If you’re going to spend extra to get the very best grass-fed, grass-finished steaks, then you want to prepare them properly. Many consider a well-prepared grass-fed steak to be the pinnacle of summer BBQ. Grilling isn’t overly complicated but a little practice can go a long way, whether you’re using a propane grill, charcoal, wood chips, or smoker. Learn how your grill distributes heat, where the hot spots are and how to sear the meats to lock in juices and flavor. Grilling grass-fed steak is a little different than cooking grain-fed.
Why are Grass-fed Meats Different?
The natural diet for cows is grass. That’s what their digestive system is designed to process and that’s what keeps them healthy and happy. This is also the reason why the chemical composition is different and why grass-fed & finished beef contains higher concentrations of nutrients, including upwards of 5-times more Omega-3’s and twice as much cancer fighting CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). Animals raised in wide open spaces are also happier and healthier with far less stress. This all adds up to a better nutrition profile and leaner cuts.
When cooking, leaner cuts take less time on heat. It’s always better to take them off a little early than keep them on too long. You can add doneness…but you can’t take it away.
When you take the steak out of the freezer, let it thaw completely in the refrigerator. This means you have to think ahead a bit so you have time for thawing. Thaw the meat in it’s sealed package. If it’s in original packaging, it’s best to put it on a plate or in a zip lock bag just in case the original packaging has leaks. This can happen anytime food is in transit from the grocery store or when you purchase online.
If you’re in a hurry, it’s OK to thaw meat (in a sealed package) in water. Use cool water and keep the meat in a sealed package so it’s not in direct contact with the water. Keep an eye on any meat you have outside of refrigeration though. It doesn’t take that long to thaw meat in a water bath.
Cooking is one project you really need to stay engaged with. While you don’t need to stand there and watch it thaw, you also wouldn’t want to leave it out while you go on an extensive shopping trip, or a 3-day cruise.
Once thawed, remove the meat from packaging and pat dry with a paper towel. Add your favorite steak seasonings to both sides. Some people like to drizzle or brush melted butter or ghee to the meat before adding your seasonings. What could be wrong with adding butter? We’re all for it! Once seasoned, cover the meat with plastic and let it sit on a plate or pan for 20 – 30 minutes at room temperature.
Make sure you give your grill some time to heat up to proper temperature. You want it heated up to high heat or approximately 500 degrees F. Once the meat has taken the chill off and the grill is hot, it’s time to cook.
What is Searing?
There are two basic searing methods:
- Sear First – Sear all sides, then cook on lower heat.
- Reverse Sear – Cook on lower heat, then sear quickly on high heat.
Searing locks in flavor and juices and gives the outer layer a crispier finish. We recommend experimenting with the two methods to determine which you prefer. The choice is yours. The debate will rage on over which is better. Personal preferences will likely dictate which wins the day. If you reverse sear your steak, you’ll want to cook it on lower heat first, then transfer to high heat. You can do this efficiently with a gas grill by having one side on high heat and one side lower heat.
After searing both sides of your steak, some will wrap in aluminum foil to keep it from over-cooking and to distribute the heat better. This works pretty well to keep the steak moist too. Either way, you’ll want to reduce heat and finish bringing it to the appropriate doneness at lower heat. If you’re using a reverse sear, simply reverse the procedure. If you prefer the crispier outside, aluminum foil wrap might not be your thing.
Remember the main tip for cooking is — do not overcook. Overcooking makes the meat tough and most want a steak that is juicy and tender. We recommend Medium Rare (130 deg F internal temperature) for a perfectly grilled steak.
|Rare||125 deg F|
|Medium Rare||130 deg F|
|Medium||140 deg F|
|Medium Well||150 deg F|
|Well Done||160 deg F|
Make use of a timer and a meat thermometer. See the chart with recommended cooking temperatures for a variety of meats below.
You’ll want to take the meat off the grill slightly before it’s reached it’s proper doneness — approximately 10 degrees F early. Let it rest for a few minutes and it will continue to cook internally once it’s off the grill. Don’t be tempted to cut into the steak.
After the steaks have rested for a few minutes, serve and bask in the adoration of your appreciative guests.
We have a plethora of recipes and grilling grass-fed steak tips on our Discover Blog if you need more guidance, or want to try something new.