Wagyu - know what you are buying

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Jan 13, 2015
Coatesville, IN
Our daughter & her husband are in the business. They are continually educating potential customers regarding Wagyu and how it can vary. Instead of resurrecting an old 2021 thread where I posted this as a comment. Here is some Wagyu information that is good to know before reaching for the wallet.

Interesting fact about the labeling of Amer. Wagyu. In many places they sell/prepare Wagyu that is not close to being from purebred or fullblood cattle. I do not believe there are any entities regulating the labeling of wagyu. So a 50/50 cross breed with angus stock (F1) can be sold as wagyu the same as a fullblood F5. American wagyu cattle can be anywhere from 50% to 100% based upon lineage. Don't get me wrong the 50% variety does taste very good but compared to purebreds (F4) or Fullbloods (F5) you can definitely tell the difference. Additionally, there is a difference in flavor depending on how the cattle were fed during the finishing stage before going to slaughter. If you are in the market to purchase, do some research regarding the ranch supplier, what their stock actually is and how they are fed out in the later stages.


Fullblood American Wagyu, can trace it's lineage back to Japan. The F rating system here in the US is based upon the % of wagyu in the animal. The Japanese A grading system for marbling percentage is based upon the 13th ribeye which is where they grade the carcass. More reading here (page is dated but still accurate): https://blogs.lonemountainwagyu.com/wagyu-classifications-in-the-united-states
I'm not going to say what outfit but I got a gift cert for Xmas from a family member for $200 worth of Wagyu.
The sellers were out of briskets so I chose hamburger meat, tri tip, hotdogs and skirt steak.
The hotdogs were the worst thing I ever put in my mount on purpose, dry dry dry and no flavor whatsoever.
The burgers we made fell apart when we tried to cook them and they also had very little flavor.
They did have tons of fat, they flamed up the moment I placed them on the charcoal grille.
I would have thought that all that fat would add to the flavor.
Prehaps it did but the fat smoke rolling off the coals when I had to place the cover on the webber to quell the flames contaminated the meat and ruined it.
We're going to do meatballs with the rest.
Tri tip and skirt will happen when weather warms a bit but I am horrified at the quality so far.
The family was very nice providing the gift card. Unfortunately the best of intentions sometimes can get side tracked by a third party. I've never wanted to go the wagyu hot dog route but I wouldn't use them to judge much. On the other hand we continually have wagyu burger on hand given the kid's business. Since they only raise purebred & full blood cattle the burger is very good but you do have to watch the patties once on the grill. Both the tri-tip and skirt (hopefully the outside skirt) should be the best to judge by. Key on the tri-tip is to not take it much past med-rare. We do ours to around the 135º mark. Skirt's cook very fast. You can't leave the grill once they are put on. If you marinate make sure they get patted dry before going on the grill. Depending on thickness it's 2 min per side then maybe another 3 min or so. Again med-rare is best. Even if these two cuts are 50/50 Angus/Wagyu hopefully they will be significantly better for you.
I just grabbed a wagyu brisket from Costco for $6.99/lb. Since prime was $4.50 it wasn't much more and it was a beauty. My expectations are it is F1. I have done F2-to 100% and have had the best results with what were F2 or F4.
  • Wow
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