Grading Wagyu - Why does it matter and what does it mean?

By The Seasoned Carte

 

Craving Wagyu?

Has the tender, buttery texture of Wagyu beef been on your mind lately? The kind that simply just melts in your mouth, explodes with flavor, covers your palate and takes you on a journey to the upper corners of food heaven? We totally understand. But are you wondering how to ensure you get the most authentic, premium Wagyu experience? Let’s jump right in. 

 

The Grading Scale

Wagyu beef grading differs from one country to another, but we are focused on the Japanese beef grading system that applies to the Kagoshima Wagyu carried by The Seasoned Carte. The Japanese Meat Grading Association (JMGA) oversees the grading of Wagyu beef, much like the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees the beef from cattle in the United States. The USDA grades beef to ensure that it meets the standards that Americans expect when purchasing beef.  Now, Wagyu grading is similar in Japan with the JMGA.  A score is issued based on fat color, meat color, rib eye shape, size of ribeye area, and the IMF% which refers to its marbling level. 

 

This grading system gives Wagyu beef a rating grade from 1 to 5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest. There are also quality scores that range from 1 to 12, and a quality score takes into account all the factors mentioned earlier, such as marbling, color, texture, etc.  The final grade, still focused on the small scale of 1 to 5, bases the quality score in this order:  
  1. Poor Quality – Score 1 
  2. Below Average Quality – Score 2 
  3. Average Quality – Score 3 
  4. Good Quality – Score 4 
  5. Excellent Quality – Score 5  

The Yield Grade

Another element that comprises the score is the yield grade, which is different from the quality score. This yield grade represents the cutability of the Wagyu cut and is measure in letters from A to C. The yield is relative to the size of the animal/the amount of meat to bone yield. The bigger/more meat on the animal generally means the healthier, more well fed, etc. The highest yield of quality meat earns a letter A. Grade A is given to cuts with a 72% or higher percentage yield, followed by grades B and C for lower percentage yield. 
Japanese Wagyu A5 steaks are known for the highest levels of quality.  They come from cattle that are fed the best foods and well cared for, resulting in rich flavor.  In fact, Japanese Wagyu A5 steaks are so highly ranked that less than 1% of Japanese Wagyu produced holds the A5 Grade. 

Kagoshima A5 Wagyu New York Strip Steak
Kagoshima A5 Wagyu New York Strip Steak
$58.85

1 x 5 oz.

Now that you’ve learned more about the uniqueness and high standards of Japanese Wagyu A5 steaks, sit down, plan a dinner party menu, and try this outstanding steak for a truly memorable meal!

Jun 03, 2022