Grass Fed Beef and Sous Vide

Joined May 7, 2016
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?

Joined Mar 21, 2008
Opposite direction, grass fed stays tender when cooker for a shorter amount of time.
Joined Aug 15, 2003
 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 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. 
Joined Oct 9, 2008
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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Joined Mar 21, 2008
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!
Joined May 14, 2017
Here's a way I've found to get grass fed steaks medium rare and tender. First pre-salt the steak with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt on each side along with some freshly ground black pepper and put that in the refrigerator uncovered for a couple of hours. Remove from fridge, pat them dry and vacuum package them. Sous vide at 130 degree F. for four hours. Remove and give them a final sear. The steak I did this way turned out to be tender with a pleasant chew and perfectly seasoned throughout from the pre-salting.
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