Why Is Oxtail So Expensive?

Oxtail is a delicious meat, used in a variety of foods such as with soup, stew, and curry, however, the one thing that many notice is the expense.

This is the case for many meats. You will find chicken being reasonably priced whilst other meat such as steak will be a high price.

Oxtail is one example of meat that can be expensive.

Why Is Oxtail So Expensive?

But what is the reason for this?

Below we will be looking at oxtail whilst uncovering the top reasons as to why oxtail is so expensive.

What Is Oxtail?

To begin, it is good to know what oxtail is.

Oxtail is just as it sounds – the tail of an ox.

More commonly today, however, you will find people referring to the oxtail as the tail of cattle.

Oxtail can be used to produce a cluster of dishes and is used around the world; typically, you will find the oxtail to be very popular in countries such as Jamaica.

Create a stew, a soup, serve over pasta. Whatever you choose to make, you can be sure that you are cooking with a desired piece of meat.

Oxtail is meat adored by multiple cultures worldwide and more and more are people discovering how great oxtail can be.

Top Reasons Oxtail is So Expensive

Below we will be listing the top reasons oxtail is so expensive, analyzing the reasons for the high price, and discovering whether this price is worth it.

Popularity

As we have already explored, oxtail is meat adored across the globe by many cultures, however, it was not until recently that America took a keen liking to oxtail.

With this steady growth in popularity, more and more people are wanting to purchase oxtail. In turn, this means there is a higher level of demand thus people charging more for the meat.

Fine Dining

Alongside this rise in popularity, you will find an increasing number of fine dining restaurants incorporating oxtail into their menus. Because of this, you can be assured that the price will be high.

Not only are you expected to spend more on fine dining, but with oxtail on the rise, this will mean a rise in price too.

Required Skill

Not just anyone is able to take oxtail and transform it into a beautiful dish. It takes time, patience, and dedication to master the meat, as well as a lot of required skills.

For the oxtail to be perfectly tender, you could find yourself waiting between 3 and 5 hours for it to be cooked. As they say, ‘time is money’. With all of that hard work, it comes as no surprise that you will be charged more for oxtail.

Bulk Pricing

Unlike other meats, oxtail is not sold in bulk. Oxtail typically makes up for around 6 pounds (2.72 kg) of meat from a 750-pound cow, and you can only produce one oxtail per cow.

It is fair to say that oxtail is not easy to come by and when a supplier does get their hands on it, there is not enough to sell in bulk. Whereas with the rest of the body a seller can offer bulk pricing, there is only enough oxtail to be purchased separately.

The Butchering Process

To butcher oxtail takes plenty of skill. The oxtail is a small part of the ox carrying little meat.

Because of this, it is important to hire specialized and highly skilled butchers to cut the meat correctly. Because this is a difficult area to carve and highly skilled butchers are needed, this means that more money needs to be spent to hire these butchers.

Shipping Costs

As previously noted, oxtail is meat loved worldwide. You will find oxtail being shipped around the globe to countries like China and with shipping comes large prices.

You will find many people will ship their oxtail to China to be processed before it is shipped back to the seller for them to sell.

It can also be expensive even if you are shipping within the country – this is because other factors link into the shipping process such as keeping the oxtail refrigerated.

Why Is Oxtail So Expensive?

How To Get Oxtail Cheap

Oxtail will also be an expensive piece of meat no matter where you go, however, there are many ways to work around the price and receive a reasonably priced oxtail.

Make Your Purchase Last

Oxtail is expensive, so you want to know that what you are buying will last. In order to get your money’s worth, use the oxtail to make a stew or a soup.

These can be made in large portions which will provide you with many bowls as well as leftovers which you can freeze for another day.

Purchase During The Summer

Another way to save money on oxtail is to purchase in the summer.

Typically, you will find the demand for oxtail heightened in the winter months – many people use oxtail to make warming meals such as stew.

If you purchase oxtail in the summer then you will find the demand is much lower, and in turn so is the price.

Visit An International Store

International stores are great when it comes to supplying niche meats such as oxtail.

As oxtail is already very popular in these countries (China, Jamaica, etc.) these store owners will have large batches of the meat shipped over to sell.

Since there is plenty to sell (unlike in American stores) this means that the price will be lower due to its lack of rarity.

Why Is Oxtail So Expensive?

Final Thoughts

Oxtail is a meat that takes skill, precision, and patience; not anybody is able to prepare an oxtail perfectly.

As well as this, the oxtail market is slowly growing, coming into American stores and fine dining restaurants. Because of its rarity and growing popularity, oxtail will naturally be expensive.

However, cooking with oxtail is definitely worth the expense, especially when you can come out with a delicious meal.

Jess Smith
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