I already know what you’re thinking, “Isn’t all beef the same?…” Well, when it’s comes to grass-fed vs. grain-fed beef, the slight different approaches required in cooking can make or break your meal.
When raw, grass-fed steaks starts out just as tender as grain-fed, however, grass-fed beef can become tough if you cook it the same way you would cook grain-fed beef. This is because it is a lot leaner than grain-fed which relies more on it’s extra fat for moisture. But don’t let this deter you from grass-fed meats, it just means you need to change your steak cooking habits! We’ve compiled a few helpful tips for cooking grass-fed steaks!
- Bring your grass fed meat to room temperature before cooking . . . never cook it cold straight from a refrigerator. It’s best to pull out the beef at least 30 minutes before cooking!
- Never use a microwave to thaw your grass-fed beef. Either thaw your beef in the refrigerator for a few hours or for quick thawing place the sealed package in water for a few minutes.
- Since this meat is significantly lower in fats, you can coat it in olive, truffle, or your favourite light oil to enhance browning and flavour!
- In order to keep grass-fed beef tender you need to cook roasts low and slow (your crockpot will become your best friend!). Steaks are best cooked on medium-high heat, to sear the juices in – five minutes per side. The worst thing you can do to a cut of grass-fed beef is overcook it as it will become extremely dry. And nobody likes a dry steak.
- If you are a fan of “well-done” steak, then it may be best to cook your grass-fed steaks longer at lower temperatures in some kind of sauce to keep the moisture!
- While you can cook grass-fed beef just about any way you can cook grain-fed, the best approach we’ve found is on the stove! This is because you have more temperature control than grilling! (TIP: use butter in the final minutes when the heat is low just like professional chefs do to
- Since grass-fed beef has high protein and low fat levels, the beef will usually require about 30% less cooking time and will continue to cook when removed from heat. For this reason, remove the beef from your heat source [roughly] 10 degrees before it reaches the desired temperature.
- Use a thermometer to test for doneness and watch the thermometer carefully. Since grass-fed beef cooks so quickly, your beef can go from perfectly cooked to overcooked in less than a minute!
- Let the beef sit covered with tinfoil for approximately 5 minutes after removing from heat to let the juices redistribute. Always use tongs to flip and pick-up your beef, using a fork will make you lose precious juices from the meat!
Cooking grass-fed beef may be a slight change to your regular cooking habits. However, don’t let this change your mind about choosing it. The health benefits of grass-fed beef compared to grain-fed are substantial. It is lower in calories and fat, contains healthy omega-3 fats, more vitamin A and E, higher levels of antioxidants, and up to seven times the beta carotene!