Never underestimate the difference of the Certified Angus Beef ® brand

Only 8% of Angus Beef meets the highest standards to earn the distinctive Certified Angus Beef ® label. With a minimum of 21 days of aging required, Certified Angus Beef ® is the world’s number one brand. Never underestimate the difference between other Angus Beef products and the Certified Angus Beef ® brand.

Today, the Certified Angus Beef ® Program functions as a not-for-profit division of the American Angus Association. The Association is comprised of more than 28,000 Angus breeders who are dedicated to producing high-quality beef, superior in taste and tenderness. The Certified Angus Beef ® brand is the industry’s oldest and most successful brand.

For nearly a quarter of a century, the Certified Angus Beef ® Program has been monitoring compliance with established standards of quality and acceptability needed to earn the Certified Angus Beef ® label. Our standards actually exceed those of USDA Choice and Prime-graded beef.


Certified Angus Beef® Brand

  • A high degree of marbling, essential to beef flavor and juiciness.

  • Fine marbling texture resulting in a positive effect on beef quality.

  • “A” maturity range, the youngest beef classification.

  • 9 – 30 months of age guarantees color, texture, firmness, and tenderness.

  • Yield Grade 3.9 or leaner to ensure a product without excess fat cover.

  • 21 days of aging ensures tenderness.

USDA Choice

  • Three marbling levels – small, modest, and moderate.

  • 34% of beef grades choice with small marbling.

  • 14% grades choice with modest marbling.

  • 5% grades choice with moderate marbling.

  • The majority of the Choice grade falls into the small marbling category and does not meet our standards.

USDA Prime

  • The minimum marbling requirement for USDA Prime is slightly abundant or higher.

  • Within this category, less than 1 percent of beef is good enough to meet our stringent qualifications.

Nothing says discriminating taste like our fine beef. This is why we say that the key to extraordinary dining begins with the Certified Angus Beef ® brand, the most tender, juicy, and consistently flavorful beef available.

Less than 8% of all Angus Beef can earn the label, and that’s why it’s the world’s #1 Beef Brand.

The Grading Scale

All beef is inspected for wholesomeness by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)* and is graded for quality and consistency. You’ve heard of Prime, Choice, and Select grades – and Prime tops the grading scale. Marbling plays a big role in quality grades.

Marbling – the little white flecks in beef – is key to flavor. The higher the amount of marbling, the higher the quality of beef. The Certified Angus Beef  ® brand is incredibly flavorful, tender, and juicy because of the high amounts of marbling in every cut.

Q: How is beef graded?
A: Independent USDA graders inspect cattle and label them according to the grading scale: Prime, Choice, Select, and several low-quality grades.

Q: How is beef selected for the Certified Angus Beef  ® brand?
A: The same independent USDA graders inspect black-hided cattle (typical of the Angus breed) and give it a grade. All beef considered for the brand must be the best Choice, or Prime, beef – truly the top of the scale. This top-quality Angus beef is then evaluated again, using the brand’s set of 10 science-based specifications for marbling, size, and uniformity. If it’s good enough to make the cut, then it earns the distinctive Certified Angus Beef  ® brand label.

Q: What makes Certified Angus Beef  ® brand Prime the ultimate beef?
A: Quality, plain and simple. Only truly elite beef surpasses the USDA’s stringent Prime standards AND meets all 10 of the brand’s quality specifications. Less than 1.5% of beef achieves the high standards of Certified Angus Beef  ® brand Prime. And marbling is key to its incredible flavor and tenderness.

Marbling and maturity
1. Modest or higher marbling – for the taste that ensures customer satisfaction
2. Medium or fine marbling texture – the white flecks of flavor in the beef that ensures consistent flavor and juiciness in every bite
3. Only the youngest classification of product qualifies as maturity – for superior color, texture, and tenderness

The next three specifications ensure a uniform, consistent steak size:
4. 10- to 16-square-inch ribeye area
5. Less than 1,000-pound hot carcass weight
6. Less than 1-inch fat thickness

And finally, four specifications further ensure the quality appearance, and tenderness of the brand:
7. Superior muscling (restricts influence of dairy cattle)
8. Practically free of capillary ruptures (ensures the most visually appealing steak)
9. No dark cutters (ensures the most visually appealing steak)
10. No neck hump exceeding 2 inches (safeguards against cattle with more variability in tenderness)


Certified Angus Beef ® At Its Best

Secure and easy online ordering available.  Browse our fine, quality steaks and order today.

  • Carved from the center portion of the prized tenderloin and finely marbled, the Filet earns its reputation as the leanest most tender of steaks.

  • The New York Strip, from the heart of the loin, boneless and full of hearty beef flavor, is one of the most desirable steaks.

  • This boneless cut of beef from the rib section is known for its robust flavor and tender consistency.