Ultimate Guide to Black Angus Steak

Why Is Black Angus Better?

So you know Angus cattle are special in comparison with other breeds, but how does the meat compare to the meat from other breeds? Let's see if Angus beef is really worthy of the hype.

Certified Angus Beef standards were developed in 1978 in order to indicate a particular level of marbling, tenderness, age and color for the meat that qualified for the Angus Beef label. Angus Beef is known for its finely marbled meat, which means that the fat is dispersed evenly against the actual cut of meat. This marbling trait of Angus cattle typically creates a more tender, juicy and flavorful meat than other breeds [source: Straight Dope].


There are diff­erent categories and labels for the quality of Angus beef, which shows that not all Angus Beef is created equal. For instance, Certified Angus Beef is the highest quality because of all the rigorous standards it must pass to earn the label. Within this realm of definitions for beef quality, there are United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards. The terms for these are: prime, choice and select. Prime is the highest quality meat, therefore the best cut of meat you could get would be "Certified Angus Prime" [source: USDA].

Now you really understand what all the Black Angus hype is about. Next time you mosey over to the meat counter of your local grocery store, you'll be able to decipher which meat is best. Enjoy and check out the links below for more information on Black Angus Beef.

Black Angus FAQ

What is special about Black Angus beef?
Cattle of this type have to pass several tests to qualify as Black Angus while they're alive and once they become food, the meat must meet a high standard of quality. This ensures that the meat is of great quality.
Are Black Angus steaks good?
Angus steaks are delicious if you're a meat eater. They're known for their fine marbling, which typically makes them more tender, juicy, and flavorful than other breeds of cattle. However, this also depends on whether it's labeled prime, choice, or select. Prime, or "Certified Angus Prime", is the best quality you can get and meets a long list of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards.
Is Black Angus beef healthy?
Beef isn't the healthiest or leanest meat you can consume by any means, but that doesn't mean that red meat can't be consumed occasionally in moderation. The marbling in Black Angus results in a high fat content and is no more nutritious than other beef. However, many Certified Angus cattle are raised naturally and are grass-fed, which improves the quality of the meat.
What are Black Angus cattle known for?
Many people know them for their fuzzy black fur (covering more than half of their body). The breed is also known by farmers for being hearty and adaptable breed, as well as having excellent maternal instincts.
Are Black Angus cows friendly?
Some may be friendly, but the breed was developed for meat production and unlike dairy cows, aren't handled by humans daily. Hereford cattle are better known for being one of the more calm and docile meat breeds.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • American Angus Association. "FAQs." (Jan. 26, 2009)
  • Nature Pasture. "Black Angus Beef." (Jan. 26, 2009)
  • Straight Dope. "What's the big deal about aged beef and Angus beef?" (Jan. 26, 2009)
  • USDA. "Meat Preparation." (Jan. 26, 2009)