Every once in a great while I will splurge and treat myself to some nice ground Wagyu beef from my local butcher, when they have it available. For those of you who do not know what Wagyu beef is let’s take a moment to talk about it.
Wagyu literally translates as Japanese cow. The cows are raised and bred for their highly marbled meat, resulting in a buttery, tender cut of meat with an intense beefy flavor. Kobe beef is probably the most famous example of Wagyu beef, similar to how Zack on Big Bang Theory explains “All thumbs are fingers, but not all fingers are thumbs” all Kobe beef is Wagyu but not all Wagyu is Kobe.
I was at the grocery store the other day and saw in a small freezer in the meat department a box of frozen Waygu burgers from Respect. They were on a special introductory price so I decided to give them a shot and thought I would share my thoughts on them with you.
Now I was a little apprehensive because of the price but as I said they were on sale so I went for it. On the package itself there are directions for both grilling and stove top cooking. Since we recently had burgers in the frying pan I wanted to prepare the Respect burgers in the same way.
Because of the fat content of Wagyu you don’t want the pan to be too hot I recommend medium to medium high at most, otherwise all the fat liquefies and runs out of the burger. I got my pan up to medium/medium high I opened the 1 lb box of 3 burger patties. I am going to be honest I was not impressed. They looked like any other frozen burger patty, a pink frozen hockey puck.
Now this brings me to gripe #1 how do I season I frozen block of meat the salt and pepper just roll right off. To get around this I put them on the pan for a few seconds, just long enough to thaw the surface and then I flipped them and seasoned the thawed side with salt and flipped again so the seasoned side was down in the pan and then seasoned the topside. After a few minutes I flipped again once the bottom side got a nice crust on it. I prefer my burgers cooked to Medium and since I had never made this burgers before I once again relied on my thermometer and pulled them from the pan once they reached the proper temp 145 and let them rest the meat continues to cook up to 150-155.
Now for the positive. Because of the fat content you don’t need to add any oil or extra fat in the pan. These burgers we absolutely the juiciest most tender frozen hamburger I have ever had. As expected from Wagyu beef it almost melted in my mouth yet it still held together in a proper patty.
Unfortunately there is one big negative to these frozen patties from Respect and that brings us to gripe #2 absolutely no flavor. I got no taste of buttery fat, no beefy goodness just flat blandness. Perhaps if I could have added more salt and pepper it may have added a little flavor but I did add as much as I do when I make any other burger. I purposely did not put any toppings on the burger for my first bite because I just wanted to taste the burger, and still just want to taste burger.
I had so hoped these burgers were going to have good flavor but in this case the tender juciness and lower price of these frozen burgers can not and do not make up for the lack of flavor.
So in conclusion I would recommend using regular ground beef or a blend of brisket, short ribs and sirloin. With all due respect to Respect these burgers are not worth the price.