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Wagyu steak is a luxurious and decadent cut of beef that’s prized for its exceptional tenderness and marbling.
However, due to its high-fat content and unique flavor profile, cooking wagyu steak can be a little more challenging than cooking other types of steak.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps of cooking a perfect wagyu steak, sharing tips and tricks to help you achieve the ultimate dining experience.
Cooking The Perfect Wagyu Steak
The important steps in cooking the perfect wagyu steak break down to a room temperature steak that is seasoned properly and cooked on a preheated grill and allowed time to rest before slicing.
Let the steak come to room temperature
Before cooking your wagyu steak, it’s important to let it come to room temperature. This will help the steak cook more evenly and prevent the center from being overcooked while the outside is undercooked. Remove the steak from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
Season the steak
Once the steak is at room temperature, it’s time to season it. Keep it simple with just salt and pepper, or experiment with different rubs and seasonings to add flavor and variety. Be sure to season both sides of the steak generously, pressing the seasoning into the meat to ensure it’s evenly distributed.
Preheat your cooking surface
Before cooking your wagyu steak, it’s important to preheat your cooking surface. Whether you’re grilling or pan-searing, be sure to preheat your cooking surface to a high temperature to create a strong sear on the outside of the meat.
Cook the steak
Once your cooking surface is preheated, it’s time to cook the steak.
The exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of the steak and your desired level of doneness, but generally, wagyu steak should be cooked for a shorter amount of time than other types of steak to preserve its tenderness and flavor.
For a rare steak, cook the steak for around 3-4 minutes on each side, while a medium-rare steak will take around 4-5 minutes on each side.
Let the steak rest
Once the steak is cooked to your desired level of doneness, remove it from the cooking surface and let it rest for just a minute or two. This will help the juices redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring it’s tender and juicy when you cut into it.
Slice and serve
When the steak has rested for a few minutes, it’s time to slice and serve. Use a sharp knife to cut the steak against the grain, creating slices that are tender and easy to chew. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!
Additional Tips For Cooking Wagyu
In addition to these basic steps, there are a few other tips and tricks you can follow to ensure your wagyu steak turns out perfectly every time.
For example, consider using a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the meat, as this will help you achieve the perfect level of doneness without overcooking the steak.
You can also experiment with different cooking techniques, such as searing the steak on high heat before moving it to a cooler part of the grill or oven to finish cooking.
It’s also important to note that wagyu steak is a very rich and flavorful cut of beef, so it’s best to keep the seasoning and cooking methods simple to allow the natural flavor of the meat to shine through.
How Is Wagyu Traditionally Cooked In Japan?
Wagyu is traditionally cooked in Japan using a variety of different methods, depending on the cut of meat and the desired outcome. Some of the most popular methods for cooking wagyu in Japan include:
This is a hot-pot dish that’s typically made with thinly sliced beef, including wagyu. The meat is cooked in a broth made with soy sauce, sugar, and mirin, along with vegetables and other ingredients.
Another hot-pot dish, shabu-shabu involves dipping thin slices of beef (including wagyu) into a simmering pot of broth, then quickly cooking them by swishing them around in the hot liquid. The meat is typically served with a variety of dipping sauces and side dishes.
Yakiniku is a style of Japanese barbecue that involves grilling small pieces of meat (including wagyu) over a charcoal fire. The meat is often served with a variety of dipping sauces and side dishes, and is usually cooked to the diner’s preferred level of doneness.
Teppanyaki is a style of Japanese cooking that involves grilling meat and vegetables on a large, flat iron griddle. Wagyu is a popular choice for teppanyaki, as its high fat content makes it ideal for searing on a hot surface.
Our Recommendation If It’s Your First Time Cooking Wagyu Steaks
For a beginner, it may be easier to cook wagyu steak on a pan rather than over the grill. There are a few reasons why:
Control over the cooking temperature: When cooking on a pan, you have more control over the cooking temperature than you do when cooking on a grill. This is especially important when cooking wagyu, as the high fat content of the meat can cause flare-ups and burning if the heat is too high. With a pan, you can adjust the heat as needed to ensure that the steak is cooked evenly and doesn’t burn.
Less risk of overcooking: Wagyu is a delicate and expensive cut of beef, so it’s important not to overcook it. When cooking on a pan, it’s easier to monitor the steak and remove it from the heat as soon as it’s cooked to your desired level of doneness. On a grill, it can be more difficult to monitor the heat and prevent overcooking, especially if you’re not experienced with grilling.
More forgiving cooking surface: A pan is a more forgiving cooking surface than a grill, as it doesn’t have the open flame and hot grates that can cause the meat to stick or burn. This can make it easier for a beginner to achieve a good sear on the steak without damaging the meat.
Wagyu is a prized and revered ingredient all over the world and is often prepared with a great deal of care and attention to detail. We hope this guide has helped give you the confidence to nail it on your Wagyu cook!