grass fed beef?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by zeller, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. zeller

    zeller Newbie

    has anyone here smoked wiht any grass fed beef? we just sent a cow to the butcher.... cant wait to get her back... but i gotta buy a new freezer....
  2. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes, and it is much better than store bought beef that is grain fed. Yep, you should buy a new freezer too, cause once you taste the grass fed local beef (from wherever you are) you won't want to go back to grocery beef! [​IMG]
  3. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    we raise our own beef and there is no comparison. no hormones, no antibiotics in them. grass fed is the way to go.

    Next year we are getting belgian blues. If you have not heard of them, google them. Massive muscle structure.
  4. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Belgian blues have got to be the most awesome looking beef in the world, ahnds down. If we had the land, that's what we'd raise. Their offspring must be awesome combined with a charolais.
  5. reinman

    reinman Fire Starter

    While I'll agree that a lack of hormones and antibiotics is good, I'm not sure I'd go along with grass fed is better then grain fed. So much of the flavor comes from the fat, which is the result of the grain that is fed.

    If we want to compare the meat that comes from a half that is processed versus what comes out of the meat counter at the grocery store. Then we really should consider the water that is added many times and the fact the grocery store will not age a beef 7 to 10 days before cutting. These factors have a big affect on meat quality.

    So in reality I think we have two different things that can make a difference. First how the meat is processed, water added and not aged. And then we have how the beef is fed, grass alone or grass and grain.

    For me anyway, if both are processed the same, the beef that was given grain will have better flavor then the beef that is just grass fed. But then that's just the way I like it, doesn't mean it's right or wrong.
  6. emil

    emil Newbie

    There is no comparison between store bought and farm raised. Neighbor had Blues.......lots of calving problems. Had to have the vet for many births. They are quite the animal just not sure if their meat is any better than some of the others.
  7. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    From the perspective of an old farm kid who used to raise hogs and cattle, animal husbandry major, with some meat science training, I'm in agreement with Reinman.

    Prime beef is the primo stuff, and is generally going to come from young animals with the right genetics (primarily black Angus), which are given some grain during all growth stages, but are finished on a near total grain diet in a dry lot for the last month or two before slaughter. Tender comes from genetics and being young, flavor from the marbled fat in the muscle.

    Then, to properly finish them off, after slaughter, a carcass is covered with a shroud and hung and aged in a cooler for at least a week or maybe two before it's cut up and processed. Aging gives the meat a distinctive flavor and also allows time for the connective tissue to start breaking down on it's own. Aging enhances both flavor and texture.

    Some locker plants will send a truck to your farm, drop the animal in the pasture where he stands (no stress) and start the processing there. That's as good as it's going to get.

    By comparison, grocery store beef is coming from who knows what, but almost certainly from a fast growing crossbreed of some type, will have some grain, but depending on genetics, will never finish off properly. Steers with dairy blood in them will just keep growing and you play hell getting them to fatten up. You find that stuff in cheap, chain style steak houses and likely as not, they have had chemical tenderizers added so you can chew them.

    As for processing, the store bought animal probably had to ride on a truck for at least a day, hit the slaughter plant (adding stress the whole tough meat), and is parted out into boxes and shipped the same day.

    So there is a reason for one being better, but grass fed isn't the most important. In fact, in my book, that's setback if a tender, juicy, flavorful piece of meat is the goal.
  8. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    Never had the opportunity to eat beef right off the hoof. But I have had plenty of comercial beef. Grain fed is tops, no comparison in my book.
  9. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I raise my own beef too. Black Angus right now cause that's what's bringing in the money. My favorite eatin' beef is Piedmontese.

    Grass fed is good but I like to bring a steer up to the house just before butchering and add a bit of marbling to the meat. Just my preference..... When it's homegrown, it's all good. [​IMG]
  10. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    100% in agreement with that!

    Piedmontese? Well you don't see those around every turn in the road.

    Nor these......

    Based on reputation alone, if I had room to raise them and wanted some beef for the freezer, I'd give these a try. If nothing else, I'd AI an Angus cow to a Galloway bull. But you better hurry......if you started today, that's a two year wait till "Chuck" hit's the plate!
  11. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Yes I hear ya on the birthing issues. Almost all are cessarian. I would not say the meat is any better than that of lets say anguns, but the size of the cuts are unreal. Our fillets are almost 3" larger diameter than store bought. I forgot to mention that yes, we also feed grain to our as well. A mixture of corn, soybeans and oats.
  12. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    lol Sounds mighty tasty! In 2 years I bet I'd have freezer room for "Chuck". [​IMG]
    My neighbor rancher is still trying to convince me that red angus is the way to go. I think he's just trying to sell me one of his high dollar bulls. lol
  13. rattlin_ram

    rattlin_ram Fire Starter

    After eating the rangefed and grassland beef of Colorado and Oregon for several years... I won't touch anything other than midwest grown corn fed beef!

    But now all of our beef comes from a neighbor up the road that feeds out cattle... We buy a 1/2 beef a year pretty much...

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