Have you ever noticed how grass-fed beef cooks a little differently than grain-fed beef?
In general, grass-fed cows eat mostly grass, while their grain-fed cow-nterparts (sorry) eat an unnatural diet usually in the form of gmo corn and soy.
It turns out, grass-fed beef is significantly higher in important nutrients, and can have as much as 5 times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
But because grass-fed beef is typically lower in fat than conventional meat, there are a few things you to keep in mind when cooking up that juicy burger or steak.
In this post, I’ll be sharing a few handy tips for how you can take your grass-fed steaks, roasts, or other cuts up a notch or two to satisfy even the mightiest of appetites.
You’ll be the belle of the ball at any backyard party.
12 Tips for Cooking Grass-fed Beef
Tip #1 – Use a Marinade: Very lean cuts like New York strips and sirloin steaks can benefit from a marinade. Choose a recipe that doesn’t mask the flavor of the beef, but will enhance the moisture content. For safe handling, always marinate in the refrigerator.
Tip #2 – Add Fat: Because grass-fed beef is typically lower in fat than conventional meat, you can coat it with fat such as grass-fed/pasture-raised butter, tallow, lard or duck fat for easy browning. The fat will also prevent the meat from drying out and sticking to the cooking surface.
Tip #3 – Thawing: Never use a microwave to thaw grass-fed beef. Either thaw in the refrigerator, or for quick thawing place the vacuum sealed package in cold water for a few minutes.
One pound of ground beef takes about 24 hours to thaw in the refrigerator, and a 3 or 4-pound package may take up to 48 hours to defrost in the refrigerator.
Tip #4 – Cooks Faster: Grass-fed beef cooks about 30% faster than grain-fed beef. Use a thermometer to test for doneness and watch the temperature carefully. You can go from perfectly cooked to overdone in less than a minute.
The meat will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat, so when it reaches a temperature ten degrees lower than the desired temperature, it’s done.
Tip #5 – Cook to Medium-Rare: Grass-fed beef is ideal at rare to medium-rare temperatures. If you prefer your meat well-done, cook it at a low temperature in a sauce to add moisture. A slow cooker is great for this.
Tip #6 – Pan Searing: Pan Searing on the stove is an easy way to cook a grass-fed steak. After you’ve seared the steak over high heat, turn the heat to low and add grass-fed butter and garlic to the pan to finish cooking.
Tip #7 – Grilling: When grilling, quickly sear the meat over high heat on each side and then reduce the heat to medium or low to finish. Baste to add moisture.
Use tongs instead of a fork to turn the beef. When grilling burgers, use caramelized onions or roasted peppers to add moisture to the meat.
Tip #8 – Roasting: When roasting, sear the beef first to lock in the juices and then place in a preheated oven. Reduce the roasting temperature by 50 degrees F for grass-fed beef.
Tip #9 – Tenderizing: Tenderizing breaks down tough connective tissue. You can tenderize your meat with a tenderizer like the Jaccard, which is a small, hand-held device with little “needles” that pierce the meat allowing the marinade or rub to penetrate the surface.
Alternatively, after coating your thawed grass-fed steak with a rub, put it in a zip-top bag, place on a solid surface, and use a meat mallet, rolling pin or other hard object to pound it a few times. This will not only tenderize the meat, but will also incorporate the rub, adding flavor.
Don’t go overboard and flatten the beef, unless the recipe calls for it.
Tip #10 – Bring to Room Temperature & Preheat: Bring your grass-fed beef to room temperature before cooking to avoid overcooking the outside. And always preheat the oven, pan or grill before cooking.
Tip #11 – Let Rest: Let the beef sit covered in a warm place for 8 to 10 minutes after removing it from the heat to let the juices redistribute.
Tip #12 – Storing Beef in the Refrigerator: Raw ground beef will keep in the refrigerator for about 1 to 2 days; Raw roasts and steaks will stay good in the refrigerator for about 3 to 5 days; Cooked meat will stay good in the refrigerator for about 3 to 4 days.
Grass-Fed Beef Recipes
Looking for more tasty ways to cook up your grass-fed steak or burgers? Here are a few of our favorite recipes that use grass-fed beef:
- Wild Cowboy Burgers (ground beef)
- Fall-Off-The-Bone Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs (beef short ribs)
- Baked Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs (ground beef)
- New York Strip Steak with Avocado & Cucumber Dill Salad (strip steak)
- Chimichurri Steak (top loin steaks)
- Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger (ground beef)
- Wild Carne Asada Bowl (skirt steak)
- Triple Paleo Meatloaf< (ground beef, ground chicken and beef liver)
Do you have any more tips for cooking up different cuts of grass-fed beef? Share them with us in the comments below!