Wagyu vs. Angus beef: What is the difference, and which is better? Both wagyu and Angus beef are very different in flavor, texture, and price. Wagyu beef (wagyu stands for Japanese cattle) originated in Japan, and there are four main Japanese cow breeds: Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled, and Japanese Shorthorn. Wagyu is by far a superior beef both in flavor and texture. Angus beef originated in Scotland, is readily available meat, and is not as flavorful or tender as wagyu beef.
I’ll explain the main difference between wagyu beef and Angus in this article. I’ll walk you through each beef, so you get the idea of where it comes from, how it is raised, and what is the best steak cooking method for each Angus and wagyu beef.
What Is The Difference Between Wagyu And Angus Beef?
Wagyu beef has a much better flavor than Angus cattle. It has more marbling (intramuscular fat), and it’s raised on a strict diet; therefore, it produces a better taste. In contrast, certified Angus beef can be grass-fed, and grass-fed cows have less marbling.
Wagyu cattle have a buttery smooth texture. Angus breed can’t compare to wagyu’s soft and tender texture. First of all, it lacks marbling, and second of all it can be grass-fed which produces a slightly chewier texture.
Beef Raising Techniques
Authentic wagyu beef is raised for over 650 days predominantly on a grain diet and in a low-stress environment. In comparison, Angus cows can be grass-fed and grain-fed. Both diets produce slightly different meat in texture and flavor. At the same time while Japanese government is doing genetic testing on their Wagyu cows and only letting well-established genotypes retain for breeding. Americans are not doing genetic testing on Angus, meaning that Japanese wagyu has to go through a well-regulated production process.
Note: Alongside Japanese purebred wagyu, there are crossbreeds of American and Australian wagyu beef. American wagyu beef is a crossbreed between Japanese and Angus.
Japanese wagyu association maintains exceptionally high standards by accounting for meat’s marbling, color, texture, and firmness. It has a grading system that grades meat by letters A-C and numbers 1-5. The most sought-after Japanese wagyu is A5 Wagyu. The American grading system is straightforward – select, choice, and prime. The more marbling score it has, the better grading it gets. Prime is the best quality beef you can get.
Wagyu steaks are highly pricey, while Angus steaks are much cheaper.
What is Wagyu Beef?
How is wagyu beef produced? Japanese purebred wagyu beef is raised on a strict diet for over 650 days, including high-grade wheat hay and rice plants. The government keeps a firm hand on production, so the meat is raised in a low-stress environment, and only well-established genotypes are retained for breeding.
What is the flavor of wagyu beef? Japanese beef has a delicate beef flavor. It has an abundance of marbling, making the meat incredibly succulent and flavorful, unlike any other beef product on the market.
What is the texture of wagyu? Wagyu beef has an incredibly tender texture because of the marbling and how the cattle are raised. Unlike traditional beef raised for mass production, wagyu has an excess to open pasture and goes under less stress resulting in a much tender and juicy meat.
How to cook wagyu steak? The best way to cook wagyu beef is on a grill or cast-iron skillet (reverse sear). With wagyu, you’ll need to start low and slow. First, leave the steak out of the fridge at least 3o minutes before cooking. It’ll allow steak to cook more evenly. Season the steak generously with kosher salt and black pepper. Next, preheat your grill or oven, depending on your chosen cooking method. The oven should be preheated to 275 degrees Fahrenheit, while the grill should be prepared for two-zone grilling. Place steak on an indirect heat side of the grill and cook until internal temperature is 20 degrees Fahrenheit below the desired doneness. Alternatively, place a wire rack on a baking sheet and put the steak on top of the wire rack, and slide it into the oven. Cook the steak until the internal temperature is 20 degrees Fahrenheit below the desired doneness. Recommended level of doneness is medium-rare or medium. The next step is essential – searing the steak over high heat. When grilling wagyu, place it on the direct heat side of the grill and sear for a minute on each side. When reverse searing the steak, take it out of the oven and sear it in a smoking hot cast-iron skillet for a minute on each side until caramelized crust forms. Leave the steak to rest for about 5-10 minutes. It’ll allow steak juices to redistribute throughout the steak’s interior.
Where can you buy wagyu beef? Wagyu steak is not readily available. The best place to purchase it is online. Wagyu shop is one of a few places to buy high-quality wagyu.
What is Angus Beef?
How is Angus beef produced? Angus beef or also known as Black Angus, is a cattle breed. It originated in Scotland in the 19th century and was brought to the United States in the 1870s. Angus beef can be grass-fed or grain-fed. However, unlike wagyu beef producers, Angus breeders are the decision-makers for growing and feeding cattle. When purchasing Angus, check for the USDA grading. Here are the USDA beef grades – select, choice, and prime. Prime is the highest quality beef. It’s an excellent indicator of both meat quality and production standards.
What is the flavor of Angus beef? Angus cattle develop better marbling than most cattle breeds does. Therefore it has a rich flavor profile. However, depending on the beef cut, some cuts are more flavorsome than others.
What is the texture of Angus Beef? Angus beef can have a tender or tough texture, depending on the steak cut. Tenderloin or ribeye steak will almost always have a tender texture. At the same time, a cut from the chuck area of the Angus cattle can be tough and chewy.
How to cook Angus steak? Since Angus is a cattle breed, it has many similarities to other regular cattle. It can be cooked in many different ways, from grilling and pan-frying to braising and roasting. Since it’s slightly more expensive beef and has more marbling, it’s best not to overcook the meat. Use a meat thermometer to check meat’s internal temperature.
Where can you buy Angus beef? Unlike wagyu, Angus beef is readily available in supermarkets, butcher shops, or online.
Which is Better, Wagyu or Angus Beef?
Wagyu beef is by far a better option than Angus cattle. However, the biggest downside to wagyu is its prices and availability. It’s hard to get your hands on an authentic wagyu, and if you’re lucky enough to get one expect to pay a hefty price. In contrast, Angus is readily available and is not as costly. Angus can be incredibly delicious and tender if you find a well-marbled piece of steak.
Is wagyu better than Angus?
Wagyu is much better than Angus. It has more marbling hence more flavor; it’s melt-in-your-mouth tender, unlike Angus, which can be tough and not as flavorful depending on a cut.
Is wagyu the same as Black Angus?
Wagyu is not the same as Black Angus. Wagyu stands for Japanese cattle, and there are four main cattle breeds – Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled, and Japanese Shorthorn. Black Angus, on the other hand, is a different breed. There’s Red Angus in the USA, which is treated as a separate breed, whereas in the United Kindom, both red and black Angus is just Aberdeen Angus cows.
Is wagyu better than regular beef?
Wagyu is much better in flavor, texture, and marbling than regular beef.
What’s better Kobe or Angus beef?
Kobe beef is much better than Angus. It has more marbling, therefore more flavor and buttery smooth texture. It’s raised using high standards; thus, the meat is considered one of the best in the world.