Is it worth the time, effort, and money to make wagyu beef into a burger? This article will cover the reasons why it is and isn’t worth it. Authentic wagyu is an expensive meat that is eaten for its better flavor and texture over the traditional beef that is usually tougher and less flavorful.
Many individuals that have tried wagyu beef have given it much praise for its ability to solve the one problem that steaks can have, a tough chewy texture. Some have even described wagyu as a melt in your mouth beef experience. However, is it good for making great burgers, and is it worth the cost?
First off, it should be noted that wagyu is actually used as the prime meat for making burgers in some restaurants. So if the question is on whether or not wagyu can be used to make a burger, it certainly can be used. Some restaurants that use wagyu meat in their burgers have won awards for having some of the best burgers in the region.
For many that have experienced eating wagyu in a burger when compared to other types of meat in a burger, many have said that it is a great experience. It is certainly a step up from eating the regular everyday burger, even if they are prepared at their best. The quality of the wagyu meat just simply makes the burger better than others.
Many agree that a wagyu burger tastes better than a regular burger when it is made correctly. The wagyu burger has a nice beefy flavor that is a step up from the regular beef burger. It is buttery and more creamier. It does require some seasoning to get the full flavorful benefit of eating the wagyu burger, but usually a simple seasoning of salt is all that is needed.
From trying the wagyu burger, it is also more savory than a regular beef burger would be. Altogether it just has a better flavor, because of the wagyu in the sandwich.
When individuals eat wagyu burgers after trying the regular 80/20 beef to fat ratio burger, they can immediately tell a difference in the two burgers, even if they have never tried a wagyu burger before. People that have tried wagyu before but not as a burger, can also tell that they are eating a burger with wagyu in it if the wagyu is high quality.
So, it is shown that trying a wagyu burger is worth the experience, but is it actually worth it?
Though most people say that after trying a wagyu burger, it was a better experience, some do say that it is not worth using wagyu meat to make burgers. The process of grinding the meat into ground beef to make wagyu from high quality Japanese wagyu can be a little troublesome. The fat in the wagyu feels like butter in the hands, and can make it a little bit unpleasant to incorporate into the wagyu meat to form a patty after it has been grinded in the meat grinder.
It is actually better enjoyed as a steak than in burgers. This is because steaks are usually expected to have a tougher texture, but wagyu steaks don’t, and solve this problem. The extra intramuscular fat makes the steak/meat more tender.
The individuals that eat wagyu steak on a regular basis say that you should try a wagyu burger as a first time experience, but leave it as a first.
The high quality A5 wagyu is just too tender to make it a suitable texture for burgers. Also, the patties that are cooked to make the burgers, have a more difficult time cooking for this type of wagyu. This is because the wagyu’s extra fat in the burger patty while it is cooking, makes the burger difficult to cook. The patties will look as if they are melting on the grill. They may also fall apart once the pieces of fat have been cooked and melted.
Of course, ground beef has to be cooked at a higher temperature, or for a longer period of time than steaks (for food safety reasons), so high quality wagyu doesn’t do so well under these conditions. The fat in wagyu beef has a lower melting point than regular beef fat. The patties will shrink faster once the fats in the wagyu beef begin to cook.
Also, eating high quality ground wagyu beef in a burger just feels like eating ground beef mixed in with way too much butter. So it is not suited well in texture for burgers, even though it may taste better than having a well prepared regular beef burger with a decent amount of fat.
With that said, how does a restaurant pull off making wagyu burgers that people like?
Restaurants will typically use a less authentic wagyu (American wagyu for example) to counter the texture loss from using Japanese wagyu. American wagyu has around 50% wagyu in their beef. These do deliver better tasting burgers that people love to eat as a burger.
These burgers still have the creamy buttery texture that is not too mushy. It still has the firmness from the beef itself in the wagyu, with the intramuscular fat being more forgiving for the texture. It is better to have American wagyu for a burger, than Japanese wagyu, because the texture is better from the cooked ground beef.
This type of wagyu burger is cheaper, which means that it would be worth it price wise to eat a wagyu burger regularly, instead of as just a try one time experience that you will never forget.
You should try a burger with high quality A5 wagyu atleast one time if you can afford it, just for the burger experience, but you will most likely enjoy a wagyu steak from high quality A5 wagyu more. It isn’t worth the money if you are trying to get the best experience from eating wagyu beef altogether. The work needed to grind the meat into wagyu ground beef just isn’t worth the time and effort. However, lesser quality wagyu meats could be the perfect choice for making a burger that is worth the time, effort, and money.