If you’re in the market for some of the best beef money can buy, you will want to try wagyu beef. This premium meat is renowned for its intense flavor and marbling, making it a highly sought-after ingredient in many of the world’s best steakhouses.
But there is a reason why wagyu beef has not yet reached most backyard barbecues: it is one of the most expensive meat on the market. Lucky for us, not all wagyu cuts are born equal.
In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about how to buy wagyu beef on a regular basis, without spending much more than you would usually do when visit your local grocery store.
What is so special about wagyu beef?
Wagyu beef is prized for its intense flavor and marbling, which is caused by the high amount of fat that is evenly distributed throughout the meat. This makes it a very tender and juicy piece of meat, perfect for those who want to enjoy a delicious steak experience. In addition to its excellent flavor, wagyu beef is also known for its healthy properties. The high fat content in wagyu beef actually contains a higher percentage of monounsaturated fats, which are considered to be healthy for the heart. So not only is wagyu beef delicious, but it’s also good for you!
Why is wagyu beef so expensive
Everything comes at a price and wagyu beef is definitely a more expensive option than regular beef. That’s mainly because wagyu cattle are raised in a very specific way that results in the unique marbling that makes the meat so special. In addition, there is a limited supply of wagyu beef since it can only be produced in certain parts of the world. But for most people who tried it, wagyu is worth the extra cost.
Want to find out more about wagyu beef, read my blog post about wagyu and learn everything there is to know about this incredible meat.
Wagyu beef should not be limited to steakhouse restaurants!
How to buy wagyu
I discovered wagyu during the COVID lockdown. Like most people, I was cooped up at home and, with everything closed, I had a lot of time to spend on internet search to find ways to improve my barbecue. I came across a promotion by Snake River Farms, the #1 distributor of american wagyu since 1968. The company offers a variety of wagyu beef products, including steaks, roasts, ground beef, and hot dogs. I was intrigued by the prospect of trying wagyu beef and decided to buy a few steaks to see what all the fuss was about. It was a life changer! The flavor of the meat was unlike anything I had ever tasted before and the tenderness was incredible. I was hooked! Since then, I have been trying different cuts of meat, recipes, and techniques and I have made a list of the best and most affordable wagyu cuts from Snake River Farms, that are really worth the cost.
After spending a couple hundred dollars on my first order though, I realized that I had to shop smart if I wanted to continue having some delicious wagyu beef on the weekend. So, I began by setting up a ‘wagyu budget.’ The average person spends about $50 per week on beef (I spend a lot more than that). This number of course varies depending on the region, family size, and how often people eat meat. But for a small family of four, I felt that setting a $250 per month budget (about $60 per week) seemed like a reasonable amount. Now that I had a number, I had to fit in at least 4 weekends a month of Wagyu. After trying few combination, I decided to adopt what I feel is the best formula to get the best bang for your buck: 1 roast (tri-tip or picanha), 2 steaks (teres major, bavette, flat iron, flank, or hanger steak), and 1 pack of ground beef or hot dog. And many times, especially when I used one of Snake River Farms’ promotions, I even spent less that my budget.
Even now my friends wonder how I can have wagyu so often 🙂
Best wagyu beef
Wagyu beef is mostly imported (from Japan, New Zealand, etc.) which usually makes it a lot more expensive than any meat. And Wagyu being a niche market in the US, there is still a very limited supply of wagyu available on the US market – often difficult to find in your local butcher store. So, where can you buy your wagyu?
Most US distributors of Wagyu have an online store. And most of them have a similar offer. I have tried wagyu from some of them but to me, nothing beats Snake River Farms, the #1 distributor of American wagyu. Their products are distributed nationwide in top restaurants and steakhouses and their customer service is top notch.
Here are is a list of the best – and most affordable – wagyu beef cuts from Snake River Farms, to get the best bang for of your buck:
- Snake River Farms’ wagyu ground beef: this is the same gourmet ground beef used by top chefs and restaurants to make signature hamburgers, sliders and main dishes that are robust, meaty and delicious. 100% natural with no added hormones, this is premium restaurant quality ground beef. These pre-measured, one-pound packages are convenient for making your own juicy burgers or for preparing your favorite recipes. You’ll appreciate how the square packages take up very little space in your fridge or freezer.
- Snake River Farms’ wagyu hot dog: Recognized as America’s premiere gourmet hot dog, Snake River Farms American Wagyu wagyu hot dogs are crafted from 100% American Wagyu beef combined with a signature blend of spices, then slowly smoked with authentic hardwood. These fully cooked, skin-on dogs have a firm bite that’s hard to find, but is the hallmark of a truly authentic hot dog. The casing (or “skin”) will pop when cooked, creating what old school frank lovers call “splitters.” With Snake River Farms’ wagyu hot dogs, you will elevate the traditional grilling experience.
- Snake River Farms’ wagyu tri tip: This triangular cut from the sirloin is famous for its performance on the grill, especially when prepared on hardwood. In Santa Maria, California, the home of the tri-tip, this crescent shaped roast is prepared using only salt and pepper and grilled to an ideal medium rare.
- Snake River Farms’ wagyu picanha: The picanha steak (also known as the coulotte or coulotte steak) is a hard-to-find cut of beef that’s well worth the search. It is triangular in shape and considered to be the most delectable meats for the grill in Brazilian steakhouses. Delicious roasted whole, sliced into steaks or skewered and served with chimichurri for a taste of Brazil at home.
- Snake River Farms’ wagyu hanger steak: The hanger steak is a unique cut that features the rich beefy flavor of higher tier cuts like the ribeye and New York at a better price point. It cooks up beautifully when seared on a hot grill or skillet and is fantastic for steak frites, carne asada or simply served on its own. Each package contains two hanger steaks.
- Snake River Farms’ wagyu teres major: The teres major, sometimes called a shoulder tender, is flavorful and almost as tender as filet mignon. The Snake River Farms teres major is American Wagyu beef which makes it an especially delicious cut. Each package contains 2 teres majors.
- Snake River Farms’ wagyu bavette: The bavette is a lesser known cut every steak lover needs to know. Popular with Asian, Latin American and French chefs who love its full-bodied beef flavor, it’s grown in popularity here in the U.S. Our American Wagyu bavette is packed with more marbling and richness.
- Snake River Farms’ wagyu flank steak: Snake River Farms’ flank steak clears up the bad reputation this cut has with some home cooks, conjuring up visions of dry, tough plates of beef. The Snake River Farms flank steak is full of flavor and remarkably tender. The broad shape makes it easy to slice and serve. For the best results, be sure to cut against the coarse grain.
Where to buy wagyu beef
If you have read the previous paragraph, you already know the answer to that question 🙂 When you buy wagyu beef from Snake River Farms, you can be confident that you’re getting the highest quality meat available.
“You can give me a pound of the best Wagyu from Japan, or a pound of this (Snake River Farms) and I’ll choose Snake River Farms every time.” Wolfgang Puck
Here’s how the process works:
1. Select the cuts of wagyu beef that you want to buy;
2. Add the selected cuts of wagyu beef to your cart and proceed to checkout;
3. Enter your shipping information and choose your preferred shipping method;
4. Enter your payment information and submit your order;
5. Your order will be processed and shipped to you according to your chosen shipping method.
I have always received all of my shipments on time and beautifully wrapped, together with their catalogue, and an insulated gift bag. On one occasion, my shipment got lost. I called Snake River Farms and they re-sent my order within 5 days, at no cost, no question asked.
Buy wagyu beef
Click on one of these hyperlinks to order your favorite cuts of beef:
- wagyu ground beef
- wagyu hot dog
- wagyu tri tip
- wagyu picanha
- wagyu hanger steak
- wagyu teres major
- wagyu bavette
- wagyu flank steak
DISCLOSURE: I am a proud affiliate for Snake River Farms and other products/brands listed on this page, which means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help me finance new purchases and continue testing new products and recipes for you. That being said, keep in mind that all of my recommendations are based on deep experience and knowledge of these companies and their products, and I only recommend them because I would genuinely use them myself in my cooking. All opinions expressed on my blog are my own only. Please, do not spend any money on these products unless you believe that they will help you improve your barbecue.
How will wagyu improve your cooking?
Wagyu beef has an incredible flavorful which will make your recipes delicious. It is also the most tender meat you will ever try, so it will be easier to cook and less likely to dry out. And by following the advice I gave you previously, should you like it (which I am sure you will), you can even make wagyu a weekly treat without spending much more than you would usually do on your beef shopping. So, why limit yourself to plain old steaks?
Ready to try WAGYU?
Like this blog post?
Don’t forget to give it a 5 stars and leave a comment below!
And remember to SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter to get your FREE Essential Guide To Cooking Wagyu