There are two grade ranking system for Wagyu meat. Quality Ranking Standards and Marbling Ranking Standards.
Quality Ranking Standars uses No. 1 through No. 5. No. 5 is the highest rank. The meat at this rank has the highest marbling of fat in its muscle meat, the fat is snow white color (lower ranking beef fat has a yellowish tinge), the muscle meat is bright red-orange and its has smooth melting texture. All Japanese Wagyu is in the range of No. 4 and No. 5.
When I did research five years ago American Wagyu fell on Nov. 3. Today, its rank may have moved up higher.
Marbling Ranking Standards uses No. 1 through No. 12. The ideal marbling number is grades No. 7 and No. 8. Meat with marbling grade No. 12 is considered too “butterry” to consume, for example, as steak. But, this type is perfect for shabushabu preparation. American Waghyu (my five years old research) falls in grade No. 5 and No. 7. I do not think there is not much change in these numbers today. The fat in Japanese Wagyu melts at a mere 77 degree F, offering us a melting sensation in the mouth.
I may post one more article on Wagyu….