If you want to experience one of the most decadent burgers you’ve ever eaten, then a Wagyu burger is for you. Wagyu burgers are made from juicy, flavorful Wagyu beef.
Travel experts from Fodor’s Los Angeles Guide book mentioned that celebrities and Hollywood elites chow down on melt-in-your-mouth Wagyu burgers at the famed Polo Lounge inside the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Fortunately, you don’t have to live in Hollywood to savor the distinct flavor of a Wagyu burger. When you grill these burgers at home, they’re just as delicious, even without celebrity sightings.
Learn more about Wagyu burgers and how to cook them for the most distinctive burger you’ll ever taste.
What Are Wagyu Burgers?
Wagyu burgers are made using Wagyu beef, which many people claim is the best beef they’ve ever tasted (ditto for Wagyu steak).
These burgers cook quickly, so restaurant chefs recommend grilling or broiling them at high temperatures to sear the meat.
What Type of Cattle Produce Wagyu Beef?
Wagyu is a Japanese breed of cattle. In fact, the name translates to ‘Wa’ (Japanese) and ‘gyu’ (cow). The Japanese used these cattle as farm animals because of their strength.
Because of their muscular bodies, Wagyu cattle have more intramuscular fat cells.
These fat cells produce highly marbled meat for extraordinary tenderness and taste.
The United States imported four Wagyu cattle from Japan in 1975. Today, American Wagyu cattle account for 95% of the USDA’s top-grade, high-quality, premium beef, which is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
How Do You Cook Wagyu Burgers?
Because of Wagyu beef’s marbling, it cooks faster than other beef, such as Angus and Hereford. If you cook it too long, all the fat will melt. This leaves you with a bland, dry burger (ditto for Wagyu steak).
Two of the best high-heat methods for cooking Wagyu burgers are cast iron frying and gas or charcoal grilling. These methods preserve the fat that keeps the meat tender and juicy.
Cast Iron Frying Pan
- Form one-quarter or one-half pound patties, so they’re a little bigger than your bun.
- Season the raw patty with your favorite beef seasoning.
- Add the fat to the griddle or cast iron pan and heat to about 450°F.
- Cover the pan to trap the heat inside to ensure the burger cooks thoroughly.
- Get a crisp sear and flip them over.
- Fry the burgers until the internal temperature reaches about 150°F.
Top your juicy burgers with your favorite cheese, fresh tomatoes and lettuce, onions, BBQ sauce, or even some sweet jam spread, as Chef Tom suggests.
Charcoal or Gas Grill
Preheat your gas grill to 450°F. Form your patties to your preferred size. Season them with salt and pepper or any flavored meat rub.
Place your Wagyu burgers on the grill and cook for about three to three and a half minutes. Turn them slightly to give some nice hash marks.
Flip them over and add cheddar, Brie, or American cheese on the top. Close your grill cover and cook them until the internal temperature reaches 150°F.
Once your Wagyu burgers are done, place them in your bun and top with fried onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, or any toppings you prefer.
What Are the Best Wagyu Burger Toppings?
If you splurge on Wagyu ground beef, you want to make sure your toppings & sides balance and complement the intense beefiness and aroma of your Wagyu burgers.
When choosing your toppings & seasonings, consider their texture, flavor, and moistness. Avoid using strong-flavored toppings that could overpower your burgers. Also, avoid anything that has too much moisture that could make your bun soggy.
Here are a few low-moisture toppings that create a delectable balance to your Wagyu burgers:
- Fried peppers and onions
- Crisp bacon
- Various cheese
- Sautéed mushrooms
- Sliced avocados
- Crunchy lettuce
- Red onions
- Fruit jam sauce
- Black truffle paste
There are so many toppings available to spark up your burgers. But, keep in mind that Wagyu burgers are so decadent and juicy that you might want to add minimal toppings to get the full flavor of the beef.
FAQs about Wagyu Burgers
What is a Wagyu burger made of?
Wagyu burgers are made of ground Wagyu beef. This is high-grade premium beef with substantial marbling for a rich, tender, beefy taste.
Genuine Wagyu burgers are made of cattle that originated in Japan. These cattle were muscular, draft breeds. Their muscle gives the beef a marbleized texture for tender meat rich in fatty acids.
American Wagyu cattle ranchers raise their beef free of antibiotics and hormones. They’re also fed a balance of grass and grain to build their intramuscular marbling.
How long do you grill Wagyu burgers?
Wagyu burgers take a total of about five minutes to cook on a gas grill. The time depends on the thickness of your patties. Always use a meat thermometer to ensure your meat is cooked to the right temperature. Grilling from 150°F to 155°F will give you a medium-cooked burger.
What is so special about Wagyu burgers?
Wagyu burgers aren’t your everyday beef burgers. They’re served in high-end restaurants and prepared by renowned chefs. The American Wagyu Association (AWA) upholds strict standards for Wagyu beef, making it America’s finest beef.
Are Wagyu burgers good?
When cooked correctly, Wagyu burgers will most likely be the most flavorful burger you’ve ever eaten. The trick is to sear your burger quickly to hold in the marbling fat for a juicy, flavorful burger.
What does a Wagyu burger taste like?
Wagyu burgers have an intense, rich beef flavor. The meat practically melts in your mouth because of the marbling throughout the meat. It tastes more like a smooth, buttery taste, rather than the greasy texture of your basic burgers or meatless burgers.
What’s the best cheese for Wagyu burgers?
Raclette cheese is a Swiss melting cheese that’s superb for Wagyu burgers. Just melt it on a piece of parchment paper and use a knife to spread the melted cheese on your burgers.
Any creamy cheese, such as goat cheese which has a mild flavor, is a good choice for Wagyu burgers.
Of course, you can use any other cheese, as well. Whether it’s Brie, cheddar, American, or Provolone, your cheese choice will taste great melted over a Wagyu burger.
Are Wagyu burgers and Kobe burgers the same thing?
You might hear Wagyu and Kobe used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two types of beef.
Kobe beef is a variety of Wagyu cattle. It originated from Japanese Black cattle and is still bred in Japan. Kobe beef is considered a delicacy.
Most American and Australian Kobe-style beef is bred with other cattle breeds, so it’s not considered an authentic Japanese Kobe.
Both of these should not be confused with Japanese beef seasonings like yakiniku, etc.
Where can I find Wagyu ground beef?
You can find Wagyu beef specially packed in the meat counter of most grocery stores. In fact, even Walmart carries Wagyu burgers. The problem is that although they’re advertised as Wagyu, they could be a mixture of genuine Wagyu and other cattle beef.
If you want the real thing, check purebred Wagyu cattle breeders for the finest quality beef. Check AWA 2022 Breeders Guide for suppliers of quality Wagyu beef.