The Variation in Wagyu Cuts & Chuck Roll: The Lesser Known Wagyu Cut Too Delicious To Ignore
Beef cuts vary across countries and Japanese chefs trained in Japan may find it challenging to procure certain cuts of beef in the US. In the same way, American and non-Japanese chefs who are unfamiliar with Japan’s standard Wagyu cuts may find it confusing when buying Japan-grown Wagyu.
The majority of Wagyu consumed in the U.S. are premium cuts such as strip loin, ribeye and tenderloin. As expected, these premium cuts fetch a higher price, making it seem out of reach for most consumers. Furthermore, the high demand for prime cuts of Japan-grown Wagyu in the US causes dilemma to many Japanese Wagyu producers as they struggle to sell the other Wagyu cuts. That being said, wagyu cuts such as chuck roll, are relatively less expensive and just as delicious as the premium cuts. Let’s take a closer look.
CHUCK ROLL CUTS
Chuck roll is the meat located from the back of the neck to between the shoulder blade of the beef and the most reasonably priced compared to other Wagyu loin cuts. The average yield per cow is about 100lbs, and a block of beef weighs about 50lbs. This may seem a lot, but it can be used efficiently if cut accordingly.
The meat between the chuck eye roll and chuck roll contains a super-premium cut called Zabuton. Zabuton has exquisite marbling and tender meat quality. This cut is versatile, highly sought-after and is excellent for steaks and Shabu Shabu. The cut surrounding Zabuton is slightly tougher, however, delicious and melt-in-your-mouth tender when braised / simmered.
Chuck Roll Cap
Similar to ribeye, chuck roll also has a slightly thin cap meat. Although the yield ratio is poor, the quality is comparable to ribeye cap and are good for yakiniku and kushiyaki dishes.
Chuck Eye Roll
The core of chunk roll. Since the yield ratio is good, and the surface area per slice is big, this cut is most suitable for Shabu Shabu. The portion close to ribeye makes for a delicious steak.
Cross-Section from Ribeye
The cross-section from ribeye is the same quality as ribeye and is great for steaks, shabu-shabu and yakimono grilled dishes. The price is reasonable compared to ribeye.