Grilled wagyu steak cooked over high heat on your backyard grill. Find out how to grill perfect wagyu beef every time with our easy BBQ grilling recipe.
This grilled wagyu steak takes your average steak dinner and dials it up to eleven. Made with prime wagyu beef and just a little bit of salt seasoning, this recipe lets the meat do all the talking.
From choosing the right steak cut to setting up your grill for perfect 2-zone cooking, discover how to grill wagyu steak today.
What is Wagyu Beef?
Wagyu beef is a catchall term for four cattle breeds native to Japan, with the vast majority coming from the Japanese black steer. Wagyu is renowned for its rich marbling and intense buttery taste that’s unlike any other beef.
This incredible flavor makes wagyu beef more expensive than its American or European counterparts, but the meat quality and flavor make the expense well worth it. And it’s this rich marbling that makes wagyu so perfect for cooking over smoke and flames.
The good news is that wagyu beef isn’t exclusive to Japan. American-raised wagyu cattle are often a cross between Japanese black cattle and Angus cows, which boasts the incredible marbling of Japanese wagyu with the beefy flavor of traditional Angus steers. If you’re after the same beefy flavor of classic steak cuts but want to up the quality and texture, American wagyu is the way to go.
How to Grill Wagyu Steak
The key to beautifully grilled wagyu steak is to use 2-zone cooking, creating one indirect grilling zone at a smoking temperature of 225°F and another area for searing at high temperatures. Because of this, our total cook time will be a bit longer than most grilled steak recipes, but the results will be well worth it. Trust us. Here’s how to grill wagyu steak:
- Dry Brine: Season the steaks liberally with salt before leaving them in the refrigerator for an hour. This salt stage is called dry brining and helps enhance the beef’s natural moisture and flavor.
- Fire Up: Set your grill up for 2-zone cooking, with the indirect side at a temperature of 225°F (107°C).
- Smoke: Place the steaks on the indirect side and smoke them to an internal temperature of 115°F (about 30-40 minutes)
- Sear: Ramp up the temperature of the direct side of the grill to high. Move the steaks over and grill over high heat for a few minutes per side for your desired doneness.
- Rest: Don’t forget to rest the steaks for at least 10 minutes to allow the wagyu beef to firm up and lock moisture before you slice them.
Best Steak Cuts for Grilling
Wagyu steaks are available in a variety of cuts, each differing in size, texture, and flavor. While you can grill almost any of them, not all wagyu steaks were created equal. Our favorite wagyu steak cuts for grilling are:
- Ribeye: Taken from the upper back of the steer, ribeye is tender and thick with marbling. Sometimes available bone-in, but we recommend getting boneless for simple grilled steak recipes.
- Sirloin: Sirloin is a lean steak cut, so is best enjoyed seared and served rare or medium-rare, just like with our grilled wagyu steak recipe. Tender, juicy, and rich in flavor.
- Filet Mignon: Taken from the beef tenderloin along the lower back of the steer, filet mignon is soft and tender, with fine muscle fibers working through it.
Whichever cut you choose, look for steaks with good marbling, little-to-no excess fat, and a thickness of 1-2 inches.
Like with any regular beef steak cut, you need to aim for specific temperatures depending on the level of doneness you want your steak grilled to. However, because Wagyu is such an elite type of beef, we recommend going for medium-rare to get the best out of it. The medium-rare steak temperature to aim for is 130-135°F (54-57°C).
- The rich marbling in wagyu means that there is a chance of flare-ups once on the grill. To get around this, place a water pan below the grates on the indirect side to catch any fatty run-off from the steaks.
- Don’t forget to rest your steaks before serving. After pulling the steaks from the grill, leave them to sit on your counter or a chopping block for 10 minutes before slicing them. This will help each steak firm up as it cools, helping them retain its moisture and flavor.
- If you are slicing the steaks before serving, ensure you slice them against the grain. This will help keep each steak beautifully tender instead of chewy or tough.
Grilled Wagyu Steak
- 4 wagyu steaks sirloin, ribeye or filet mignon
- 4 tsp kosher salt
- Set wagyu steaks on a chopping board. Season liberally with salt, covering both sides.
- Transfer the steaks to the refrigerator. Leave uncovered to dry brine for 1 hour.
- Remove steaks from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- Set grill up for 2-zone cooking, with the indirect side at a cooking temperature of 225°F (107°C)
- Place steaks on grill grates over indirect heat. Close lid and cook until steak internal temperature is 115°F (46°C), about 30-40 minutes.
- Fire up direct side to high heat. Pat steaks dry with paper towels.
- Move steaks to direct side. Sear for 2-5 minutes per side, until steak has reached your desired doneness. See recipe notes for steak doneness temperatures.
- Remove steaks from grill and place on counter. Rest steaks for 10 minutes before serving.