Because grass fed beef is lower in fat than grain fed beef, it often presents challenges in the kitchen. If you’ve ever eaten grass fed beef that was tough or dry then you know what we’re talking about. Below are some tips to help you take advantage of all the health benefits that grass fed beef offers, while still retaining the delicious flavor!
Preheat! Always preheat your oven or grill before cooking, this will ensure accurate cooking temperatures and an efficient cooking process.
Invest in a meat thermometer! We know you can “eye” a steak and know when it’s done, but these are much leaner and have much less wiggle room. A grass fed steak can go from perfectly cooked to over cooked within a minute! A thermometer ensures accuracy.
Always begin cooking your meat at room temperature. Plan ahead and remove the meat from the refrigerator before hand and allow it to reach room temperature. This way the meat will take less time to reach proper internal temp and every stays juicier!
Tenderize or Marinate. For tougher cuts of meat try tenderizing with a meat mallet or use a Jaccard meat tenderizer. Marinating beef in the refrigerator is also an option. Experiment with salad dressings, citrus juice, vinegars, bourbon, beer, or wine. The marinating process adds moisture and also tenderizes the beef.
Coat steaks in drawn (melted) butter or ghee. This enhances flavor and browning and also helps prevent sticking.
For oven roasting/braising, lower the temperature of the recipe by about 50 degrees but keep the cooking time the same. This lower temperature will not dry out the leaner grass fed beef.
Let’s get cooking!
First off, grass fed beef is meant to be enjoyed Rare, Medium Rare, or Medium. That’s all folks! Due to it’s low fat content, it is too tough and dry once overcooked. This is another reason why having a meat thermometer is so critical.
Your internal temperatures you are watching for are as follows:
Rare 120 F
Medium Rare 125F
Medium 130 F
When grilling, keep your grill temperatures the same as you would a grain fed steak. However your cooking time will be about 30% less! Sear those steaks on high heat and then reduce heat. Keep an eye on your thermometer and keep in mind that they will be cooking much faster than grain fed.
Don’t poke the meat with forks or prongs! Don’t pat your burgers down with spatulas either! Messing with your meat like this will cause precious juices to drip out, meaning flavor is lost forever! Be gentle! Use tongs!
Remove meat before it reaches that final temperature! Take it off the heat about 10-15 degrees before it reaches your goal temperature. It will finish cooking while it rests.
Always allow it to rest! 5-10 minutes depending on the cut. This gives time for the juices to redistribute. Otherwise they will spill all over the cutting board or your plate, when you first cut into the meat. That’s a lot of flavor you’re losing out on!
Don’t be afraid to add a bit of butter on top of the steak while it rests. It’s the perfect compliment in flavor to an expertly cooked steak!