Grass-fed Meat Cooking Tips
These tips apply to cooking all grass-fed red meats including beef, lamb, buffalo and venison.
- Thaw your meat in the refrigerator or for quick thawing place your vacuum sealed package in warm water for a few minutes. You can run larger roasts (still packaged) under warm water to accelerate thawing. Stay away from the microwave thawing. It produces uneven results and can toughen or dry the meat.
- Bring your grass fed meat to room temperature before cooking. Do not cook it cold straight from a refrigerator.
- Don’t over-trim your grass-fed meats. Leave plenty of fat on your roasts and steaks to help insulate the meat.
- Always pre-heat your oven, pan or grill before cooking grass fed beef.
- Grass-fed meats typcally have higher protein and lower fat levels than commercial corn-fed meat. Even if the meat is well-marbled, pasture-fed animal fat is more fragile and renders more quickly, so the meat will usually require 20%-30% less cooking time. For example, if you usually grill a beef tri tip for about 50 minutes, look for a grass-fed tri tip to be done around 35 or 40 minutes. Since grass-fed meat cooks so quickly, thinner cuts like steaks can go from perfectly cooked to overcooked in less than a minute.
- Experiment with reducing the temperature of your recipes by 25 degrees. Try 300 degrees for oven roasting or at the lowest heat setting in a crock pot. The cooking time will likely still be shorter than with grain-fed beef, even at the lower temperature. Watch your meat thermometer and don’t overcook your meat. Use moisture from sauces to add to the tenderness when cooking roasts.
- The meat will continue to cook when removed from heat, so remove it from your heat source 10 degrees cooler than your desired temperature.
- Be careful not to overcook your pasture-fed meat, it’s suited for rare to medium rare cooking. If you like well done meats, then cook at very low temperatures in a sauce to add moisture.
- Let the meat sit covered and in a warm place for at least 10 minutes (30 minutes for large roasts) after cooking to let the juices redistribute.
- Save your leftovers: roasted grass fed beef slices make great healthy luncheon meats with no additives or preservatives.