In 2009, the USDA and researches at Clemson University found 10 ways in which grass-fed beef is better for human health than grain-fed beef.
1. Lower in total fat
2. Higher in beta-carotene
3. Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
4. Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
5. Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium
6. Higher in total omega-3s
7. A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84)
8. Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter
9. Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be transformed into CLA)
10. Lower in the saturated fats linked with heart disease
S.K. Duckett et al, Journal of Animal Science, (published online) June 2009, “Effects of winter stocker growth rate and finishing system on: III. Tissue proximate, fatty acid, vitamin and cholesterol content.”
Here are some great cooking tips…
Our Grass-fed beef is known for its delicious flavor. It is a flavor that you will not find in grain fed beef. Grass-fed beef also cooks differently than grain fed beef.
1. Grass-fed beef is made for rare to medium cooking. If you like well done beef, then cook your grass fed beef at very low temperatures in a sauce or marinade to add moisture. Overcooking grass-fed beef will cause it to toughen up on you.
2. Since grass fed beef is extremely low in fat, coat with virgin olive oil, truffle oil or butter.
3. For tough cuts, the best way to cook them is low and slow. You can also use a Jaccard meat tenderizer which uses no chemicals.
4. If you don’t own a Jaccard meat tenderizer we recommend marinating your beef before cooking especially lean cuts like NY Strip and Sirloin Steak. A favorite marinade using lemon, vinegar, wine, beer or bourbon is a great choice. Some people use their favorite Italian salad dressing. If you choose to use bourbon, beer or vinegar, use slightly less than you would use for grain fed beef. Grass fed beef cooks quicker so the liquor or vinegar won’t have as much time to cook off. For safe handling, always marinate in the refrigerator.
5. If you do not have time to marinate, just coat your thawed steak with your favorite rub, place on a solid surface, cover with plastic and pound your steak a few times to break down the connective tissue. As an added benefit your favorite rub will be pushed into your grass fed beef. Don’t go overboard and flatten your beef unless your recipe calls for it. If you don’t have a meat mallet, use a rolling pin or whatever you feel is safe and convenient.
6. Stove top cooking is great for any type of steak . . . including grass fed steak. You have more control over the temperature than on the grill. You can use butter in the final minutes when the heat is low to carry the taste of fresh garlic through the meat just like steak chefs.
7. Grass fed beef has high protein and low fat levels, the beef will usually require 30% less cooking time and will continue to cook when removed from heat. For this reason, remove the beef from your heat source 10 degrees before it reaches the desired temperature.
8. 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.
9. Let the beef sit covered and in a warm place for 8 to 10 minutes after removing from heat to let the juices redistribute.
10. Never use a fork to turn your beef . . . precious juices will be lost. Always use tongs.
11. Reduce the temperature of your grain fed beef recipes by 50 degrees i.e. 275 degrees for roasting or at the lowest heat setting in a crock pot. The cooking time will still be the same or slightly shorter even at the lower temperature. Again . . . watch your meat thermometer and don’t overcook your meat. Use moisture from sauces to add to the tenderness when cooking your roast.
12. Never use a microwave to thaw your grass fed beef. Either thaw your beef in the refrigerator or for quick thawing place your vacuum sealed package in water for a few minutes.
13. Bring your grass fed meat to room temperature before cooking . . . do not cook it cold straight from a refrigerator.
14. Always pre-heat your oven, pan or grill before cooking grass fed beef.
15. When grilling, sear the meat quickly over a high heat on each side to seal in its natural juices and then reduce the heat to a medium or low to finish the cooking process. Also, baste to add moisture throughout the grilling process. Don’t forget grass fed beef requires 30% less cooking time so watch your thermometer and don’t leave your steaks unattended.
16. When roasting, sear the beef first to lock in the juices and then place in a pre-heated oven. Save your leftovers . . . roasted grass fed beef slices make great healthy luncheon meats with no additives or preservatives.
17. When preparing hamburgers on the grill, do not overcook. . . 30% less cooking time is required.