a5 wagyu sous vide

Don’t Chance Your A5 Wagyu to Traditional Methods

By Russell Wong

If you're a sous vide enthusiast or someone who loves steak, the term “wagyu” likely makes your mouth water. It's a delicacy celebrated for heavy marbling and flavorsome texture. However, A5 wagyu is also the world's most expensive beef. Before you drop all those dollars for a steak, what's the best way to cook it?

What is A5 Wagyu?

Know what you're eating. Wagyu means “Japanese cow” and it refers to four native breeds: Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Shorthorn, and Japanese Polled. Japanese A5 Wagyu is the highest grade that Wagyu beef can achieve and is typically reserved for cattle who are fed the best foods, and have had exceptional care during their raising. A5 refers to the yield, grading, and marbling of the beef, and A5 is at the top of the charts. Less than a tenth of a percent of beef produced in the world is A5 Wagyu.

Can you sous vide wagyu? 

Wagyu sous vide = precise results. I've been lucky enough to source amazing wagyu beef sous vide. I didn't think there was such a thing as too much A5, but when I look in my freezer and still see more, I'm starting to believe in too much. But first, a little exploration into the discovery of my favorite food. If you're asking "should you sous vide wagyu," the results will never disappoint. 

I love sushi and my favorite type is toro, the fatty belly of the tuna. I would search high and low for otoro (most fatty) and chutoro (medium fatty). A while ago, I realized A5 wagyu was the otoro of beef, with so much delicious fat. I began my quest for A5 wagyu, but seeing the cost (often upwards of $200/pound) made acquisition difficult. Turns out, a family friend is in the industry and the rest is history, so I'm able to buy in bulk at an amazing price. Because of that, I can cook A5 wagyu with every method available.

I've prepared A5 wagyu steak tartare, cooked it over an open fire with charcoal, on a Himalayan salt block, straight on a cast iron pan, sous vide wagyu filet mignon, as thin slices, as thick blocks, as cubes, and as a whole 1.5" steak and tried every cut: everything from ribeye, NY Strip, short ribs, brisket, etc. No matter what, A5 wagyu cooked always tastes delicious.

What's ironic is that people who appreciate the precision of sous vide somehow believe that because of the meat's high cost, their skills have magically become greater when cooking an expensive wagyu steak. So they say, just sear it on a pan. Well, when you sear an expensive cut or a cheap cut of meat, you run the risk of it still being raw on the inside or completely overcooking it.

Wagyu Sous Vide Temperature

My Anova guarantees precisely 129°F end to end, meaning the meat and marbled fat throughout the meat is heated just to that “melt in your mouth butter” stage, ensuring that I don't accidentally under or overcook the expensive wagyu. The low wagyu sous vide temperature is gentle enough so that meat doesn't "disappear" when cooked.

wagyu sous vide

If you're still wondering "should i sous vide wagyu?" the answer is yes. Ignore the false information about not sous vide'ing A5 wagyu and feel comfortable with sous vide, knowing the chance of messing up is reduced and you'll still get perfectly cooked results for the money spent.

Here's my recipe for the best sous vide a5 wagyu:

1. Set Anova Precision® Cooker to 129°F / 53.9°C

2. Season steak with salt and pepper.

3. Place steak in resealable ziplock or vacuum bag.

4. Place in water bath and sous vide for 2 hours.

5. Remove from the water bath, and pat steak dry.

6. In a hot skillet, sear steak for 30-45 seconds on each side.

7. Slice, serve, eat and upload pics to Instagram!

Check out the full recipe here!

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Craig the melting point of wagyu fat is much lower than an American steak. Your hand temp is enough to start melting the wagyu fat.

Andrew Bloom

Will the waygu fat render at 129 degrees? I thought you needed a higher temperature to get the fat to render…

Craig Reed

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