Jones Creek Beef sent me some of their grass fed ground beef to try. (Thanks guys!) All of the tips, tricks, opinions, are completely my own. 🙂
So let’s talk about grass fed beef, shall we? Specifically today we are going to talk about how to grill grass fed beef burgers, but what about grass fed beef in general? From a good for you standpoint, grass fed beef has several health benefits over conventionally raised and processed beef. It’s lower in total fat (especially saturated fat) and higher in beta carotene, vitamin E, B-vitamins (thiamin and riboflavin) and higher in Omega 3 fatty acids.*
What happens when we look at grass fed beef from a happy mouth stand point? Honestly, I was nervous. I’ve been raised on corn or grain finished beef my whole life. I’ve heard time and time again that the flavor of grass fed beef takes some getting used to. I was told that grass fed beef dries out because of the lower intramuscular fat content. And I will say, some of those rumors are true. The flavor is a little different. Overcooking grass fed beef will dry it out. But here’s what I didn’t expect……
I LOVED the flavor.
And by following the preparation guidelines on the Instructions page from Jones Creek’s site, I was able to cook my ground beef to perfection. Not dry, not chewy. Just moist, tender, beefy beef. That’s how I would describe the flavor. Beefy beef. It tastes like there is just a higher concentration of that beef flavor in each bite (it’s almost borderline bison flavor, if you’ve ever had it).
Aside from the health/flavor aspects, I love that this beef is raised free range (never confined to a feed lot) and that it is minimally processed. I talk about knowing your rancher, and I love that I was able to do just that. These guys are the real deal. I got to meet them in person, give a hug, and see the passion for their product. I can get behind people like that, for sure.
So let’s talk about burgers, shall we? I always buy ground beef that is 80/20 meat/fat ratio. Even with grass fed beef, you can purchase beef to your fat preference. Jones Creek was great and sent me an assortment of packages from 93/7-80/20 and to be honest with you, my favorite batch of burgers was from the 85/15 package. Less fat in the burgers than I am used to with conventional beef, but because the meat was so flavorful I wasn’t dependent on the fat to provide that extra flavor.
PRO TIP: I usually cook my burgers hot and fast over super high heat. One of the recommendations for grass fed beef is to thaw to room temperature and then cook low and slow to preserve as much moisture as possible. Such a difference!! This method works for more than just ground beef burgers. Any grass fed cut will benefit from a slow roast to start and a high heat sear to finish.
I like to keep my burger prep simple and here’s how I serve my burgers:
Preheat your grill to medium heat (about 350 degrees F)
Divide 1 lb of Jones Creek 90/10 Grass Fed Beef into 4 equal portions and press into even patties.
Season on both sides with garlic salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Place the patties gently on the grill grates and cook for 8-10 minutes per side (please only flip once) and take off the grill when the internal temperature reads 160 degrees with a meat thermometer.
While your burgers are grilling, assemble your toppings. I like to use a huge cutting board (or serving platter) to lay out sliced tomatoes, pickles, onions, pre-cut lettuce, and bowls of condiments.
During the last couple of minutes, top each burger with your cheese of choice and place your buttered buns on the grill to toast.
Place each cheese burger on a toasty buns and transfer to the large cutting board or serving platter with all of your burger toppings. Let your guests assemble their own burgers. Everybody is happy!
Now’s the part where I ask you guys a question… Have you ever cooked with grass fed beef? What was your experience? Any wisdom to share with the masses? I’d love to hear from you.
PS, May is #BURGERMONTH! This is not the first burger post this month that I’ve shared this month (have you seen my garlic butter burgers?!) and it won’t be the last. Stay tuned for burger happiness all month long. Especially join the #burgermonth fun on Instagram!
*Little tidbits and facts about grass fed beef were taken from http://www.csuchico.edu/grassfedbeef/