The Cuts

What is Yakiniku?

Yakiniku is the name for barbecue in Japan. Because it focuses on drawing out the natural flavor of the meat, many cuts of beef do not come marinated or pre-seasoned. Additional seasoning is often no more than a bit of salt after the meat has been grilled. Because of the focus on the flavor of the beef, yakiniku requires high-quality ingredients as well as extra care so as not to overcook it and ruin the beef’s intricate flavor and texture.


Here are four general tips that should be applied with any cut of meat:

  • To start with, whether you’re cooking over a traditional charcoal grill or cast iron cook surface, you’ll want to wait until the grilling surface becomes very hot or else the meat can stick to the metal.
  • Make sure to grill and enjoy each piece one at a time to prevent the temperature of the grill from falling, or if you’re cooking several pieces together, remember the order that you placed them on the grill so that none of the pieces are overcooked.
  • Thinner, more marbled slices of beef may require only 3–5 seconds of grilling, while thicker or leaner pieces may need a couple of minutes to cook properly.