Since the discovery of fire, humans have been thinking up new ways to cook a slab of meat. You can grill a steak over coals, fry it in oil, fry it in air, grill it upside down under a broiler, or smoke it—the opportunities are endless. But don’t let decision paralysis get you down. If you start with great steak like Wagyu beef, it’s basically impossible to make the wrong choice. There are pros and cons to every method of cooking steak—your choice will depend on what you desire.
Some would argue that the grill is the best method for cooking Wagyu. Especially if it’s a charcoal grill, it gives the meat a wonderful smoky flavor you can’t achieve indoors. And as long as you keep an eye on the steak and check the temperature regularly, you’re likely to get a tender, evenly cooked cut of meat.
Pros: distinct charcoal flavor (unless using gas grill); makes cooking more of an experience
Cons: less predictable; requires access to a grill and decent weather.
The oven is a great way to cook Wagyu, but it typically isn’t the first step in the process. To ensure that you don’t dry out the steak, it’s best to sear both sides of the meat in a pan on top of the stove first. This step helps retain the flavorful Wagyu juices once you pop it in the oven.
Pros: easy to control; easy cleanup
Cons: risk of drying out meat; no grill flavors
Cooking Wagyu using a skillet on top of the stove is another solid route, especially if you’re using a quality cast-iron skillet. As usual, you’re going to want to sear both sides of the steak, but then continue to cook the meat until it reaches temperature.
Pros: simple; easy to watch and check progress; great for tossing with spices and vegetables
Cons: inconsistent results; may lose some juices in the process