Beef 301: Meat N' Bone's Guide To Beef Labeling (From Choice To Wagyu A5)

Beef 301: Meat N' Bone's Guide To Beef Labeling (From Choice To Wagyu A5)

As you know by now, (from the Beef Grading 101 guide) the degree of marbling on the ribeye is the primary determinator of the beef quality grade. After reading our Beef Grading 201 guide, you also learned that there are three predominant grading standards for beef: the American, the Japanese and the Australian.

Even with all this knowledge, beef labeling can be pretty confusing. So we have come up with our own "simplified" system for you,l as the consumer, to understand exactly what you are buying.

How We Grade Our Beef

Meat N' Bone specializes in selling high quality beef and Japanese Wagyu. Our lowest level of quality is what you will find in most high end steakhouses; USDA Choice Certified Angus Beef which is literally, the best type of USDA Choice beef out there.

From then on, things get pretty confusing. Partly, because the USDA does NOT go beyond Prime and leaves it to private companies to "grade" their beef and they are hardly motivated to be impartial.

That said, we have worked hard on our supply chain so that we can offer beef of all qualities above USDA Choice.

So how do we do it?

beef grading system


The image above explains and compares the different quality of beef that we sell. From USDA Choice and up, we only procure the top 5% of beef produced in the world. So even our lowest quality product is of extremely high quality and yet, there are significant differences between our high end USDA Choice and Japanese Wagyu.

Do note this guide applies ONLY to Meat N' Bone products. This is how we choose to label beef. One important caveat, is that like humans, the flavor, marbling and even texture of cattle is highly dependent of what it eats and the lifestyle it lives.

Meat N' Bone Beef Grading

USDA Choice

Our USDA Choice beef is sourced from the MidWest of the US. All cuts are dry aged for about 14 days and then wet aged for 30-50 days. We usually work with Certified Angus Beef, which means we source the top 3% of USDA Choice beef. Most steakhouses in the US will serve this type of beef.

    USDA Prime

    Our USDA Prime is a significant steap above USDA Choice. Angus beef usually does not grade above BMS 5, but sometimes it can be BMS7+. Yet, because of the way the USDA grades beef its all considered PRIME. USDA Prime represents the top 3% of beef produced in the US. Most domestic wagyu beef will grade Prime.


      We use the "Prime +" label to identify beef that grades BMS5-6. This comes from cattle that is wagyu-angus. Most "wagyu" beef produced in the US and Australia will not be really "Wagyu" but a mix of Wagyu and Angus steers. Usually (not always) Prime+ is a significant step above USDA Prime.


        Our Wagyu BMS 7+ (usually 7-9) is what the industry calls "F1", meaning the animals harvested are the inmediate offspring of Japanese Wagyu bulls, so the genetic line remains pure. This is a very premium product that is complex to source and is only a step below the best of Japanese Wagyu Beef.

          Japanese Wagyu A5

          Wagyu A5 is considered the best in the world. Miyazaki A5, which is what we sell, is considered the best type of A5 beef. This beef is extremely expensive, hard to procure and will only be in stock every now and then.

            As beef lovers, we encourage our customers to take advantage of the ability to source premium meats from Meat N' Bone. Usually the quality of beef we sell can only be found at premium meat purveyors that only work with high end restaurants.

            Want to try the difference between every grade of quality yourself? Check out this box:

            Please Don't Steal Our Work

            This article was born out of a lot of research by our team. So far we have seen it pop up without credit in several websites and some local butcher shops.

            It's gotten this bad (this is a local "competitor" in Miami):

            Don't be like them, it doesn't hurt to provide a backlink or credit Meat N' Bone.

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