Beef Grading Scales
The beef grading scale used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture refers to the amount of fat in the beef, though the USDA describes it as "tenderness, juiciness, and flavor." Marbling refers to the level of fat distributed throughout the "lean," or edible meat portion of the beef.
Wagyu beef's quality is so high that it does not fit on the U.S. chart. The Japanese beef grading scale has a range of 1-12, with twelve being the best meat possible. A score of 12 is extremely rare; a good cut of Wagyu beef usually ranks around 10. The chart below compares the USDA scale to the Japanese scale.
3 Grade System
||Top quality beef, with a high degree of marbling (almost 25% fat); usually sold to restaurants and commercial kitchens rather than consumers.
||High quality, with a good degree of marbling (about 20% fat); usually the top grade sold in supermarkets.
||Leaner meat because of less marbling (about 17% fat). Sold in supermarkets.
BMS = Beef Marbling Score