How the Kobe Beef Grading System Works

Sarah Mickey All Recipes, Beef Recipes, Culinary Tips & Techniques, Meat Tips & Techniques 3 Comments


Like the American meat grading system (Select, Choice, Prime) the Japanese system is based on an examination of fat marbling (called intramuscular fat) in a given piece of meat.  Fat not only carries flavor, but when distributed properly in tiny veins throughout the meat it melts during cooking, resulting in a more tender and moist steak.

In Japan, very heavily marbled steaks are highly prized, and they have bred wagyu cattle to attain levels of intramuscular fat far beyond those found in conventional American beef.  This gives them a silky smooth texture and rich, buttery flavor totally unlike conventional beef.  They are also believed to freeze better than conventional beef.

Even low-grade Kobe beef is more tender and has more flavor, less saturated fat, and a lower melting temperature than typical beef.

The Japanese Beef Scale

The Japanese marbling scale (aka the MBS) runs from 1-12.  Converting between disparate scales is tricky, but to better illustrate what these numbers mean: Prime (the highest grading category on the USDA scale), tends to come in between 3-4 on the Japanese scale.  USDA Choice (the highest grade of beef found in most grocery stores) tends to come in at or below a two.

Australian Kobe Beef Scale

Marx Foods Kobe Beef

We offer both Australian and American Kobe beef in bulk. Premium steak cuts (Kobe ribeye steaks, Kobe strip steaks, Kobe Filet Mignons, etc) have their grades displayed on each product page. Many other cuts (cheek meat, flank steaks, etc) are ungraded.

Grade 5, 6 & 7 wagyu beef is generally regarded an affordable compromise that gives you high quality Kobe beef while avoiding the extravagant prices of the highest grades.

We currently offer higher grade Kobe beef tenderloins and can special order other cuts in higher grades should you want to go all out.  To inquire about these higher grades, please contact us.

Kobe Burgers & Kobe Hot Dogs

Kobe beef burgers and Kobe sliders are decadent– taking the humbler burger patty to extravagant heights. They’re rich, juicy, and full of flavor. We’ve made many of our favorite burger recipes with them.


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Comments 3

  1. I have Waygu cattle that are 50% waygu and 50% angus,the calves are 3/4 waygu and 25% angus. They are out of a good bull with a highly recognized bloodline. I have one steer that is almost ready to butcher. He was two years old in october and has been slow fed for over a year. He will weigh approximately 1600 lbs. My would rather sell him based on his live weight at a reduced price than to go through all of the butchering process. If you are interested in him or more of them in the future then contact me at 469-441-9052.He is available for viewing.

  2. These products look awesome! I am a chef that works in the south western part of the United States.(Beef Country) Not many people appreicate fish out here. So maybe they can learn to appreciate this… I would love to work with you in the future. Please contacat me via email.

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