The Primary Differences Between Kobe Beef and Wagyu Beef
As two of the top types of beef in the world, Kobe beef and Wagyu beef are similar in many ways but have their own separate characteristics that separate them. They are both enjoyed for their marbled fat throughout the cut, which offers additional flavor profiles and keeps the cut tender, making cuts like wagyu ribeye and absolute must-try meat. Wagyu and Kobe both come from a specific breed of cow that originated in Japan and are fed and cared for in particular ways.
Where Does Wagyu Beef Come From
Wagyu beef comes from four breeds that are native to Japan and have been bred there to create the ideal source for meat. They are only from these source breeds and may not be crossbred with other cattle and remain graded as whole Wagyu beef. It is graded on a separate scale from others and is the only meat rated with the top ratings based upon quality and marbling. Did you know that this beef makes some of the most flavourful gourmet wagyu hotdogs on the planet? Don’t take our word for it, this is a must try item for anyone new to wagyu.
The cows are raised with their mothers for almost the entire first year of their life and are fed top-quality feed. Brewer’s wheat is often used to increase the health of the cows and to encourage calm, while their space is kept clean and stress levels are low. Some are given vegetable oil to soften the fat, and they may play music in the shelters overnight to encourage the cows to remain calm and relaxed to produce the best cuts of meat.
The Kobe Beef Line Of Bulls
Kobe beef is from one brand of cattle from Japan and comes explicitly from the lines of 12 specific bulls that are said to be the ideal. These are fed and raised until they hit a specific weight of around 1,036 lbs which takes at least two years. Many of them reach the highest grades in both Japan and America, though the different grading systems create confusion for some choosing the best meats. Kobe has a similar marbling of fat to the meats, creating both flavor and desirable texture, however, many of our loyal customers feel that our wagyu brisket is more flavorful than a kobe brisket. Some may argue that, just remember, we are all entitled to our own opinions. Half of them are graded in the A grades, while the other half are certified at lower grades. Its limited sources and strictly controlled breeding and care are both critical to producing the best meats, and they are priced accordingly.
What’s The Difference Between Kobe Beef And Wagyu Beef?
The main difference is the bloodline and the breed of the cattle. With Kobe coming only from the Tajima's breed and more specifically from a set bloodline of specific bulls, it is much more limited in supply. With strict regulations in Japan, there are no cattle of this or any Wagyu lines exported out of the country. Wagyu beef is available from American suppliers who were able to obtain it when they were still shipping, though the lines are not able to be bred strongly, and some crossbreeds are used.
The four breeds that produce Wagyu beef (try our wagyu filet) are more readily available than the one breed that produces Kobe, making it more rare and difficult to find. This is simply because of the limited number of Kobe that can be sourced from that one line.