Grass fed brisket

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Big Glenn

Meat Mopper
Original poster
Oct 27, 2018
157
121
Knoxville, Tenn
My son buys meat from a farmer near him. Organic grass fed beef. He has had us down for ribeyes that were very very good. He has also brought us pork that was very good. Son, DIL, and grandson were in for the weekend and brought a brisket flat. beautiful dark red meat. We rubbed it down Friday night and kept in fridge until Saturday morning. Put in in the smoker sat morning and ran at 225-230 until the internal temp was about 165 in the thickest part, wrapped and put in the oven to finish at 225. Pulled it when the thicker end was 200 and thinner end was about 205. Let it rest in a cooler over 2 hours. Most disappointing thing I have ever cooked. The meat was tough and dryer than a fish turd in the desert. It had a great flavor but was almost inedible. Seemed to have almost no fat in the meat. I should have suspected something when the drip pan had almost nothing in it.
Is this common in grass fed beef or just a bad piece of meat or did I screw it up?
 
I was going to do a brisket one weekend. Neighbor had a steer he had beefed out straight out of field and wanted me to do the brisket from it. Same thing, however it was tender but dry and no real taste other than the rub
 
Hello SmokingMeat Members, First post and I look forward to sharing and learning a lot.
Had the luck of cooking a brisket this weekend. After watching Aaron Franklin's videos, I did my best to smoke on a ten year old gas grill with seasoned oak on the left burner finished unavoidably adding hickory chips. Could have soaked better. Started trimming it up at 8am but cooked late at 9:30am. Painfully tried to smoke but labored to keep the cook temp below 300°. Anytime the smoke came up, so did the temperature. I went till 4pm ~ 6 hours at 190°-200° IT. The thin end started curling up and I panicked. I let it rest for an hour. The flavor was above and beyond anything I'd ever done but it was shoe leather tough at the thin and marginal at the point. The burned ends were actually not bad at all. My sense is that I needed to go 12 hours but I did not have the right smoking equipment. I've never been able to go low enough long enough and so I'm asking for a real smoker this fathers day. Again, flavor was perfect, beautiful smoke ring, just disappointingly tough.
 
A grass fed sirloin, at least where I buy them, will have better flavor than a grain fed T-Bone or rib eye. And the sirloin will be a tougher cut of meat. I have cooked both for others and the grass fed was preferred.
 
Thanks for the info on grass fed. It's not available, near me, but I've been curious.

Sounds like it might be great in a stew, or for boot heels. :emoji_wink:
 
I don't think I will be trying anymore grass fed brisket. It was well above what Costco charges for their brisket.
 
Bad meat. It usually happens when an animal eats bad grass. Milk that cows produce is also tasteless in this case. I personally don't like organic grass fed beef because it usually tastes awful. But maybe some people prefer to eat such beef without any grass? So you should definitely ask this farmer about it. But I'd recommend him to pull out all the weed that he has and feed his cows with normal grass. I think the Grampa's weeder at https://www.growgardener.com/best-weed-puller/ would be an excellent choice for him. It's simple to use, and he won't have any issues with his knees or back.
 
Last edited:
Old thread but ...
I raise grass fed beef from Dexter cows, a breed known for marbling on grass, unlike the ubiquitous Angus. I have concluded that the briskets don't need to cook to 200+ to become tender and use "probe tender" to judge doneness. I wrap with butcher paper when just entering the stall at about 155F.
As far as bad grass goes, its not the grass but the other plants in the pasture (such as wild onions) that can give an "off" flavor.
 
Grass feed, maybe a contributor but the most likely issue here is smoking just a flat. These are by far to most difficult to deal with. Pulling at a temp is no guarantee of tenderness. No mention if it was probed tender in multiple places prior to pulling and if pulled when tender it needs to rest open on the counter for 10 min or so to stop the cooking process before placing in a cooler. Going straight into a cooler from the smoker allows the meat to continue cooking for quite some time which lends to overcooked and dried out meat.
 
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Grass feed, maybe a contributor but the most likely issue here is smoking just a flat. These are by far to most difficult to deal with. Pulling at a temp is no guarantee of tenderness. No mention if it was probed tender in multiple places prior to pulling and if pulled when tender it needs to rest open on the counter for 10 min or so to stop the cooking process before placing in a cooler. Going straight into a cooler from the smoker allows the meat to continue cooking for quite some time which lends to overcooked and dried out meat.
This is the best advice so far in this thread.
 
Tough and dry brisket usually means undercooked. Don't cook briskets by time or temp. Cook 'em til they probe tender.
 
I’ve been smoking for 40 years and am not a fan of Grass Fed anything. Grain and corn is what gives beef the inter-muscular marbling which is what results in tender, juicy beef. You’ll likely never get that from grass fed. The term grass fed was a marketing term that came out for packers to charge more , while consumers perceive the product as “healthier” and more natural. BS. They just don’t have the expense of feeding grain.
I try to only use Certified Angus Beef (CAB) or Snake River Farms (When it’s affordable) these win probably 80% of competitions and there’s a reason for that. At very least use USDA CHOICE or Prime grain fed beef for best eating experience.
 
Yeah im kinda surprised at the number of people who prefer grass fed beef. Ive tried it a few times and thought it was horrible and that's basically what everyone ive ever talked to in person says as well. Non of us can figure out the "craze" with grass fed beef. As for the brisket I dont have an answer. Flats aren't known for the being the juiciest cut of meat anyways so its hard to say if the grass fed aspect of it is the culprit.
 
As a crop specialist / grain elevator mngr, dealing with feed also, most beef in the Midwest are grass fed and grain finished. Feedlots bring in cattle to fatten them up and usually use silage ( corn silage / hay bales ) ground with protein or corn. Grain finished results in better marbling because of the higher protein than grass finished beef. I personally don’t know of any fully grass feed beef other than ones stating certified grass fed. Traveling through Oklahoma and Texas, you usually see a feedlot that has a feed mill using grain in the feed mix. I have never cooked any beef that I could say was grass fed / grass finished. Nor would I care to.
 
My wife accidentally bought another grass-fed one even though we had similar results as you. This time, I'm trimming less fat, injected it with wagyu tallow and beef broth, and smoked it fat side down at 180 through the stall and just wrapped in paper and more wagyu tallow slathered on and bumped the heat to 300 to finish it off. I'm hoping for much better results this time.
 
The place I got my beef dino plate ribs gave me these guides for grilling grass-fed beef.

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Seems pretty standard info grass or grain. As I posted in 2016, for me it just wasn't as good in the side by side. "good" being the operative word. that was my opinion and taste preferance, no different than seasonings vary on meat. everyone's milage varies.
 
Seems pretty standard info grass or grain. As I posted in 2016, for me it just wasn't as good in the side by side. "good" being the operative word. that was my opinion and taste preferance, no different than seasonings vary on meat. everyone's milage varies.
Yes, they taste different and cook different. They are supposed to be healthier, and I believe they are, but are not as good as a grain fed/finished one. I've cooked a dozens of grain and now 2 grass fed the same way and it's a distinctive difference.
 
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