Meathead Talks: Buying Beef: Beef Grades And Labels, And Busting The Kobe Beef Myth

Meathead Talks: Buying Beef: Beef Grades And Labels, And Busting The Kobe Beef Myth

Welcome to Meathead Talks, a series of curated articles from AmazingRibs on everything from kitchen science to myth busting to tips for upping your grill game. All articles are written by the Meathead, a brilliant chef and self-proclaimed Barbecue Whisperer whose culinary word are heeded as gospel in many circles.

So it's time to fill those UMAI Dry Aging Bags you ordered with some fine beef to create mouth-watering dry aged steaks. So many choices; what to buy? All those grades of beef, the classifications, the descriptors...

Do grades on beef really mean anything?

Why yes, yes, they do.

Could you just close your eyes and pick one?

You could, but we don't recommend it (and neither does Meathead).

Take a look at what Meathead has to say about how beef is sorted into the grades you see in the meat display case. Why is dry aged steak so much tastier than wet aged beef? This burning question, along with many others, is masterfully answered in the article linked below. After you have read his blog post, you will understand why an uninformed "pin the tail on the cow" approach to meat buying is a bad idea.

In this article, you'll brush up (or maybe learn, we won't judge):

  1. What "marbling" is, and how it is used to determine the quality of beef.
  2. Why we pay more for marbling.
  3. Why marbling is only one factor of many in gauging the quality of beef, and what those other factors are.
  4. What the standard grades of beef are, and how the beef is assigned its grade.
  5. What, exactly, is Wagyu beef.
  6. What, exactly, is Kobe beef, and how you have probably never eaten it, even if you think you have.
  7. How to cook and serve genuine Kobe beef.
  8. The difference between "wet aged beef" and "dry aged beef" and why dry aging steak is far superior to wet aging steak.
  9. Other important terms used to describe the beef you are selecting, including "grass fed," "corn fed," "organic," and "natural" beef.
  10. Why "rosy" beef may--or may not--be all that fresh.
  11. The significant dangers of blade-tenderized beef. YIKES!
  12. Where the beef industry is heading to protect the environment and the welfare of the cattle, and how that will positively affect the American beef consumer.

So clickty click on over to for this can't-miss article. Then meander back and pick up some dry aging steak bags and plan WOW your guests with great steak and superior beef knowledge at your next barbecue. 

Read the full article Buying Beef: Beef Grades And Labels, And Busting The Kobe Beef Myth on

Article originally posted on Meathead's Amazing Ribs, last updated 08/29/2022

Meathead - Founder and publisher of, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.