What Makes Wagyu Beef So Good?

wagyu steak

What makes Wagyu beef so good? To find out, we need to learn what wagyu Beef really is. Simply put, wagyu, pronounced “wa” meaning Japanese, and “gyu” meaning cow, is an old breed of Japanese beef cattle, but there is much more to this tasty breed of cattle than a name. Originally, wagyu were selected for their physical endurance. The livestock with more intramuscular fat cells was chosen because of their ability to easily store energy… What we in the business refer to as “marbling.”

The distinctive flavor and tenderness of wagyu beef is a rare eating experience due to its finely marbled consistency… A super beef, famous for its appearance, and so tender, it literally melts in your mouth…

It’s not only a gourmet pleasure, it’s also safe for you. The un-saturated to saturation fat ratio in wagyu has been discovered by health experts to be higher than in other beef. 40% of the saturated fat is a stearic acid form, which is considered to have minimal cholesterol effects.

Wagyu is also higher in fatty acids known as CLA, linoleic conjugate acid. Due to higher concentrations of linoleic acid, wagyu beef contains the highest CLA of foods per gram— around 30 percent higher than other cattle breeds.

I got to have real wagyu beef last November, and I was not disappointed at all. I took a trip to Japan, just for fun. I love to travel the world, see the sights, meet the people, and of course, eat the food. I was traveling with my friend Joey. We have been several world cities together including New York, Dallas, Kansas City, Atlanta, Berlin, Istanbul, Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. The latest trip was to the Japanese cities listed. Joey had told me Japan was one of his favorite places he had ever been to. He had insisted I go there. It didn’t take much convincing since I had an awesome travel voucher from Google Fi burning a hole in my pocket. So we did just that.

Here’s a referral code to get a $20 credit when you join Google Fi! Redeem it at https://g.co/fi/r/8UH82X

I had so many great meals, but I was blown away by my first wagyu experience. We were in a train station in Tokyo, with some nice restaurants all around the food court area. We had been in Tokyo a few days, and by that time we were starting to look for something besides noodles or fish. So we decided upon a restaurant that had steak on the menu. As you began to learn in Japan, most if not all restaurants have visual representations of their foods from the menu right outside the entrance to lure you in. It worked.

We sat down, were promptly greeted with warm, damp towels, and offered water as we looked through the menu. A beautiful looking dish with 3 different cuts of wagyu beef and side of fried potatoes? Yes Please!! With a reasonable price of 3500 Yen, (Just under $35) it was a no brainer for us to order this platter, knowing we would be experiencing something we couldn’t easily experience at home.

My first Wagyu platter.
My first ever Wagyu platter.

The platter was served with a little salt, real wasabi, and a dish of Au Jus on the side. The steak from all 3 cuts was so good I rarely dipped them in anything, however, I tried all of those things as well. The steak itself when cooked looks and smells like any other steak I’ve had, but when I took that first bite and the steak just melted in my mouth, I knew it’s something I had never experienced before. Of course, the steak texture was still there, but it was so tender and the flavor was as rich as heaven.

After we returned from Japan, and having had the best steaks of our lives, we decided to see if it was possible to get that amazing experience in The States. We did our research and this is what we found… My Experience with American Wagyu

How good is American Wagyu Beef? My Experience with American Wagyu

American wagyu

After my friend Joey and I returned to The States from our trip to Japan, we were wanting to try American wagyu to see how it compared to Japanese wagyu. We found the website MishimaReserve.com which specializes in selling American Wagyu beef. We opted for the highest quality rib-eye they carry. It came in a day later than anticipated, but was still frozen. We were a little worried since we dropped about $100 a piece on them. Once the order came in, our worries subsided. There they were… beautifully marbled frozen American wagyu rib-eyes. As our worries faded momentarily, we then realized that we had to cook these things. I shouldn’t have been worried I’ve cooked countless steaks, and the only critics were ourselves, but when you have invested in such an expensive cut of meat, you definitely don’t want to mess it up.

Weber with Steaks

The steaks turned out amazing! Such a tender texture with buttery taste seasoned with our own Steak Beautiful – Hickory. The recipe was quite simple. In fact, it was really just a matter of cook time.

2 Steaks (we preferred these American wagyu rib-eyes)
1 Bottle of Steak Beautiful – Hickory
A hot charcoal fire

(Prep) If your steaks are frozen like ours were thaw them in the refrigerator overnight.

  1. Once thawed, remove steaks from fridge season them with Steak Beautiful – Hickory
  2. Light fire. Get coals peak hot.
  3. Place seasoned steaks on grill, over direct heat, and let them cook 4 to 5 mins
  4. Flip steaks. Continue to cook 3 to 5 mins for medium rare, 5 to 7 mins for medium, and for well done, just open the charcoal bag and grab a few briquettes to snack on.
  5. Let steaks rest. Serve with a baked potato or grilled asparagus.

Kansas City Barbeque Society Releases Statement on the KCUR Article

KCBS

Earlier this week, KCUR released an article that seemed to be all doom and gloom for our beloved KCBS organization. While the article seems to be painting a portrait of F.U.D. (fear, uncertainty, and doubt), one thing that is apparent is that the article was released regardless of commentary from the organization itself.

While Emily Detwiler, CEO of KCBS, didn’t return emails or calls, it wasn’t from a place of defiance. The KCBS organization has since released an official statement explaining the inaccuracies of the initial story while taking on the issues directly with anecdotal positions for each scenario.

KCBS Responds to KCUR Article

Judging from the initial paragraph of the response, it seems that a plot to undermine the KCBS was derived from disgruntled former members posing as “anonymous” sources.

The response takes on the F.U.D. with reason and an objective stance to the hearsay coming from disgruntled former members and outsiders.

Jim Quessenberry BBQ and KCBS

Jim Quessenberry BBQ proudly stands behind the current board of directors and the KCBS organization. We are proud members, including our Jonesboro resident contest judge, Michael Quessenberry, who had this to say about the story.

“I find it hard to believe that Carolyn Wells is stepping away from the organization. When we met with her at the American Royal 40th Anniversary World Series of Barbecue, she was extremely excited to see us there and couldn’t wait to tell us about the exciting future of the KCBS.”
Michael Quessenberry

Carolyn mentioned to us both that she had been delegating some of her responsibilities in the organization to others while taking on new roles; hardly a departure. If anyone in the organization knows the opportune time to step up and make an impact for the good of the KCBS, its Carolyn. She doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

When the Jonesboro, AR contest rolls around in the fall of 2020, I will be attending the judge training course myself.

Staying Connected with the KCBS

We encourage anyone with questions regarding the KCBS to go straight to the source. The KCBS keeps an open line of communication with the public and its members.

The Smokestack Lightning Interview Tapes: Origin Story on Competing

 

Lolis Elie interviewing Jim Quessenberry

[00:00:00] Lolis Elie: How did you get into the actual barbecue business? Did you start off doing some competitions or…

[00:00:06] Jim Quessenberry: Yeah. Uh, well, see, I was in food service in Memphis. I was in …. with the Britling cafeterias over there. B, R, I, T, L, I, N, G, and uh, they’re an old company. They have cafeterias in Memphis. They have a cafeteria is in Nashville called B and w cafeteria.

[00:00:31] They have cafeterias in Kentucky, Louisville, Lexington, and all up in there called, uh… Blue Boar… Blue Boar like a boar hog. And, uh, the actual company, is a very, very old company that came out of… Uh… It came out of Birmingham years and year ago, but, uh, It’s an old family owned company. I worked for them for oh, four or five [00:01:00] years, four years, I guess. Which, you know, I’ve always been interested in food, I mean, even as a hobby. Well, I got into it as a business there. And I’ve always been into barbecue. My folks, that’s what the idea did to entertain when we were kids. Uh, you know, the both of them together kind of made a, uh, an indelible impression on me. So, uh, when these contests started coming along. It was a natural pursuit. You know, something I knew I was pretty fair at, so I just started doing them. And. uh..

[00:01:34] Lolis Elie: What year was that?

[00:01:36] Jim Quessenberry: Woo… uh… ’78 maybe…

[00:01:39] Lolis Elie: You do Memphis in May in ’78? first one?

[00:01:42] Jim Quessenberry: Yeah, been to every one of them. Under one name or other. We’ve been under a lot of different team names was always, always been me. And, a lot of my folks that I have now, have never, you know, have never been to two or three contests. A lot of folks I had with me back then, don’t go [00:02:00] to them anymore because they’ve all decided they’re too old. Me, I don’t ever get too old.

[00:02:04] Lolis Elie: Hmm… Did you ever win any of them?

[00:02:07] Jim Quessenberry: Yeah, we won uh… second one year… We won second in the second year they had it, we second in whole hog. We won third in… I believe 84, and uh… I won a comp… A side competition they had over there one year. John Morel was one of the sponsors. They had a contest called The Jet Net Ham Contest, which is nothing but a boneless ham in a jet net. And I won that. And that was really an accomplishment ‘cause it had about 200 entries. Um, but, uh, we’ve been pretty consistent about scoring fairly high. During one little period there, like about a five or six year period, we didn’t… We didn’t come in any worse than tenth place, which in a place… competition that big, that’s pretty good. Of course, we’ve come in… We’ve [00:03:00] literally brought up the rear before. You know.

[00:03:04]

We “never get too old.” That’s why Sauce Beautiful has been the preferred choice for thousands for over 30 years.