A Butcher’s Guide to Understanding Popular Wagyu Cuts of Beef

May 10, 2021

popular-wagyu-beef-cuts

A5 Wagyu is a Japanese beef bred and raised with one goal in mind: exceptional flavor and texture. Typical steaks have a border of fat along the side of the meat. Wagyu cows metabolize fat differently, integrating it within the muscle. This marbling results in tons of robust flavor and a buttery texture. For this reason, Japanese A5 Wagyu is one of the most coveted steaks in the world.

Like any other cattle, Wagyu provides a variety of cuts that you can prepare in numerous ways. In this guide, you’ll learn some of the more popular Wagyu cuts of meat and how to cook Wagyu steak.

5 Popular Wagyu Cuts and How to Prepare Them

While any Wagyu beef would make an exquisite meal, here are five popular Wagyu cuts and ways they can be prepared.

1. Wagyu Filet Mignon

The filet is cut from the tenderloin of a cow. This muscle is fairly sedentary, so it’s a highly lean and tender cut of beef. Wagyu filet mignon has a high level of marbling in the meat, so an already-tender cut is made even more velvety and delectable. People love its sweet, mild flavor and its supple texture. The small amount of meat able to be taken from each head of cattle makes it more expensive than other cuts of meat.

There are numerous recipes for a tender filet mignon. It can be prepared on the grill or sautéed in a hot pan on the stove. Any cooking method will do as long as you use dry heat. To maximize the meat’s tenderness, it’s best not to cook filet mignon past medium-rare.

2. Wagyu Top Sirloin

This is a thick, lean cut of meat found at the back end of the cow. It provides rich flavor and is moderately tender, most known for its robust beefy flavor.

Unlike other cuts of meat, the top sirloin doesn’t display some of the more desirable Wagyu traits, like the signature marbling. Regardless, it’s still a delicious cut of meat that makes a terrific entrée, cooks nicely with marinades, and brings big flavor to recipes. Wagyu top sirloin is a popular choice because it’s more affordable than the filet, yet still delicious.

Although top sirloin is a popular steak for grilling, it can also be fried, broiled, or roasted (remove the outer layer of fat first). It requires a short cooking time and doesn’t need much prep work. This makes it a great choice for serving to a group or a simple weeknight family dinner.

3. Wagyu Ribeye

This comes from the cow’s rib cage area. Not only is it protected there, but it isn’t very active and doesn’t bear any weight as well. This makes it a tender, well-marbled cut of meat surrounded by a layer of fat. As the steak cooks, the fat melts into the muscle and is distributed throughout the meat. This gives the ribeye an intense flavor with each bite.

Wagyu ribeyes are the beefiest steak on the market. They can be served bone-in (which adds even more flavor) or off the bone. Either way, it’s a delicious cut and a favorite among many meat lovers.

To cook Wagyu ribeye, it’s best to first sear it on high heat to seal in the juices. Then, move the steak to low heat (either in the oven, on the stove, or on the grill) and finish cooking to release the flavor.

4. Wagyu Strip Steak

Commonly known as a New York Strip, the strip steak is taken from the short loin and is one of the most requested cuts among meat eaters.

Wagyu A5 strip steak is the highest quality meat you can buy. Served boneless, it has a wonderful balance of texture and flavor. It also has some of the most intense marbling of all the cuts. This intensifies the delectable traits of Wagyu steak and makes it one of the best Wagyu cuts to enjoy.

Despite their dense marbling, strip steaks have a lower fat content than other cuts of meat. Ideally, you’ll cook strip steak quickly over high heat. It’s perfect for grilling, as long as you remove the excess fat outside the meat to avoid flare-ups on the BBQ. You can also broil or pan-fry for optimal results. While you can add sauces or seasoning, this nice cut of meat doesn’t need much. It really shines on its own.

5. Wagyu D Rump

This comes from the hindquarter and the muscle above the cow’s hip bone. Because it’s taken from a highly active muscle, the meat is tough, but still very flavorful. Steaks cut from the center (the eye) of the rump are more tender.

The Wagyu D rump is huge because it consists of three muscles: the rump cap, the rump heart, and the tri tip. The rump can be cooked whole or divided into its three comprising muscles and treated as separate cuts of meat.

Rump in general is great for grilling and frying. The cap is terrific on the BBQ, where the fat can caramelize on high heat, then finish cooking at medium. The rump heart can be roasted, grilled, eaten as a steak, or made into kebabs. It’s extremely juicy with a rich, beefy flavor. The tri tip can be grilled like a thick steak.

Clearly, the rump is highly versatile and great for feeding a crowd.

Meat Cooking Best Practices

As you prepare to cook your favorite Wagyu cuts for friends and family, here are a few cooking best practices to deliver the most delicious results.

  • Thaw frozen meat properly: Before cooking, steaks should thaw in your fridge for 24-48 hours. Short on time? Plunge meat in ice or cold water in the sink until thawed.
  • Give meat time to rest: Meat should rest before cooking until it comes to room temperature. Once cooked, steaks should rest for about 10 minutes before you slice into them.
  • Dry your meat before cooking: If meats have excess moisture on their surface, they won’t sizzle. They’ll boil. Pat the meat dry before putting them over heat.
  • Make sure you have the proper tools: Reaching the right temperature is the key to properly cooked meat. A quick read meat thermometer can help you identify when meat is finished cooking.

Order Your Favorite Wagyu Cuts Today

Holy Grail Steak Co. knows quality is important to our customers. That’s why we’re proud to offer a wide selection of world-class meats and steaks that can be delivered right to your door.

Check out our complete collection of Wagyu steaks and place your order today.

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