Because the lipid chemistry of grass-fed beef is different from grain-fed beef, slightly different cooking methods should be used to ensure success. Here are a few of our favorite pointers:
- Don’t overcook! Grass-fed meat is leaner than grain-fed and will cook about 30% quicker. Overcooking will result in dry, tough meat.
- It’s best to bring your grass-fed meat to room temperature before cooking.
- Use a thermometer to test for doneness. Watch the thermometer carefully, as grass-fed meat cooks so quickly it can go from perfectly cooked to overcooked in less than a minute.
- Use tongs to turn your beef as precious juices will be lost if punctured with a fork.
- Reduce the temperature of your grain-fed beef recipe by 50 degrees. The cooking time will be the same or slightly shorter.
- Never use a microwave to thaw meat. Either thaw the meat on a plate in the refrigerator or submerge the vacuum sealed package in water for a few minutes.
Dry Heat: (sautéing, grilling, and roasting)
- Sear the beef over a high heat, then continue cooking at a lower temperature.
- Grass-fed beef can be prepared using any type of dry heat method as long as it’s not overcooked.
- Dry heat is a good method for cooking ground beef and most steaks.
Moist Heat: (braising and stewing)
- Braising and stewing are wonderful ways of slow-cooking meat in liquid, including stocks and wine, making it tender and full of flavor.
- The traditional method of braising begins with a quick, high-temperature searing (browning) of the meat, followed by low, moist heat for an extended period of time in a covered pot. Traditional braising is best accomplished in a heavy pot with a lid, such as a Dutch or French oven.
- Slow cookers, such as Crock Pots, are also an excellent tool for cooking beef slowly with liquid.
- Roasts, stew beef, and cheek meat are examples of cuts that do best with low, moist heat.
Aging is critical to ensure you receive a tender product. US Wellness Meats currently uses a process called wet aging. Wet aging is done in a vacuum package to improve meat safety and eliminate the product's exposure to additional pathogens that can occur during a dry aging process. The meat is cut into sub-primal cuts and aged for an average of 28 days before portion cutting. Wet aging also enables the meat to breakdown collagen in the aging process without losing valuable moisture incurred during the dry aging process.
Finally, enjoy your grass-fed beef!