Cooking Wagyu is easy. Keep it simple and let the rich beef flavors play a starring role.
Because of its marbling Wagyu is a versatile meat and difficult to cook incorrectly. For the most part simply follow your usual recipes. The following tips will allow you to get the most from your Wagyu:
- Salt your meat either at least one hour prior to, or right before, cooking. Do not let salt sit on your steak for only 30 minutes. Letting salt sit for only a short time gives it enough time to draw moisture out of the beef, but not enough time for that moisture to be re-absorbed.
- Keep it simple. Often salt and pepper are all you need. With the abundant marbling of our Wagyu you usually won't even need oil to prevent sticking. Sometimes it's nice to add garlic, herbs, or shallots. Rosemary, sage, and thyme are classics.
- Use heat as a tool. High heat is your friend. Start with high heat to sear a steak. I sear for 90 seconds, then lower the heat to medium to finish cooking. The marbling of your Wagyu will protect the steak from over-cooking. A nice char will develop on the outside while the inside remains tender and juicy. A cast iron pan is perfect for searing, though any pan or grill will work.
- Use a digital meat thermometer to nail your target done temperature. Using your finger to check doneness or going by time is too imprecise, especially when digital thermometers are inexpensive. Remove the meat from heat 5° F before reaching your target temp and let it rest for 5 minutes for steaks, longer for thicker cuts. Cover with foil, a plate or bowl so the outside doesn't cool.
- Even if you love rare or medium-rare steaks, some cuts are best when cooked to medium. Flank, flat iron, skirt and ribs are examples of highly textured cuts that benefit from slightly longer cooking times. Cuts like these are best when marinaded. Use a simple marinade with only a few ingredients. Our favorite marinade has only three ingredients: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a few cloves of crushed garlic.
- We use ThermoWorks' Chef-Recommended Temps rather than those recommended by the USDA:
- Slice steaks with a sharp knife before serving. Invest in a good knife and keep it sharp. Always slice across the grain. By slicing meat before serving you will enhance the eating experience for yourself and guests. Slicing meat before serving allows you to sample a slice and adjust seasoning. By plating sliced steaks onto a platter you can also more easily share one or more cuts among several people.