1

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The taste of grass-fed meat?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 14, 2011 at 1:23 PM

How come grass-fed meat tastes really different? Or is it just because I have to eat frozen grass-fed meat because it's really hard to find in my country? I don't hate the taste, but I'd rather have a french hamburger instead (too bad I'm back in Belgium :) ).

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on September 23, 2011
at 11:56 AM

I don't have a reference, but I live in a cow-town and can say without a doubt that grass finished and grain finished beef has the same amount of fat - assuming you are talking about the same breed of cattle.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on September 23, 2011
at 11:54 AM

Also, the way it is aged makes a big difference - it's art and science. Unfortunately, most people are buying beef from a factory butcher/meat locker and don't ever get a chance to taste beef from an artisan that cares about quality over volume.

91fe5b7e10068df9f147ee84320e38f7

(614)

on September 22, 2011
at 09:39 PM

Great piece - totally makes sense. My man and I why were wondering why there was such a difference in taste between the two different sources of grass-fed (and finished) beef we get. The ranches are only 100 miles or so apart, but very different places.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 03, 2011
at 08:07 AM

I tried grass-fed ground meat, and it is indeed ... AWESOME!!! I was speechless when trying it. Unfortunately I only have quite lean steak in the freezer now, but I'm making my own ground beef. Now I understand why people like fattier cuts...

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on August 15, 2011
at 05:42 PM

Me either. It all tastes pretty good to me! I can't tell the difference, however.

Bdede2dbc411f2533a7e6f13674ade51

(804)

on August 14, 2011
at 05:11 PM

Perhaps you can pop over the border to Germany and visit a Neuland Butcher. Here's a page for finding where they are located: http://www.neuland-fleisch.de/verbraucher/einkaufen.html The nearest one to me is an hour away, but it's worth it. Their meat is very, very good!

Bdede2dbc411f2533a7e6f13674ade51

(804)

on August 14, 2011
at 03:47 PM

The taste of grass-fed meat - is AWESOME. The 1/2 cow we bought here in Germany is some of the best meat I've ever had. The fat on the meat is incredibly tasty and just melts in your mouth. A few weeks ago I was back in Oregon and did some camping with my dad. He picked up some grass-fed steaks, something he had never tried before, and said it was the best beef he had ever eaten. I don't know the exact reasons for the great taste, all I know is that I love it!

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 14, 2011
at 03:32 PM

Only found one bison butcher, and his meat is almost 3x more expensive than regular beef meat :(.

Ede6029838b9d17195c84bab64a5d88d

(181)

on August 14, 2011
at 03:00 PM

same here, can't tell the difference.

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8 Answers

3
37f4b3c51afbd92d259afaa171270874

on August 14, 2011
at 03:26 PM

The taste of beef includes a number of factors of which feed is only one. You can get tasty grain-finished beef (which is more accurate since all beef is grass fed for most of its life) and you can get bland tasting grain finished beef. Conversely you can get great tasting grass finished beef and poor tasting grass finished beef. Neither way of finishing automatically guarantees the taste of the beef.

I wrote an article on the subject you might find helpful.

What Makes Beef Tasty? Its Provenance, Not Grass Or Grain

91fe5b7e10068df9f147ee84320e38f7

(614)

on September 22, 2011
at 09:39 PM

Great piece - totally makes sense. My man and I why were wondering why there was such a difference in taste between the two different sources of grass-fed (and finished) beef we get. The ranches are only 100 miles or so apart, but very different places.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on September 23, 2011
at 11:54 AM

Also, the way it is aged makes a big difference - it's art and science. Unfortunately, most people are buying beef from a factory butcher/meat locker and don't ever get a chance to taste beef from an artisan that cares about quality over volume.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 14, 2011
at 02:58 PM

okay, call me crazy, but i cannot taste a difference between grass-fed organic and conventional beef. nope.

i know one's healthier though! so that's the one i choose.

however, i've been sticking to lamb and bison lately as it's generally grass-fed anyway, and seems to be a lot cheaper than grass-fed organic beef.

Ede6029838b9d17195c84bab64a5d88d

(181)

on August 14, 2011
at 03:00 PM

same here, can't tell the difference.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 14, 2011
at 03:32 PM

Only found one bison butcher, and his meat is almost 3x more expensive than regular beef meat :(.

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on August 15, 2011
at 05:42 PM

Me either. It all tastes pretty good to me! I can't tell the difference, however.

2
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on August 14, 2011
at 02:00 PM

What you are tasting is some of the compounds from the grass that the cow ate. It merely reflects the diet of the cow (bland grains or sharper tasting grass) and is a sign that your cow was actually grassfed. The taste even makes the regular corn fed kind taste bland to me now.

1
361e96d70d6d3b91d63f6ad975e60ab6

(840)

on September 22, 2011
at 10:05 PM

It tastes different cause it lives in a different enviroment => food available to the cow will be very different. Grain vs. Grass is very different, and I'm sure you would find variance in taste as even all grasses are not the same!

1
07154e6d8e42065f230d06249700fe5b

(2057)

on September 22, 2011
at 09:35 PM

It tastes cheesy to me :P

1
8515be19faab037d37a788633e32b9f1

(290)

on September 22, 2011
at 09:31 PM

Actually I am wondering why the fat when cooked taste horrible to me. The ground beef I bought locally is good but I can't get past the fat smell when cooking it and no matter what I season it with I still taste it. I was not able to finish my dinner tonight. Is this a normal thing? I bought about 20 pounds of it after trying some steak and I really liked it. But this past week the brisket and ground beef made it's way into my trash.

1
Fe6e37f8d4c49de1ecbc926c8900cd54

on August 14, 2011
at 03:22 PM

I don't have a reference for this, but don't grass-fed cows run leaner than their corn-fed counterparts? I agree that there's a definite taste difference, and I've always attributed this to the lower fat content, but I'm not sure. Grass-fed steaks, on the other hand, taste waaay better than corn-fed.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on September 23, 2011
at 11:56 AM

I don't have a reference, but I live in a cow-town and can say without a doubt that grass finished and grain finished beef has the same amount of fat - assuming you are talking about the same breed of cattle.

0
8c8a2c1a8116e8a6a22d5cb1c07a7e5a

on February 07, 2013
at 08:45 PM

Here's an article about the differences between grass fed and finished beef vs grain finished. It also has a lot of information on the health benefits of grass fed beef.

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