Dry aged wagyu is similar to any other dry aged beef product, the key difference being that Wagyu is already an exceptionally high grade type of beef meaning dry aging elevates the wagyu A5 to a much higher level.
Wagyu beef derives from native Asian cattle and is the premiere Japanese breed. The name translates to “WA” meaning Japanese and “GYU” meaning cow. They were originally used as draft animals for agriculture fields and were revered for their physical endurance.
These cows are best known for their distinctive highly marbled characteristic that includes the visible layers of intramuscular fat. This fat is given a higher marbling score because the cows' genetics cause the meat to contain a higher percentage of fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6, compared to ordinary beef.
How much does Dry Aged Wagyu cost?
High grade Wagyu can cost up to $200 per pound and is some of the most prized within the world and the calves can increase by price to 40 times that of US Cattle. Once raised, they can only be sold with a birth certificate confirming their bloodline with a cost of up to $30,000 or ten times that of American Angus. Grass fed cattle are considered healthier than grain fed, although some wagyu cattle farmers still use a feed that is a combination of grass and grain. And some farmers maintain that feeding them beer is best while others say it makes them lazy.
While the highest Japanese grade of wagyu is the A5, it’s the Japanese Kobe steak that is considered the crème de la crème because it’s considered the most expensive steak sold globally. Only 3,000 cattle make the cut annually because of the very strict grading processes that go into becoming authentic Kobe beef.
Since dry aging is already more expensive than standard beef due to the reduced yields after loss and the time, you can expect steep prices for dry aged wagyu, especially from a restaurant. This is one of the reasons dry aging at home is a great choice and with the help of the Steak Locker's dry age fridge it has never been easier.
Dry Aged Wagyu Process
When dry aging standard American beef selections, the process enhances and tenderizes the cuts. But when wagyu is dry aged, its color becomes a lot lighter compared to the non-dry aged wagyu steaks. Then once they are cooked to the very same temperature, the steaks can look drastically different due to the dry aged steak having lost a lot of its pink hue and tends to look a bit over cooked. However, since taste is everything when dry aging, it elevates the wagyu A5 to a much higher level.