What Is The Difference Between Japanese Wagyu And American Prime Meat?

The two most popular types include Japanese Wagyu and American Prime that are in high demand when it comes to expensive beef. Even though they both have a reputation for being marbled and tender, there are some differences between these two. Thus, we would like to look in depth at the comparison of Japanese Wagyu and American Prime meat.

Breed and Genetics:

Japanese wagyu is a breed from Japan that has a lot of intramuscular fat or else known as marbling. Kobe and Matsusaka are the typical ones raised in specific areas of Japan which are considered to be best.

Contrariwise, American prime beef comes from various breeds such as Angus, Hereford among others including Charolais. Nonetheless, while some of these breeds do marble well enough like the Japanese wagyudo.

Diet and Feeding:

Generally, rice straws, barley together with corn and sake mash wastes resulting from making sake mashwaste makes up the diet for japanese wagyu cattle. This diet increases the meat fat content besides giving it its characteristic intermuscular fat marbling

On contrast many American prime cattle feed on grass or hay while others finish on grains like corn and soybeans mainly to enhance marbling.


Japanese Wagyu Beef is graded on a scale of 1-5,Hence grade five being excellent quality; this grading system takes into account parameters such as marbling color texture firmness etc.

American Prime Meat is graded by USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) under scales: Grade Prime Choice Select where Grade prime is highest quality considering Marbling age Texture / colour

Flavor and Texture:

Its taste is very buttery whilst the texture is soft because it has too much marblings. It literally melts in your mouth because when you put it in your mouth it just feels exceptional.

Nevertheless, Most cuts of American prime beef are more savory than those of their Japanese counterparts.It generally doesn’t have the fat and marbling that Japanese wagyu does, even though marbling can be very different


The price for Japanese Wagyu ranges from $100 to $300 per pound or more depending on grade and cut making it one of the most expensive meats in the world.

On another hand American Prime beef is relatively cheap as compared to Japanese Wagyu with prices going between $10-40 per pound or higher depending on its grading and cut.

In summary, both Japanese wagyu and American prime beef are known for being of high quality and tender; however, they differ in breed/genetics, diet/feeding, grading system, flavor/textures and price. But at the end of the day individual will depend upon his/her liking or occasion among other things like a cost to choose one over others.