Food & Drink

What is the difference between Angus and Kobe beef

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black angus bull
This Angus shows the typical characteristics. He's black and hornless.
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Angus versus Kobe: distinguishing between the two

Angus versus Kobe beef is an issue you may have considered if you've noticed the typically high prices for Kobe. What is the difference between Angus and Kobe beef, anyway?

What Is Angus Beef?

Angus is the name of a specific breed of cows that came to America from Scotland in the late 1800s. Angus cattle are typically black and hornless. A man named George Grant, who had transported several Angus cows to America, decided to cross Angus and Texas longhorn cattle. His experiment worked well, and others began to import Angus as well.

Today the American Angus Association claims to record more cattle than any other breed association in the world. And Angus beef is now the most popular kind of red meat eaten in the U.S.

What Is Kobe Beef?

Kobe beef comes from the Japanese Wagyu cattle. It's called "Kobe" after a shipping port in Japan. Breeding of these cows does exist outside Japan, but their introduction to the U.S. is fairly recent. Four bulls entered the States in 1976. Then no more were imported until the 1990s.

Kobe beef is considered a luxury product, hence its high price. The meat may contain up to forty-five percent fat, and the high amount of marbling gives it more taste in some people's opinion when they consider Angus versus Kobe beef.

What Is the Difference between Angus and Kobe Beef?

Now that you know a little more about these two types of beef, you may want to return to the original question: What is the difference between Angus and Kobe beef? When you examine Angus versus Kobe beef, you may come up with a number of differences. Here are just a few:

  • Angus beef is more common in America; Kobe's relative scarcity makes it something of a luxury item.
  • On May 28, 2010, the USDA published a news release about import restrictions on beef from Japan. Some people who prefer Japanese Kobe will not be able to get it, at least for a time, because of confirmed cases of foot-and-mouth disease. Angus, because it's widely raised in the U.S., will not face the same restrictions. And although you can buy American Kobe, some critics say it's not as good as the Japanese variety.
  • Kobe beef may contain more fat than Angus and other kinds of beef.

How Do You Prepare Your Beef?

Beef comes in many different cuts in the U.S., from steak to filet. Regardless of your conclusions regarding Angus versus Kobe beef, knowing how to prepare your cut of meat can make all the difference in how good it tastes and how tough or tender your cooked meat is.

You can use the beef chart provided free by the American Angus Association to choose the appropriate cooking methods in preparing your beef.


American Angus Association, "Angus History"

USDA Agricultural Research Service, "Can You Have Your Beef and Eat It Too?"

American Wagyu Association, "Wagyu: What Are They? Where Did They Come From?"

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