Get to Know the Different Types of Wagyu

By now, you’ve almost certainly heard of Wagyu beef. Known for its exquisite flavor and texture, it also offers significant health benefits, partly because of its high monounsaturated fat content. But did you know that there are different types of Wagyu? Here, we discuss the different kinds, both in Japan and America.

In Japan, there are four different breeds of Wagyu cattle, and that defines the four different types of beef.

  • Japanese Black, Kuroge, makes up about 90 percent of the Wagyu cattle breeds. This is the meat with the beautiful marbling.
  • Japanese Brown, Akage, is only found in the Kochi and Kumamoto Prefectures. This breed of cattle is very healthy and produces lean but firm meat with a fine texture.
  • Japanese Shorthorn, Nihon Tankaku, comes from the northern part of Japan. It takes time to eat because it’s very lean.
  • Japanese Polled, Mukaku, is the cattle with the smallest population. The meat produced is lean, with a distinct flavor.

There are also different brands of Wagyu in Japan, with Kobe being perhaps the most well-known globally. Ohmi beef is another brand that comes from an older strain of Japanese Black cattle and is known for finely-textured marbling and a smooth, sweet flavor. One brand that’s not famous outside Japan because of its remote location is Matsusaka beef. In Japan, though, it’s known for its high-quality and for having pampered cows that drink beer and get massages.

Fortunately, you don’t have to travel to Japan to get authentic Wagyu beef. There are several different types of American Wagyu beef as well.

  • F1 is 50 percent Wagyu. This is the most common type of Wagyu in the United States, the result of crossbreeding between a Fullblood Wagyu and an American cow, typically Angus.
  • F2 is 75 percent Wagyu. This is accomplished by breeding an F1 cow with a Fullblood Wagyu bull.
  • F3 is 87 percent or more Wagyu. For this breed, a Fullblood bull is mated with an F2 cow.
  • F4 is 93.75 percent Purebred Wagyu. This results from breeding a Fullblood bull and an F3 cow.
  • 100 percent Fullblood Wagyu come from two 100 percent Fullblood Wagyu animals. The cow and the bull must both have proven lineage to Japanese Wagyu with no history of crossbreeding.

American Wagyu has less marbling than Japanese, but the meat from Wagyu is amazing, no matter the type or where it’s raised. Wagyu cattle are treated with special care, raised in a low-stress, relaxing environment and fed high-quality food. You can buy the meat in a variety of cuts, including Wagyu roast, briskets, ground beef, ribs, and steaks, and you won’t be disappointed. Sirloin meat, used to make Wagyu steak or sukiyaki, is the most sought-after cut, but every cut of Wagyu is sure to be delicious.

Now that you know the scoop on all the different types of Wagyu, are you ready to take the plunge and try it? If you’ve got more questions about American Wagyu Beef, the customer care team at Triple T Ranch would love to help! Located in south Alabama, our small, family-owned-and-operated ranch is a place where practicing proven husbandry techniques ensures the health and prosperity of the herd. Our cattle are healthy, happy, well cared-for, and registered through the American Wagyu Association. Browse our website to shop Wagyu beef online or contact us for more information, or call (251)333-2800 to talk to our friendly, helpful customer care team.