Why Are Oxtails So Expensive? 7 Common Reasons

Today, many people consume meat in a much more mindful manner. They put their effort into using the whole animal without discarding any parts. This has led to a global trend called ‘’nose to tail’’ consumption, and eating oxtail is one of those rising trends when people have found how delicious it tastes.

As you may notice, oxtails’ price these days is very costly. There are some reasons behind this which explain: why are oxtails so expensive?

This trend is a wonderful example of how modern consumers stand against wasteful food consumerism. Discarding edible parts of meat is contradictory to the environment and home economics of each country.

What Are Oxtails?

What Are Oxtails

You may wonder, “Is oxtail really the tail of an ox?”. The answer is yes. As the name implies, the oxtail origin is from the ox. The tail would normally be eaten when an elderly ox was killed for meat.

However, this ingredient these days does not come only from the oxen as you think. Butchers also collect oxtails from cows and bulls, often raised and bred on their farms.

You may notice that every portion of the oxtail you buy from the supermarket has been cut nicely into different parts, especially at the tailbone. You can also find marrow in the center of each of these parts, with some bony portions of meat surrounding it.

This unique meat requires a slow cooker or a stew method. Consequently, whether you are using Asian cuisine or Western cuisine, you should adhere to this advice. It will be a masterpiece if you can handle this difficult dish.

Why Are Oxtails So Expensive?


A cow’s tail only takes up a minor weight on its total body. A tail is normally about 6 to 7 pounds, which is substantially lower than other body parts such as brisket or rump. That explains why the oxtail is a highly specialized and limited cut of beef.

If you come to a restaurant and order an oxtail serve, it will surely be costly due to its high proportion of bone.

Cooking Process

As mentioned before, you need to spend a long cooking time and have certain cooking skills to prepare this oxtail successfully. Not many people are proficient and calm enough to turn this tough ingredient into a delectable dish.

It will take you at least three to four hours to cook fully. But the result will surely be worth your time. The tail is tender, and the meat falls out of the bone along with a mesmerizing smell. There is no way you can stand this wonderful dish but grab an immediate bite!

Afterward, you will have to cool down the tail to exclude the fat out of it. That is why restaurants put a very high price for this dish compared to other beef meals.

Demand Exceeds Supply

Based on the eating behaviors of humans centuries ago, the oxtail used to be an abandoned part. But nowadays, with tons of seasoning and processing, it has become a unique flavor that can not be found in any other meat.

More and more people are falling in love with this wonderful dish, not only because of its taste but also the nutrition it brings back. That intentionally increases the demand for this type of meat, making it one of the most loved foods on the planet.

As a result, the demand exceeds the supply, which leads to the high price of oxtails.

A Social Trend 

You must have heard about the significant increase in demand for oysters and snails a few years ago. It was an international trend that turned these seafood items into the most expensive ones.

The same situation happened with the oxtail, too. You now can easily find this bizarre dish appearing in many celebrities or famous people’s meals.

Some even use this dish to impress business clients or friends though they do not really love its flavor. It has evolved into some new kind of the rich’s eating culture.

High Delivery Cost

Raising, processing, and delivering oxtail is an extremely expensive procedure. Most of them are shipped to China – one of the biggest markets in the world.

This is where the processing takes place. Then Chinese suppliers will send back those processed oxtails to their partners to sell globally or locally.

The cost for selling processed ingredients locally is not as cheap as you think. The local suppliers still have to pay exorbitant sums of money on shipping fees since they use cooled containers to do the transportation.

Pressure On Farmers To Make High-Quality Oxtails

As the demand for oxtails has grown significantly, farmers have to face a lot of pressure to produce the highest-quality products. They must take care of their cattle thoroughly and provide them with the best environment to have enough meat on their tails.

For that reason, farmers invest a large amount of money to ensure that all of their cows are in good health.

No bulk sale

Being a scarce type of meat, the number of oxtails is not enough to sell in bulk. Restaurants have no choice but to buy oxtails in small quantities at once since they are only sold per pound. That explains: why is oxtail so expensive to buy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much does oxtail cost?/Are oxtails expensive?

A: Is oxtail expensive” or “how much does oxtail cost” are among the most FAQs. The cost of oxtail varies tremendously based on the sort of store you buy and the place you live. A pound of oxtail meat normally is between five to ten dollars in America.

Q: Are oxtails good for your health?

A: Oxtail has many health benefits, including being an excellent source of protein. Furthermore, it is high in collagen, which can help with your muscle growth and bone strength.

Q: What type of meat is oxtail/ Where do oxtails come from?

A:Where is oxtail from” is still a big question to many people. In the past, it was originally derived from oxen, but these days it is simply the tail of beef cattle or veal of both genders. Now you already know oxtail meat is from which animal.

Q: What does oxtail taste like?

A: Although oxtail is not visually appealing, its flavor is worth trying. It tastes like beef and has a deeply rich flavor. It is more tender with a silkier texture that will cause an addiction to you right from the first bite. But if you find it too nasty for you, check out other good substitutes for oxtails!

Final Thought

You must now find out the answers to the question “why are oxtails so expensive” for sure. Once considered meat for the poor, oxtails have recently become one of the highest consumption products worldwide.

What about you? Have you ever tried this phenomenal dish before? If not, give it a try immediately; it will be worth your every single buck!

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