The Wagyu Breed
Premier American Kobe Beef ® comes from Wagyu cattle, a Japanese breed (Wagyu means Japanese cattle), that are raised in the United States. Wagyu beef first came into the United States in 1975. Used to pull heavy loads in Japan, the breed was selected over other breeds for its stamina due to the intra-muscular fat cells, also known as “marbling.” Not only is the marbling physically different, Premier American Kobe Beef ® offers an extraordinary buttery flavor. The meat has a fine texture that is tender and is second to none.The American Wagyu Association was founded in 1990 to register Wagyu cattle and continues to develop a sustainable industry in the United States. The Japanese people find great value in the Wagyu breed, so much so, the government has banned export of Wagyu and declared the breed a national treasure1.
Not only does the superior marbling of Wagyu cattle taste exceedingly better than other breeds, but it is considered “healthier” as well. Fat generally has a negative connotation which leads consumers with an expectation of lean red meat. However, more and more positive research regarding Wagyu’s mono-unsaturated to saturated fat ratio continues to surface.
Wagyu’s ratio difference allows beef to a be more suitable to a human diet. A fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is also found in the breed at about 30 percent more that any beef breed. Foods high in CLA have fewer negative health effects1.
Premier American Kobe Beef® is never, ever, given antibiotics or hormones, and is artificial ingredient free, all-natural, minimally processed, domestically raised, Halal certified, and held to the highest USDA standards. Careful breeding, traditional feeding methods, and state of the art packing methods ensure that our program’s beef matches the best Japan has to offer.
From the very beginning, Mr. Shogo Takeda of Hokkaido, Japan has overseen all our program’s breed stock and fed cattle. Mr. Takeda began breeding Wagyu in 1954 and has since become the premier master breeder. His official annual reviews and close ties to the program have ensured our customers will enjoy the ultimate dining experience for years to come.
Our Cattle and Farms
Our program’s cattle are from a single rancher and are source and age verified. Our cattle are fed traditional Japanese diets for a year or more (300 percent longer than commodity cattle) and maintain a Midwestern corn-based diet while being closely monitored our animal nutritionist for consistent and high quality Premier American Kobe Beef®. Corn based diet gives a preferred flavor profile over competitors’ barley, potato, and grass-fed programs. Additionally, most corn is grown right on the farms where the cattle are fed. Our small family farms area monitored by our animal nutritionists and supervisors, with over six generations and counting of experience. The farms are third party audited for humane handling, all claims, and our standardized procedures to ensure the best living experience for our cattle. These factors, coupled with the inherent marbling characteristics of Wagyu cattle, enables our program to produce the same desirable attributes as the high-quality Kobe beef in Japan.
Our small family custom harvest facility is third party audited for humane handling, food safety, and consistent processing and management. The facility is only 45 minutes away or less from our small family farms, creating a less stressful trip for our cattle compared to many of our competitors. Members of our team personally grade each carcass to ensure quality control. The USDA inspects and grades each carcass as well.
Overall, Premier Proteins has founded the strongest, most consistent, and most desirable Wagyu program in the United States. Keeping strong family farms, quality, and integrity at the center of our foundation has truly allowed us to create a superior center of the plate experience that you can feel good about.
Handling, Cooking, and Care
- Marbling is a desirable attribute to look for when selecting a piece of meat. Marbling is the intercellular fat, or the white streaks found in meat. Wagyu is known for its superior marbling, which leads to a more tender and tasteful eating experience. The USDA grades meat into three categories based upon marbling: Select, Choice, and Prime. Premier Proteins’ offerings are always Choice or higher, but most exceed the Prime category. We choose to grade on a scale based off the Japanese Beef Marbling Score (BMS). This system grades product similarly to the USDA, but in greater detail. The scale ranges from one to twelve, twelve being the highest amount of marbling. Fine marbling is better than thick or coarse marbling and our team personally grades each carcass to ensure the highest quality.
- A bright cherry red color is preferred when selecting beef. However, muscles that are exercised more can lead to a darker color meaning that one animal can have varying levels of color. Additionally, a change in color does not always mean that the beef is bad. If the beef is tacky, slimy, or gives off an odor then it should not be used. Frozen beef may also change in color through fading or darkening2.
Use these tips if you are planning on using frozen meat:
Never wash raw meat, as it can help bacteria spread by splashing on countertops and the sink. Use one cutting board for meat, and another for the fresh produce you will be using with the meal; and always have separate surfaces (plate etc.) for raw and the cooked product. Wash hands before and after handling raw meat.
Due to the flavorful and tender nature of our Premier American Kobe Beef ® we enjoy a simple sprinkling of salt and pepper before placing on the grill. Check out our social media (@PremierProteins) to find other rubs if preferred.
Premier American Kobe Beef ® is more delicate then commodity products and does not respond to excessive heat. Instead, the product is best prepared on low to moderate head or indirect heat on an outside grill. Direct heat toughens the meat. We recommend a light sear on both sides, and then continue evenly cooking on the indirect heat. Our product tends to be cooked 35 percent faster than commodity products. Overcooking Premier American Kobe Beef ® reduces the overall flavor and tenderness that makes it the best product on the market.
Never brown or partially cook meat without the intention of fully cooking. Bacteria will not be killed. Cooking utensils are an important attribute to the overall process. Important tools to have in your kitchen/backyard include:
Measuring temperature is the best indication of doneness. Insert a food thermometer into the thickest section of the meat, and for steaks thicker than 1.5 inches, insert horizontally. Do not allow the thermometer to touch to touch bone or fat. For roasts, select an oven proof thermometer and leave for the duration of cooking, or insert a thermometer near the end and leave for 15 seconds. Always let meat rest before serving. Note that roasts rise in temperature while resting from 5ºF to 15ºF which can take 15-20 minutes3.
Always remember to thoroughly clean thermometers after each use.
After enjoying Premier American Kobe Beef ® refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of cooking at a minimum of 40°F. If the temperature is above 90°F, food should not be out for more than an hour. Use shallow covered containers or wrap in airtight packaging. Plan on eating the leftovers within 3 to 4 days. Premier American Kobe Beef ® can be eaten again either cold or reheated to 165°F4.
Grass-Fed Beef Program