Any type of meat is special, but Wagyu is unique because of its natural tenderness and juice that affords it an exceptional flavor. Cooking Wagyu beef can be done like any other meat, but since it is not ordinary meat, it must be cooked exceptionally to maintain its flavor and texture.
Before thinking about cooking Wagyu you might read my post that answers the question what is Wagyu beef first.
Though it needs a unique cooking style, Wagyu beef is not difficult to cook. You do not need culinary training to master how to cook it. You just need an interest and a bit of time to learn how to prepare your Wagyu steaks.
Here are 5 tips to follow in cooking Wagyu beef.
Pick the right cut of Wagyu
Picking the right Wagyu cut is the first and foremost thing in the Wagyu preparation process. The cut you choose affects the entire Wagyu cooking process. Therefore, be sure to choose the right cut from the standard cut types such as a filet or ribeye. You can also choose a cut from the not-so-common types such as the kebab, flank steak, teres major, English roast, patties, flat iron, or chuck steak.
Use a freezer to store your Wagyu
If you order your Wagyu online, your beef will arrive while it is completely or partially frozen in vacuum-sealed packaging. To avoid ending up with a hunk of freezer-burnt Wagyu, you need to put your steaks in the freezer right away if you are not cooking them immediately.
Wagyu should not be exposed to the air because air causes freezer burn. Therefore, the less time your meat spends outside the freezer, the less exposure to air it has and the less likely you will end up with burnt Wagyu.
Thaw your Wagyu before cooking it
If you want to cook your Wagyu the moment it is delivered, thaw it immediately in the fridge using the original package. However, if you are not cooking it right away do not thaw it, just store it as explained in step 2. When you are ready to cook it, remove it from the freezer and thaw it.
Note: To maintain the juicy nature ALWAYS thaw a pound of frozen Wagyu for six hours.
After thawing the Wagyu, remove it from the fridge about 30 minutes before you are ready to cook it so that it can attain room temperature.
Why is it important to have your Wagyu at room temperature before cooking it? For your meat to cook evenly from the center to the edge, the steak must get as close as possible to its final eating temperature which is equivalent to the room temperature.
When your steaks stay out of the fridge for about 30 minutes prior to cooking, the meat’s temperature rises from 20°F to 25°F closer to the eating temperature-thus guaranteeing a perfect, even cook.
Prepare your spices and be light in seasoning
You are free to use your favorite seasoning but for the purpose of maintaining the highest quality of Wagyu beef use a bit of salt and pepper. Be light in seasoning to ensure that the inherent flavor that characterizes Wagyu is not eroded.
Finish cooking your Wagyu
Wagyu can be cooked by either pan-frying it in well-seasoned cast iron or throwing it on the grill to get those perfect char lines. However, it is good to start with well-seasoned cast-iron before exploring other cooking methods—like grilling, sous vide, or braising.
Do not overcook Wagyu. The best temperature that can maintain the natural juicy exceptional flavor of Wagyu is medium-rare.
After preparing Wagyu and skillet, finalize cooking Wagyu beef using the following 5 steps:
- Preheat your cast-iron skillet over high heat.
- Grease the pan lightly with butter, olive oil, or the fat cut from the edges of your Wagyu steak.
- For a rare finish, sear for three minutes per side. For a medium-rare, sear for four minutes per side.
- Check the doneness of your Wagyu by using the magic of the touch test. You can also check the doneness with a meat thermometer. A well-cooked Wagyu is either a medium-rare or 130°F.
- Remove the steaks and let them rest between 5-10 minutes before enjoying them.
Letting the Wagyu rest before eating it allows its fibers to relax, widen, and reabsorb those delicious juices.
Cooking Wagyu Beef – My Opinion
That is how simple it is to cook Wagyu. No complicated procedures with dozens of ingredients and hours of preparation. You do not have to go to the fanciest, most expensive restaurant to enjoy well-cooked Wagyu beef. You just need a bit of time, thoughtfulness, attention to detail to prepare your Wagyu beef.