An affordable way to try authentic Wagyu beef, a Wagyu burger is tender, melts in your mouth, is juicy, and has just a slight bit of sweetness. Our Wagyu burger recipe is made with creamy aioli, crispy bacon, and blue cheese.
We recommend pan searing to retain moisture, but we have included instructions on how to grill Wagyu burgers.
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You can use any toppings you like but with our Wagyu burger recipe, we recommend bacon, blue cheese, and a simple aioli. And of course, an upscale version of LTO (lettuce, tomato, onion). If you are feeling over the top, add our homemade french fried onions.
Wagyu burgers are great year-round, but I really love these burgers for a fancy date night at home, a casual dinner party, or even Valentine's Day dinner.
🐄 All About Wagyu Ground Beef
Wagyu beef makes the juiciest burgers. Admittedly, understanding all the marketing claims around Wagyu beef can be confusing. Let's break down some basics.
There are several marketing items you may see when purchasing Wagyu. The region, fullblood vs purebred, and a rating such as A5.
There are several regions in Japan where Wagyu beef has a designation. The most famous are Kobe and Matsusaka. American Wagyu and Australian Wagyu are the two most popular outside of Japan.
Kobe beef is Wagyu that comes from the Kobe region of Japan only. All Kobe is Wagyu but not all Wagyu beef is Kobe beef. Say what?
It is the same as sparkling wine. Not all sparkling wine is Champagne, but all Champagne is sparkling wine. Or all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.
I hope I didn't confuse anyone!
Fullblood vs Purebred
Wagyu refers to 4 specific types of Japanese Breeds (Black, Polled, Brown, and Shorthorn). Black is by far the most common.
Fullblood means the cattle has 100% traceable ancestry to one of these breeds. Purebred has a threshold of 93.75%, meaning a small history of crossbreeding with non- Wagyu cattle.
After that comes crossbred and that is rated based on the percentage of Japanese Wagyu vs other cattle breeds.
Just like American beef, Japanese Wagyu has a special rating system. The first piece is the letter that refers to the yield. Unless you plan on buying a whole cow this isn't important.
The number refers to a combined rating of the marbling, texture, color, and quality of the fat in the beef.
With 5 being the highest rating and 1 the lowest. Because we want high marbling in our Wagyu, that is part of what makes it so special, I recommend sticking with a 5 if you can find it.
Where to buy Wagyu Beef in the US
There are a handful of fullblood Wagyu ranches in the US. I purchased my American Wagyu Beef at the Double 8 Cattle because it is local so I can pick it up in person. And yes, that is where I purchased my beef for these photos.
Most proprietors of Wagyu ship direct to consumers if you can't find a ranch near you.
Seasonally, you can also purchase at Costco, but online only. The types of Wagyu Costco carries will vary.
We don't make Wagyu burgers at home very often, only for special occasions. Therefore, I like to keep the seasonings simple and let the beef shine. It really is something special!
- Wagyu Ground Beef- I used 8 ounce patties. You want between 6 ounces and 8 ounces per person.
- Kosher Salt
- Buns- You can use any bun you like. I used Udi's Hamburgers Buns to keep the recipe gluten-free. If you aren't worried about keeping things GF try a pretzel buns or brioche buns!
For toppings I recommend:
- High Quality Bacon
- Blue Cheese
- Heirloom Tomato
- Red Onion
- Aioli- Albeit I did a copy-cat version by mixing together mayo, lemon juice, garlic, and Dijon mustard.
See the recipe card for quantities.
More Topping Ideas for Wagyu Burgers
- Specialty jams like bacon, fig, onion, or tomato.
- Cheeses like sharp cheddar or gruyere
- Fried onions, caramelized onions, or roasted red onions
- Homemade or specialty steak sauce or BBQ sauce
We have included instructions for both pan searing and grilling. I prefer pan-searing in a cast iron skillet so that as the juices from the fat are released the burger continues to bathe in it.
If you're going to grill your burger, I recommend charcoal over gas.
Step 1- Make the Patties
Form the ground meat into 4 equal-size patties. You want your patties to be about 1 inch thick. Sprinkle the outside of the patties with salt and pepper. I typically plan on ¾ teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of beef.
While I love to make unique and highly seasoned burgers when working with Wagyu beef keep the seasoning on the outside rather than working into the ground beef before making the patties.
Step 2- Heat
Melt your butter in a cast-iron skillet. You are going to be on medium-high heat so expect some smoke and splatter. Don't forget to turn your fan on.
Once the pan is hot, add the patties. Cook for 4 minutes.
Step 3- Flip
Flip the patties and cook for 5 to 6 more minutes for medium-rare. Cook longer for your desired temperature. Do not move around or smash down the burgers.
At this point, you can add your bacon and cheese to allow it to melt.
Step 5- Assemble
Move the burgers to a plate to rest. Place the buns in the pan, cut side down. Toast for 2 to 3 minutes until they crisp up just a bit.
In a small bowl mix together all the aioli ingredients. Smear the top and bottom bun with the aioli, place the burger on the bun, and top with the arugula, closed tomatoes, and onions.
💭 How to Grill Wagyu Burgers
Heat a gas or charcoal grill to 450 F degrees. This will take 10 to 15 minutes.
Grill the patties over direct heat for 4 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes for a medium-rare burger. Top the last minute of cooking and close the lid so the cheese will melt.
Do not smash the patties as it will cause flare-ups in the grill flame.
🥗What to Serve with Wagyu Burgers
To drink I prefer wine with Wagyu. Either a light-bodied cabernet or merlot. A unique and surprising pairing would be a well-structured rose or champagne.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
- The higher fat content means Wagyu burgers cook faster than regular burgers. Keep a close eye.
- Wagyu burgers are best at medium-rare, no more than medium.
- Substitute roasted garlic in your aioli for a sweeter flavor.
A simple cast-iron skillet and spatula are all you need to make a great Wagyu burger. But a kitchen scale comes in handy if you are making your own patties. And an instant-read meat thermometer is always helpful when cooking beef.
🌡️Storage and Food Safety
Completely defrost the ground beef in the fridge before cooking. I like to let the patties sit out for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking.
Leftover Wagyu burgers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. Reheat before consuming.
But seriously.... why do you have leftovers????
Please remember the FDA recommends cooking your ground beef to 160 F degrees. However, the below chart illustrates the doneness and relative temperatures of ground beef.
|For rare burgers||125 F Degrees|
|For medium-rare burgers||135 F Degrees|
|For medium burgers||145 F Degrees|
|For well-done burgers||160 F Degrees|
A few other reminders...
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Always turn on your vent hood when searing inside
💬Frequently Asked Questions
The cost varies depending on the source, rating, and ancestry of the cow. I have seen loose ground beef cost as low as $16 per pound up to $40 per pound. Except to pay a slightly higher price for pre-formed Wagyu beef patties.
Wagyu burgers are an affordable way to try authentic Japanese Wagyu beef. I recommend trying at least once. The tenderness is unmatched.
No, I recommend thawing and letting sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before cooking to ensure a perfectly cook sear yet moist burger.
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Wagyu Burger with Bacon and Blue Cheese
- 12 slices bacon cooked
- 8 ounces blue cheese
- heirloom tomatoes sliced
- Form the ground beef into 4 equal size patties, about 1 inch thick. Sprinkle the outside of the patties with salt and pepper.1.5-2 lbs Wagyu ground beef, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- Heat the butter in a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat. Add the patties. Cook for 4 minutes.1 tablespoon butter
- Flip the patties. Cook an additional 5 to 6 minutes for medium-rare. Do not move or smash down the patties. You can add bacon and cheese at this point, if desired.8 ounces blue cheese, 12 slices bacon
- Once your desired temperature is reached move the patties to a cutting board to rest. Place the buns cut side down in the pan for 2 to 3 minutes until toasted. Assemble the Wagyu burgers with desired toppings.arugula, heirloom tomatoes, 4 buns
- Heat a gas or charcoal grill to 450 F degrees.
- Grill the patties over direct heat for 4 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare. Do not smash the patties as it will cause flare ups in the grill flame.
- Mix together all the ingredients. Salt to taste, but likely will not need it.¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, 1 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- For rare burgers- 125°F
- For medium-rare burgers- 135°F
- For medium burgers- 145°F
- For well-done burgers- 160°F
- Grill, gas or charcoal
Check out our Wagyu Beef Burgers Recipe web story!