Wagyu vs. Angus Beef: What's the Difference

What’s the difference between Wagyu and Angus beef? You might notice the price difference, but there’s a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to steak quality.

Wagyu beef is Wagyu (translated “Japanese cow”) is a Japanese cattle breed. Larger and stronger than other American cattle breeds, they are known for having more fat marbling woven throughout their muscle. This fat-to-meat balance produces a highly sought-after steak that is more tender, juicy, and rich than other steak. 

Angus beef originated in Scotland, and is known for great beefy taste, good marbling, and being highly popular in the U.S. They can be found in either Black Angus or Red Angus varieties, and are ranked in quality tiers, the highest of which are Prime or Choice Certified Angus. 

The biggest difference between the two is the marbling, which is the little white flecks of fat throughout the meat. The ratio, volume, and placement of those fat strands determines the texture, taste, and over all quality experience of the steak. Angus beef has some marbling in the middle, but most of the beefy meat is concentrated in the middle and the majority of the fat is around the outer edges. Wagyu, on the other hand, will produce a richer, more buttery, highly marbled cut with flavorful fat strands throughout. (Kind of like how Grandma’s secret ingredient in her famous biscuits was to mix in more butter). 

Another, but significant difference, is how they are often raised. Commercial angus cattle are typically raised in high quantities for high volume production. Wagyu, on the other hand, are typically raised in smaller quantities, prioritizing a low to no-stress environment to produce a higher quality product. You can almost think of them like craft brew vs. Bud Light. Both good, but different experiences. 


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