With extremely expensive meats like Kobe and Wagyu, it takes a grilling expert. We will introduce you to cheaper but similarly high-quality alternatives and show you 5 professional tips for perfect preparation.
When it comes to extremely expensive meat such as Kobe fillet and the like, an expert needs to be at the grill. So that you can impress your friends and colleagues with a perfect fillet, you will receive a crash course in the premier class of grilling here.
“The whole meat is very finely streaked with fat. It tastes aromatic,” says Axel J. Nolden, an expert from the German Butchers’ Association, describing the nutty taste.
The butcher tried Kobe meat himself on two trips to Japan. “There’s a different appreciation for food in Japan,” explains Nolden. That has its price.
There are several reasons why the meat is so tasty and expensive: “The agricultural structure in Japan is different from ours. Kobe cattle usually come from small farmers who keep few animals and raise them lovingly,” says Nolden.
Animals in Japan have more time than cattle in Germany to grow and develop. “Most Kobe cattle live three to four years or more before they are slaughtered,” explains Nolden. For comparison: A young bull in Germany is usually only 18 months old.
The name Wagyu is often mentioned in connection with meat from Japan – no wonder, “Gyu” means beef and “Wa” from Japan. But according to the provincial capital of Kobe, only around 3,000 animals per year that are reared under certain specifications are allowed to call themselves.
Traditionally, parts of the back and hips are popular grilled meat for beef – a few examples:
Tip: You can also grill boiled fillet, a special part of the lower shell – with indirect heat for 20 to 25 minutes, according to the Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE). Then let it rest for 5 minutes. Cut the steaks about three centimeters thick.
Grilling is a science in itself. There are trade fairs and even world championships. There teams or professionals compete against each other. They fight for trophies and the best grill result.
Meat expert Nolden knows five tips for the perfect steak:
1. Tension: Meat should be taken out of the fridge at least an hour before grilling. “So that the temperature difference is not too big,” explains Nolden. This reduces “tension” in the food to be grilled. “The meat juices can balance out better in the meat.” This is the only way for the meat to cook evenly and stay juicy.
2. Heat: The grill must be hot. “So that the meat surface closes quickly. Because then a delicious crust can form and the piece does not lose any meat juice,” explains Nolden. He also advises using tongs instead of a fork. That way the meat doesn’t dry out.
The optimal temperature depends on the grill and the height of the grate, informs the Fleischer Handwerk. With the charcoal grill, the distance to the embers should be around 10 centimeters – and no flames should be visible. Alternatively, you can cook meat slowly and gently, for example in a smoker.
The rule of thumb is: For the charcoal grill, wait about 30 to 40 minutes before the meat can be placed on it. A gas or electric grill takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
Tip: Grilling experts never test the doneness with a grill fork, otherwise the meat will lose its juice when you pierce it.
3. Cooking: Different types of meat have different cooking times. A roasting thermometer can tell you whether the meat is cooked to the point – it measures the core temperature in the middle of the meat. “The thicker a piece of meat, the longer it should be on the grill, depending on how well done it is,” explains Nolden.
Tip: Grilled food with similar cooking times should be placed together on the grid. Then different specialties are ready at the same time – and you can serve your guests a larger selection.
Large, thick pieces are at a core temperature:
According to the butcher’s trade, it can also be done without a thermometer! Gently press the meat with your finger: If the steak gives way and feels soft, it is still raw. The firmer it is, the more well-done it is.
4. Waiting: searing or grilling creates tension on the meat surface. You should therefore let the finished meat rest briefly before serving. “Then the meat juices can be better distributed inside,” explains Nolden.
Tip: If you have a kettle grill, you can first place a three to four centimeter thick steak directly over the hot coals – around two minutes per side. Then place the meat on the grid next to the charcoal and cook through for about ten minutes with the lid closed. Then the steak is still pink in the core – so medium.
5. Flavor : If you want to serve your steak to all guests at the same time, you should keep the meat warm for a short time – for example in a preheated bowl with a lid. “Meat simply tastes better warm,” says Nolden. Because then it can develop its aroma better.
A special feature of beef is the labeling of origin. This is mandatory in the European Union if the beef or minced beef has not been further processed, explains the consumer advice center.
With the help of labeling, consumers should be able to understand where each animal was born, fattened, slaughtered and butchered. However, this obligation does not apply if the meat has been marinated or seasoned.