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How to Barbecue Wagyu Beef

Paul is a barbecue enthusiast. He is currently grilling and smoking on a Komodo Kamado Ultimate 23.

bbq wagyu beef steak

bbq wagyu beef steak

The Most Tender Barbecued Beef Ever

I'm in search of the most tender and delicious barbecued beef and I may have just discovered the recipe. Based on Alain Passard's style of roasting meat, I applied a similar technique to a top sirloin cut of Wagyu beef. Wagyu beef or more commonly known as American Kobe beef is highly marbled and very expensive. Is it worth the money? If prepared correctly, it is the most delicious beef I've ever cooked. I find it nearly as tender as grilled beef tenderloin steaks, and more flavorful than bbq flank steak. But I still think a low and slow cooked beef brisket is the best value for taste and money.

Wagyu vs Kobe Beef

  • Both Wagyu beef and Kobe beef come from a breed of cattle called Wagyu
  • Kobe beef comes from Kobe Japan only
  • Wagyu beef designation has nothing to do with how the cow was raised and fed
  • Wagyu and Kobe beef is grain fed and given beer
  • Wagyu raised in the US is unlikely to be massaged like in Japan because there is more room for exercise. People report that they can't tell the difference between American Kobe and Japan Kobe if they are the same grade of meat - sometimes called "super prime"
Alain Passard Wagyu Beef Recipe

Alain Passard Wagyu Beef Recipe

Barbecue Wagyu Beef Recipe

  • Season to taste with salt
  • Brown both sides lightly in a frying pan on the stove

Grill or bake in the oven ten minutes at a time at 350 degrees. Let rest outside of the oven for ten minutes. Repeat this process until the desired internal temperature is reached. My recommendation for medium rare wagyu beef is to stop barbecuing it at 120 degrees.

Alain Passard Cooking Technique

The Alain Passard roasting technique is pretty simple. The idea is to cook the meat evenly all the way through to the desired temperature. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and roast your meat for ten minutes, then remove the meat and let it rest in the pan for ten minutes. Keep a meat thermometer in the beef the entire time it's cooking and resting. While it's resting, you'll notice the temperature continues to go up, so even while it's out of the oven it's still cooking. Repeat this process until your meat reaches the desired temperature.

BBQ Wagyu Beef

Barbecue Wagyu Beef Recipe Grilled with Alain Passard Technique

Wagyu beef is so tender and delicous, the recipe is very simple

  • One Wagyu beef top sirloin with the fat cap. The triangle piece that comes from the top sirloin is known to be tougher than the bottom which is where a Butcher's Chateaubriand comes from, but the fat is key to this preparation.
  • Salt the meat with course salt.

Heat a skillet and brown the meat on both sides. Then insert the meat thermometer into the center of the top sirloin and place it in a 350 degree barbecue. After ten minutes of cooking, pull the meat out and let it rest for ten minutes. Repeat the barbecuing process of ten minutes in the grill and ten minutes out until the meat reaches the desired temperature. For medium rare, which is my favorite, I stop putting the meat back on the barbecue once it's reached 120 degrees. After it does reach 120, I'll let it rest for another ten minutes and then slice it.

*Note many people that cook Wagyu beef at home treat it like a normal steak and are sorely disappointed with the results. If it's your first time, follow these instructions and you'll get a sense for how quickly it cooks and how it should taste with the delicious fat.

Where do you get Wagyu Beef

To find a cut of top sirloin with a fat cap in Wagyu beef I had to go to a specialty meat supply store in San Francisco. Many butchers can order it for you. In the bay area, it can be ordered from the San Francisco meat company. Wagyu beef is expensive. The top sirloin with a large layer of fat was between $35 and $40 a pound. While it was absolutely delicious, I'm only going to cook this on very special occasions.

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Chart comparing types of top sirloin

Cut of BeefTendernessTips

Grass fed top sirloin

Tough and chewy

Serve grass fed beef more rare than grain fed

Grain or Corn fed top sirloin



Wagyu Beef top sirloin

Very Tender

More tender than corn fed beef tenderloin


Jack from Sydney on July 31, 2017:

there are a couple of points needing clarification. There is no breed called Wagyu - Wagyu beef comes from any of four Japanese breeds that are the best for producing the marbling of the fat. Gyu is the Japanese word for cow. Niku, means meat, hence gyuniku means cow meat = beef.

the Japanese don't feed them beer or massage them to produce the marbling - that's a myth. How do I know? From living in Japan. However, none of that detracts from this excellent recipe.

Dallas W Thompson from Bakersfield, CA on August 17, 2011:

Thanks for sharing information. Flag up.

Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on August 17, 2011:

In Jamaica it's just beef, but we know the most expensive cuts are the best cuts. A piece like the one in the picture would cost a couple thousand dollars, still cheaper than yours because $120 in Jamaica is about $10,000.

Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on August 16, 2011:

Grass fed is healthier source of red meat, and the tip on serving it rare is important. Even medium cooked grass fed beef is over cooked in my opinion. I've heard the the type of fat in Wagyu is better for you than corn fed as well.

Maddie Ruud from Oakland, CA on August 16, 2011:

Well, grass fed beef might be less tender than Wagyu, but it is way, way better for you (and the cows, and the environment). It has less fat in it (which is why it's less tender), and the fat that it does contain is much better for you, because the cows haven't been fed things they were never designed to digest.

Don't get me wrong, I'll eat a nice piece of Kobe from time to time, the same way I'll eat foie gras... sparingly, and with many prayers of atonement to the animal in question. But for regular consumption, I'm sticking with my grass-fed beef. Just give it a good marinating in something with a little acid to tenderize the meat, and serve it rare.

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on August 16, 2011:

I've never heard of Wagyu beef before, but BELIEVE ME, back in my meat-eating days, I once ate not one, not two, but THREE Kobe beef steaks the size of the steak you purchased... IN ONE SITTING (yes, I did feel incredibly sick afterward, but I *did* impress all the Japanese businessmen sitting in that cush Ritz Carlton restaurant). This stuff is good. And the photos are impressive! I like the table at the end, too. This beef sounds amazing... don't think I'll ever be trying it myself, but I'm glad you did- and had the presence of mind to photograph it all, too!

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