Okay, moment of shameless self-promotion, try one of our Discover Beef Experience Artisan Steak Taster Packs from The Oliver Ranch Company! We'll send you steaks from 4 specific natural or organic beef ranches, each representing a different breed, growing region, diet, and aging technique (some dry-aged, some wet-aged). You'll also receive a copy of our Artisan Beef Institute tasting guide and tips on hosting a home tasting.
Compare ranches, see which you like best, order more of your favorite. Voila!
Now, if you'd like to go it alone, that's fine! Please just follow these guidelines to make sure your artisan steak tasting is just that. Consider this a cheat sheet for success.
First rule of thumb is to only use steaks or burgers from known producers! These are our minimum standards.
- Specific ranch or producer group (source-verified).
- Single breed or cross-breed.
- No added growth hormones (steroids, yuck!).
- No preventative antibiotics (if they can't keep healthy without 'em...)
- All vegetable diet, no funky stuff in there like stale chewing gum.
- Treated gently on farm, in truck, at yard (if relevant), & at slaughterhouse.
- Dry-aged or wet-aged for at least 14 days
- Bonus points: certified organic, humane, grass-only diet, holistic.
You can try this with commodity beef, too, from your supermarket or butcher (this is how I did it the first time 3 years back). However, please note that you might set yourself up for disappointment. Why? Because they don't keep track of where the beef is from let alone its breed, diet, etc.
Why does this matter? Just like with wine, different breeds raised in different regions on different diets taste different. You need to know what's on your plate. Otherwise, you won't be able to repeat the experience!
Plus, isn't it better to support the farms and processors who DO do the right thing?
Know what's on your plate.