Beef lovers know that there are tender cuts and not-so-tender cuts of beef. Cooking also plays a huge big factor in the tenderness of your meal, but there are other factors that go into tenderness too. In today’s blog, we’ll discuss some factors and what you can do to get a tender, juicy cut of meat. For recipes and cooking tips, visit our blog page.
Age: This refers to the age of the cattle, not the act of dry or wet-aging meat after slaughter. Since the beef we’re eating is just cuts of muscle, younger cattle will have more tender muscles. As the animals age, the connective tissues in their muscles get tougher, resulting in a tougher beef product. That’s why veal is considered a delicacy.
Stress: When cattle are transported before slaughter, or undergo any sort of stress, their beef will be tougher. This is one of the reasons why shopping locally is great, since our cattle are raised on our pastures at the ranch and not transported to feedlots or massive processing plants used with conventional beef.
Fat: Cows with more fat in their muscles will be perceived as more tender. Fat acts as a lubricant to our tongues by increasing saliva production. This further stimulates taste and the perception of tenderness.
Genetics and Diet: Different breeds of cows have varied muscle structure, which helps determine the tenderness of the beef. Types of cattle will also react differently to feed/hay/etc, as in some will gain weight faster than others, which could impact the tenderness.
Many factors go into determining the tenderness of the beef. Grass-fed beef can deliver juicy, mouth-watering steak. Cook it slowly to perfection, and identify cuts and recipes that go well together. To purchase your own grass-fed beef from Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch, visit our website to fill out an order form.