We receive a lot of questions about Double 8 Cattle Company’s Fullblood Wagyu beef products. There are quite a few myths about how Wagyu are raised, which prompts a lot of questions about our herd. In addition, many make the mistake of assuming American Wagyu (sometimes called American-Style Kobe) and Fullblood Wagyu are the same thing when there is a significant difference.
At Double 8 Cattle Company, we solely raise 100% Fullblood Wagyu. We appreciate when our customers and potential customers ask questions in order to learn more about Fullblood Wagyu, our farm in Ohio, and the array of Fullblood Wagyu beef products we offer. With that said, the following are frequently asked questions followed by relevant information.
What does Wagyu actually mean?
Wagyu means “Japanese Cattle”. Wagyu were originally draft animals used in Japanese agriculture. Their physical attributes, such as their intramuscular fat (which provides an ideal energy source), made them optimal work animals. Today, these physical qualities, such as fat distribution, have translated to premium beef known for superior quality and melt-in-your-mouth flavor.
Although, Fullblood Wagyu beef isn’t just a higher quality beef, it’s on an entirely different level when it comes to flavor, marbling, tenderness, and juiciness. Japanese genetics, the breeding methodology, how they are raised, feed rations, and physical attributes (such as intramuscular fat) translate to premium beef that is unparalleled when it comes to taste!
How are your products shipped?
Each frozen and individually vacuum sealed product is carefully packed into a custom Double 8 Cattle Company gift box (larger vacuum sealed items may be wrapped in butcher’s paper). The gift box is placed in an eco-friendly box, insulated, and packed with dry ice to keep your order properly chilled during transit. Orders will be delivered frozen or slightly thawed depending on the time in transit. We suggest overnight shipping. However, we also offer Express 2-day and Standard 3-4 day shipping options.
Please note: Orders received Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday (before 3:00 PM EST) can be shipped utilizing all shipping options. Orders received on Wednesday afternoon (after 3:00 PM EST) or Thursday (before 3 PM EST) will require overnight shipping due to the carrier limitations and transit times leading into the weekend, or they will be shipped out Monday morning. Orders received Thursday (after 3:00 PM EST), Friday, Saturday, or Sunday will be shipped out the following Monday, excluding Federal Holidays.
More details on shipping methods and options can be found in our Shipping Policy.
Do you sell to restaurants?
Yes, we do sell to restaurants. Currently, the majority of our sales are direct-to-consumer. We also distribute to a handful of restaurants in the Midwest. If you’d like to serve Double 8 Cattle Company’s Fullblood Wagyu beef products at your restaurant, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the difference between Fullblood Wagyu and American Wagyu (also called American-Style Kobe)?
Double 8 Cattle Company solely raises 100% Fullblood Wagyu. Our cattle are direct descendants of Japanese Wagyu with unmixed ancestry. They have never been crossbred with other cattle breeds, such as Angus. Our cattle are descendants of the Fullblood Wagyu that came to the United States between 1976 and the late 1990s. During that time, Fullblood Wagyu bulls and heifers were imported from Japan. The first Wagyu exported from Japan to the U.S. were two Fullblood Japanese Black bulls and two Fullblood Japanese Red bulls. The majority of Fullblood Wagyu imported were Japanese Black, which is the breed of Wagyu Double 8 Cattle Company raises. In the late 1990s, after less than 200 Fullblood Wagyu were imported from Japan, the export ban was put back in place. To this day, no more Fullblood Wagyu genetics have left Japan. As previously stated, Double 8 Cattle Company’s Fullblood Wagyu are the direct descendants of the Wagyu that were imported in the late 20th century, and they do not have any Angus or other cattle breed in their genetics. The Wagyu that were imported from Japan are the Sires, Grandsires, Dams, Granddams, etc., of our cattle herd. Again, they have never been bred with Angus or any other breed and are all registered 100% Fullblood Wagyu.
American Wagyu (American-Style Kobe)
American Wagyu are cattle that are related to the Fullblood Wagyu imported from Japan in the late 20th century, but they have been mixed with other breeds, such as Angus. Often, they are crossbred cattle, for example, 50% Wagyu and 50% Angus. Some are considered purebred Wagyu, which means they are 15/16 Wagyu and 1/16 Angus (or another similar breed).
Is all Wagyu beef also Kobe beef?
Kobe is Fullblood Wagyu (pure Tajima-gyu lineage) that is raised and harvested in Kobe, the capital of Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture. While our Wagyu are not Kobe, because they are raised in the U.S. and not Japan, they are 100% Fullblood Japanese Black Wagyu. They have never been crossbred and maintain pure Fullblood Wagyu genetics. Often, restaurants will have a “Kobe” burger or an “American Kobe” steak on the menu. Most of the time, unless the beef was imported from Japan, these are cases of intentional or unintentional mislabeling. The “Kobe” beef is not authentic Kobe beef for the following reasons: 1) The Wagyu was raised in America and not in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, and 2) The beef is from a crossbreed, for example Wagyu mixed with Angus. According to recent data, less than 10 restaurants in the U.S. serve authentic Kobe beef, which is directly imported from Kobe, Japan.
What is marbling and the significance of marbling in Wagyu beef products?
Marbling is the visible form of intramuscular fat which appears as striking white/cream flecks within the red muscle. Extensive marbling gives Wagyu beef a spectacular tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. Some say, there is too much fat and not enough beef. But, the naysayers are underestimating the fat/marbling in Wagyu and, in our educated opinion, dismissing one of the “superhero” attributes of Wagyu beef. The fat/marbling in Wagyu is what translates into the amazing, next-level flavor and melt-in-your-mouth quality Wagyu consumers boast about. In addition, the fat in Wagyu is unique. It’s a soft fat with a low melting point, which is partly due to its high proportion of monounsaturated fats (see the question below for more information on health benefits). The low melting point allows the fat to break down at a lower temperature than other beef. This means that the Wagyu beef at the end of your fork is extremely tender, juicy, and pleasing to the most discerning palate.
In Australia, a marbling score is assessed visually by a qualified grader using a 0-9 scoring range. In addition to the quantity of fat flecks, the distribution and texture are considered when scoring marbling. The Japanese scoring system is called Beef Marble Score (BMS). The BMS scale goes from 3 to 12, with 3 being the basic minimum of marbling and 12 being a steak that is almost white/cream with marbling. BMS 1 and BMS 2 aren’t considered, as minimal to no marbling exists under those scores.
Is Wagyu beef healthier than other beef?
Fullblood Wagyu beef contains more Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids than other beef. These are known to protect against heart disease and high blood pressure. Wagyu beef also contains a higher proportion of monounsaturated fats than other beef. Replacing saturated fat in your diet with monounsaturated fats is known to lower your blood cholesterol level and risk of developing cardio vascular disease. In addition, Wagyu beef has more protein than most fish. The protein in Fullblood Wagyu beef helps to maintain muscle while burning fat as it increases oxygen intake, energy production, and metabolic rate. When it comes to premium beef, Fullblood Wagyu beef is a healthy choice!
Do you massage your Wagyu or give them beer?
We do not massage our cattle or give them beer/sake. Our Fullblood Wagyu are on a diet which is based on the research and recommendations of experts in Wagyu nutrition. In addition, our Wagyu are pasture-raised with plenty of land to roam freely on. Occasionally, farmers in Japan will give their Wagyu beer when it’s hot and humid outside. They do so in an attempt to stimulate their appetite and get cattle back on feed. In Japan, some farmers also massage their Wagyu, because farmland is in short supply (in certain regions), and cattle are confined to small areas. Some also massage their Wagyu to help with cramping and improve the distribution and softness of the subcutaneous fat. Again, Double 8 Cattle Company does not massage our cattle or give them beer.
What is the best practice for defrosting Fullblood Wagyu beef?
When you receive your Fullblood Wagyu beef products, they will be frozen or partially thawed (cold but not completely frozen). If you plan on cooking your meat later, place vacuum sealed packaged beef in the freezer. Partially thawed beef may be refrozen as long as it is in vacuum sealed packaging, has remained cold/refrigerated, and has not been thawed for more than 24 hours.
If you’d like to enjoy your Fullblood Wagyu beef products as soon as possible, below are the best practices for defrosting beef
- It is important to allow your Fullblood Wagyu beef products to defrost slowly and at a controlled temperature.
- When defrosting beef, place vacuum sealed products on a tray or plate, and set it on a flat surface in the refrigerator.
- PLEASE NOTE: Sometimes, the vacuum sealed packaging will leak while the product is thawing due to small pinholes (that can occur during freezing or shipping). As long as the meat has remained frozen and was placed in the refrigerator during the thawing process, small pinholes and leakage are not a concern. The tray should catch any escaping liquids.
- Allow 24 hours for your meat to slowly thaw in the refrigerator.
Always leave beef products in vacuum sealed packaging during the thawing process. This method will preserve the flavor and natural juices.
We do NOT recommend using the microwave to expedite the thawing process, nor do we recommend soaking packaged frozen beef in warm water. These methods will break down the intramuscular fat prematurely and negatively affect the taste.
Once your beef has defrosted, we recommend keeping it refrigerated and using it within 1-3 days. When you are ready to cook your Fullblood Wagyu beef, bring it out of the refrigerator, and let it sit on a counter until it reaches room temperature. This usually takes around 30 minutes. Once at room temperature, begin cooking your delicious Fullblood Wagyu beef
PLEASE NOTE: Consuming raw or undercooked meats may increase your risk of foodborne illness. The USDA recommends bringing beef to an internal temperature of 145°F when cooking.
How long can I keep my Fullblood Wagyu beef frozen?
The USDA states that freezing keeps food products safe almost indefinitely if stored at 0°F (or lower). This temperature retains vitamin content, color, flavor and texture. A key component to maintaining quality is ensuring that the product’s vacuum sealed packaging is not permeable to air. If your freezer is above 0°F, we recommend using the frozen meat within 4 weeks of receipt. If your freezer is set to the recommended temperature and your products remain frozen in vacuum sealed packaging, we recommend enjoying your Fullblood Wagyu beef products within 6 months of receipt, although they will last well beyond that timeframe.