The Most Expensive Cuts of Beef – A Guide to the Priciest Steaks

For steak lovers, few things beat the enjoyment of cooking up a nice juicy steak. However, not all steaks are created equal. There is a wide range of prices when it comes to beef cuts, from affordable chuck roasts to incredibly pricey wagyu steaks. In this article, we’ll look at some of the most expensive cuts of beef and why they demand such a high price tag.

Why Some Steaks Cost More

Several factors impact the pricing of different beef cuts

  • Breed and bloodlines – Specific cattle breeds like Japanese wagyu are highly prized for their rich marbling and command higher prices,

  • Grade – Higher graded beef like Prime or Wagyu Grades score much higher for tenderness, marbling and overall eating quality.

  • Location on the cow -Premium cuts like ribeye or tenderloin come from areas with less connective tissue and work, making them more tender and desirable.

  • Raising and processing methods – Extensive Japanese traditions for breeding and raising wagyu beef also drive up costs.

  • Rarity and demand – When supply is very limited for a coveted type of beef, prices skyrocket based on demand

Knowing what makes some steaks expensive helps explain the price tags on the most covetable beef cuts below.

The Most Expensive Cuts of Beef

1. Japanese Wagyu A5

Price: $200-$500+ per pound

The Japanese Wagyu A5 is considered the holy grail of steaks, with perfect marbling, insane tenderness and next-level flavor. Authentic Japanese Wagyu must come from Japan and undergo extensive marbling analysis to qualify for the A5 grade. With intense marbling and intricate care taken in raising cattle, it’s no wonder A5 Wagyu costs a fortune. In fact, a single steak often costs over $100 at fine restaurants.

2. Kobe Beef

Price: $150-$450+ per pound

Kobe beef is a very specific type of Japanese Wagyu from the Hyogo prefecture. Strict rules govern which cattle can qualify as authentic Kobe, so it’s exceptionally rare. The smooth, even marbling melts away during cooking while retaining moisture beautifully. With its prestige in Japan and globally, Kobe beef gives you some of the most decadent steak experiences money can buy.

3. American Wagyu

Price: $25-$150+ per pound

American Wagyu comes from crossbreeding Japanese Wagyu with American cattle like Angus. It offers gorgeous marbling and fantastic flavor, but connoisseurs say it can’t match Japanese Wagyu’s tender texture and richness. Since the supply is higher than Japanese Wagyu, prices are more affordable ranging from $25 per pound for lower grades up to $150 for Prime Grade American Wagyu.

4. USDA Prime Filet Mignon

Price: $35-$100+ per pound

The filet mignon comes from the extremely tender beef tenderloin and Prime graded beef means abundant marbling. Since the tenderloin is small, filet mignon is always one of the most expensive cuts at the butcher. While it lacks the richness of a ribeye, the tenderness and buttery texture when cooked is hard to match.

5. Dry-Aged Ribeye

Price: $25-$60+ per pound

Beef aficionados love the rich flavor of Prime Grade ribeye, but dry aging intensifies it further. During dry aging, moisture evaporates from the meat, concentrating the flavor over weeks or months. Only higher end steakhouses and butchers offer real dry-aged beef, which comes with a steep price that reflects the aging process.

6. Wagyu Rib Cap

Price: $25-$75+ per pound

The spinalis dorsi cap on the ribeye contains some of the most flavorful and tender meat. With abundant marbling, the rib cap melts in your mouth. Slicing rib caps from coveted Wagyu ribeyes yields some of the most decadently marbled and delicious steaks money can buy.

7. Porterhouse or T-Bone

Price: $25-$60+ per pound

This iconic steak featuring both strip and tenderloin is always expensive given you get two prized cuts. Heavy marbling in the strip and the tenderloin makes every bite of a Prime porterhouse or T-bone superbly tender and juicy. Grilling these steaks over high heat gives you the perfect medium-rare doneness to experience their full potential.

8. Wagyu Brisket

Price: $15-$25+ per pound

While brisket is often affordable, Wagyu brisket offers an entirely different experience. The extensive marbling bastes the brisket as it cooks low and slow, yielding ridiculously moist and tender beef. Top brisket masters smoke Wagyu brisket for over 18 hours, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth texture and tremendous depth of flavor.

9. Prime New York Strip

Price: $25-$50+ per pound

The boneless New York strip comes from the short loin and offers a pleasing combination of tenderness and rich flavor when Prime graded. Dry aging intensifies the strip loin’s beefiness, making aged Prime NY strip one of the best steaks for enjoying pure, hearty steak flavor.

10. Wagyu Ground Beef

Price: $12-$20+ per pound

You might not think ground beef would make this list, but richly marbled Wagyu trimmings produce the most insanely indulgent burger experience. With high fat content, Wagyu burgers ooze delicious beefy juices with a tender, buttery mouthfeel unlike any other patty. For the ultimate burger, Wagyu ground beef is worth splurging on.

Is It Worth Paying for Expensive Cuts?

Cooking up an expensive dry-aged ribeye or A5 Japanese Wagyu is a special experience every beef lover should try at least once. However, affordable cuts like sirloin, flank steak or chuck eye can also make delicious steaks with proper preparation. Not every meal needs to be a $50+ steak extravaganza.

In the end, your budget and particular tastes should dictate whether it’s worthwhile to buy the priciest steaks. While it’s hard to match their tenderness and depth of flavor, more affordable cuts have their virtues as well. Experiment with different cuts, grades and preparations to find your own favorites for everyday enjoyable meals or special occasions.

What the Most Expensive Steak on Earth Tastes Like


Which part of beef is most expensive?

A classic favorite, the Filet Mignon holds its ground as one of the most expensive cuts. Derived from the tenderloin, this cut is praised for its tenderness and scarcity, constituting only about 2% of the entire cow. If you’re buying your steaks directly from a butcher you can expect to pay around $20 to $30 per pound.

What is the highest quality cut of beef?

These cuts—ribeye, New York strip loin, and filet mignon—can certainly be dubbed the best, and few will disagree. “Filet is the most tender cut, but has the least amount of flavor. Ribeye is the most flavorful, but the least tender of the three, and New York is in the middle.” Flannery explains.

What is the most expensive beef cut?

Some popular dishes that showcase high-quality beef cuts include steak, beef roasts, beef stews, beef tartare, beef carpaccio, and Japanese dishes like sukiyaki and shabu-shabu. In the world of fine dining, the most expensive beef cut is undeniably the Japanese Wagyu beef.

What is the second most expensive steak cut in the world?

Japanese Kobe beef without a grading of A5 made our list as the second most expensive steak cut in the world because you should still expect to shell out a lot of money for this prime cut. C1 is the lowest grade Kobe beef can have. Even with that grade, you’re looking at a $250 per pound price tag.

What is the most expensive steak?

Below, I’ve listed some of the most expensive steaks available. The Kobe A5+ Wagyu steak is the most expensive in the world, costing up to $600 per pound, sometimes even more. Why so expensive? Well, it’s all about its rich, buttery taste, incredible marbling, tenderness, rigorous standards for raising cattle, and just how rare these steaks are.

What is the most expensive wagyu steak?

Olive Wagyu steak ranks as one of the most expensive cuts, just behind the famed Kobe steak. This rarity is a highly prized type of Japanese Wagyu beef. The steak’s intense marbling, melt-in-your-mouth texture, and rich buttery flavor make it a must-try for every steak connoisseur.

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