There are many discussions about the highest quality meats worldwide, and each ends when Wagyu is mentioned. Even a lower grade Wagyu steak would likely still taste better than most meats you’ve tried in the past, and with A5 Wagyu, it simply doesn’t get better. But, is A5 the highest grade Wagyu?
A5 is the highest grade of Wagyu beef. The grading system is based on several factors, including marbling (the amount of fat within the meat), meatiness (the proportion of meat to fat), and overall quality.
Learning more about the significance of grading meats this way will help you understand why Wagyu is considered one of the most valuable and delicious types of meat.
What Does It Mean When Beef Is Graded as A5?
The A5 grade is distinctly Japanese as the USDA doesn’t evaluate the quality of meats the same way as the Japanese Meat Grading Association does. The JMGA has a specific way of rating meat quality, with letters defining the useability of meat and the numbers defining the quality.
If a piece of meat is rated as A, that means that 72% and more of the piece is usable. Essentially, there wouldn’t be any waste when cutting and cooking it, which is common with Wagyu.
Next to the letter is a number, and that’s the quality of the meat in question. 1 is the lowest quality while 5 is the highest, or excellent. A piece of Wagyu beef rated as A5, in that case, yields the highest quality steaks which can be cooked through without having to trim the fat.
What Is Wagyu? The Origin of the Most Famous Meat In the World
Wagyu is a term for four cow breeds specific to Japan. The meat is typically known according to the area where they were grown, and the most famous is the Kobe sort.
Other popular sorts are Yonezawa, Mishima, Matsusaka, Omi, and Sanda. The quality of the cow’s meat is thanks to the proper, almost royal, treatment of the cattle. Wagyu cows are raised on pastures where they graze on fresh grass.
However, the buttery and juicy taste of their meat doesn’t simply come from that – it’s in their genes. They are genetically predisposed to metabolize fat instead of creating a cap around the meat. With the fat integrated into the muscle, the taste of the beef is more tender than any other in the world.
Is A5 the Highest Grade Wagyu? Yes, and It’s Worth Every Penny
So, to answer this question again – A5 is most definitely the highest grade Wagyu beef out there. If you come across a fine, marbled piece of beef, read about its grade and sort, and make sure to invest in it if your budget can take it. Wagyu steaks are eaten rare, so cook them only slightly and enjoy one of the richest tastes you’ve ever tried.