Wagyu beef is known to many as a luxurious meat with extreme marbling (or intramuscular fat content) that gives it a savory, rich, and decadent flavor described as umami. Wagyu is also exceptionally tender, giving it a velvety mouthfeel few types of meat can match. Wagyu is traditionally associated with fine dining, and preparing a wagyu dish on a home grill can feel a little intimidating — especially if it’s your first time working with wagyu.
Wagyu steak is indeed one of the most delicious meals you could ever come across, but you do not have to go to a fancy restaurant to enjoy its unique buttery taste. Purchasing wagyu ground beef to make burger patties for the grill is a great way to make the scrumptious flavor of wagyu more accessible while elevating an American staple into a meal you won’t soon forget!
Hall Farmstead is a Kentucky ranch dedicated to providing our customers with the best Japanese American wagyu in the world, and we strive to make sure every wagyu product delivers a luxurious dining experience worth the price. All Hall Farmstead Artisan Wagyu cattle are DNA-tested and tracked for authenticity, repeatability, and consistency, ensuring every cut of beef exceeds expectations. Please continue reading to learn more about how to grill wagyu burgers and our delectable Japanese American wagyu.
Why do some people say wagyu burgers should avoid the gas grill?
You may have heard so-called “experts” recommend preparing wagyu in a skillet instead of a grill to better preserve its flavor. The fact is, wagyu beef burgers are fantastic no matter how you prepare them, so don’t be so quick to rule out the grill. Grilling imparts a unique smoky flavor complimenting the delicate flavor of wagyu beautifully, and denying yourself the combination is to miss out on a fundamental aspect of the experience.
Likewise, plenty of media outlets argue that charcoal is far preferable to a gas grill for any wagyu burger recipe. Again, we have to disagree. While the extreme temperatures of charcoal grills can give wagyu a perfect sear, gas grills are better for two-zone grilling. Two-zone grilling entails making one side of the grill as hot as possible for a great sear while keeping another side at a lower temperature to finish the meat to a perfect medium-rare temperature. Gas grills also facilitate stable levels of high heat, ensuring your burgers cook evenly throughout. The grates on gas grills also preheat quickly for gorgeous sear marks every time you cook wagyu, and the consistency of the flame means fewer flare-ups that can dry out your meat.
How do you grill the best wagyu beef burger?
The secret to a great wagyu beef burger is to treat it like the exceptional protein it is, not just one of the many burgers out there. You don’t want to use marinades or heavy seasonings that could mask the natural umami flavor of wagyu, and you certainly don’t want to compromise the flavor of the meat with mass-produced condiments like ketchup.
Instead, pull your wagyu ground beef out of the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before you plan to cook it so it can come to room temperature. After that, coat your grill with a light layer of oil to eliminate bacteria and grime while adding flavor. Next, preheat your grill to ensure that it’s red-hot before you place the wagyu on it. The exact temperature depends on the thickness of your burgers and how you like your beef, but it could be anywhere from 350 to 500 degrees.
While the grill heats up, start making your burger patties. You should press the middle of your burgers to reduce plumping, thereby ensuring an even cook. We will add that thicker burgers often make for a superior experience, so try for patties at least one inch thick. Always blot the excess moisture off of the burgers’ surface with a clean paper towel to ensure a great Maillard reaction and that distinctive umami flavor. Otherwise, you want your burgers to be as moist and juicy as possible.
A wagyu burger doesn’t need too much help, but the right seasonings can bring it to a whole other level. Salt and pepper are a must-add for bringing out the rich flavor of wagyu, especially if you can elevate them by upgrading to kosher salt, sea salt, or fresh-ground pepper. One advanced seasoning tip you could try is adding salt to your beef well ahead of cooking, bringing moisture to the surface of the wagyu to dissolve it and help it absorb throughout the meat.
If you want to be a little more adventurous, garlic butter is always welcome. Alternatively, you could go for a more herbal flavor with seasonings such as rosemary and thyme. Whatever seasonings you decide to use, make sure to season both sides of your burgers for a truly epic dining experience.
When you’re ready to place your burgers on the grill, the most important thing to remember is that you do not want to overcook them. You can always throw an undercooked burger back on, but overcooking wagyu is a surefire path to disappointment and regret. The high fat content of wagyu ground beef also means it’ll cook faster, so don’t leave it unattended even if you’re usually comfortable doing so with other types of ground beef.
Place your burgers diagonally on the grill slats and close the lid for 3-5 minutes depending on how you like your beef. Most experts agree that medium-rare is the ideal cook to go for, with anything above medium likely to compromise the unique flavor of wagyu beef. Then, open the lid and flip your burgers before closing it for another 3-5 minutes. If you want your wagyu burger rare, now is the time to take it off the grill. Otherwise, about three more minutes should give you medium-rare, and six should get you to medium.
We know that pressing your spatula against your wagyu beef patties makes a satisfying sizzling sound, but doing that will dry out your burgers. Similarly, avoid the temptation to flip your beef patties multiple times. You might think that wagyu is a luxurious ingredient deserving extra attention, but you’ll only get in the way of its natural deliciousness.
If you plan to add cheese or any other toppings to your wagyu burgers, do so for the final minute of cooking so they melt. Remove your burgers from the flame and let them rest for 5-10 minutes so the juices spread throughout the patties. Congratulations! You are now ready to enjoy the best hamburger you will ever eat.
What toppings and condiments best compliment a Japanese American wagyu burger?
Many wagyu beef recipes try to overcomplicate the distinctive umami flavor of wagyu with a bunch of unnecessary toppings and condiments, and we strongly suggest tasting it plain to experience just how rich it is. If you are going to add toppings, wagyu lends itself well to upscale selections such as brie, blue cheese, gruyere, sharp cheddar, caramelized onions, fig jam, balsamic glaze, and bacon. Top-quality lettuce and tomato can also give your wagyu burgers a satisfying crunch.
Choosing a bun might seem like a big decision, but the good news is that there are no bad options when you’re working with wagyu. Brioche buns are one of the more popular options, but you could also add extra salt with a pretzel bun or look for gluten-free options to accommodate any dietary restrictions.
When it comes to sides, you generally want something lighter to compliment the rich, decadent flavor of American wagyu beef. Sautéed mushrooms are a great pairing for wagyu because they accentuate its umami flavor, while a salad or light dessert makes for a fantastic palette cleanser. Lightly flavored carbonated beverages can also help you make the most of any wagyu meal.
How do Japanese American wagyu burgers differ from traditional American wagyu beef?
The term “wagyu” is Japanese for “cow”, and refers to four distinct breeds of cattle native to Japan. The combination of genetics and ancient Japanese ranching techniques is what gives wagyu beef its unique, rich flavor and makes it popular around the world. However, some Americans find the taste of purebred wagyu beef too rich for their tastes.
That led to the creation of American wagyu, a 50/50 mix between the original wagyu cattle above and the black Angus that most Americans associate with beef. American wagyu isn’t as rich as something like Kobe beef (the most well-known type of wagyu) but still delivers a luxurious, melt-in-your-mouth dining experience.
At Hall Farmstead, we feel that Americans deserve something closer to purebred wagyu beef while recognizing the unique preferences of the American palate. The result is our Hall Farmstead Artisan Wagyu cattle with 15/16 Japanese Akaushi Wagyu lineage — creating a Japanese American wagyu that far surpasses American wagyu’s traditional 50/50 split. Whether you want a wagyu burger or steak suitable for any special occasion, we promise to deliver an exceptional dining experience with every Japanese American wagyu product we sell.
Where can I find the best wagyu ground beef for burger patties?
Hall Farmstead makes the delicious taste and velvety mouthfeel of wagyu beef more accessible than it has ever been before with one-time orders and a subscription service that fits any schedule. All of our wagyu cattle are DNA-tested and tracked for authenticity, repeatability, and consistency, making them ideal for any beef recipe. Whether you want to try new wagyu beef recipes yourself or impress your friends at your next gathering, Hall Farmstead Japanese American wagyu is sure to leave your mouth watering!