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Grass Fed Beef and Sous Vide

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Last night was blind test night . . . grass fed vs. grain fed ribeye steaks (1 1/2" thickness).  The conclusion: grass fed tastes more flavorful (deeper flavor) than grain fed but it was tougher.  The grass fed is probably tougher due to less intramuscular fat.  Both were cooked using a sous vide water bath at 142 degrees (F) for about 6 hours and then seared in a hot cast iron pan with clarified butter and herbs.  With the grass fed being tougher, I might try cooking the grass fed an additional 3 hours in the sous vide water bath.

 

My question: Has anyone had difficulty using the sous vide cooking method with grass fed beef?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 7

Opposite direction, grass fed stays tender when cooker for a shorter amount of time.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks Mary!  I'll experiment with shorter cook times for sure.

post #4 of 7

Cook it at a lower temp. I cook mine at 126 to 128 degrees.....

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by joebrad View Post

 cooked using a sous vide water bath at 142 degrees (F) for about 6 hours 

 

 

 

Uh, I think I found the problem. 

 

You are setting that for about a mid well doneness for that steak, with potential for hitting well done. With sous vide I wouldn't go much higher than 133F, I think 130 is pretty ideal personally. 

 

6 hours is WAY too long. I'd imagine you'd start to see degradation at that point, all the texture is probably all screwed up. Depending on the thickness of the cut, you need an hour...maybe 2, max. 

 

Both grass fed and grain fed beef are excellent done sous vide. The type of feed will have little or no impact on the success of the sous vide application. Also, the amount of intramuscular fat has little to no impact on toughness...it has to do with how flavorful and "juicy" a cut of meat is, but not the tenderness. I mean, if that were the case then the filet mignon would be the toughest cut of meat, ya catch my drift?

 

Grass fed is generally "tougher" because it takes longer until market weight. The animal spends more time not only alive, but more time walking, running, eating, etc. It takes about a year to raise a cattle to slaughter on a grain fed diet, while a grass fed cow takes anywhere from 18 mos to 2 years. This means the animal is slightly tougher. However, it is by no means tough and I actually personally prefer the taste of grass fed. 

post #6 of 7
Yes, reduce temp and time. For temperature, set it at the final target temperature. 120 is very rare, etc. For texture, decide how long the cut ought to be cooked on a grill and multiply. So a very tough cut can sous vide for a day or two, a tender cut maybe an hour. Long processing breaks down texture, ultimately toward pabulum. A great steak should be cooked until just done; a really coarse, tough end needs a lot of work.


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post #7 of 7

Even tough grass fed beef cooks faster than grain fed. An example is a chuck roast. My roasts are around 3-4 pounds and grain fed I used to cook for 4 hours at 275 degree oven. Grass fed I can cook to falling apart tender in 3 hours or less!

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