8

The best thing about wagyu and similar cuts is its fine marbling. I've recently seen a 'wagyu-beef-slider' on a menu at an upstanding and well respected establishment. Upon internal reflection of appetizer selection (which I recommend all must do) I came to the startling realization that ground wagyu beef, which is the foundation of this slider, might in fact taste the same as any other pedigree with the same fat concentration. I got french onion soup.

Was I right that with ground beef, there's likely no advantage to using wagyu?

  • 2
    I think asking whether you made the right choice is subjective and opinion based, and could get closed. I suggest you ask what the advantages of a wagu beef burger would be over other beef instead. – GdD Feb 17 '17 at 19:34
  • @GdD Yeah, it is good to avoid inviting opinions like that - but at the same time, those of us with close-vote privileges should prefer to edit rather than voting to close, so there shouldn't really have been a risk of closure here. – Cascabel Feb 17 '17 at 19:44
  • That's why I suggested an edit, I think its overall a good question. – GdD Feb 17 '17 at 19:54
  • I agree that it is opinion based, and my answer is definitely opinion, but hard to ask the question without inviting the opinion. It is one I would love to see a suggested edit to make it less opinion based. – dlb Feb 17 '17 at 20:01
  • 2
    Note that wagyu is merely a breed and actual Kobe beef is the product of a tedious and expensive raising process. While the breed itself may produce meat that is more marbled than another breed raised the same way, raising wagyu the same way that other breeds are typically raised in the USA (for example) will not produce Kobe style beef. If you paid a scandalous amount of money for a small portion and had a singular and unforgettable taste and texture experience, then you almost certainly had Kobe beef. If not, it might have just been wagyu. – Todd Wilcox Feb 18 '17 at 0:03
7

The main thing that wagyu is supposed to get you is dense marbling. That's especially important for cuts low in fat, like the filet and the sirloin. That is, steaks.

The rest of the cow has to go somewhere. The parts that get ground into burgers on conventional cows might as well go into "Kobe sliders". There will be some differences from conventionally-raised beef, where the ground meat is usually made by combining fatty cuts with lean cuts to achieve a precise fat ratio. I would expect ground wagyu to have more fat than a conventional burger, and to have the fat incorporated somewhat differently, but it will vary from processor to processor.

So I'd say that the advantage isn't obliterated, exactly. I'd just say that a wagyu burger will be a lot more like a regular burger than a wagyu steak compared to an Angus steak. There's nothing wrong with that, at least as long as they're not trying to charge massively superpremium prices for it. (In my experience they come with a modest upcharge.)

5

This article is disputed by others, so consider it one person's researched opinion and take it as you wish I think: http://www.seriouseats.com/2016/07/fake-kobe-wagyu-beef-japanese-steak.html

The general statements are that almost all claims of anything severed as Kobe or even Wagu are likely false or misleading. Now, the author makes his money by writing about fake foods, so has a vested interest in such claims, so that should influence merits, and saying something is a Wagu slider that was made with part or all US Wagu, is that fake food, misleading, or honest? Your call on that.

But, personally, I think you probably made the correct call. I would expect something called a Wagu slider would be one that might have some amount out Wagu trimmings added, but not enough to really be the correct us of the meat or representative of the name. The same went on for some time with Bison meat, a wonderful alternative to beef if properly prepared. But for years, it was difficult to find anything but tourist stop samples as over-cooked burgers and meatloaf that was likely about 10% bison and gave people a very poor introduction to a fine meat. That also is opinion, not backed by evidence other than person anecdotal experience though, so no one yell slander please.

  • Ah, I understand, but does the act of grinding the meat remove the advantages of the pedigree? – hownowbrowncow Feb 17 '17 at 19:39
  • @hownowbrowncow In my opinion, it would, yes. But that is opinion, not experience. I have been fortunate enough to have fine Kobe once. Incredibly rich. You would not want more than a couple ounces in a sitting. But to grind it into a burger? You would need to cut it with regular meat and lose all of its uniqueness in my opinion. – dlb Feb 17 '17 at 19:57
  • 2
    I don't think this responds to the question. OP is assuming that the beef presented as Wagyu is in fact Wagyu and asking whether there is a good reason for preferring it. I agree that what you get may not be what is advertised, and you might avoid it in a restaurant you didn't trust, but I think that is a different question. – Ross Millikan Feb 18 '17 at 5:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.