What Is Most Expensive Cut Of Beef? A Full Guide

Are you a steak lover looking to indulge in the most luxurious and expensive cuts of beef?

Look no further!

In this article, we’ll explore the world of high-end beef cuts, from the tender and flavorful New York strip to the highly sought-after Japanese Kobe beef.

We’ll also delve into the reasons behind the hefty price tags and what makes these cuts so special.

So sit back, relax, and get ready to salivate over some of the most expensive cuts of beef in the world.

What Is Most Expensive Cut Of Beef?

The most expensive cuts of beef are typically found in the loin and rib section of the steer, which is the center of the animal. These cuts are more tender and flavorful due to their distance from the horn and hoof.

The most expensive cut of beef is the A5 Japanese Wagyu beef boneless ribeye. This cut is imported from Japan and comes from pedigree cattle raised on strict diets in stress-free conditions by master connoisseurs with eyes for beef. The A5 rating signifies the highest quality of beef, with incredible marbling that gives it a texture like meaty velvet and an almost sweet aftertaste. Only a few sources of beef in the country are rated A5 for quality, making this cut extremely rare and expensive. Scoring this A5 Japanese Wagyu beef boneless ribeye will cost you a whopping $1,499.99 for the whole cut.

Another highly sought-after cut is the Japanese Kobe beef, which is usually considered the most expensive steak globally. With strict grading processes and only 3,000 cattle making the cut annually to be called authentic Kobe beef, you can see why it is an expensive option. This beef has perfect marbling due to being raised with Japanese-raised standards, with cows having special diets consisting of grass, straw, and other natural grains. Farmers ensure that their cattle have just the right amount of fat and muscle content to enhance marbling and flavor. The extra effort and commitment that goes into raising these cattle make them stand out from the rest.

American Wagyu beef is much like the Japanese version, only it comes from American cattle using Japanese cattle-raising and feeding practices. So, it’s safe to say that the steaks will offer much of the same characteristics and flavor as one another. American Wagyu undergoes the USDA Prime grading system, rather than the Japanese grading system, which may affect its rating but still makes it a delicious and expensive option.

Introduction To High-end Beef Cuts

When it comes to high-end beef cuts, the most important factors are tenderness and flavor. The tenderness of a cut of meat is determined by the muscle it comes from, with less active muscles typically producing more tender meat. The best high-end cuts of beef come from the lower midsection of the cow, where the muscles are less worked and the meat is more tender. These cuts also tend to have an assertive amount of fat, which enhances their flavor.

Some of the most expensive and sought-after cuts of beef include Japanese Kobe beef, Japanese Wagyu beef, American Wagyu beef, filet mignon, and beef tenderloin. These cuts are known for their incredible texture and flavor, making them a favorite among meat lovers. However, they are also on the higher end of the price spectrum due to their quality.

To understand which cut of beef is best for a particular cooking method, it’s important to refer to a beef cut chart. This will help you identify which cuts are best for grilling, stewing, braising, or roasting. For those who want to create their own high-end ground meat blend, combining different cuts of red meat can produce a proprietary blend that is both tender and delicious.

When it comes to the hindquarter cuts of beef, the short loin is where the most desirable cuts are found. These include T-bone and porterhouse steaks, as well as strip loin or strip steak. The tenderloin muscle extends from the short loin back into the sirloin and is responsible for the tenderness of these cuts. Dry-heat cooking methods are best for these tender cuts.

New York Strip: A Classic Luxury Cut

The New York strip is a classic luxury cut of beef that is known for its full flavor and tenderness. It is also one of the most common and easily accessible high-end cuts of beef available in most butcher shops and online meat delivery services. Although it may not be as tender as the filet or ribeye, its flavor profile makes it a popular choice among steak enthusiasts.

The New York strip is cut from the short loin of the cow, which is a muscle that doesn’t get much exercise. This lack of activity results in a tender cut of meat that is perfect for grilling, broiling, or pan-searing. The New York strip is also known for its marbling, which adds to its rich flavor and juiciness.

When shopping for a New York strip, it’s essential to look for a high-quality cut with plenty of marbling. The USDA grades beef based on its quality, with Prime being the highest grade available. However, not all butchers carry Prime beef, so it’s important to ask about the grade when purchasing.

The price of a New York strip can vary depending on the quality and location. On average, you can expect to pay between $20-30 per pound for this luxury cut of beef. While it may not be as expensive as Japanese Kobe or Wagyu beef, it’s still a premium option that delivers an exceptional dining experience.

Filet Mignon: A Tender And Pricey Option

Filet mignon is a cut of beef that comes from the tenderloin, which is widely considered the most tender cut of beef. It’s also known as a filet and is the most expensive cut of beef because of its tenderness. The reason for its high price is that the average animal only holds about 500 grams, or just over a pound, of the filet portion.

While filet mignon is incredibly tender, it’s also very lean and doesn’t have any marbling or beefy flavor that other high-end cuts have. That’s why it’s often served with a sauce to complement the steak. Despite its lack of marbling, filet mignon remains a popular choice for steak lovers who prefer a more delicate flavor and texture.

If you’re looking to purchase filet mignon, you can expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $100 per pound depending on the quality and source of the meat. Keep in mind that the price of filet mignon will be considerably more expensive from an organic, grass-fed based beef farm than that of a grain-fed feedlot operation with little to no regulation. Organic beef is 39% more expensive to raise than conventional beef, according to research by Fernandez et al.

Ribeye: A Marbled And Flavorful Choice

One of the most popular and flavorful cuts of beef is the ribeye steak. It is cut from the front end of the longissimus dorsi, from the rib primal of the steer. The ribeye steak is highly marbled, with a large swath of fat separating the longissimus from the spinalis. This fat is where a lot of the distinctive flavor of beef comes from, making ribeye one of the richest, beefiest cuts available.

The central eye of meat tends to be smooth-textured, with a finer grain than a strip steak, while the spinalis section will have a looser grain and more fat. Many people consider the spinalis to be the absolute tastiest quick-cooking cut on the cow.

To cook ribeye steak, pan-frying, grilling, and broiling are all good options. However, grilling ribeye steak can be a bit tricky because its copious fat is prone to causing flare-ups. Have a lid ready and stand by with tongs in case you need to rapidly spring into action and retrieve the steak from the depths of a fireball. This is why pan-searing is often considered the best way to cook ribeye steak.

When selecting a ribeye steak, look for one with plenty of marbling throughout the meat. This will ensure that it’s tender and flavorful when cooked. While not as expensive as Japanese Wagyu or Kobe beef, a high-quality ribeye steak can still be quite pricey due to its tenderness and flavor. However, it’s definitely worth it for a special occasion or when you want to treat yourself to a delicious meal.

Wagyu Beef: A Rare And Highly Coveted Delicacy

Wagyu beef is a rare and highly coveted delicacy that has gained popularity in recent years. Its high price tag is due to its unique characteristics, including its high marbling, texture, and flavor. This beef comes from a specific breed of cattle, which are only born and raised in certain regions of Japan, including the Hyogo prefecture where Kobe is located.

Wagyu beef is rated according to several criteria, such as the amount of marbling, color of meat, and fat’s texture. The A5 rating is the highest quality grade of Wagyu beef in Japan, which signifies superb texture, rich buttery flavor, and delicacy. Wagyu beef is not exclusively raised in Japan anymore and can also be found in other countries such as the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. However, the Japanese Wagyu beef is still considered the most sought-after beef in the world.

One reason for its high price tag is that it is evaluated on five different criteria, and if any of these fail to meet the highest standard, then the piece doesn’t get the coveted A4 or A5 score. Another reason for its high price tag is that it has a healthier fat content than other types of beef. Nearly 40% of fat in Wagyu beef is in the form of stearic acid, which has a lesser impact on raising one’s cholesterol levels. Moreover, Wagyu beef contains 30% more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) per gram than other types of beef due to higher content of linoleic acid. CLA contributes less to negative health problems and makes Wagyu beef healthier than other types of beef.

Kobe Beef: The Most Expensive Beef In The World

Kobe beef is often considered the most expensive and sought-after beef in the world. It is a type of Wagyu beef that comes from the Tajima strain of Fullblood Japanese Black cattle, raised in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture, specifically in the capital city of Kobe. The beef gets its name from the nearby city of Kobe, and only a select number of cows are chosen as A5 Wagyu beef from this region.

Kobe beef is known for its incredible marbling, which gives it a unique texture and flavor. It is also incredibly rare due to the strict standards that must be met to be considered authentic Kobe beef. There are seven standards that determine if Wagyu beef is Kobe, including being a bullock (steer) or virgin cow, being born within Hyogo Prefecture, being fed on grasses and grains on a farm within Hyogo Prefecture, and having a marbling rating (BMS) of 6 or higher on a 12 point scale.

True Kobe beef is extremely rare, with only approximately 3,000 Tajima cattle per year being certified as Kobe beef. This contributes to just 0.06% of beef consumption in Japan, and even less actually exported due to a lack of Hyogo slaughterhouses being USDA-approved. This means that many restaurants in the States that claim to offer Kobe beef don’t actually do so.

Kobe beef is considered the most expensive and sought-after beef in the world, with single portions often selling for more than $200. In Japan, the cost of Kobe beef starts at about $300 per pound. In the States, it can be $50 per ounce—whereas other non-Kobe Wagyu can be half of that cost. The reason behind this high cost is due to the extra effort and commitment that goes into raising these cattle to meet the strict standards required to be considered authentic Kobe beef.