The Beef Guide
There is nothing better than a perfectly cooked steak from the Big Green Egg, but when you go to pick the perfect steak there are so many options and many can feel overwhelmed by all the choices. We have made the selection easier so you can get back to what’s most important, cooking and eating!
Hereford beef came to the US from England in the early 1800’s and is flavorful.
Angus beef came to the US from Northern Scotland in the late 1800’s. The meat usually has good marbling and is tender and flavorful.
Wagyu beef traditionally comes from Japan. There are four types of wagyu, however, only one produces the famous marbling. American wagyu is a cross between a pure Wagyu and an American breed, such as angus.
Different Feeding Methods
Grass raised and grain finished is the technique that adds weight and the density of the marbling to the beef. This provides more tenderness and flavor expected from beef.
Grass fed and grass finished is the technique of 100% grass feeding. The quality of the grass determines the quality of meat since this is the sole source of nutrients. The meat tends to be leaner, with less marbling and has higher Omega 3 and protein while also having lower fat and calories. It’s also more sustainable and tends to cook a little faster than other beef types.
Organic is the technique of pasture raised on an organic farm with 100% organic feed and forage, no herbicides or pesticides, and free of hormones, antibiotics and by-products. Organic practices don’t necessarily affect the flavor of the beef.
Aging meat is the process of breaking down the muscle fibers and connective tissues creating shorter fibers that are easier to chew. This is created by leaving the beef in a humidity-controlled environment exposing all sides with unrestricted airflow around the entire cut. As the beef sits in this environment, moisture evaporates from the meat leaving a more concentrated piece of meat. The longer the beef ages the more the natural beef flavor intensifies. The aging process can be as little as 20 days up to 90 days.
According to the USDA, beef is graded in two ways: quality grades for tenderness, juiciness, and flavor; and yield grades for the amount of usable lean meat on the carcass. The three primary beef grades are as follows:
Prime beef has ample marbling, which is the fat interspersed with lean meat. This is the highest grade and tends to be the most flavorful.
Choice beef is still high quality meat, but with less marbling than prime beef. It is the most widely available grade in the market.
Select beef has the least amount of marbling creating leaner and less flavorful meat.
Cooking on a Big Green Egg will help you yield consistent results, but we recommend selecting the highest grade of beef that fits your budget.