I’ve never come across so many different grades of beef until I went to Japan. Hence, I decided to write this post after compiling the information from various sources. Hope the information will be useful to those of you reading this.
The quality of Japanese beef is based on the ranking of the cow. There are 15 beef grades from the bottom end C1 to the top end A5.
A3 is good enough for special occasions, whilst A4 is of premium quality. The best grade A5 is really expensive and that can set you back by 5,000-10,000 yen for 100 grams depending on the cut of the meat.
There are three yield grades: A, B and C – classified by yield percentages estimated by an equation.
Grade A – 72% and above
Grade B – 69% and above
Grade C – under 69%
In addition, there are five quality grades: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 – based on marbling, meat colour and texture, and fat colour and quality.
If you are interested in knowing more, here’s a document from the Japan Meat Grading Association which provides a more detailed explanation.