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How to Cook Wagyu Steak

uncooked wagyu strip steak on a cutting board with rosemary

If you’re wondering how to cook wagyu steak, you’ve come to the right place. Some folks are into cars, some are into jewelry, others may even cherish a beautiful painting. For me, there’s not much prettier than the abundance of intramuscular fat (marbling) contained in wagyu beef. That my friends, is a show stopper. 

Today we’re going to talk about the best way to cook wagyu steak. And….you ready for this? I don’t recommend grilling it. Well, mostly anyway. More on this later.

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How To Prep a Wagyu Steak

I always recommend taking a wagyu steak out of the refrigerator an hour or so before cooking it. By bringing the wagyu steak up to room temperature you’re creating the best possible scenario for it to cook evenly.

two wagyu ribeye steaks on a slate board

If the center of the steak is refrigerator temperature when it hits the cooking surface, you’re at high risk of having an overcooked outside and undercooked, (cold even) inside of the steak.

Keep in mind, wagyu steak is best consumed on the medium rare side. So, even if you don’t normally like rare beef, rare wagyu just hits different. I promise.

wagyu porterhouse steak seared and sliced

Anyway, I digress, back to the wagyu steak preparation. Letting the meat come up to room temperature is ESPECIALLY important with a thinner cut steak in general, but amplified with a wagyu steak because of the fat content.

That fat needs to be rendered in order to get the best possible flavors. So, getting it up to render temperature quickly, without overcooking it is paramount with a wagyu steak.

Allowing it sit at room temperature before cooking it helps with that. Not to worry, the process is very simple.

Is It Better To Grill or Pan Sear Wagyu Steak?

In a perfect world, you would use both. By that I mean pan sear the steak in a cast iron pan heated on the grill. I don’t recommend putting a wagyu steak directly over the flame on the grill. There’s way too much fat in wagyu beef to grill it without some major flare ups.

Those flare ups are caused by the fat dripping onto the flames and you don’t want to lose any of that amazing wagyu beef fat flavor to your fire. Instead, you want your steak to cook in its own rendered fat.

how to cook wagyu steak in a cast iron pan

Can this be done on the stove top? Absolutely, but that brings drawbacks; namely the mess it will create due to the fat popping all over your stove. Add to that, your house is going to smell like a meat candle for a day or so. So, if you can use the grill, I recommend that.

If a grill isn’t an option, a griddle surface can be used as well. Outdoor griddles are very trendy these days and make a great cooking surface for cooking a wagyu steak.

wagyu steak being cooked on a griddle surface

How Long Do You Cook Wagyu Steak?

For a wagyu steak that’s cut to about 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick, I recommend the hot and fast method of cooking. Cooking times are short, about 2 minutes per side. That’s it.

That thickness by the way, is pretty standard for wagyu steaks.

wagyu steak cut in half

Should You Season Wagyu Beef?

It’s a crime to see people on social media covering a beautiful piece of wagyu in seasoning. The meat is literally so tasty you can eat it raw and it’s good, so it requires very little seasoning.

For a beautiful wagyu ribeye, or a wagyu flat iron steak….or ANY wagyu steak, keep it simple. Kosher salt, and pepper (easy on the pepper). Feel free to garnish with some chives or parsley but don’t get carried away with “the best steak seasoning” to hit TikTok or Instagram.

wagyu ribeye steak on a cutting board

Where To Get Wagyu Beef

Purchasing wagyu isn’t something you can pop into your local chain grocery store and do. Well, you might see some beef labeled as wagyu, but the majority isn’t true wagyu. It’s crossbred beef, which is worth a blog all on it’s own.

Suffice it to say, unless you have a specialty craft butcher nearby (and even then, it’s unlikely) you’ll have to source this beef online. As a blogger and cookbook author, I’ve had the opportunity to sample a bunch of wagyu from many different purveyors. I have reviewed many of them here

Tips For Cooking Wagyu Steak

  • Cooking Vessel: I recommend getting your skillet or griddle surface as hot as possible. The idea is to sear the steak as quickly as possible so the hotter the cooking surface the better.
  • Grill or Stove Top: You can use either, I prefer the grill because it creates less mess and less smoke in the house. I also like to use the hot coals to grill off some veggies to go with my steak. If you’re using the stovetop, just be prepared for some clean up. Keep your range vent on high and consider opening the windows while you’re searing the wagyu beef.
  • To Share or Not To Share: Keep in mind, wagyu steak is very rich. As much as you might want the whole thing for yourself I find it’s better to share this steak. 12 ounces of wagyu beef is plenty for two people to share.
  • Seasoning: Salt….that’s all. Just a good quality kosher or flake salt.

How To Cook Wagyu Steak

Serves: 2 | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 4 minutes

Ingredients
1 12 oz. wagyu steak
1 small piece of wagyu fat OR
1/2 tbsp Wagyu beef tallow
kosher salt to taste

Step 1: Remove the steak from the refrigerator, season with kosher salt and allow it to come up to room temperature for 60 minutes. If possible, slice a small piece (about 1″ square) of fat from the outside of the steak.

uncooked wagyu strip steak on a cutting board with a knife

Step 2: Light your grill (or cooktop) and set up for direct high heat.

Step 3: Over the direct high heat, place your cast iron skillet or griddle and let it come up to temperature. You’ll want it hot, like really hot, so let it preheat for 5-10 minutes.

Step 4: To the hot pan, add the small piece of the beef fat trimmed from the steak. Let that fat render for 30 seconds or so in order to create a nice oily surface. If you don’t have a wedge of beef fat, wagyu tallow also works well.

Step 5: Place the wagyu steak in the rendered fat, and resist the urge to move it. Cover and allow it to cook for two minutes.

wagyu steak being cooking in a cast iron pan before being flipped

Step 6: Flip steak, cover and cook for an additional two minutes. Then, check the internal temperature with a reliable quick read thermometer. The temp should be about 115°F. Remove from heat, and place on a warm plate.

wagyu steak flipped in a cast iron pan

Step 7: Tent the steak with foil, and let it rest for three minutes before slicing. Taste, and add another pinch of salt (if needed) and serve.

medium rare wagyu strip steak sliced on cutting board

I love to use the hot surface of the grill, or griddle to char up some sides that cook quickly to pair with the wagyu steak. For sides that cook super quick while the steak is tented and resting, I recommend this delicious grilled garlic broccolini or some spicy grilled baby bok choy.

Both of these veggies cook in minutes, while your steak is resting before being sliced.

uncooked wagyu strip steak on a cutting board with utensils

How To Cook Wagyu Steak

5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz. Wagyu Steak
  • 1 piece wagyu fat OR
  • ½ tbsp wagyu beef tallow
  • Kosher salt to taste

Instructions

  • Remove the steak from the refrigerator, season with kosher salt and allow it to come up to room temperature for 60 minutes. If possible, slice a small piece (about 1" square) of fat from the outside of the steak.
  • Light your grill or cooktop, and set up for direct high heat.
  • Over the direct high heat, place your cast iron skillet or griddle and let it come up to temperature. You'll want it hot, like really hot, so let it preheat for 5-10 minutes.
  • To the hot pan, add the small piece of the beef fat trimmed from the steak. Let that fat render for 30 seconds or so in order to create a nice oily surface. If you don't have a wedge of beef fat, wagyu tallow also works well.
  • Place the wagyu steak in the rendered fat, and resist the urge to move it. Cover and allow it to cook for two minutes.
  • Flip steak, cover and cook for an additional two minutes. Then, check the internal temperature with a reliable quick read thermometer. The temp should be about 115°F. Remove from heat, and place on a warm plate.
  • Tent the steak with foil, and let it rest for three minutes before slicing. Taste, and add another pinch of salt (if needed) and serve.

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