How to Tell If It’s Real American Wagyu Beef You’re Eating


Get Tips from the Pros at Southern Alabama’s Triple T Ranch


Wagyu beef is one of the most coveted due to its rich marbling, juicy tenderness, and bold flavor. Centuries of carefully regulated cattle breeding have made genuine Wagyu beef a luxurious treat for many worldwide. However, how can you tell if it’s real Wagyu beef you’re eating or a clever imposter? As an American Wagyu beef provider in Southern Alabama, Triple T Ranch settles this burning question below. Check out our blogs for more information on the benefits of investing in Wagyu beef, or contact our friendly, knowledgeable customer care team with any additional questions or concerns.

What Is Wagyu Beef, and Where Do We Get It?

Although Wagyu beef has earned quite a fancy reputation over the years, its name has humble beginnings. When translated, the word Wagyu simply means “Japanese cow.” However, not all Japanese cows produce the highly sought-after Wagyu beef. There are four breeds of Wagyu cattle, including brown, black, shorthorn, and hornless. The most common breed is black, especially in the United States. Before Japan placed bans on exporting live animals, many Wagyu cattle were exported to the United States beginning in 1975. After generations of careful breeding, American Wagyu beef was born. Whether Japanese or American in origin, Wagyu beef is characterized by being highly marbled with an even distribution of fat that makes it melt-in-your-mouth delicious with a rich, buttery flavor.

Is Wagyu Beef Heavily Regulated to Ensure Its High Quality?

Both Japanese and American Wagyu beef are heavily regulated and graded for quality. Many purists consider Japanese Wagyu to be at the top of the scale, especially when you consider the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) only requires meat to be 50% Wagyu cattle to be labeled as American Wagyu beef. Often, Wagyu cattle are crossed with Angus cattle or other breeds at U.S. ranches. The result is still a luxury meat, but maybe not as highly marbled as Japanese Wagyu beef. There’s an American Wagyu Association to register Wagyu cattle across the U.S. and Canada to ensure their genuineness. You can rest assured that all of our cattle at Triple T Ranch have been registered.

What’s the Difference Between Wagyu Beef and Kobe Beef?

Kobe is a specific type of Wagyu beef from the Hyogo Prefecture in Japan. It has even stricter guidelines than regular Wagyu beef and isn’t readily available in the United States. If you’re lucky enough to find one of the few gourmet restaurants allowed to serve it, it can be an unforgettable delicacy.

How Can You Ensure You’re Eating Authentic Wagyu Beef?

A raw Wagyu steak will appear so marbled it may look pink in appearance instead of the traditional bright red. You should also notice white dots throughout the muscle. Imported Wagyu meat from Japan will always be boneless. It pays to do your research when buying Wagyu beef since not all American Wagyu beef suppliers are equal. Always buy your meat from a reputable source. Triple T Ranch makes it easy to shop American Wagyu beef online with local delivery and standard overnight shipping options. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on authentic Wagyu beef, be sure you know how to cook it correctly. Check out our recipes and cooking instructions to savor its unique flavor!