How to Cook Grass Fed Ground Beef for Maximum Flavor and Nutrition

Grass fed ground beef has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its many health and environmental benefits. But cooking grass fed beef is a bit different than cooking conventional, grain-fed ground beef. This article will teach you how to cook delicious, juicy grass fed ground beef every time.

What is Grass Fed Ground Beef?

Grass fed ground beef comes from cows that have been allowed to graze on pasture and eat only grass their entire lives. This contrasts with conventional ground beef, where cows are often fed grain and corn to fatten them up quickly.

Grass fed cows produce ground beef that is lower in fat and calories and higher in omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) – a type of healthy fat. Grass fed beef also contains higher levels of antioxidants like vitamin E and beta-carotene.

Buying High-Quality Grass Fed Ground Beef

When purchasing grass fed ground beef, look for beef that is 100% grass fed and grass finished. This ensures the cows ate only grass for their entire lives. The label should also indicate that the cows were not administered antibiotics or hormones. Grass fed ground beef is available at many grocery stores, butcher shops, and direct from farms.

For maximum freshness and nutrient density, consider buying directly from a local farm. Grass fed ground beef should have a bright red color indicating it is fresh. The lean beef may turn brown faster than higher fat conventional beef when exposed to air, but this is normal.

Storing and Handling Grass Fed Ground Beef

  • Because it contains less fat, grass fed ground beef can spoil faster than conventional beef. Use within 2 days of purchase or freeze for later use.

  • Store fresh ground beef on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator at 40°F or below.

  • For maximum shelf life, store frozen grass fed beef at 0°F or below for up to 4 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, never at room temperature.

  • Once thawed, use within 1-2 days. Do not refreeze raw grass fed beef.

  • When handling raw grass fed beef, be sure to wash hands, utensils, and surfaces that have touched raw meat to avoid cross contamination.

Tips for Cooking Grass Fed Ground Beef

Follow these tips to cook flavorful, tender grass fed ground beef:

  • Bring to room temperature. Take frozen or refrigerated beef out 30-60 minutes before cooking. Cooking cold beef can lead to a tough, dry texture.

  • Use a meat thermometer. Grass fed beef cooks faster with less fat. Use a meat thermometer to avoid overcooking. Medium doneness is 135-140°F.

  • Cook in fat. The leanness of grass fed beef means it can dry out when cooking. Add oil or butter to the pan. Basting cooked meat with fat also helps.

  • Avoid high heat. High heat can make lean grass fed beef tough. Cook over medium heat instead for tender results.

  • Let it rest. Allowing the cooked beef to rest 5-10 minutes allows juices to redistribute for maximum juiciness.

  • Add moisture. Pair grass fed beef with sauces, glazes or moist ingredients like caramelized onions to prevent dryness.

Best Cooking Methods for Grass Fed Ground Beef

You can cook grass fed ground beef using most cooking methods. Here are some of the best:

Pan-Fried Burgers

Pan-frying makes juicy burgers with a nice crust. Use a cast iron or nonstick skillet preheated to medium. Form the beef into patties slightly wider than the bun. Cook 4-6 minutes per side. Baste with butter or oil to prevent dryness.


For tender, flavorful meatballs, mix grass fed ground beef with breadcrumbs, egg, and seasoning. Cook in an oven at 375°F or pan-fry in oil over medium heat until browned. For extra succulence, simmer cooked meatballs in tomato sauce.


A classic comfort food, meatloaf made with grass fed beef is an excellent healthy dinner option. Mix beef with eggs, breadcrumbs, onions, and seasoning and pack into a loaf pan. Cook at 350°F for 1 hour. Brush melted butter or ketchup over the top during the last 15 minutes for extra moisture and flavor.


Browning grass fed beef in oil then simmering it in a seasoned tomato-based liquid makes a hearty, healthy chili. Cook beans, onions, peppers, spices, and tomatoes with the beef. Top with avocado, cheese, or sour cream.

Taco Filling

Spice up grass fed ground beef with taco seasoning to make a quick, protein-packed taco filling. Cook with onions and tomatoes for extra flavor. Wrap in soft tortillas or serve taco salad style over greens.

Pasta Sauce

For a savory, homemade pasta sauce, cook crumbled or chopped grass fed beef with onions, garlic, tomatoes, herbs and seasonings. Simmer until thickened. Toss with pasta and parmesan cheese for a satisfying meal.


Ground beef casseroles like lasagna and shepherd’s pie are easy to make healthy with grass fed beef. Cook onions and beef together, then layer into a casserole dish alternately with sauce, vegetables, and cheese. Bake until hot and bubbly.

Recipe Ideas for Grass Fed Ground Beef

The nutty, robust flavor of grass fed beef shines through in these delicious recipes:

  • Juicy grass fed cheeseburgers
  • Zucchini and beef taco skillet
  • Grass fed beef and broccoli stir fry
  • Shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash
  • Italian meatball and zucchini noodle bowls
  • Lettuce wrap tacos with avocado
  • Thai curry and coconut milk meatballs
  • Beef and vegetable soup
  • Eggplant parmigiana casserole

With its impressive nutrition profile and bold, beefy flavor, grass fed ground beef can be enjoyed in endless quick, healthy, and tasty meals. Follow these cooking tips to highlight the delicious taste and texture of your grass fed beef.

The Best Way To Cook A Grass Fed Beef Burger – Beef Hacks with Michelin-starred Chef Kelly McCown


Does grass fed ground beef cook differently?

Grassfed beef cooks about 30 percent faster than grain fed beef. Use a thermometer to test for doneness and watch the temperature carefully. You can go from perfectly cooked to overdone in less than a minute.

How do you cook grass fed beef so it’s tender?

Use an injector or special tenderizer utensil to push the juice into the inside of the meat. This helps break down the tissues before you cook it. Or you can tenderize meat by putting it into a plastic bag and pounding it with a meat mallet. Better yet, salt the meat before you put it into the plastic bag.

How do you make grass fed beef taste better?

Garlic, cumin and cayenne help mask the flavor of grass fed beef so you can get used to the difference.

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