The price of a steak often depends on its grade, reflecting the meat’s marbling, tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. However, it’s not just about the meat itself. The origin of the cattle, how they’re raised, and their breed’s history also matter. Below, I’ve listed some of the most expensive steaks available.
Kobe A5+ Wagyu Steak
A5+ Kobe Beef Price Per Pound: $300-$600+
The Kobe A5+ Wagyu steak is the most expensive in the world, costing up to $600 per pound, sometimes even more. Why so expensive? Well, it’s all about its rich, buttery taste, incredible marbling, tenderness, rigorous standards for raising cattle, and just how rare these steaks are.
Kobe beef is one of the many types or brands of Japanese Wagyu beef. What’s Wagyu? It’s just a term for all Japanese beef cattle – ‘Wa’ means Japanese, and ‘gyu’ means cow. So, Kobe beef is just a brand of Japanese Wagyu beef. For example, other highly prized Japanese wagyu beef brands are Ohmi Beef, Hida Beef, and Matsusaka Beef.
Kobe beef comes from the Tajima strain of Japanese black cattle, raised in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture. The rules for rearing these cattle are very strict, set by the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association. Interestingly, only a few thousand cattle each year get the serial number, authenticating their meat as genuine A5 Kobe Beef.
Olive Wagyu Steak
Olive Wagyu Beef Price Per Pound: $200-$400+
Olive Wagyu steak ranks as one of the most expensive cuts, just behind the famed Kobe steak. This rarity is a highly prized type of Japanese Wagyu beef. The steak’s intense marbling, melt-in-your-mouth texture, and rich buttery flavor make it a must-try for every steak connoisseur.
Olive wagyu beef comes from Shodoshima Island in the Kagawa Prefecture of Japan. So, what’s the secret behind Olive Wagyu’s uniqueness? It’s all in the diet – these cattle are fed on olives, which gives their meat that amazing marbling and an unbeatably buttery texture.
Japanese Wagyu Steak
Japanese Wagyu Beef Price Per Pound: $75$-$400+
Besides Kobe beef and Olive Wagyu beef, many other types of Japanese Wagyu are known for their amazing marbling, tenderness, and flavor. I won’t list them all here, but remember that almost every high-grade Wagyu steak tends to be pricier than most other steaks worldwide.
Japan is unique in its dedication to beef farming, with strict standards and a strong focus on brand-building. This results in extraordinary beef that’s highly valued globally.
Australian Wagyu Steak
Australian Wagyu Beef Price Per Pound: $100-$200+
Australian Wagyu steak is not on the same level as the famous Japanese Wagyu, but let me tell you, it’s still a knockout choice. It has all the good stuff you expect from a Wagyu – super impressive marbling, extreme tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. Think of it as a middle ground between USDA Prime and Japanese Wagyu beef – it’s got more marbling than the Prime but not as much as the Japanese kind.
Australian Wagyu originates from Japanese Wagyu cattle that were imported to Australia. Interestingly, there are two categories of Australian Wagyu: purebred and crossbred. The purebred variant, which is relatively rare, consists exclusively of Japanese Wagyu genetics. On the other hand, the more common crossbred type is a hybrid of Japanese and Australian cattle breeds.
American Wagyu Steak
American Wagyu Beef Price Per Pound: $25-$150+
American Wagyu is a crossbreed of the Kuroge Washu (the Japanese Black) and the Angus breed. Don’t confuse American Wagyu with Japanese Wagyu; they differ significantly in quality. American Wagyu has a different color and less marbling than the top-graded Japanese Wagyu. Despite these differences, it is still considered a luxurious and expensive beef option. Also, please remember that American Wagyu steak is, in many ways, superior to USDA Prime steaks.
For me, American Wagyu steak is the top pick in the Wagyu world. Don’t get me wrong, Japanese Wagyu is amazing with its quality, but it’s just too rich for my taste because of all the fat. I typically enjoy these steaks in small bites, savoring their buttery texture. However, I’m aware that not everyone appreciates the texture and taste of Japanese Wagyu. That’s where American Wagyu comes in, like the ones from Snake River Farms. These steaks have got it all: fantastic marbling and great flavor, and they’re just right for enjoying as a whole steak without feeling overwhelmed.
Most Expensive Steak Cuts Available at Almost Every Local Butcher
I’ve talked about some amazing yet expensive cuts before, and let’s be real – they’re not always easy to get your hands on. Now, let’s look at the most expensive steak cuts you can usually find at your local butcher. The good news is that these cuts won’t break the bank like Wagyu steaks do.
Ribeye Cap Steak
Ribeye Cap Steak Price Per Pound: 10$-70$+
The ribeye cap steak, also known as the spinalis dorsi muscle, is, as its name suggests, from the ribeye cap. This muscle is one of the most flavorful parts of the cow, known for being juicy, tender, and rich in flavor. It’s a bit of a hidden gem, not as famous or easy to find as other cuts. And yes, it’s also more expensive, making it one of the most expensive steaks you can get your hands on.
Filet Mignon Price Per Pound: 20$-80$+
Filet mignon is probably the most expensive cut of beef you can find at your local butcher. It’s super tender because it comes from the beef tenderloin. People love it for how tender and lean it is. Even though it doesn’t have much fat or marbling, it’s got no sinew or gristle, so it’s really easy to eat. The only downside? Filet mignon doesn’t have as much flavor as other steaks. That’s why you often see it served with sauces.
Tomahawk Steak Price Per Pound: 10$-70$+
A tomahawk steak is just a different type of ribeye with a long bone that makes the steak look like a tomahawk axe. It’s one of the more expensive types of ribeye because of how impressive it looks. People love the tomahawk steak not just because it looks cool, but also for its super tender texture and rich flavor. That’s why it is such a popular steak cut in steakhouses.
Porterhouse Steak Price Per Pound: 20-70$+
The Porterhouse is a nice-looking steak, a bit more expensive than your average cut. With a Porterhouse, you get the best of both worlds: on one side of the bone lies a new york strip, known for its robust beefy flavor, and on the other, a tenderloin, also known as filet mignon, well-known for its exceptional tenderness. Overall, the porterhouse steak is a popular cut in restaurants. It’s tender and flavorful, looks great on the plate, and is a go-to for a special dinner.
New York Strip
New York Strip Price Per Pound: 20$-70$+
The new york strip is one of the most popular steak cuts, prized for its flavor, tenderness, and ease of cooking, and generally regarded as a premium cut. However, its final price can vary significantly based on the grade. For example, a USDA-Choice new york strip steak is relatively affordable, whereas a USDA-Prime new york strip is notably more expensive.
What is the most expensive steak in the world?
The title of the most expensive steak in the world typically goes to Kobe A5+ Wagyu beef, which can cost upwards of $600 per pound.
Why is Japanese wagyu beef so expensive?
Japanese Wagyu beef is expensive due to its unique flavor, intense marbling, incredibly tender texture, and high demand for it. Another big factor is the limited supply; there’s not much of it around. But there’s more to it. In Japan, raising Wagyu cattle isn’t just farming; it’s an art. They have some strict rules to keep the cattle bloodlines pure, and these farmers are sticking to traditions that have been around forever. And that’s why Japanese Wagyu beef is top-notch and more expensive.