How to Cook Wagyu Steak

You have one of the most precious steaks in the world. We’re here to help you cook it.

By Team Made In
Jul 27, 2022
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You did it, you got your hands on one of the best steaks in the world. But here’s the thing, cooking a Wagyu steak isn’t like cooking a normal steak. You have to treat it like the special cut of meat it is.

With the proper tools and techniques, you can cook a Wagyu steak to perfection every single time. Here’s everything you need to know about what makes Wagyu so special and how to make sure it’s always medium rare, and never well done.

What Is Wagyu Steak?

Wagyu steak comes from a specific breed of cattle with a genetic predisposition to have fat inside of the muscle tissue, rather than on the outside. This creates a more marbled steak, where fat is incorporated into every single bite. When cooked properly, the steak practically dissolves in your mouth.

There are differences between American Wagyu and Japanese Wagyu as well. Because of the genetically controlled cattle in Japan, Japanese Wagyu is what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, the rating system for Wagyu in America is more lax, and you’ll often end up with a less umami-packed steak if you opt for American Wagyu. If you’re looking for the best of the best, make sure it’s A5. This particular variety is from Japan but is pretty difficult to come by.

How to Perfectly Cook Wagyu Steak

Because of the rich marbling, you need to be more conscious of how you’re handling and cooking your steak. We highly recommend cooking this piece of meat on the stovetop instead of your grill. You’ll be less likely to burn the meat and will have more control over how it cooks.

1. Choose the Right Pan

Because Wagyu is a luxury, you need to use the proper tools when cooking it. Our Stainless Clad Frying Pan is ideal for this task. Made with five layers of four different metals, it’s designed to change temperatures on a dime, which will help keep you from burning and scorching your steak, and ensures an even cook every single time. And while you won’t need to reverse sear your steak (putting it in the oven after searing) because of how thin Wagyu is, the oven safety of our Stainless Clad will come in handy for cooking less precious, thicker steaks.

2. Let Your Steak Temper

Allow your steak to come to room temperature. This can take an hour or two but is well worth it, as it will be easier to develop a crust on your steak, while ensuring the center is cooked through evenly.

3. Season Your Steak

Add a pinch or two of salt to your steak. While you could season your steak earlier to make it more tender, you don’t need to for a Wagyu because of its rich marbling. Instead, we recommend seasoning it right before you sear, as this will bring out the delicious umami-forward flavors you’re looking for. If you season it the way you might a less fancy cut of meat, you’ll overwhelm the delicate flavors.

4. Heat Your Pan

Get your pan ripping hot. It should be hot enough that if you add a drop of water, it beads and spirals around the pan rapidly. Now is the time to add your fat. If you have a piece of fat from the steak (or another steak), that’s ideal, but if not, a knob of butter will do just fine.

5. Sear Your Steak

Add your steak to your pan and let it cook on each side for about a minute and a half. The time will depend on the thickness of the steak, so be sure to use a meat thermometer if you’re unsure. You should look for 120-125F for a rare steak or 130-135F for a medium rare steak.

6. Let it Rest and Enjoy

Be sure to let your steak rest for 5 to 10 minutes before digging in. This will ensure it is cooked through and that all of the juices stay inside. For Wagyu, the best way to enjoy your luxurious steak is to slice it into very thin strips so each bite melts in your mouth. We recommend our razor sharp Carving Knife for this.

Ready to Try it For Yourself?

While Tracy Malechek’s recipe for Minute Steak isn’t specifically for Wagyu, she does demonstrate a key method to cooking steak. And after you’ve inhaled your delicious Wagyu Steak, you might be ready to try to up your steak game when it’s just a New York Strip. Get her recipe for your next, non-Wagyu steak night.