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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Grass Fed Beef ?

Your Ad Here My friend Maria and another fellow blogger (Glen) both regularly tout the greatness of grass fed beef. I’ve asked for it at a few supermarkets but I always get blank stares in return. It’s as if I’m asking the meat counter workers if they have any frilly pink skirts in my size.

Today was no different except the bloody apron wearing butcher (who was filling the cooler racks with meat) happened to be standing right in front of the grass fed beef while giving me the blank stare.

I picked up the $6.99/lb ground beef and showed him the label... "G-R-A-S-S  F-E-D". He conceded that there actually was such a thing but suggested I buy the "good old fashioned $3.69/lb corn fed beef” instead.

I one upped him and bought the frilly, foo-foo grass fed beef AND the low brow regular corn fed 80/20 ground beef.

Tomorrow, I will be doing a side by side comparison to decide for myself if the pound of grass fed ground beef is worth almost twice as much as the corn fed. Although, I suspect they feed the cows more than just corn. Probably antibiotics and growth hormones and god only knows what else???

> ; - /

There is definitely a difference in the color.

EDIT: Taste test done. I cooked each burger the same amount in our RVs convection/microwave oven. The grass fed burger cooked unevenly and sort of fell apart when I flipped it. The corn fed burger held its shape and cooked evenly.

I don't know if this was a fair comparison because the grass fed buger was 15% fat and the corn fed was 20%.

While they both have a distinctly different taste, neither (in my opinion) was better than the other. In the future I would have to pass on the grass fed stuff unless it was priced similarly to the corn fed type.

Grass fed on the right

With mushrooms, cheddar cheese and ketchup


  1. The grass fed one looks purpleish in color. I will be curious whether there is a difference. keep me posted....rene

  2. Let me know how you like it. The trick to grass fed beef is to cook it a little slower and at lower heat. For hamburger this isn't as important as steaks or roasts but it does make a difference.

    I think it's YUMMY and kinda makes the regular stuff taste bland by comparison. I guess that's why ketchup is so popular :)

  3. Hi Don, I jumped over from Glenn's blog to catch this comparison.
    I noticed the color difference too when I got my first package from US Wellness Meats. Although we didn't do a direct comparison the family thought it had a more "beefy" flavor and no aftertaste like we occasionally get with the typical supermarket stuff, but that was the 75/25 ground beef. We haven't sampled the 85/15 yet so we might discover the same thing you did. They say the amount of fat is a big contributor to flavor. However, we also noticed the fat from the grassfed ran clear in the pan and looked more like cooking oil, and it didn't leave a filmy feel in our mouths. The differences are admittedly a bit subtle, but we're going to continue the test and see how we feel after a few weeks on the grassfed goodness (as Glenn likes to put it). Thanks for sharing your test results!

  4. Pops you're very welcome. Feel free to come back and post up your taste test results if/when you do a side by side comparison.

    Another thing I noticed was the grass fed beef "stayed" much longer in the fridge than the regular beef.

    Both in ziplock bags... the regular beef went brown and "bad" in just a few days where as the grass fed beef stayed red and delicious looking for a week +. I didn't eat it after that long but it looked and smelled fine.