Wagyu Steak Cooking Tips

Wagyu Beef Ribeye

You have one of the best steaks around. Now what are some of the best things you can do with it?

Cooking steak is certainly not rocket science, but there are still some tips and tricks that can help you make steakhouse quality ribeye right in your own kitchen. There are also some steak myths out there that can lead to drier meat and uneven cooking. 

Aging (optional but not really recommended)
Aged steaks are a pricey option at a steakhouse. Beef can be aged for a month or more but, it is really only possible with large primal or sub-primal cuts and not individual steaks. There is a great deal of science, craft and art in properly aging meats and I don't really recommend it for individual steaks. Here is a wonderful and thorough article read on home aging: http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/01/the-food-lab-dry-age-beef-at-home.html

Drying

Dry steak in fridge for at least 8 hours or pat dry with paper towel

Heat up water and you get steam. That simply means cooking a steak with a wet surface is actually steaming instead of grilling or frying. It takes a lot longer to get the beautiful and delicious crust people crave. And the longer it takes to make a great crust on the outside, the more likely the inside is overcooked and dried out. Drying at its quickest is as simple as drying the surface with a paper towel before cooking. Quick is not always best though. Drying in a fridge takes no more work, just more time. Place your steak on a baking rack or something else that allows airflow on all sides. Let it sit uncovered in the fridge for at least 8 hours or until dry to the touch. 

Salting

Season with fine-grained salt at least 1 hour before eating

A properly seasoned steak has salt all through the meat, not just on the surface. In order for salt to move through the meat, osmosis needs time to do its thing. How much time? Give it at least an hour. Any less and the salt will have not only still be on the surface, but so will the water that it has drawn out of the meat. Given time, that water will be reabsorbed along with the salt. There is no issue with salting even hours before cooking, so the best time to salt while you are drying the steak in the fridge (see Drying).

Warming

Let steak warm at room temperature for at least 30 minutes

The goal of a properly cooked rare or medium rare steak is the the outside has a great crust and the inside is warm but still pink. Starting with cold steak means that the crust will most likely be done before the middle is warmed or that by the time the middle is warm, the crust is overdone. For more even cooking start with a warmer steak. 

Cooking

High direct heat for a great crust, low in-direct heat to finish cooking, and flip often

Cooking a great steak does not require a grill; it just requires high heat. You can cook an amazing ribeye in a frying or on a grill or even with a blowtorch. Just start with very, very high heat. Flip your steak every 20-30 seconds until both sides have a golden crust. Then move your steak away from direct heat (the grill burner/coals or the stove burner) and finish cooking at a low temperature. Use a good instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the steak from the edge.

Resting

Let steak rest for at least 3-4 minutes before cutting

A properly seasoned steak has salt all through the meat, not just on the surface. In order for salt to move through the meat, osmosis needs time to do its thing. How much time? Gi