- 1 Grass Fed Vs Grain Fed Beef
- 1.1 What Is Beef?
- 1.2 What Is Grass Fed Beef?
- 1.3 What Is Grain Fed Beef?
- 1.4 What Are Some Similarities Between Grass-Fed And Grain-Fed Beef?
- 1.5 Features Of Grass Fed vs Grain Fed Beef:
- 1.6 Grass Fed vs Grain Fed Beef: Which Product is Right for You?
- 1.7 Factors To Consider When Buying The Perfect Grass-Fed Beef?
- 1.8 Step-by-Step Guide: How To Cook The Grass-Fed Beef?
- 1.9 Top 10 Tips for Cooking Grass-Fed Beef?
- 1.10 Factors To Consider When Buying The Perfect Grain Fed Beef?
- 1.11 Step-by-Step Guide: How To Cook The Grain Fed Beef?
- 2 FAQs
- 3 Conclusion
Grass Fed Vs Grain Fed Beef
There’s a lot of confusion about the difference between grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Some people believe that there is no difference, while others believe that grass-fed beef is healthier and tastes better.
In this blog post, we will explore the difference between grass-fed and grain-fed beef, and we will help you decide which type of beef is best for you.
What Is Beef?
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. Most beef is cut into large pieces before being prepared.
What Is Grass Fed Beef?
Grass-fed beef is produced from cattle that have been fed by foraging on grasses and other plants, as opposed to being raised on concentrated animal feeding operations.
What Is Grain Fed Beef?
Grain-fed beef is produced from cattle that are fed grain, most often corn, during their lives. They may also be fed other things like distiller’s grains, cotton seed and peanut meal.
What Are Some Similarities Between Grass-Fed And Grain-Fed Beef?
Grass-fed beef is the typical product derived from cattle that are fed grass their entire lives. Grain-fed, on the other hand, is a typical product created when cattle are fed grains for at least 85% of their lives. There are some similarities between these two types of beef products. The main similarity is that they both contain essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function well each day.
Features Of Grass Fed vs Grain Fed Beef:
Grass-fed beef is leaner than grain-finished beef, since it has less marbling. Marbling refers to the intramuscular fat deposits found in beef cattle. The reason grass-fed beef has less fat is because grass contains healthy omega 3 fatty acids, unlike grains which cause an unhealthy imbalance of omega 6 to 3. Eating too much omega 6 contributes to numerous problems including cancer, arthritis and cardiovascular disease.
The meat color
Meat from pastured cows will tend to be more intensely colored, with considerable variation in hues (ranging from deep red to cherry red). This is an indication that grass fed cows are better for you; this variation reflects differences among pasture plants in their nutrient composition. In stark contrast, meat from grain-fed cows will appear darker.
In general, the forage for grass fed cattle is low in protein and high in digestible fiber. This means that during a cow’s life most of its energy goes towards rumination rather than protein synthesis. Because of this, the meat from grass fed animals tends to be more tender and has a milder, sometimes sweeter flavour than meat from traditionally raised cattle which spend all or most of their lives on a concentrated feed ration before being sent to the butcher shop. On the other hand, grain-finished beef tastes stronger because it contains considerably higher levels of amino acids derived from the protein of the grains, which are used to synthesize muscle.
Grass fed beef is more tender than grain finished beef since pastured animals are older when slaughtered, and their muscles have done more work during life which breaks down muscle fibers leading to a “tender” meat. The best way to test this theory is to compare two similar cuts side by side – try comparing ribeye steaks from grass-fed and grain-fed cattle. A good example of the difference in texture is strip steak/New York Strip vs Ribeye Steak/Filet Mignon; both are high quality cuts but one has considerable marbling while the other does not!
Grass fed beef tends to be smaller than grain finished beef since grass fed animals mature more slowly and spend most of their lives grazing on pasture which yields less meat per acre than crops like corn or alfalfa. This is why you don’t see many 100 pound cows, but it’s also the reason that the steaks tend to be thicker. The best way to judge this is by comparing two similar cuts, such as strip steak vs New York Strip; both are great cuts with little fat marbling but the strip steak will be noticeably smaller due to its low fat content (and often leaner).
It is important to note that grass-fed beef is not necessarily organic beef. The two terms are not interchangeable; in many areas of the world, organic certification requires grain finishing and does not offer a grass-finished option. However, it is worth noting that research suggests that eating animal products which have been raised on pasture rather than feed lot grains decreases exposure to antibiotics and hormones and increases intake of healthy omega 3 fatty acids (which we mentioned above).
Research has also shown that grass-fed meat contains higher levels of antioxidants such as glutathione, superoxide dismutase and catalase because pastured livestock gets more fresh air and sunlight which stimulates the production of these disease fighting nutrients. In general, the longer an animal lives, the more antioxidants it uses up in order to neutralize free radicals.
Free-range vs Pasture-fed
The term “free range” beef is controversial because the USDA allows producers to certify their meat as “free range” even if their animals are confined indoors most of the time and only allowed outside for short periods of time. However, in general, “pastured raised” or “grass finished” cattle are much healthier than commercial feed lot cattle because they are allowed to roam freely on green pastures rather than live in cramped conditions and eat a diet of grain supplemented with antibiotics and growth hormones. Some proponents of pasture feeding argue that this method produces meat lower in fat and higher in healthy omega 3 fatty acids.
Grass finished vs Grain-finished
The term “grass finished” simply means that the cattle are fed grass only up until slaughter, while “grain finished” indicates that the animals spent some time on a concentrated feed ration before being sent to market. Although both types of beef are likely to be healthier than commercial feed lot beef due to differences in living conditions and quality of diet, it seems that grain finishing results in meat which contains much higher levels of saturated fats (which are thought to contribute to heart disease). Therefore, many health conscious individuals believe that grass feeding is preferable since it produces less unhealthy saturated fat. On the other hand, others argue that grass-fed beef contains much less healthy omega 3 fatty acids, making it necessary to supplement.
Research has not yet resolved the debate about which type of feed produces healthier beef. However, recent evidence suggests that grain feeding may actually increase levels of unhealthy inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids by reducing levels of beneficial anti-inflammatory omega 3’s. Many health experts believe that both grass fed and grain fed beef can be healthy if the animals are raised on pasture rather than in feed lots, but grain finishing results in meat with higher concentrations of unhealthy saturated fats. For this reason, some nutritionists recommend eating only lean cuts of grass finished beef and using olive oil as a “healthy fat” for cooking purposes; although they acknowledge that most pastured cattle will still be healthier than commercial feed lot cattle.
Perhaps the only area where grass-fed and grain-fed beef is comparable is in price. Although grass finished meat tends to be more expensive than grain finished, this difference is not very great; therefore, many nutritionists suggest that consumers of beef should purchase organic grass fed meats as often as possible.
The fatty acid count in beef varies depending on the type of feeding, breed of cattle and other factors. However, it is generally agreed that grass-fed beef contains more omega 3 fatty acids than grain fed because animals raised on pasture are leaner than those who live indoors with constant access to feed. Although both types of beef contain healthier omega 6 essential fatty acids (which our bodies must obtain from food sources), grass finished meat tends to be lower in inflammatory omega 6’s while grain finished beef is higher.
The calories in 100 grams of ground beef are 297 when it is made from grass fed cattle and 244 when it is made from grain finished beef, resulting in 18% fewer calories per serving when using grass finished beef rather than grain finished.
Conclusion: While the research results are mixed about which type of feed produces healthier grass-fed or grain-fed cattle, most health experts recommend eating only lean cuts of grass finished beef and incorporating olive oil into your diet as a healthy fat source since pasture feeding will likely still produce healthier animals than commercial feed lot cattle. Additionally, grass-fed beef shows a slight but significant cost premium over grain-fed.
Grass-fed beef contains higher concentrations of vitamins A, E and beta-carotene than grain finished beef. Vitamin A is essential for healthy eyesight while vitamin E plays an important role in protecting cells from oxidation. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A when it enters the body; therefore, meat which has a high concentration of this nutrient will produce more vitamin A when consumed by people.
Since grass feeding results in leaner beef with less saturated fat, many health experts believe that it provides healthier types of fat due to increased levels of omega 3 fatty acids compared to grain finished beef. Omega 3’s are thought to reduce the risk for heart disease, arthritis and even depression while promoting brain, nerve and eye health. The difference in the types of omega fatty acids is one of the main reasons that nutritionists recommend grass finished beef over grain finished.
A Better Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratio
While grass finished beef does contain higher concentrations of healthy omega 3 fatty acids than grain finished beef, it also contains higher levels of inflammatory omega 6’s which raise the risk for heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses unless balanced by sufficient amounts of anti-inflammatory omega 3’s.
Higher in Omega-3s
Grass finished beef offers a better between inflammatory omegas 6 fatty acids and anti-inflammatory omegas 3 fatty acids than grain finished beef.
Grass fed beef contains higher concentrations of monounsaturated fats which are thought to reduce the risk for cancer, heart disease and other chronic illnesses when consumed in moderation.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
Cows raised on pasture produce more CLA than those who live in feed lots; therefore, grass finishing results in leaner animals that produce healthier meat when eaten by people. When compared with grain finished beef, research has shown that grass finished meat is also lower in saturated fat while containing slightly higher concentrations of the cancer fighting nutrient conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
Grass Fed vs Grain Fed Beef: Which Product is Right for You?
While grass-finished beef is likely the healthier option, it may not necessarily be the best for you. If price is a concern, grain-finished beef is often cheaper than organic grass-fed because it requires less processing and works to produce. Alternatively, if your budget can accommodate the extra cost of buying organic meat to increase the likelihood that your dinner was pasture-fed, then organic grass-finished beef may be the better option to increase your overall health.
Factors To Consider When Buying The Perfect Grass-Fed Beef?
The criteria to look for in grass-fed beef is rather different from that of its grain fed counterpart. When shopping for the perfect steak, you should consider all of the factors below.
1)Taste: While this criterion is rather subjective, you should consider how the meat tastes to you. Grass-fed beef tends to be more gamey than grain fed, so if you find that appealing then order accordingly. However, they also tend to have less tenderness because they are active creatures which means their muscles are developed more fully. This will tend to result in a chewier product with a noticeable grain pattern as opposed to something that is nearly homogeneous like its feedlot counterpart. Furthermore, grass-fed beef has lower fat content on average compared with beef from cows fed a corn based diet.
2) Nutritional Value: Because grass-fed and grain-fed beef do not share the same fat profile, it is important to consider the nutritional value of your beef if you need more omega 3 fatty acids or CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). A general rule of thumb is that grass-fed beef has half as much saturated fat as feedlot cattle and seven times more omega-3 fatty acids.
3) Animal’s Quality of Life: You should know exactly what kind of conditions your steak came from. Large feedlots with thousands of cattle are usually unfit for life and simply contribute to animal cruelty on a massive scale. The best way to avoid this is to buy your beef from a producer with high animal welfare standards. The most famous of these is the Animal Welfare Approved label, which only approves farms that meet strict requirements for humane treatment. You can recognize this label on products by seeing what it says after “Product of” on the packaging.
4) Environmental Impact: As with any food product, you should be aware of how your choosing affects the environment around you. Grass fed cattle have a higher requirement for land use than grain fed since their diet of grass means they are producing less meat per acreage cultivated. However, many people feel that the benefits outweigh the costs because it increases the soil’s fertility and decreases erosion. On average, you’ll need to use 33% more land to produce a pound of grain fed beef compared with grass fed.
Step-by-Step Guide: How To Cook The Grass-Fed Beef?
Grass-fed beef has a distinct, robust flavor and it can be quite different than what you’ve been used to. Here’s how to cook grass-fed beef so that it tastes great and is tender.
- It can take longer to cook grass-fed beef because it is leaner and there is less fat to keep the meat moist while cooking. Check for doneness early and often with a thermometer (stick it in the thickest part of the meat). Better yet, learn how long it takes your grill or oven at home to get to specific temperatures; then use that knowledge every time you cook. Here are some guidelines: rare 120 degrees F (49 degrees C), medium rare 125 degrees F (51 degrees C), medium 140 degrees F (60 degrees C).
- Instead of grilling or pan frying, try cooking grass-fed beef in a low oven and slow roasting it. It takes longer but the flavor is fabulous and the meat will be more tender than usual.
- If you must cook it quickly, cook grass-fed beef on high heat for no more than 1 1/2 minutes per side; then let it rest while you grill other things (like vegetables) that can sit while they are cooking. Since many dishes require searing only one side of the steak, use tongs to hold back any parts of the steak that look like they might overcook before finishing the first side; then drop that part into the pan to cook once you have turned the meat.
- Add salt only in the last few minutes of cooking so that it doesn’t draw moisture out of the meat. Use coarse sea salt if you can get it, but any good kosher or flaky type salt will do nicely.
- Serve grass-fed beef with grilled or fresh vegetables and potatoes or rice. It is very flavorful on its own so there are no need for heavy sauces; a little olive oil and lemon juice can be nice though because they add some bright flavors without overwhelming things (drizzle the oil over sliced tomatoes and give them a sprinkle of sea salt).
Top 10 Tips for Cooking Grass-Fed Beef?
Grass-fed beef is often much healthier than commercially grain fed beef. However, it does tend to be leaner which means that it can dry out more during cooking. Fortunately there are ways to avoid overcooking grass-fed beef and minimise the shrinkage.
Here are the Top 10 Tips for Cooking Grass-Fed Beef:
1) Cook at a lower temperature
Meat naturally contracts as the protein denatures and squeezes out moisture as it cooks. For tender results minimising this natural tendency is important so heat should be kept as low as possible throughout the cooking process. The meat should not sizzle or smoke even if fat is present in the pan – you want gentle controlled cooking rather than searing or grilling to keep juices in the meat. This is particularly important when cooking grass-fed beef because it has even less fat than regular beef (and the remaining fat is therefore more important).
2) Use marinades
Marinadeing grass-fed beef before cooking will ensure that it remains moist during cooking. Larger cuts of meat for barbequing or oven roasting can be marinated overnight; for steaks and smaller joints a few hours should be fine. The acid in the marinade breaks down the connective tissue in the meat which helps retain moisture, but also ensures that the meat does not become tough during cooking. Healthy acids like lemon juice, red wine vinegar or yoghurt are ideal; avoid harsh acidic ingredients like tomato, balsamic or wine vinegar.
3) Cook on the bone
For smaller cuts of meat like steaks, cooks will often recommend cooking them on the bone. This is because there is less weight being applied to the surface of the meat so it stays juicier during cooking. You can just cut small slits into your steak to allow heat access to the marrow in beef bones. If you are buying shoulder, ribs or leg joints then always opt for bone-in versions where possible because this ensures that moist steamy heat surrounds all surfaces of the joint throughout cooking which helps retain moisture and gives a more flavoursome result.
4) Practice makes perfect
Grass-fed beef leaner than regular beef so it can be quite challenging to cook. Because of this it is important to get used to how it behaves in the kitchen for your cooking methods. If you are new to grass-fed beef then start with one small joint like a sirloin steak and work up from there.
5) Do not overwork ground meat
Overworking (or worse, squeezing) ground beef will break down its structure and expel fat and juices that would ordinarily stay there. This makes the meat tough because it has lost the connective tissue which holds it together, but also creates an uneven texture which can make cooking awkward – e.g., when you try to sear a burger on the outside but end up with a dry center due to all that moisture having been pushed out. For gently cooked ground beef that stays juicy and is a uniform color all the way through then just mix with a minimal amount of seasoning and form with gentle hand pressure – it does not need to be tightly packed.
6) Don’t slice too early
Residual heat from meat will continue to cook it after being removed from heat so if you have been cooking grass-fed beef for a while then it’s best to let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing into it. This will ensure that your steak, joint or burger isn’t overcooked as its texture continues to change during this time, but also ensures that the juices stay inside where they belong rather than on your plate or cutting board.
7) Use healthy cooking fats
Grass-fed beef has a lot less fat than regular beef so for cooking purposes you need to use healthy oils like extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Butter and ghee (clarified butter) also work well but in smaller quantities because they can be quite strong. Ghee in particular is high in cholesterol and saturated fat so usually used in small amounts to add flavour rather than as the main ingredient.
8) Keep it simple
Many people like to add their own unique blend of spices, herbs and flavours when cooking grass-fed beef, but this should always be added towards the end of the cooking process or alternatively grilled or barbequed on its own so that this mixture does not burn and ruin the flavours of the meat.
A popular choice for seasoning is a dry mix of salt and pepper but if you want to create your own simple mixture then try this: 1 tablespoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder. Try adding some finely chopped rosemary or thyme, smoked paprika or cayenne pepper for variety too.
9) Know your cooking times
Grass-fed beef is leaner than regular beef so it has less fat and therefore less collagen which means it breaks down at a lower temperature than regular beef does, meaning that it can be more easily overcooked or burnt on the outside before cooking properly through. Grass- will cook quickly because there is less collagen so always take care when cooking it. The best way to test whether your grass-fed beef is cooked through is with a meat thermometer which should read around 60c (140f) for medium rare, but if you don’t have one then press the center of the steak or burger with your finger – if it feels soft then it’s rare, if it ‘gives’ but does not feel spongy then it’s medium and if it’s firm all the way through then chances are its overcooked.
10) Let your food rest
Similar to point 7 above, this is about keeping all those tasty liquids inside the meat rather than on your cutting board. For optimal results allowaks, burgers and joints to rest for 10 minutes before eating so that the juices are evenly distributed throughout the meat, rather than just sitting inside.
Factors To Consider When Buying The Perfect Grain Fed Beef?
Beef has always been a popular choice of meat among meat-eaters. But, not everyone knows how to cook beef, nor do they know what factors are important when buying grain-fed beef. Grain-fed beef is generally more expensive than other types of beef, but it’s worth the extra money because it contains higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). Keep reading to learn about the various factors that are important to consider when buying grain fed beef.
- Animal Feeding Regimen
When it comes to beef quality, being grain-fed makes a huge difference. Grass-fed beef is leaner than grain-fed beef because the Omega-3 fatty acid content in grass is about half as much as that in corn or soybeans. Grain-fed also has better marbling and more tender meat, which leads to greater palatability. When an animal eats too much starch, its muscle cells absorb glucose from the bloodstream, triggering insulin release from the pancreas. This causes deposition of intramuscular fat (marbling) or subcutaneous fat (fat around the kidneys), giving a more satisfying flavor after cooking and improving texture.
- Muscle Fibers
Grains have three main components:
- Starch, which is the energy source for the animal.
- Fiber, which is mainly cellulose and lignin. These are indigestible to the animal but provide structure to plant cells.
- Protein, which makes up all parts of plants not related to cellulose or lignin. They are made out of 20 amino acids, 9 of them being essential because they can’t be synthesized by animals themselves.
Cattle that ate only grass have mostly fast-twitch muscle fibers (type I), whereas cattle fed on grain have both slow-twitch muscle fiber types (I & II). Slow-twitch muscle fibers are associated with endurance because they require long-term energy. We all know that slow-twitch fibers are more desired for maintaining a lean figure. Fast-twitch muscle fibers (type II) are also associated with strength, but only short term bursts of power.
- Meat Yields
The total amount of meat yielded by one animal depends on both the size and breed of cattle, as well as how it was fed throughout its life. If an animal is naturally smaller in frame then it will not produce as much meat compared to larger cattle breeds even if they are grain-fed for their entire lives. On average, beef cows weigh 1,300 pounds at slaughter weight. They’re typically fattened up to anywhere between 1,800 pounds to 2,000 pounds. Grain-fed beef usually yields 57% to 58% of hot carcass weight because of the absence of subcutaneous or intramuscular fat. This figure can vary depending on how fattened up an animal was before slaughtering and what type of cattle it is. The average yield for grass fed beef is 55%.
- Fat Yield
Grains contain abundant starch, fiber, and protein components that make up about 24% to 60% of their composition (average 42%), whereas grass has only 4% to 5%. Thus, for every 100 pounds of gain that grain-fed cows experience during feeding periods where they’re deprived from eating grass (weaning to harvest), there will be more marbling and intramuscular fat because there are more nutrients in grains to deposit.
- Marbling Score
The American Society of Animal Science has set a standard for grading beef, this is known as the marbling score or degree . It takes into account two levels of fat:
- Intramuscular (marbling), which is located within muscle fibers and accounts for 50% of total fat content.
- Subcutaneous (fat over the ribs), which makes up about 50% of total fat content.
In general, marbling makes grilled meat juicy and satisfying to eat, be it from grass-fed or grain-fed cows. But, since cattle generally gain weight faster by eating grains than by eating grass, grain-fed beef has a greater marbling score. However, in some cases where cattle are slaughtered before they’re fattened up, then there would be no marbling at all.
Whether you grill your steak from grain-fed or grass-fed cows depends on your personal preference because both have their own unique flavors and textures when cooked. When grilling grass fed beef, it must be seared over high heat quickly to prevent the meat from losing moisture and toughening up. On the other hand, most people will go for grain-fed beef because of its tenderness and juiciness when cooked regardless of whether it’s rare or well done . As long as you know how to grill the perfect steak , then it really boils down to which you prefer more.
Step-by-Step Guide: How To Cook The Grain Fed Beef?
What you will need:
-Cup of your choice (I am using the measuring cup)
-A pinch of salt
-Approximately how many cups of beef do you want to cook? (For this portion I am using 1 cup)
-Your favorite seasoning for beef (For this portion I am using Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick’s. If you don’t have any preference, use salt and pepper.)
Step 1: Put your cup on a flat surface such as a table or countertop. Then add your beef (in my case, one cup) and measure it with the measuring cup. Make sure the scale is set to zero before adding each ingredient.
Step 2: After adding your beef, add a pinch of salt to season the beef. If you like your beef extra salty, add more than a pinch.
Step 3: After adding the salt, add your favorite seasoning for beef on top of the seasoned beef. Make sure you shake/tap off any excess seasoning and use as much or as little as you want. As my high school chemistry teacher always says “You can never have too much.”
Step 4: Mix all ingredients together until fully blended and enjoy!
Number of servings: four (4) large steaks
Time it takes to cook: approximately 20 minutes
-Place grill pan over medium heat
-Put meat on hot grill pan and cook each side for 6 minutes
-After cooking each side on medium heat, turn to low heat and let it cook on each side for an additional 4 minutes
-Remove from pan immediately after turning the final time on low heat so that the inside is pink but not bloody
Note: Cooking on a grill will take less time if you are using thinner steak cuts. To ensure even cooking, flip your steak every 3 minutes while it cooks. Make sure not to overcook them though, as this will cause them to become tough.
Is Grass-Fed Beef Better Than Grain-Fed Beef?
No. Both grass-fed and grain-fed beef can be of excellent quality. If you have the opportunity to compare both kinds of meats, side by side, there are some notable differences in taste and texture. However, these are due to various factors related to type of cattle breed/animal, what they were fed as calves (i.e., milk formula), what they ate for their entire lives (including pasture availability).
However, if you are looking at fat color or marbling on two different cuts from the same animal/breed then grass-fed will likely have a deeper red color which might make it slightly richer in some fatty acids that some people think is more beneficial than those found in grain-fed beef.
Is It Grass-Fed More Humane?
There are no studies that suggest that grass-fed is more humane than grain-fed. Cattle, like any other ruminant animal, need to eat fibrous foods in order to survive. If cattle were meant to eat only grass all their lives they would be called something else besides cattle (ruminate means to chew cud which is made up of partially digested plant matter). Feeding cows the byproducts of human consumption including grains and vegetables does not take away from how humanely they are treated.
Is Grass-Fed Really Healthier?
You may see advertisements for grass-fed beef which suggest that it is healthier to eat than grain-fed beef, but there is no real evidence of this. We do know that both grass and grain fed cows benefit from the same humane treatment and oversight regardless of their feeding regimen.
So, if you enjoy the taste of grass-fed beef then by all means buy it or put it on your menu specifications. You will not be alone as many people feel that grass feeding yields better tasting meat with more depth in flavor than conventional feed lot finished meats. However, don’t think you are doing yourself any favors by choosing grass over conventional just because there may be slight differences in fatty acid profiles or anything for that matter.
Is Grass-Fed Beef Tougher Than Grain-Fed?
No. It depends on the cut of meat and the way it is cooked. The most tender cuts come from the muscles that don’t get much work (i.e., they are attached to immobile bones, like loin-eye steak). Cuts with less marbling will be a bit tougher as well because marbling melts during cooking which lubricates muscle fibers so they stay nice and moist while being cooked. These factors have more impact on a steak’s tenderness than what an animal was fed throughout its life because whether you feed them grass or grain their development does not change their anatomy very much.
Grains or grass? When choosing between one or the other, look at your health and fitness goals first. Are you trying to cut fat and gain lean muscle mass? Then you should be focusing on beef that has high amounts of marbling for taste, tenderness, and juiciness when cooked. On the other hand, if you want less calories in your diet but doesn’t mind tough meat with barely any marbling, then go for grain-fed cattle…you’ll save money this way as well!