American Wagyu Black Grade

Zabuton (Denver Steak)

American Wagyu Black Grade

Zabuton (Denver Steak)


Also known as the Denver steak, the Zabuton is a rich and delicious steak with a buttery  flavor and texture. A wonderful steak for the grill or skillet. We recommend a reverse sear for delicious results.

Average weight: 12 oz.


One look at the intense marbling of the American Wagyu Zabuton gives you a hint at how it will taste. The abundant intramuscular fat translates to plentiful flavor and juiciness. This cut has a slightly subdued beefiness that is savory and buttery in both flavor and texture. In fact, meat scientists have found this is the 4th most tender of all beef cuts.

The cut gets its name from the Japanese zabuton pillow that is flat and square, the way the steak is often served. Beautiful grilled as a whole steak and ideal for Japanese inspired dishes like shabu shabu (hot pot) or seared yakiniku style (similar to Korean BBQ).

The large section where we source the zabuton has a shape that is not symmetrical, so this cut may have some variation in size and shape. 

Beef Grading 101

This steak is American Wagyu Black Grade, rated 6 to 8 on the Japanese Beef Marbling Score (BMS)

Beef sold in the U.S. is graded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). There are eight total grades and the top grade is USDA Prime.

All Snake River Farms American Wagyu beef grades above Prime. Special breeds of cattle like Japanese Wagyu are capable of producing marbling beyond their American counterparts. To grade this high level of marbling, we adopted the Japanese Beef Marbling Score.

Using BMS, beef marbling is measured on a scale from 1 to 12, with a 1 being Select beef and a 12 being the highest level of marbling possible.

BMS 4 to 5     USDA Prime

BMS 6 to 8     SRF Black Grade

BMS 9+           SRF Gold Grade




The Zabuton is sourced from the shoulder or chuck primal. It is a unique cut and is a variation on NAMP 116E with the addition of the neck end of the 116D. It can also be described as the extension of the chuck tail flap/underblade.

This area is made up of three muscles, the primary being the serratus ventralis. Also known as the Beef Chuck, Under Blade Roast, this area below the shoulder blade continues to the ribs and backbone. Many cuts from the underblade area tend to be tough and end up as ground beef or stew meat. But the highly marbled Zabuton is a shining exception.

The shoulder muscles get a lot more use than other areas of the animal which makes them tougher, the specific area that yields a zabuton steak is more of a support muscle that is less used and contains a high level of marbling. That makes it a more tender and flavorful steak option. That also requires superior butchery skills and as a result, it is less common at meat counters.


Our Favorite Recipes


Chef Phillip Tessier

American Wagyu Zabuton with Shishito Salsa

  • 30 minutes

Dave Yasuda

Grilled Hanger Steak with Chimichurri

  • 30 minutes

Susie Heller & Jorge Velazquez

Herb-Basted Flat Iron with Smashed Golden Potatoes

  • 1 hour 15 minutes

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Zabuton (Denver Steak)