Connoisseurs of Kobe beef are a knowledgeable lot. They know what quality is and what value is. That’s why they buy Kobe beef: it’s the best.

As foodies, Kobe beef lovers are part of the growing market for specialty artisan butchers, specialist in dressing different cuts of meat. Each cut of meat has its own texture and flavor, even with Wagyu cows. The initial cut of meat is called the primal cut, rather primal sounding in its own. Different countries have different cuts and names, but since you prefer Canadian Wagyu Kobe meat, we’ll cover the basic cuts used in North America.

First, the cow is divided into quarters, one cut right down the middle from head to tail and then a cut right through the middle cutting the animal into two equal parts. The front part of the cow is the forequarters and the back part is the hindquarters.The forequarters divide into five primal cuts:

  • chuck: the shoulders, well-exercised, meaning rather tough. Used for good but lesser-valued cuts of steak, along with roasts and ground beef.
  • rib: short ribs, prime ribs, and rib eye, all good.
  • brisket: just below the shoulder, so used for stews and barbeque, anything that softens the tough texture.
  • shank: basically the thigh, and very tough. Used almost exclusively for stews.
  • plate: the chest, used for short ribs and skirt steak, both needing long, slow cooking to tenderize.

The hindquarters are divided themselves into three main categories with the loin sub-divided. The hind also has a shank similar to the fore.

  • loin: the upper back and considered the best cuts.
    • short loin: T-bones, Porterhouse, and strip steaks
    • sirloin: less tender but more flavorful than the short loin, the sirloin is further divided into the top and bottom sirloin.
    • tenderloin: the kindest cut of all, used for filet mignon, beef Wellington, steaks, and other stand alone beef dishes.
  • round: the rear, leaner cuts that need moist cooking or becomes tough and dry.
  • flank: the bottom, used mostly for ground beef, but also London broils.

Here’s your primer on the primal cuts of steak. When you order Kobe beef, try different cuts and then pay special attention to the texture and taste of each cut. You’ll find that just like Kobe beef has its own taste, each cut of Kobe beef has its own taste, too.


Posted in: Cooking Tips

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  1. By Owen Allcock


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