What Are The Eight Grades Of Beef?

The U. S. Although the Department of Agriculture (USDA) has nine different grades for beef to help consumers distinguish between various beef quality, few people are aware of these distinctions.

Rastelli Direct’s straightforward infographic explains the various USDA beef grades and what they all mean.

The infographic briefly explains what each USDA grade on meat means, from the top USDA Prime to the lower cutter and canner grades. The USDA lists eight grades, but the infographic lists nine with a split for choice and what they refer to as higher choice.

It’s a helpful resource that will quickly instruct you on a subject that many people are unaware of.

The eight grades of beef are prime, choice, select, standard, commercial, utility, cutter, and canner.

There are eight beef quality grades: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial, Cutter & Canner.  | Published on:Jun 18, 2023

Beef Quality Grades (Eight)

There are eight beef quality grades. The levels of marbling (intramuscular fat) and maturity (assumed age of the animal at slaughter) are the two main factors that determine the grades.

1. U. S. Prime – Highest in quality and intramuscular fat, limited supply. Currently, about 2. 9% of carcasses grade as Prime. [15] 2. U. S. High-quality options are readily available in both the foodservice industry and retail markets. Choice carcasses are 53. 7% of the fed cattle total. The beef’s fat content primarily accounts for the difference between Choice and Prime. Prime typically contains more fat than Choice (more evenly distributed intramuscular “marbling”)

3. U. S. Lowest grade typically sold at retail, Select (formerly Good), is of acceptable quality but is less juicy and tender due to leanness. 4. U. S. Standard – Lower quality, yet economical, lacking marbling. 5. U. S. Commercial – Low quality, lacking tenderness, produced from older animals. 6. U. S. Utility 7. U. S. Cutter.

8. U.S. Canner

See Also

Email this Story to a Friend

Beef Grades Explained – Select vs Choice vs Prime Steaks


What are the grades of beef from lowest to highest?

Prime, choice, select, standard, commercial, utility, cutter, and canner are the eight USDA beef grades. With prime beef being the best and canner being the worst

What is the highest quality grade of beef?

Prime beef is produced from young, well-fed beef cattle. It is typically sold in restaurants and hotels and has a lot of marbling (the amount of fat between lean meat).

What are beef quality grades from best to worse 8 total?

Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter, and Canner are the eight total quality grades. They have been used by the beef industry since 1927.

How many grades of meat are there?

There are only three meat grades available for consumer purchase: Prime, Choice, and Select. Other grades are sold to canners and meat processors. The grading system identifies quality and forecasts the meat’s expected level of tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. Every part of the animal receives the same quality of meat.

Leave a Comment