Tips for Grilling Organic Beef

By: Gen Wright

There isn't anything wrong with cooking a steak or hamburger inside the house, using your stove. But let's face it: summertime is grilling time, and there's nothing quite like the taste of juicy organic beef that's been grilled to perfection in the great outdoors.

We sometimes get asked whether there's a special technique for grilling organic grass-fed beef, as opposed to conventional beef. The answer is no. But you should be ready for a steak that looks and tastes different than what you may be used to.

High-quality grain-fed steaks have ample white marbling you may associate with a classic steakhouse meal. Grass-fed beef is much less marbled. It's also lower in saturated fat and higher in healthy omega-3 fatty acids (which are also found in fish such as tuna and salmon). While marbling has conventionally been the sign of a superior steak, we think you will be amazed by how awesome grass-fed steaks taste. Many people find grass-fed beef especially full of flavor, and they love the health benefits. Others incline organic beef that has been grain-finished.

Whether you opt for grass-fed or not, following these simple guidelines for grilling will assist in helping you avoid turning a good steak or burger into a flavorless meal…every backyard cook's worst nightmare!

1)CHOOSE THE BEST BEEF! We can't stress this enough. Meat is our business, and we can tell you that a lesser quality product makes an inferior meal. And grilled steak generally shows no mercy, since you can't "bury" the taste under a bunch of other ingredients. Organic beef sustainably raised on family farms is not only a delicious choice, but also an environmentally friendly one.

2)Heat, clean and oil your grill. The grill needs to be HOT. If you're using charcoal, that means you shouldn't be able to hold your hand over it for more than 2 to 3 seconds. On a gas grill, use medium high heat. Ideally, use a stiff wire brush to scrub away any leftovers from your last grilling adventure when the grill is hot, and oil the rack using tongs and a folded paper towel. For more about the finer points of grilling, direct heat, indirect heat, charcoal versus gas, etcetera, visit the Barbecue Bible website.

3)Bring your meat to room temperature. Let sit on your kitchen counter for about 20 minutes. This will help your hamburgers or steak cook more evenly and faster.

4)Season. Salt and pepper is all you really need for great hamburgers and steaks. But of course there are endless alternatives if you want to get creative: rosemary or thyme, hot peppers, whatever you like!

5)Cook. Turn the meat once during cooking. Adjust time for size of steak or burger and desired wellness. The most foolproof way to test a steak for doneness is to use an instant read thermometer. Meat's internal temperature for rare beef is about 120 degrees; medium-rare is between 125 and 130 degrees; and medium is 135 to 140 degrees. With practice, you'll determine how to tell doneness visually and through touch (with a "poke test").

6)Let the meat rest. The meat will continue to cook for a few minutes after you remove it from the grill, and will be juicy and ready to eat after about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

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Donna Jefferson has been an advocate living healthy. Organic Meat is her specialty and would like to share facts with the public.

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