The Original Dry Bag Steak | Make Artisan Dry Age Steak at Home › Forums › Dry Aging Steak › General Dry Aging Steak Questions › Choice or prime that is the question › Re:Choice or prime that is the question
One thing that you should be aware of is that the UDSA grading program is actually slightly more granular than just Select/Choice/Prime. Inside Choice particularily, you can have better quality or worse quality. For example, I believe the stuff I can get a the local supermarket is Choice-, but the stuff at the meat market I go to is Choice+. The difference is in the marbling degree grade…choice can either be small, modest, or moderate. The stuff at the meat market is slightly more expensive, but is consistently better, as you would expect with the higher marbling grade. In the USDA system, anything with a marbling degree of slightly abundant or higher is Prime, which is fine for Angus as it will almost never get past this point. If you get into Wagyu, you can actually get marbling well past “slightly abundant” and have to go to a different grading system to distinguish, called the BMS system. This is a japanese system and the scale goes 1-12 (higher is more marbling). Angus would almost never grade higher than 5, which happens to correlate well with the UDSA rating of Prime.
As for the question of if Prime is worth it, I’d say yes. What we’re going to do is keep the vast majority of our aged Wagyu (BMS 10+, way way past Prime) for special occasions and age some Choice+ stuff from the local butcher shop for having friends/family over.
BTW, I’ll update my Wagyu thread soon with some details and pictures of the cutting of the first strip loin 🙂