How to Master the Art of Cooking Wagyu Beef

Wagyu beef, an exquisite delicacy from Japan renowned for its marbled fat and rich flavor, is a culinary experience like no other. The luscious, melt-in-your-mouth texture of Wagyu has earned it a reputation on par with caviar. But before you embark on your Wagyu adventure, it’s essential to ensure that you cook it to perfection. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered with this complete guide to cooking Wagyu like a pro.

Selecting the Finest Wagyu Beef

Embarking on your Wagyu journey starts with choosing the best quality beef available. Follow this three-step plan to secure top-notch Wagyu for your at-home dining experience.

Find a Trustworthy Vendor

Navigating the internet in search of Wagyu can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, you’ll find reputable vendors offering authentic products at reasonable prices. On the other hand, there may be sellers who fall short of meeting the grade.

To ensure a positive experience, do your due diligence. Research, read reviews, and trust your instincts when buying luxury foods online.

Check out Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ for a trustworthy source of high-quality Wagyu beef.

Choose the Perfect Steak Cut

While you may not find common cuts like skirt or hanger, you can rely on classic steakhouse favorites such as ribeye, top sirloin, and strip steak.

If it’s your first time cooking Wagyu, it’s wise to opt for a symmetrical and balanced cut like a ribeye or strip steak. This choice minimizes the margin for error, as more intricate cuts can be challenging to cook to perfection.

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Ensure Proper Storage and Protection

Once your Wagyu arrives at your doorstep, it’s crucial to handle it with care. These delicate steaks are highly sensitive to temperature changes, so time is of the essence.

If your Wagyu comes vacuum-sealed and cold, keep it in the packaging and place it in the freezer for storage. However, if it arrives without proper sealing, wrap the beef tightly in multiple layers of paper and plastic before freezing. Remember, freezer burn occurs due to air exposure, so work quickly to prevent it.

Ideally, thaw and cook your steak within a few days after receiving the shipment for the best quality.

Preparing for the Cooking Process

The process of cooking Wagyu steak begins well before it hits the heat. Pay attention to the following steps to ensure a memorable culinary experience.

Thaw to Room Temperature

Avoid using the microwave to thaw Wagyu beef at all costs. Instead, allow the meat to come to room temperature naturally.

Place the steak on the counter or run it under cold water in the sink for short intervals, ensuring it thaws evenly. Once thawed, remove the plastic wrapping and let the steak rest flat on a cutting board for a few minutes to stabilize the temperature. Pat down any excess moisture with a dry paper towel.

Light Seasoning

When your Wagyu reaches room temperature, it’s time to season it with caution. Over-seasoning can overshadow the natural flavors of the beef.

Rather than using elaborate spice mixes, keep it simple. Sprinkle a small amount of salt on both sides of the steak, lightly patting it into the surface without rubbing it in too heavily.

Prepare the Cooking Surface

Ensure that your cooking surface, whether a skillet, grill, griddle, or oven, is preheated to the optimal temperature. If you don’t hear that satisfying sizzle when the steak touches the surface, you’ve jumped the gun.

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For extra fat, you can use a pad of butter or a small amount of natural oil. While Wagyu contains ample internal fat, additional fat can enhance the cooking process. If your steak has excess fat around the edges, you can trim it off and melt it down to use as cooking fat.

Mastering the Cooking Process

The moment has arrived to cook your Wagyu beef to perfection. Whether you choose to use a stovetop skillet, a grill, a griddle, or an oven, follow these techniques for optimal results.

Stove Top Skillet

For typical cuts of Wagyu beef, you won’t need to use an oven, especially if you prefer your steak on the rarer side. A hot skillet is sufficient for a strip, ribeye, or circular filet.

Pay close attention to the color and temperature of the steak as you aim for an even sear across all surfaces. A light golden-brown crust indicates that it’s time to remove the steak from the heat. Allow the steak to rest before carving and savoring it.

Charcoal or Gas Grill

Grilling Wagyu steak requires a higher level of skill and confidence due to the intense heat. Ensure that your grill is preheated before placing the steak on it; this will help you monitor the cooking time more accurately.

Before cooking, pat the Wagyu with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Season the steak according to your preferences.

The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your Wagyu. Thinner cuts will require less time, as Wagyu cooks faster than Angus beef due to its higher fat content. Rotate the steak 90 degrees to achieve those coveted cross-stitch grill marks, and be sure to seek advice from your butcher or meat provider regarding the optimal cooking time for your specific cut.

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Griddle or Plancha

Using a griddle offers a perfect and even cooking surface for smaller and more delicate Wagyu cuts. If you plan to cook Wagyu regularly, consider investing in a griddle for your stove or buying a standalone unit.

Similar to pan-searing, minimal intervention is required. Let the beef cook slowly on each side for approximately three minutes, allowing the griddle to work its magic. Remember to remove the steak from the surface before it becomes too hot to avoid overcooking.

Oven (for larger cuts)

While using an oven isn’t the preferred method for cooking Wagyu, it can be beneficial for larger, thicker cuts like roasts or bone-in filets.

Start by pan-searing the steak evenly on all sides. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. After three minutes of searing, transfer the steak to the oven to finish cooking.

Closely monitor the internal temperature with a thermometer. For a medium doneness, avoid exceeding a temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Unleashing the Best of Wagyu Beef

Cooking authentic Wagyu beef doesn’t have to be intimidating. Remember, less is more when it comes to seasoning and cooking techniques. The quality of the ingredients will shine through, and the prestige of Wagyu speaks for itself.

No matter which cooking method you choose, these steps will guide you towards achieving a perfect balance of natural flavors, buttery texture, and a visually appealing presentation. Enjoy the culinary journey with your carefully cooked Wagyu beef.

Get started on your Wagyu cooking adventure by visiting Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ for a wide selection of top-quality Wagyu beef.

Last updated 8/18/22