Quality Grades

Quality Grades
Grading for quality means the evaluation of traits related to tenderness, juiciness, and flavor of meat
 USDA Select is very uniform in quality and normally leaner than the higher grades. It is fairly tender, but, because it has less marbling, it may lack some of the juiciness and flavor of the higher grades. Only the tender cuts (loin, rib, sirloin) should be cooked with dry heat. Other cuts should be marinated before cooking or braised to obtain maximum tenderness and flavor.
 USDA Choice is high quality, but has less marbling than Prime. Choice roasts and steaks from the loin and rib will be very tender, juicy, and flavorful and are, like Prime, suited to dry-heat cooking. Many of the less tender cuts, such as those from the rump, round, and blade chuck, can also be cooked with dry heat if not overcooked. Such cuts will be most tender if "braised" — roasted, or simmered with a small amount of liquid in a tightly covered pan.
To earn the Certified Angus Beef ® brand name, cattle must first be Angus-influenced, with a predominantly solid black coat. Then, beef must pass our 10 quality standards:

Marbling and Maturity

1. Modest or higher marbling – for the taste that ensures customer satisfaction

2. Medium or fine marbling texture – the white "flecks of flavor" in the beef that ensure consistent flavor and juiciness in every bite

3. Only cattle harvested younger than 30 months of age qualify as “A” maturity – for superior color, texture and tenderness

Consistent Sizing

4. 10- to 16-square-inch ribeye area

5. 1,050-pound hot carcass weight or less

6. Less than 1-inch fat thickness

Quality Appearance and Tenderness

7. Superior muscling (restricts influence of dairy cattle)

8. Practically free of capillary ruptures (ensures the most visually appealing steak)

9. No dark cutters (ensures the most visually appealing steak)

10. No neck hump exceeding 2 inches (safeguards against cattle with more variability in tenderness)

 USDA Prime is produced from young, well-fed beef cattle. It has abundant marbling and is generally sold in restaurants and hotels. Prime roasts and steaks are excellent for dry-heat cooking (broiling, roasting, or grilling).

Best Selection of USDA Prime made by Certified Angus Beef passing for rigorous quality standards.

In beef, more marbling means more flavor. It also merits a higher grade. The American Wagyu Black Grade has a BMS (Beef Marble Score) between 6-8, out of 12. 

The prodigious breed

The legendary breed of Wagyu cattle was brought to Japan in the second century A.D. from its home on the Asian mainland. Originally working animals for plowing and rice farming, the Japanese soon discovered the Wagyu's natural ability to deposit intramuscular marbling. Centuries of careful breeding have further enhanced these characteristics and ultimately brought worldwide attention to the Wagyu for its unique flavor and tenderness.

Best of both worlds

This ancient Wagyu breed is the foundation of American Wagyu Beef. Crossing bloodlines from purebred Japanese Wagyu bulls with traditional, high-quality Angus animals, we have found what we think is the "best of both worlds."  American Wagyu is the perfect blend of the famous Wagyu buttery marbling and the robust, beefy flavor.

Producing perfection

Adopting many aspects of the heritage-steeped Japanese feeding methods, the cattle are fed an all-natural, sustainable diet consisting of local Northwest ingredients, including Idaho potatoes, soft white wheat, corn, and alfalfa hay. Because they have the ability to deposit intramuscular marbling over time, they are on feed an average of 3 times longer than traditional US commodity beef animals.

In beef, more marbling means more flavor. It also merits a higher grade. The American Wagyu Gold Grade has a BMS (Beef Marble Score) between 9 to 12, out of 12. Gold Grade beef is rich with the highest level of marbling we offer, making this delectable steak juicy, tender and full of flavor



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