What Are the Benefits of Grass-Fed Beef over Grain-Fed Beef?
Most beef you buy in the stores (unless otherwise marketed as Grass-Fed) is Grain-Finished Beef.
"Grain finished" means that the animal (most likely commercially produced in a feedlot) has been force-fed corn or grain for the last 90 days of its life. At Hester Ranch, Grass-fed means that the animal is eating only what Mother Nature intended, while also preserving the true taste of the meat!
Grass-fed beef naturally contains omega-3 fatty acids and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid), which makes for healthier meat.
1.Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential component of nerve tissue. They modify how the body responds to stress and control numerous other metabolic processes. Most people eat too many omega-6 fats and not enough omega-3 fats.
2.CLA is a type of naturally occurring trans-fatty acid that improves brain function, causes weight loss, and reduces your risk of cancer.
Does Grass-Fed Beef Taste Different than Grain-Fed Beef?
Yes! If you have never had Grass-fed beef before, I would highly suggest trying some at your local high-end butcher shop before making a bulk order with us. We want satisfied customers! Although Grass-fed beef is our choice, it might not be everyone's.
It is a leaner meat, which means it has a stronger flavor and will cook faster. If you like your steaks burnt, Grass-fed might not be for you. If you like a pink- to red-center, Grass-fed beef should be an easy transition. When properly cooked (see Below), it will maintain its tenderness and flavor - and makes for a healthier and tastier option. You might even sleep more easily on that full belly knowing that your beef was ethically raised and never in a feedlot.
How Do You Cook Grass-Fed Beef?
Here are our cooking tips for the best Grass-feed beef:
1. Add Flavor & Moisture
Replace the missing fat in grass-fed beef with something juicy and flavorful. When you use ground beef - say, for making hamburgers or meatloaf - combine it with an ingredient that will keep things moist. Chopped onions, shredded vegetables like carrots or zucchini, sundried tomatoes, olives, mustards or grated cheese all work wonders. When it comes to steaks, consider marinating them for 4 to 6 hours before cooking to add a boost of flavor and moisture, too.
2. Take Things Down A Notch
Grass-fed beef cooks quicker than its grain-fed cousin, so lower the heat on the stove or grill (or about 50 F in the oven, if you're roasting) to better control the doneness. Otherwise, it can go from perfectly cooked to overdone in a matter of seconds.
3. Preheat, Preheat, Preheat
Be sure your cooking surface - whether it's a pan or grill - is preheated well before you start cooking. That way, you'll accomplish a tasty, even sear without overcooking the meat.
4. A Little Oil Goes A Long Way
Because there isn't much fat in grass-fed beef, be sure to grease your pan or grill with a bit of oil or cooking spray before cooking to ensure that nothing sticks.
5. No Poking!
Save your knife and fork for eating, not cooking. For the juiciest results, resist the urge to poke or turn meat with a knife or fork. Each time you do, more of its moisture will end up in the pan, not on your plate.
6. Think 70%
On average, grass-fed beef needs about 30% less time to cook than grain-fed beef, so go ahead and check for doneness a little earlier than usual.
7. Forget Well Done
Grass-fed beef can get dry, tough and toothsome when overcooked, so it's best to stick with medium-rare or medium steaks.
Our advice? Remove beef from the heat around 140 F - or a little more or less, depending on your taste - and tent it loosely with foil to let it rest. While it sits, the temperature will rise another 5 to 10 degrees. (The pros call that "carryover cooking.") To check the temperature, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak, away from any bones.
How Is My Beef Packaged And Shipped?
All of our beef is USDA inspected upon harvest and and always vacuumed sealed and flash frozen to ensure safe and healthy storage and shipping.
Your order will arrive to your door frozen (we add dry-ice to some orders depending on size and distance traveled). We ship with the intention of orders showing up on Saturdays to ensure proper receipt on your end. Delivery dates can be negotiated by contacting us in order to make special arrangements.
Can I Pick up Beef at the Ranch?
For orders of 110 lbs or more, we invite anyone who would like to pick up at the ranch and get a short 2-3 hour personal tour of the ranch. We are proud of our operation, want to show it off, and believe in having strong ties with our customers!