Wagyu is a term used to describe four breeds of cow in Japan: shorthorn, brown, black and polled. There are several rules and regulations surrounding Wagyu and, specific ways to store and cook it in order to get the best out of the often expensive meat. But can you cook Wagyu from frozen?
The meat is richly threaded with almost more fat than meat. This cut of beef is a favorite of steak enthusiasts.
The most decadent and sought after is A5 Wagyu which exclusively originates from Japan. There are Wagyu herds in the U.S. but more often than not they are a cross of Wagyu and Angus, for example.
The difference between Japanese Wagyu and American Wagyu is how the fat is marbled. This is how those with an eye for good quality steak will be able to tell the difference at first glance. Though both are delicious.
Is it OK to freeze Wagyu steak?
Yes, it is ok to freeze Wagyu steak. In fact, this meat is typically frozen in transit as many people all over the world like to order it in batches online, especially the cuts of meat that are only available in certain countries like Japan.
If you are looking to order some Wagyu, we recommend checking out Crowd Cow, a subscription service that allows you to receive all your favorite beef cuts delivered monthly to your door! You can use them for one-off orders as well, and they have some amazing A5 Wagyu in stock.
Some other meats, including different types of beef do lose out on flavor and texture from freezing which is why many people are concerned about their Wagyu steak being frozen but, this type of beef is unaffected by freezing.
This is because the percentage of marbled fat within the cuts of Wagyu beef is so high.
Can you cook Wagyu steak from frozen?
You can cook Wagyu steak from frozen so long as you properly store it beforehand and allow it to properly thaw to room temperature before cooking it.
If you have ordered Wagyu steak online it will probably arrive in a vacuum-sealed package that is completely frozen for transit.
As soon as it arrives it is imperative that you put it straight in the freezer if you’re not planning on cooking it for a while or into the fridge if you want to cook it straight away.
If you do not place the steaks in the freezer straight away they will be at risk of freezer burns, and you do not want a freezer-burnt Wagyu steak!
How do you defrost a frozen Wagyu steak?
If you’re living in the US, it’s likely you’ve ordered yourself some of these delicious steaks online. So, when they arrive, they’ll either be partially frozen or completely frozen in order to preserve their freshness and stop them from going bad in transit.
If you’re too excited to wait once they arrive, and you want to cook them as soon as possible, you need to place them on a plate or any fridge-safe container in their original packaging.
Unfortunately, if your steaks are completely frozen it is recommended that you let your steaks thaw for around six hours per pound of meat. So, you won’t be able to tuck in straight away.
After the correct amount of time has passed, pull your steaks out of the fridge around 30 minutes before you plan to cook them to allow them to get to room temperature.
This is an important step because it will help your meat to cook evenly from the outside to the center. So, the closer it is to eating temperature the better before you start cooking. This should guarantee you a nice, even cook.
Then, as soon as your steaks are ready, you must cook them as soon as possible to maximize the flavor and freshness.
How do you cook a frozen Wagyu steak?
It’s important to note that Wagyu beef is very sensitive to heat and too much will ruin your steak. It must be cooked with care and patience. Wagyu steaks cannot be grilled over hot coals like other steaks, because the marbled flat can melt and burn.
Instead, they should be quickly seared, in a similar way to other meats like tuna, so that they become browned on the surface and super juicy and rare in the center.
Before cooking, take your steaks out of the fridge and allow them to get to room temperature. Then, pat them gently with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture from thawing.
Next up is: seasoning. There are a few ways in which you can cook a Wagyu steak but first, you need to know how to season it. Wagyu is the highest quality steak on the market, so you want to be able to fully taste it so go easy on the seasoning.
It may only need a bit of salt and pepper but if you have a particular steak seasoning that you always use that will be fine too.
One of the more popular ways to cook Wagyu steak is on a cast-iron or carbon-steel pan. To pick the best one for this purpose, read my article about the best cast iron pans for steak.
To use this method, check out our simple step-by-step guide below:
- Set your stove to a medium-high heat, then place your pan on top
- Add your preferred cooking oil, we suggest a standard vegetable oil, but any will do. Make sure you heat the oil until it begins to sizzle a little before adding the steak. You can also use the fat trimmings of Wagyu.
- Once the pan and oil are pre-heated, place the steaks one at a time and sear them for 3 minutes on one side depending on thickness.
- After 3 minutes, turn gently flipping the steak to the other side, make sure at no point do you pierce the steak
- Then, move the pan into the oven for them to cook through
- If you want your steak rare cook them for around seven minutes
- For medium-rare cook for around 10 minutes
- Take the steaks out of the oven, add in some butter and allow them to sit in the butter for a minute or two, turning often. This is called basting.
- Use a meat thermometer for best results.