Grass Fed Beef Cooking Tips
First and foremost, we would suggest you relax and enjoy a glass of your favourite beverage whilst preparing your grass fed beef !
You will be aware that cooking grass fed beef is slightly different than cooking grain fed beef. Grass fed beef is leaner, so it requires lower cooking temperatures and slightly shorter cooking times.
That’s why it’s important to be aware of the slight differences between grass fed and grain fed beef so you can preserve its tenderness and wonderful flavours!
TIPS FOR THAWING BEEF IF FROZEN
We supply our pre- ordered beef fresh, but also have frozen beef available all year round.
If you are taking beef out of the freezer, never microwave beef to thaw it. Microwaving beef to thaw it makes the beef tough because the microwave turns some of the moisture to steam, which allows this valuable moisture to escape from the beef. Preserving moisture is hugely important to keeping your beef tender.
While this rule applies equally to grass fed beef and grain fed beef, grass-fed beef is even more vulnerable to moisture losses during microwave-thawing because it has less external fat to trap steam from escaping.
MEAT PREPARATION TIPS PRIOR TO COOKING
If you allow the temperature of your beef to change, too rapidly, during the cooking process, it can cause the meat fibres to contract, which can jeopardise the meats tenderness.
A rapid temperature change will also cause moisture to be escape from the beef through condensation. Moisture is a key component of beef tenderness.
Grass fed beef has less external fat than grain fed beef. Fat acts as an insulator to slow down how quickly your beef changes temperature during cooking. Leaner beef has less fat to insulate against rapid temperature changes when it is put on the grill.
When cooking Grass fed beef, remove the meat from the refrigerator allowing the meat time to warm up to room temperature before cooking. This avoids the rapid wide-range temperature changes that could cause meat fibres to contract or moisture to be lost to condensation. This is particularly important when cooking Steaks in a pan or on a grill.
COOKING TIME AND COOKING TEMPERATURE
Cooking changes the protein structure of the meat, which gives cooked meat a different texture and flavour and makes it more digestible.
Changing the proteins during cooking to achieve a desired flavour and texture depends not only on the temperature of the cooking process, but also on the rate of temperature change experienced by the meat during the cooking process.
A slow temperature change during cooking allows the protein fibres to remain relaxed. A very rapid temperature change is a shock that will cause protein fibres to contract. Slow-cooking steaks and roasts ensures that the proteins don’t contract and become tougher during the cooking process.
Slow-cooking meat at lower temperatures also means less moisture in the meat will turn to steam and escape.
Your cooking process needs to prevent excessive moisture loss from your meat. Searing beef at high temperatures to create an outer crust is a great technique to lock in moisture, but cooking steaks and roasts at high temperatures during the remaining cooking time will cause the meat to lose too much moisture and dry out during the cooking process, which will make your meat less tender.
Fat acts as an insulator, so it should come as no surprise that lean beef cooks faster than fatty beef because the heat from the grill, oven, or frying pan is able to penetrate through the entire beef cut quicker.
Grass-fed beef is leaner than grain-fed beef and therefore, expect to shorten your cooking times by 10-25% when using grass fed meat in your recipes. Just start checking your grass fed beef roasts and steaks a little sooner than you normally would check your grain fed beef, as you don’t want to overcook them.
Grass fed beef has really delicious traditional ‘beefy’ flavour. Enjoy every mouthful!
Rustic Barbecue Tips
Rustic BBQ Steak tips – Remember, the secret is in the indirect heat!
Grass fed beef is delicious and good for you, but requires a slightly lower cooking temperature for the best results.
Whether you are cooking fillet, ribeye, rump or sirloin, be sure to allow your steak time to naturally increase to room temperature before you start the cooking process.
If you like to season the meat, add a third of a tea spoon of ground black pepper and coarse salt in equal measure, to a third of a tea spoon of Olive oil and then rub this onto the steak on both sides. If you like to use garlic you can also add a small amount of crushed garlic to the marinade.
Ensure your BBQ or grill is hot enough by simply checking if you can lower your hand to 3 inches above the cooking surface for no longer than 2-3 seconds and you can feel the heat rising.
Over the heat, sear the steaks for two minutes each side, before moving them to an area of the BBQ which does not have heat directly below. If you have a BBQ or grill with a lid over it, move the steaks off the main source of heat beneath, but close the lid. This is to allow the meat to keep cooking, but at a lower temperature for a longer period, so as not to dry out and spoil the meat. (‘Indirect cooking’)
Check the meat after 5 minutes and then check at regular intervals to make sure you have cooked it to your desired finish. Do let the meat settle for 2 or 3 minutes before serving.
Now that your meat has been reared and cooked with care, enjoy your Grass fed steak!
Have a great BBQ!
HOW I COOK MY GRASS FED BEEF
First and foremost, I always relax and enjoy a glass of my favourite beverage when I prepare Grass fed beef! I have an appreciation for the way in which the meat has been produced and I enjoy the whole process of allowing the meat to reach room temperature before I start cooking.
Take the steaks out of the fridge 30 mins to one hour prior to cooking. This will allow the meat to come to room temperature and will alleviate the large temperature variation from cold fridge to the hot grill or oven, which can result in contraction of muscle fibres.
Preheat your grill, oven or pan. This will allow the exterior to sear, sealing in the juices.
Season just prior to putting the steak on the grill, oven or pan. Salt by nature, is a curing agent and extracts moisture, the longer it is left on the raw steak; the more moisture will be extracted. Waiting until the last minute to season will result in a juicier steak. I put a light coating of Olive oil on the meat and just a sprinkle of salt and let the flavours of the beef do the rest.
Sear on high then reduce heat. Using high heat initially will sear the meat creating a light crust or carmelization locking the juices. Then reduce the heat to medium-low or low and cook as desired.
Grass-fed beef has high protein and lower fat content, the beef will usually require 20% to 30% less cooking time and will continue to cook when removed from heat. Let the meat rest for eight to 10 minutes to redistribute the juices and finish cooking.
If you wish to use a meat thermometer. This will provide a way to ensure you are cooking to get the best end result for you. Grass-fed beef also has slightly different internal temperatures for degrees of how well the meat is cooked.
GRASS-FED BEEF INTERNAL TEMPERATURES
If you wish to use a meat thermometer.
Grass-fed beef also has slightly different internal temperatures for degrees of how well the meat is cooked.
Remove from the grill, oven or pan 10 degrees before the steak reaches your desired temperature. Grass-fed beef has high protein and lower fat content, the beef will usually require 20% to 30% less cooking time and will continue to cook when removed from heat. Let the meat rest for eight to 10 minutes to redistribute the juices and finish cooking.
Always pre-heat your oven or grill.
Rub the joint of meat with good quality oil, and season with your favourite spices. I like using a blend of dried onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, a hint of cumin, pepper and salt. Use an oven proof meat thermometer. This will be the best way to ensure you are cooking to the desired temperature.
Sear roast in a 230°C oven for 15 minutes. This will help to lock in all the juices and create a beautiful caramelized crust.*
After searing, turn heat down to 135°C and cook until desired doneness is reached. Try not to overcook your roast. At 135°C it will take about an hour for a 4 lb roast to reach medium and 40 minutes for a 2.5 lb roast.
It’s always a good idea to have moisture in the pan during the cooking process. A good quality stock with some aromatics such as onions, carrots, celery root, bay leaf, garlic and peppercorns work well.
Allow your roast to rest for a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes after you pull it out of the oven. This will allow the juices to redistribute.
Follow these tips, and you will be in for a delicious, juicy, cut of beef.
Just remember, everyone’s oven and grill are different. Use your best judgement knowing where the hot spots are in your oven.
Below are some links to some Delicious Grass Fed beef recipes. We will be adding links and our own recipes as they are shared with us. Please do share your recipes and experiences on our blog!