Grilling Guide

How to cook Wagyu Steak

You just bought the most expensive steak in the world and now you’re wondering how to cook Japanese Wagyu beef. You aren’t alone. Steak enthusiasts don’t feel complete without trying this immaculate piece of beef at least once in their lives. But, learning how to cook Wagyu steak properly so that you don’t waste your money on a dried-out steak can be overwhelming when it’s left in your hands.  Fortunately, our friends at Chicago Steak Company are here to help.

First: What’s the Difference?

We’re going to be talking about both Kobe and Wagyu beef, so we’ll need to let you know the difference between them before we talk about cooking Wagyu beef and Kobe beef.

To put it simply, Kobe beef is a type of Wagyu. Wagyu can also have several varieties of its own, with Japanese, American, and Australian being three of the most popular options. This distinguishing factor simply refers to where the cattle the beef comes from were bred.

Japanese culture is the founding father of Wagyu beef, but other nations, like America, have adopted its special practices to raise cattle for Wagyu beef. This typically involves using work cattle that’s been fed a lean diet of grasses, hay, and other grains to create incredible marbling and flavor.

Kobe beef is rarer to find than Wagyu, and more expensive. This is possibly the most highly revered steak in the world, thanks to its exceptional marbling and flavor.

The Best Way to Cook Wagyu Beef and Kobe Beef – Temps, Times, and Tips:

Now, let’s learn how to cook Wagyu steak!

Although Wagyu and Kobe beef cooks well on a grill, it can be a little more difficult to master the technique than cooking it on the stove in a skillet. We recommend using a cast iron skillet for Wagyu and Kobe beef cooking until you become more familiar with cooking them.

First, allow your steaks to come to room temperature outside of the fridge. This usually takes about 30 minutes or so, depending on their thickness.

Then, season your steaks. Some salt and pepper will do, or you can use your favorite steak seasoning.

Preheat your skillet over high heat. Cut off some fat from your steaks around the edges and use it to grease your pan for the best, most natural flavor. Alternatively, you can use a little bit of butter or olive oil.

Sear your steaks for three to four minutes on each side, depending on how well you like them done. For a rarer cook, go closer to three; for a medium cook, shoot for four.

Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer, which should read about 130-degrees for medium-rare doneness. Remove the steaks from the heat and pan and allow them to rest for 5 to 10 minutes to allow their juices to flow back through the meat.

Why You Might Want to Avoid Grilling Wagyu Steak

We mentioned briefly that cooking Wagyu beef on the grill isn’t the best option because it can be more challenging than other methods, like pan-searing. We want to dive a little deeper into this so that you understand why you might want to hold off on firing up the grill with this cut.

The primary reason is because of Wagyu’s fat content. This steak has a high amount of fat content, even more than ribeye, which is known for its fat content (a.k.a., marbling). However, fat content and the grill don’t mix well. When the fat cooks off, it drips into the grill, potentially causing dangerous flare-ups. While using a drip pan can help, it’s still not a foolproof method.

Another reason that grilled Wagyu isn’t best for people unfamiliar with cooking it is that grilling is one of the more complicated ways to cook steak. People who don’t cook steak on the grill frequently can find it challenging to get the proper internal temperature while preventing the outside from getting too browned. The last thing you want is a dried-out Wagyu!

Unless you feel 100% confident in your grilling skills, consider using the skillet method.