Angus beef comes from angus cattle (black or red), the most popular breed of cow found in America. The angus cattle are known for their marbling, quantity of meat and unique flavor, making them a popular choice for consumers. While all angus beef comes from angus cattle, they don’t all have the distinction of “Certified Angus Beef”.
There are many different grades of angus beef like; prime, choice, select, commercial, utility, and cutter as defined by the USDA. The USDA is the governing agency on the United States policy on things like farming and food. “Certified Angus Beef” is a premium brand crated by the American Angus Association.
What is Certified Angus Beef (CAB)?
In order to receive the CAB label, it must first be from cattle that’s at least 51% black-hided or AngusSource enrolled. Red angus cattle are not eligible for the labeling.
It must also meet the following criteria:
- Modest or higher marbling
- Medium or fine marbling texture
- “A” maturity for each, lean and skeletal characteristics
- 10 to 16 square inch ribeye area
- Less than 1,000 pound hot carcass weight
- Less than 1 inch fat thickness
- Superior muscling (restricts dairy influence)
- Practically free of capillary rupture
- No dark cutters
- No neck hump exceeding 2 inches
You can purchase certified angus beef from a variety of different butcher shops, fine grocery stores and even online.