Authentic Wagyu beef is one of the highest-quality meats available in the world. So, it's no surprise that when it comes to cooking it, many strive to take the time to get it right. If you want to make sure you prepare your Wagyu steak the right way, it helps to think through every step of the cooking process before you begin. One of the important things to consider is what type of oil to use to get the most flavorful results.
Do I Need to Worry About Smoke Point?
Something you'll often hear when looking for the best oils to cook steaks is to choose something with a high smoke point. If an oil has a high smoke point, it means that it can be heated to very high levels (400°F or higher) without burning and smoking.
The idea is that you'll want the heat turned up very high in order to get a good sear on the outside. High smoke points oils like avocado oil, canola oil, corn oil and peanut oil may be recommended for steaks for this reason.
Compared to other types of beef, Wagyu cooks quickly over a lower heat. You don't want to turn the heat up too high with most Wagyu steaks in order to avoid burning the fat or overcooking the very tender, moist meat.
Cooking Wagyu Beef in Oil
A5 Wagyu beef should not be cooked in oil. However, American and Australian Wagyu can be cooked in just about any oil you like. This can come down to personal preferences, of course, but the key thing to remember is that you don't want to use an oil which will affect the flavor of the beef too much. Good options include olive oil and vegetable oil, both of which are quite mild in flavor. Butter is another great option since it complements the beef's natural rich, buttery flavor.
In addition, keep in mind that you don't need to use a lot of oil with American and Australian Wagyu beef. The fat melts rapidly during cooking, creating natural lubrication in the pan. Use only a thin layer of oil to coat the pan to avoid excess grease.
The Tallow Alternative
Another great way to cook Wagyu beef is by using Wagyu tallow. The fat from the edges of a steak can actually be removed to create this tallow. Once you've rendered the tallow by melting it, you can keep it in a storage container in the fridge or freezer and use it when you're ready to cook your steak. Simply melt it in the pan and place your steak in for a quick sear. The tallow helps to emphasize the unique flavors of the Wagyu beef and makes every bite taste every more indulgent.
If you want to skip the step of rendering the tallow, you can simply use the trimmed fat from the steak. Just swirl it around in the pan until there's a consistent layer of melted fat covering the surface.