Sourced from high-quality Japanese cattle, Wagyu steak is composed of a lot of intramuscular fat. But, because of the high amount of juicy fat (largely monounsaturated good fat), you don't start cooking Wagyu beef directly over flames without serious flare-ups. To get the best result, start by searing it in a pan to lock in the juice. Then you can move on to moderate heat cooking in the oven or grill to finish it up.
When done right, real A5-grade Wagyu beef is the best piece of meat you'll ever eat! Above all, it's the most beautiful steak I've ever seen in all my years of cooking experience! So when you want to try one in your BBQ recipe, here's how to give glory to the steak to fully enjoy it.
The perfect way to cook a Japanese or American Wagyu steak involves a brief pan sear to seal the fat, followed by grilling over direct heat for ultimate flavor. Below, you'll find a detailed recipe that shows how to pan-sear Wagyu steak and then grill it.
Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to ensure even cooking.
Pat the steaks dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
Rub each Wagyu steak with one tablespoon of vegetable oil, ensuring it's evenly coated.
Season both sides of the steaks with a teaspoon of kosher salt and half a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper per steak. Gently press the seasoning into the Wagyu steak to ensure it adheres well.
If desired, you can use your favorite steak seasoning or marinade for extra flavor. But remember that Wagyu beef already has a rich, buttery taste.
Because we're using a grill in the second half of the cooking, we need to preheat it ahead, like 10 minutes before the pan-frying. The pan-searing procedure takes around five minutes, while the grill needs 10 to 15 minutes to preheat. So, preheat it to high heat (around 450-500°F, which is 230-260°C).
A charcoal grill like the Weber Original works best for this recipe and the desired temperature for searing steaks. Ensure the grill grates are clean and lightly oiled to prevent sticking before firing up the charcoal.
If you want to sear in a pan, choose a heavy-bottomed, oven-safe cast iron skillet. A cast iron skillet like the Utopia Kitchen Saute Fry Pan works well too.
Preheat the skillet (or whatever you've got) on the stovetop over medium heat until it becomes very hot.
Pan-searing helps develop a delicious crust on the outside while keeping the inside tender.
To start, place the seasoned steaks on the hot pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side for a medium-rare doneness.
I prefer using tongs to flip the steaks. Avoid using a fork. It can pierce the meat and release the precious juices you're trying to lock in.
If your steaks are particularly thick, sear the edges for a few seconds each or up to a minute.
Now this is where it all gets fun!
Add a tablespoon of unsalted butter, smashed garlic cloves, fresh thyme, and rosemary sprigs to the skillet.
Tilt the skillet slightly. Now use a spoon to baste the steaks with the melted butter and aromatic herbs.
You'll know the center is medium rare when you poke in a digital meat thermometer, and it reads somewhere between 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ensure you're inserting the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak. Once it hits the desired temperature, remove the steaks from the cast-iron pan and set them aside on a plate.
It's time to finish cooking the steaks on the grill for that beautiful charred flavor.
Brush the grill grates with olive oil to prevent sticking.
Grilling imparts a smoky aroma and enhances the overall taste of the steaks.
Place the pan-seared steaks on the hot grill and cook for an additional 2-4 minutes per side, depending on your desired level of doneness.
By the time you start with the grilling process, the steak may no longer be at medium-rare. But don't worry. Japanese Wagyu beef cooks faster than other types of meat. So, always monitor the internal temperature using a meat thermometer for precision.
The USDA recommends cooking all steaks to a minimum of 145 degrees Fahrenheit for safety. But you can take it up to 160 degrees for a well-done internal temperature. Don't worry; the Wagyu has enough fat marbling to endure that high-temperature cooking. The key is resting the Wagyu steak well.
Avoid flipping the steaks repeatedly; only flip them once to preserve their natural juices.
Remove the Wagyu steaks from the grill or skillet and transfer them to a plate.
Tent the steaks loosely with aluminum foil.
Then allow them to rest for about 5-10 minutes to let the juices redistribute and create a more flavorful and tender steak.
Slice the Wagyu steaks thinly with a sharp knife against the grain to ensure optimal tenderness.
Serve the beautifully seared and grilled steaks with your favorite side dishes, and enjoy the heavenly experience!
Remember, Wagyu steaks are a delicacy, and every step in this process is essential to ensure the best possible outcome. Take your time, savor the preparation, and indulge in the magic of Wagyu beef! Bon appétit!
So, we all know pan-frying and grilling are classic ways to cook Wagyu beef. But guess what? There are other methods to take this beef to a whole new level! Let's dive into some cool ways to make that Wagyu steak:
You're probably asking right now, can I sous vide Wagyu steak? Well, you can absolutely sous-vide A5 Wagyu steaks. It's like giving your beef a spa treatment!
With this cooking method, you vacuum-seal the Wagyu steak and let it soak in a water bath at a low, controlled temperature. Then, you finish it with a quick pan sear for that perfect crust.
How the Reverse Sear method works is you slow-cook your Wagyu in the oven at medium-high heat, like 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook it until it's almost at the doneness you want.
Then, bam! Hit it on a hot grill or pan to get that gorgeous sear outside while keeping the Wagyu steak juicy inside.
For quick and delightful bites, stir-frying is the way to go! Thinly slice the Wagyu, and toss it in a hot wok or cast-iron pan with veggies and spices. Cook them over high heat for four to five minutes, and voilà! You've got a stir-fry masterpiece.
This is a wilderness survival method. Fans of Hazen Audel and the Ultimate Survival know what I mean. It's all about heating a big stone or rock (in an oven, in this case) to a very high temperature.
Then lay those thin Wagyu slices on top. You can adopt this if you'd like to let your guests cook their own meat at the table. It's like a gourmet interactive experience!
If we're talking about a Wagyu steak from Japan, we need to ask the Japanese how they cook it. So I got a lead on the tataki method. This is a cool Japanese technique for lightly searing beef over high heat in a pan. Then you can marinate the Wagyu steak briefly, slice the steaks, and serve with a dipping sauce. With this method, you'll have your taste buds dancing in delight.
Wagyu beef is deservedly the world's most expensive steak. So it needs every care in the world while cooking to preserve all the precious marbling in the steak.
There are rules to this. You don't take a raw Wagyu steak straight to the fire or over direct heat. You need to block off the intramuscular fat pores with a quick pan searing. Then you can finish it off on a grill, oven, or even on the pan (but for a longer searing time than I suggested earlier).
Aside from the pan searing and grilling method, there are a few other ways to cook the Japanese Wagyu steak. But adhere to the rules so you don't let all the good fat escape, create a mess, and then cause a flare-up in your grill. Remember, no matter which method you choose, treat that Wagyu beef with love. Bring it to room temperature before cooking, and don't forget to sprinkle some salt and pepper to bring out the taste.