The Do and Don't List for Cooking with Grass Fed Beef
Due to the nature of grass fed beef it has a different taste and texture than grain fed beef, so it requires a slightly different approach to cooking and handling. Here are some tips.
Do experiment with additions. Ingredients like caramelized onions, mushrooms, roasted peppers, and cheeses will enhance the flavor and add low fat moisture to your dishes. Try adding a pat of seasoned butter or infused oil in the center of the meat prior to cooking. Mushrooms, finely grated onion and other veggies can also be gently mixed with ground beef.
Do consider marinades and rubs. Especially marinades that help retain moisture, tenderize, and don't mask the flavor of the beef. Try ones that have a citrus, vinegar, or wine base. Spread marinade or rub on steak, wrap tightly in plastic and let sit overnight in refrigerator. To ensure even cooking, bring meat to room temperature first. Do this by removing it from the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes before cooking. Do not warm in a microwave, this will lead to a tougher, less moist steak. Remember that grass-fed beef has a different flavor profile than grain-fed beef. So you may have to experiment to find the right marinade that works for your taste preference.
Do beware of overcooking. Remove grass-fed beef/steaks/roasts from heat or oven about 10ºF BEFORE your desired degree of doneness. (Meat continues to cook even after it is removed from the heat source.)
Don't over-handle ground beef. Form burgers into shape gently. We recommend flipping burgers only once or twice. Constant flipping causes a loss of juices and longer cook time which can lead to a less juicy burger.
Do aim for medium-rare for best results. Due to the composition of grass fed beef, medium rare to medium is recommended to get the most of its natural flavor and texture.
Do learn to use tongs, not forks to turn steaks and burgers and roasts. Every time you pierce a piece of meat with a fork to turn it, you're letting more juices out. Preserve those good juices!
Do use a meat thermometer for accuracy. Remember to always cook your meat to the USDA Recommended cooking temperatures. Cooking temperatures will vary depending on your cut of beef.
Do let meat rest after cooking and before cutting. This allows the fibers of the meat to relax and reabsorb any juices released in cooking. With grass-fed beef, this step is imperative. Remove steak, and keep warm for about 10 minutes before cutting into steaks. (Cover with foil, then a dishtowel.)
Do sear meats at a high temperature, then reduce the temperature to finish cooking. For roasts, sear them on the stove top, then place in oven to finish cooking at a lower-than-normal temperature. A good rule of thumb is to lower the oven temperature by about 50ºF.
Do use the right cooking method for the right cut. Refer to recipes for the recommended cut. Some cuts of beef should only be cooked with moisture and braised, some really shine as dry roasts, and some are perfect for the grill.