New to cooking with grassfed and grass-finished meats?
Here’s the short & sweet guide to grilling some of the best tasting steaks of your life . . .
Bauman’s grassfed beef is vacuum sealed so thawing your steaks is easy and mess-free.
The best technique is to remove your steaks from the freezer the night before you plan to serve them. Place the vacuum sealed packages on a plate and pop them in the refrigerator.
Don’t fret if you forget, though! There is a quick thaw strategy we endorse if that happens . . .
Submerse the entire package in cool water inside a bowl or in the sink. This method takes 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the cut.
Why it Matters: Preserving moisture is key to keeping your beef tender.
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.
GRASSFED & FINISHED FILET
This step couldn’t be more simple. An hour or two before you want to grill them, remove your steaks from the vacuum sealed packaging and pat them dry with a paper towel. Once dry, rub a seasoning mixture onto both sides of the steaks and allow them to come to room temperature.
The seasoning rub we recommend is: 1 T coarse salt, 1 t ground black pepper, and 1 minced garlic clove. (This is for one steak, increase the quantities as needed.) Just combine the ingredients a small bowl and rub away.
We don’t recommend marinading most steaks with the exceptions being Skirt, Flank, Flat Iron, and Chuck Eyes.
Why it Matters: The surface of a thawed steak is going to be moist. To sear properly, it must be dry before you put it on the grill. If the steak is not blotted dry before you apply salt and pepper, it will not sear – it will steam. And we can’t have that, can we?
GRASSFED & FINISHED RIBEYE
Hot, HOT, HOT! But just for a few minutes.
The key is to set-up your grill with direct and indirect sides. With a gas grill, turn on all the burners and let the grill really heat up. Once you’re ready to add the steaks, turn off all but one burner. With a charcoal grill, bank all the coals to one side of the grill. Use the hand test: the grate will be hot enough when you can hold your palm 3-4 inches above the metal for no more than three seconds.
Now it’s time to add your grassfed beef! Sear the steaks for 2-3 minutes on each side directly over the flame, with the lid down.
Why it Matters: Shannon Hayes, a grassfed livestock farmer, author, and cafe owner says, “Often in our hunger for a great steak, we fail to wait for our grills and skillets to heat up properly. If the grill or skillet is not hot enough, the meat will start to roast, but it will not achieve that glorious sear that adds flavor.” Go check out her excellent post “Top 5 Grassfed Steak Misteaks“.
GRASSFED & FINISHED KC STRIP
Once you’ve seared both side of the steak, “move it off the flames and put it on the side of the grill that is not lit, set the cover in place, and allow it to cook for about 5-7 minutes per pound,” says Shannon. “High heat is critical only when we begin cooking steaks to achieve the sear. A steak should be exposed to high direct heat for no more than 2-3 minutes per side. After that, in order to guarantee tender and juicy meat, it should be removed from the flames and allowed to finish in indirect or low heat.”
Why it Matters: 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 at a high temperature during the remaining cooking time causes the meat to lose too much moisture. You don’t want your steaks to dry out during the cooking process; it makes your meat tough.
Taking the Temperature
USDA temperature guidelines suggest that beef should be cooked to a minimum temperature of 145 degrees. Yuck. When you are using reliably-sourced grassfed meat, you don’t run the same risks of consuming food borne pathogens. Thus, cook the steak to an internal temperature of 120 degrees for rare, 140 degrees for well-done.
Why it Matters: Since fat acts as an insulator, it should come as no surprise that lean beef cooks faster than fatty beef because the heat from the grill is able to penetrate through the entire beef cut more quickly, says Julius Ruechel, pasture-based farming educator and author. Because grassfed beef is leaner than grain-fed beef, expect to shorten your cooking times by 10-25%. Just start checking your grassfed a little sooner than you normally would to avoid overcook them.
Want more tips, recipes, and information on grassfed and finished meats?
Come by our booth at the downtown Overland Park or Olathe Blackbob Park farmers market and ask us more about it! We’ll be glad to share our experiences and what things look like to us from our farmer’s worldview.
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