We are farmers, not chefs, but we take pride in the livestock we raise on our farm. The work that goes into these animals is only as good as the last step of their journey from our pastures to your plates. Please check out our blog for specific recipes you might use in the kitchen.

Preparing White Oak Pastures Grassfed Beef

From the day that one of our bulls first meets one of our heifers, it takes almost three years for the beef to get to your plate. At White Oak Pastures we are dedicated to raising our grassfed beef in a manner that is humane for our cattle, environmentally sustainable for our land, and delicious for you, the folks who eat our product. Follow the tips, hints, and information below to ensure the tastiest results and your enjoyment. Don’t be in a rush. This meal has been three years in the making.

Store

All White Oak Pastures products are vacuum sealed and immediately frozen. 

We ship with dry ice for products to remain frozen in transit. 

Transfer your items to the freezer when they arrive. 

Planning to cook beef within the next 7 days-Thaw in the refrigerator 

Planning to cook poultry within the next 3 days-Thaw in the refrigerator 

Aging Steaks

Aging is important! Fresh or frozen, your steaks will benefit from spending some time in the refrigerator. Place the meat in a dish (in its ORIGINAL vacuum packaging) on the lower shelf or drawer in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

At least 14 days up to 21 days for boneless meats (Sirloin, Ribeyes & Strips)

*Aged Steaks will brown and have a stronger odor *Rinse, pat dry, cook, and enjoy!

Ground Beef, Pork & Poultry do not need to be aged!

Thaw

For best results, thaw in the refrigerator in a single layer in a dish or on a tray to catch condensation or any leaking.

Never Microwave

Do not thaw at room temperature.

Always leave in the original packaging while thawing. 

Here are some approximate guidelines for thawing. 

Meat

Refrigerator (36 to 40° F)

1 inch Steak

12 to 14 hours

Small Roast

3 to 5 hours per pound

Large Roast

4 to 7 hours per pound

Whole Bird

24 hours per 4 to 5 pounds

Poultry Parts

24 hours per 1 to 2 pounds

Enjoy

Grill, Roast, Braise…however you chose to prepare your meat, remember grassfed meats cook faster, so use a lower temp and cook slower to get juicy, tender finished product. 

Quick sear, then low and slow! 

Consider a marinade to accentuate the flavor, tenderize  & enhance moisture content. 

Preheat pan/oven/grill

Test temps w/ thermometer

Take out for carryover cooking: 10 degrees before desired temp.

Let it Rest: sit lightly covered for 8-10 minutes

Cut against the “grain” of the meat for a tender finished product. 

Beef cuts  are best at the rarest temp, it is recommended not to cook past medium. 

 

Temperature Guide

Use a thermometer to test for doneness and watch the temperature carefully.

You can go from perfectly cooked to overdone in less than a minute.

The meat will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat, so when it reaches a temperature ten degrees LOWER than the desired temperature, it’s done. 

The internal temperature for medium well steak is 155°F and well done 160°F.

Keep in mind that overcooking causes greater shrinkage and decreased tenderness.  Remove from heat at these temps:

Rare

120°F to 125°F

Medium Rare

130°F to 135°F

Medium

140°F to 145°F

Well

130°F to 135°F

Cooking Methods

Grilling

The key to perfectly grilled White Oak Pastures grassfed beef starts with a very hot charcoal or gas grill. Sear the meat quickly on both sides to seal in the natural flavor and juices. Reduce heat to medium to finish the meat to the desired doneness. Always use tongs to turn your meats, as precious juices will be lost by piercing the meat with a fork. For perfect grilled burgers, start with White Oak Pastures grassfed ground beef. It is naturally 90% lean. Adding caramelized onions, roasted red peppers or olives to the ground beef before grilling infuses the burgers with flavor and low-fat moisture.

Roasting

Roasting is a great cooking method for large, tender cuts of White Oak Pastures grassfed beef, such as a rib or sirloin roast. Preheat your heavy-bottomed pan over high heat. Sear White Oak Pastures grassfed beef on all sides to lock in flavor. Use moisture from sauces to add to the tenderness when cooking your roast.

Braising

Braising is a long, moist cooking method better suited for tougher cuts of meat. Cooking our grassfed beef with a small amount of water, stock, or sauce in a closed pot breaks down the meat, resulting in a tender and tasty dish.

Reverse Sear

  1. Preheat oven to 200°F/95°C.
  2. Rinse the meat with cool water, pat the steak dry with a paper towel, and generously season all sides of the steak. 
  3. Transfer to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet, and bake for about 35 to 45 minutes, until the internal temperature reads about 120°F/50?C Adjust the bake time (not the temperature) if you like your steak more rare or well-done (best cooked to a medium).
  4. Heat butter or tallow in a pan over high heat. When hot, sear the steak for 1 minute on one side, then flip.
  5. Rest and Enjoy!

Simple Ways to Make Tough Meat Tender if Aging Isn't Your Thing!

100% Grassfed beef can be tough if it is not aged, it is lean and strong muscles on these cows. Here are ways to tender up the meat if you are histamine sensitive or just prefer not to wet age your beef.

Physically tenderize the meat

For tough cuts like chuck steak, a meat mallet can be a surprisingly effective way to break down those tough muscle fibers. You don’t want to pound it into oblivion and turn the meat into mush, but a light pounding with the rough edge of a meat mallet will do the trick. If you don’t have one, you can lightly score the surface in a crosshatch pattern with a knife or use a fork to poke tiny holes into the meat.

Use a marinade

Cuts like flank or skirt steak make excellent grilling steaks, but they’re so tough you won’t want to eat them without a little marinade action. Using acidic ingredients like lemon juice, vinegar or buttermilk not only add flavor but also break down tough proteins, giving the meat a “pre-cook” before it hits the grill. Just make sure you don’t let it sit on the marinade for too long (30 minutes to two hours should be sufficient), or it’ll become soft and mushy.

Don’t forget the salt

Whether you’re marinating or not, at least make sure to salt the meat before cooking. Salt draws out moisture from inside the meat, concentrating the flavors and creating a natural brine. You know it’s working because the meat will take on a deeper, red color. Unlike marinades, you can salt your meat for up to 24 hours in advance.

Let it come up to room temperature

This is especially important with grass-fed beef and other lean cuts of meat. Since there’s not a lot of fat on these cuts, they’re less forgiving if slightly overcooked. Letting the meat sit on a room temperature counter for 30 minutes before cooking will help it cook more evenly.

Cook it low-and-slow

More expensive cuts of meat can be flash seared over high temperatures, but many budget cuts, like pork shoulder or chuck roast, require low-and-slow cooking. When braising tough cuts of meat, the collagen breaks down in the cooking liquid and really lets those tough muscle fibers separate. Make sure you give yourself enough time to let those cuts break down, which could take four or more hours in a Dutch oven or slow cooker.

Hit the right internal temperature

Use a thermometer to test for doneness and watch the temperature carefully. You can go from perfectly cooked to overdone in less than a minute. Let all finished meats rest: sit lightly covered for 8-10 minutes. The meat will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat, so when it reaches a temperature ten degrees LOWER than the desired temperature, it’s done. Beef cuts are best at the rarest temp, it is recommended not to cook past medium. The internal temperature for medium well steak is 155°F and well done 160°F. Keep in mind that overcooking causes greater shrinkage and decreased tenderness.  

Rare          120°F to 125°F       Medium Rare           130°F to 135°F          Medium  140°F to 145°F              Well  150°F to 155°F

Rest your meat

No matter how well you prepare and cook your meat, it will turn out dry and tough if you don’t let it rest. A general rule of thumb is five minutes per inch of thickness for steaks, or ten minutes per pound for roasts. This allows the juices to redistribute within the meat instead of spilling out onto the cutting board—that means your meat will be dry and tough.                                                                                                               

Slice against the grain

All cuts of meat have long muscle fibers that run throughout them. If you make cuts parallel to the muscle fibers, you’ll end up using your teeth to break through them as you chew. That sounds like a workout! Instead, cut crosswise against the muscle fibers so they come apart easily and effortlessly.

 

Preparing White Oak Pastures Sausage

For best results, and moist sausages put the sausages in a frying pan in water that comes up 1/3 of the way up the sausage. Prick sausages with a fork or knife. Bring them to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until all the water has evaporated. Cook them further in the pan and add some oil if necessary, or put them on a grill and brush them with oil if necessary, until they are lightly browned on all sides. Oil may be necessary because White Oak Pastures sausages are leaner than others.

You can also do all this in the oven. Put the sausages and water in a baking dish, prick the sausages, bake at 350°F until brown. Add oil if necessary. Rotate the sausages occasionally. The internal temperature of the sausages should reach 165°F.

Preparing White Oak Pastures Chicken

When cooking our pastured poultry, we recommend cooking in a manner consistent with classical and rustic techniques, such as slow roasting or braising. Classic Italian, French, and many Asian dishes work great with our poultry because just like the fowl used in those countries, our birds have an active life. Try finding a good recipe for classic coq au vin or any dish cooked in a similar fashion.

For the best results cooking our free-range poultry, marinate your meat overnight with a slightly acidic marinade, something with some lemon, lime, vinegar, wine, beer, etc. is suggested to help "loosen things up a bit" and enhance the flavor. If you aren’t able to (or just don’t want to) marinate your bird the day before, we recommend simply searing your bird to help build flavor and seal in more of the natural juices, then finish it in the oven by roasting it somewhere between 325°-350°F, preferably covered and with some added moisture in the pan.

Try searing your chicken in a sauté pan and then remove it to a plate. In the same pan, add a little fat (olive oil, bacon grease, butter, etc.) and sauté a mirepoix (onion, celery, carrot) until browned and fragrant. Deglaze your pan with some lemon juice and white wine and add a little chicken stock, then add your chicken back to the pan and finish cooking your chicken in the oven until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F. You can choose to cover the chicken while it roasts, or leave it uncovered and simply spoon some of the pan juices over the chicken as it cooks to help retain its moisture.

Preparing White Oak Pastures Turkeys

Basic cooking directions: Set oven temperature to 325°F and cook 8-10 minutes per pound. To see if cooked completely, check to make sure the internal temperature is 160°F in the thickest part of the bird. Let rest for 15 minutes once out of oven.

For more information, check out our five-part Youtube video:

Preparing White Oak Pastures Ducks & Goose

Basic cooking directions: Preheat oven to 350°F, season to taste, and roast 10-12 minutes per pound.