There’s nothing like cooking up the best steak Seattle has to offer right in your own kitchen. Whether you’re thinking of whipping up a small weekday dinner for two or hosting an evening in with friends, a fresh, local steak may be the perfect addition to your menu. What’s great about cooking Wagyu for friends and family is that it’s a damn delicacy! It’s beautiful marbling, tenderness and palatability are just a few reasons why Wagyu is thought by many to be one of the best, if not the best, cuts of meat on the market.
We get it though … not everyone is a master cook, much less a Wagyu expert. You don’t have to be a top chef to enjoy a delicious meal at home. With a few fail-proof tips, we’ll have you cooking Wagyu in no time. Here are five tips to help you cook Wagyu beef at home in the comfort of your own kitchen.
1. Buy your Wagyu from a trusted, local source.
“Wagyu” exclusively describes meat that’s derived from Japanese breeds of cow. It can come from brown, polled, shorthorn or black cows. This type of meat is most characterized by its marbled intramuscular fat, which makes it delicious and extremely tender. Two of the most famous varieties of Wagyu beef are Kobe beef—named after the Japanese city, Kobe—and Snow Beef from Hokkaido.
Up until 2012, authentic Japanese Wagyu wasn’t available in the United States due to the Japanese beef ban. As a result, there’s still beef being marketed as Wagyu that isn’t authentic. One of the biggest differences between Japanese Wagyu and inauthentic meat is the presence (or absence) of the marbled intramuscular fat, which makes a big difference when it comes to taste. Wagyu is often an expensive cut of meat (and for good reason), so you want to ensure that you’re buying from a trusted butcher shop who takes pride in where they source their meat. Make sure you’re paying for authenticity and quality. Here at Lady Jaye, the majority of our meat comes from Pure Country Farms who prides itself on sustainable, traceable, free-range beef and pork. But we also source F1 Cross Wagyu from local, sustainable farms, and bring in A5 Wagyu straight from Japan. Amen to that!
2. Sear your Wagyu in a cast iron pan.
In order to cook the best steak Seattle has at home, you’ll want to break out your cast iron pan. Regardless of whether the Wagyu is from Japan or America, you’re going to get the best results by cooking Wagyu in a cast iron pan. You’re able to accomplish the perfect sear using cast iron, without over-roasting your Wagyu. Using cast iron also means you don’t need to break out any fancy techniques, like reverse searing or sous vide. Even a complete beginner can handle this method without breaking a sweat.
3. Avoid cooking your Wagyu over a grill.
If you want to accomplish an even cook, you’re going to want to avoid cooking your Wagyu over a grill. Grills tend to get too hot, too quickly making it very difficult to properly cook this style of meat. When using a grill, many people find that before the inside of the steak reaches the correct temperature, the outside tends to get over-seared. You also run the risk of flare-ups using a grill, particularly if you’re cooking with Japanese beef, because of its fat content. If you insist on cooking with a grill, you’ll want to be an experienced cook who knows how to regulate heat, otherwise you might end up with charred and bitter steak.
4. Understand the difference between cooking Japanese and American Wagyu.
If you compare Japanese and American Wagyu, one of the first differences you’ll notice is the thickness of the cuts of meat. Japanese steaks are characteristically much thinner than their American counterparts. This means that Japanese Wagyu cooks faster. Searing on the outside of a Japanese Wagyu steak means that it has also cooked through internally. You’ll want to cook Japanese Wagyu until it’s medium.
Cuts of American Wagyu tend to be much thicker, so you’ll need to flip it a few times until you have a mouthwatering crust. You should be cooking American Wagyu to an internal temperature between 125-135℉ (medium rare) for best results.
5. Keep it simple.
You might have the impulse to add butter or aromatics to your pan when you cook up your Wagyu, but think twice before adding anything. If you’ve bought some of the most quality local meat Seattle has to offer, it might not need any extra fixings. Let your Wagyu stand on its own. You might be surprised how good it is all on its own.
For more tips, tricks and Wagyu Seattle meat cuts, visit Lady Jaye’s meat shop. You don’t have to be a professional to cook up a beautiful cut of meat. Using these tips, you’ll have the confidence to cook a mouthwatering steak and enjoy it in the comfort of your own home.
Looking for more tips on cooking the best cuts of meat? Check out our blog on Everything You Need To Know About Filet Mignon.