8.158 Taste Test: Hanwoo 2 v 1+


12 (Mon) June 2017

Taste Test: Hanwoo 2 v 1+


at Deokeunjib

(see most recently 5.026 Modeum)

-Nonhyeon, Seoul-

with the Family, and the Folks

Hanwoo is graded on the basis of marbling, in descending order from 1++ (1st tier), 1+ (2nd tier), 1 (3rd tier), 2 (4th tier), 3 (5th tier).  The higher the tier, the higher the price.

At this restaurant, which is sells meat at butcher shop prices, the 2 costs 8,999 won per 100 grams, compared to 16,000 won per 100 grams for 1++.   The same cuts would likely sell at triple to quadruple prices in a pure restaurant setting.


We bought a platter each of the 2 and the 1++, both ribeye, for a side-by-side comparison.


WINNER: 2.  The 1++ was certainly more succulent, given all the marbling.  But the 2 was reasonably tender, as any decent ribeye would be, and I tend to prefer meat with a bit of chew.  Flavor-wise, they were both excellent: clean, rich, beefy.  In the end, after we started mixing them up on the grill, they were indistinguishable.  Factoring in value, the 2 thus came out on top.

The results here are in line with previous side-by-side taste tests of meats (see also 6.089 Standard v Speckled Ribeye, 4.214 Korean v American Beef), which similarly gave a slight edge to the pricier cut but concluded that the marginal return wouldn’t justify the higher cost.




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