for sharing. It is cut differently. Usually it is cut much thinner and it is mant to be quickly seared and consumed. Overcooking it is usually considered a travesty. It doesn't taste like anything you have ever tried before...
WHERE DO YOU SOURCE IT?
Meat N’ Bone is one of the largest providers of high quality Wagyu A5 Japanese beef. We work with Wagyu from different prefectures and brands from Japan including Miyazaki-Gyu, Kuma-O, Kagoshima, Hokkaido, Kobe and even rare luxury brands such as Sanuki (olive) and Hannari (Female top 1%).
There is nothing that compares to the quality of an A5 Miyazaki Filet Mignon. The cut I received looked exactly like the picture I was shopping for. I cooked this steak to rare to enjoy the intense marbling and natural flavor of the beef. Each bite just simply melted in your mouth. This is only the second time ever having A5 Wagyu, but it truly is an amazing experience. This steak made a very special and memorable anniversary for me and my wife. Thank you for a phenomenal experience!
-- Matthew S
WHAT A5 STEAK OR ROAST DO YOU RECOMMEND I TRY?
Japanese cut their beef differently. Ribeyes and Striploins should be thin (less than an inch) and everything is just seared. If you like your beef past a cooking temperature of “medium”, A5 may not be the best for you (recommendations below).
If you like fattier cuts go for a Ribeye, if you like leaner cuts we highly recommend the A5 Filet Mignon, it may very well be the best steak in the world. If you are sharing a small steak, its always best to go with the Striploin so everyones eating experience is consistent. If you have already experienced A5, try different “Craft” cuts such as Picanha, Tri-Tip or Denver steak. If you want to try A5 on a budget go for the Baseball Steak.
If sharing or looking for food for a larger group... you have the choice to skip the steaks and go for the roasts. You can always cut them into steak. We sell Prime Rib, Striploin, Whole Tenderloin and Picanha.
FULL BLOOD WAGYU
All Wagyu found outside of Japan is usually considered some sort of “cross”. Full Blood Wagyu refers to programs where the lineage has been carefully kept, this means it is 100% traceable to Japanese Wagyu with no indication that the cattle have been crossbred. They can only be bred from two full-blood Wagyu parents. There are very few programs that have real Full Blood Wagyu.
Full Blood Wagyu beef is as close to Japanese A5 as Wagyu bred outside of Japan gets. It is insanely marbled but the fat is less “white”. Some people prefer Full Blood Wagyu as well as lower grades over Japanese A5 as it is closer to what people expect beef to taste like. Yet, with full blood wagyu you can taste the umami in every bite and the beef is extremely tender.
WHERE DO YOU SOURCE IT?
We source our Full Blood Wagyu from Australia,we typically work with programs we know and trust. We look for programs who feed the cows for longer and where we really think the “premium” will make a difference. As a result, we have focused on cuts such as Picanha, Tri-Tip and Brisket.
Meat n' Bone does it again. The picanha quality and taste is unmatched....and I have looked for alternatives!
-- Tracey N.
WHAT CUTS SHOULD I TRY?
IF you are looking for Middle Cuts (Ribeye, Filet Mignon, New York Strip) we recommend just going with either Japanese A5 or BMS 8-9 options. The premium commanded by the full blood options is not really worth it for us to add it to our lineup.
However, for cuts such as Brisket, Picanha and Tri-Tip... the difference is very palpable and hence we not only sell it, but highly recommend it. Note that availability is limited and seasonal.
Our Wagyu BMS 7+ (usually 7-9) is what the industry calls "F1", meaning the animals harvested are the inmediate offspring of Japanese Wagyu bulls, so the genetic line remains pure. This is a very premium product that is complex to source. Some breeders may go for F2 steers, basically hand selecting cows and steers and breeding them to get the best marbling possible. We only work with programs that treat animals extremely well, watch their diet carefully and are consistent in their grading.
Premium Wagyu tastes more like the beef you know, this is what you will find in very high end steakhouses, usually at high prices. It has a very particular flavor and the steaks are very tender. We do offer BMS 6-7 on some cuts, because it allows us to provide consumers with choice... go a little bit lower grade, for what is still an amazing steak and save a pretty penny. Want the best of the best but not A5? Then go for BMS 8-9.
WHERE DO YOU SOURCE IT?
Most of our F1 and F2 Wagyu is sourced from Colorado, why? We love the supporting American farmers. The particular farms we work with are excellent and they treat their animals right. That said, production can be limited, specially when we segment by BMS. So we also work with a couple high end award winning Australian providers. When you buy Meat N’ Bone, you know you are buying the best.
My parents just celebrated there 40th anniversary and wanted to get them something special. Placed order with meat n
bone was here next day, cooked them the following weekend , they were butter soft filets and delicious to boot . Will definitely be ordering again!
-- Justin A.
When you walk into most steakhouses, this is what they call “wagyu”. Technically it is correct, but it is the result of crossing Wagyu and Angus cows. It yields beef with characteristics of both breeds and it is, of course, a delicious steak. Wagy-Angus cross, as long as its done will have the texture of Wagyu, be slightly more tender than a USDA Prime steak and present similar or more marbling to a USDA Prime steak.
From a price value perspective this is an excellent steak and it is highly recommended.
WHERE DO YOU SOURCE IT?
We source our Wagyu-Angus steaks from selected Australian programs such as Carrara.
Honestly our first wagyu steak and we were in love! It was great
-- Steven R