Wagyu 101

Why Australian Wagyu is Worth the Splurge: A Comparative Study with Other Premium Meats

By Nicholas Fiorentino

When it comes to premium meats, few can rival the indulgent taste and buttery texture of Wagyu beef. Originally from Japan, this breed of cattle has been carefully cultivated for centuries, resulting in highly marbled and tenderized meat. However, with the rising popularity of Wagyu beef, other countries have begun to produce their version of this premium meat, including Australia. In this article, we'll explore what makes Australian Wagyu so special, how it compares to other premium meats, and offer tips on how to cook it to perfection.

Is Australian Wagyu real Wagyu? 

One common question that comes up when discussing Australian Wagyu is whether it is "real" Wagyu. The answer is yes and no. While the breed of cattle used to produce Australian Wagyu is the same as that used in Japan, the cattle are not necessarily raised or fed in the same way. In Japan, Wagyu cattle are fed a specialized diet and raised in specific conditions that result in the high levels of marbling and tenderness that the meat is known for. In Australia, however, the conditions are different. The meat may not have the same level of marbling or flavor as Japanese Wagyu. That being said, Australian Wagyu is still considered to be a high-quality meat and is often used in top-tier restaurants around the world.

Why is Australian Wagyu so expensive? 

The amount of time and effort that goes into raising cattle is one of the main reasons why Australian Wagyu is so expensive. The cattle are typically raised for longer periods than other breeds, allowing for more intramuscular fat to develop, which leads to the characteristic marbling of Wagyu beef. Additionally, the cost of feed for these cattle is often higher than that of other breeds, as they require a specialized diet that includes high-quality grains and other supplements. Finally, because Australian Wagyu is often considered to be a luxury product, it commands a higher price on the market.

Is Australian Wagyu better than American? 

When comparing Australian Wagyu to American Wagyu, there are some differences to consider. While both types of meat come from the same breed of cattle, the conditions in which they are raised can affect the quality of the meat. American Wagyu is often raised in feedlots, where the cattle are confined and fed a high-calorie diet to encourage the development of marbling. In contrast, Australian Wagyu is often raised in more open conditions, allowing the cattle to move around more freely and potentially leading to leaner meat. That being said, both types of meat can be of high-quality and offer a luxurious taste and texture.

What rank is Australian Wagyu? 

When it comes to ranking Wagyu beef, there are a few different systems in use. One common ranking system is the Beef Marbling Score (BMS), which rates the amount of intramuscular fat in the meat on a scale of 1 to 12. In Australia, Wagyu beef typically ranges from a BMS of 5 to 9, with some higher end cuts reaching up to a BMS of 12. This places Australian Wagyu in the same range as other high-quality Wagyu beef from around the world.

Is Australian Wagyu the same as Japanese Wagyu

While Australian Wagyu and Japanese Wagyu both come from the same breed of cattle, there are some key differences to consider. Japanese Wagyu is often considered to be the gold standard of Wagyu beef– thanks to the rigorous standards and conditions in which the cattle are raised. In Japan, Wagyu cattle are often raised in small herds and are fed a specialized diet that includes beer and other supplements, resulting in meat that is incredibly marbled and flavorful. In contrast, Australian Wagyu is often raised in larger herds and may not be fed the same specialized diet. One thing to note is when it comes to price, Japanese Wagyu is often more expensive than Australian Wagyu. The strict diet and meticulous way of raising Wagyu cattle in Japan add to its expensive price tag.

How to cook Australian Wagyu 

If you've decided to splurge on some Australian Wagyu, it's important to know how to cook it properly to ensure that you get the most out of your investment. Because Wagyu beef is highly marbled and tender, it requires a slightly different cooking approach than other types of beef. Here are some tips for cooking Australian Wagyu to perfection:

  1. Let it come to room temperature: Take the beef out of the fridge about an hour before you plan to cook it, allowing it to come to room temperature. This will help it cook more evenly.

  2. Use low heat: Because Wagyu beef is so tender, it doesn't need a lot of heat to cook. Use low heat and cook the beef slowly to prevent overcooking or burning.

  3. Don't over-season: Because Australian Wagyu has a rich, buttery flavor, it doesn't need a lot of seasoning. A simple sprinkle of salt and pepper will do the trick.

  4. Use a meat thermometer: To ensure that your beef is cooked to the desired temperature, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. For rare beef, aim for an internal temperature of 125°F, while medium-rare beef should reach 130-135°F.

  5. Let it rest: After cooking, let the beef rest for a few minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. This will help ensure that your meat is juicy and flavorful.

While Australian Wagyu may not be the same as Japanese Wagyu, it is still a premium product that is worth the splurge for those who love the indulgent taste and texture of Wagyu beef. With its unique qualities and high price tag, it's important to know what makes Australian Wagyu so special, how it compares to other premium meats, and how to cook it to perfection. Whether you're enjoying it in a high-end restaurant or cooking it at home, Australian Wagyu is a luxurious and indulgent treat that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

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