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The Benefits of Grass-Fed, Grain Finished Beef

With all the talk about grain-fed vs. grass-fed beef, steak eaters might be curious to know separates one from the other when these steaks hit the plate. Deer Trail Meat Co. cattle are grass-fed, and grain finished. We start them on a grass diet then introduce them to a custom, all-natural grain diet to get that “high-end steakhouse” taste and rich flavor that our customers love so much! Doing this also helps keep our cost low so you can stock up on quality meats at great prices, without sacrificing any of the great taste.

Both sides have their advocates. Grain-finished steak lovers point out that grain-fed steaks tend to have a much higher level of marbling and juiciness, and are typically more richly flavored.


One of the most debated issues surrounding grain-fed and grass-fed cattle is the way that each tastes. The foods that cattle eat have a major impact on the way they eventually taste and the composition of their meat.

Deer Trail Cattle Co. cattle are grass-fed and on a 100% vegetarian diet. We start them on a grass diet then introduce them to a custom, all-natural grain diet to get that “high-end steakhouse” taste and rich flavor that our customers love so much!

The cattle are fed spent grains from Dry Dock Brewing Co., a local brewery and lso fed spent mash from a local distillery, Mile High Spirits. Watch our video clips to learn more.

Grass-fed and finished cattle, on the other hand, feed on grass and a mixture of other forage (plants that grow on the ground, such as bushes and thistles). This is more natural for cows but produces less marbling. Grass-fed steaks also have a much more mineral-heavy taste that is often described as “meatier” or “gamier,” which is also a common description of grass-fed texture. If this is your preference we do offer 100% grass fed beef through our partner Whiskey Ridge Beef.

While there are outliers, the majority of Americans seem to prefer the sweeter, richer taste that comes with corn-fed beef. This is a big part of the reason why major steak-brands and restaurants continue to draw attention to the fact they serve corn-fed steaks.


Because of their higher levels of marbling, grain-fed steaks tend to be richer in both taste and texture. Marbling – generally considered the most prized feature of a high-quality steak, and the most important factor in USDA steak grading – is much less prominent in 100% grass-fed cattle.

As a result, !00% grass-fed steaks tend to be drier and chewier than similar grain-fed cuts and are far more finicky to cook.

Bottom Line

When it comes to taste, if you’re like most Americans, your palate will be better suited to grass-fed, grain finished steak. But taste isn’t the only thing keeping the grain-fed and grass-fed camps apart. If you’re looking for super-lean steaks, then grass-fed steaks might be right for you.

Skeptics have pointed out, however, that the reason for the lower per-pound calorie count is reduced marbling. As with most health foods, swapping out the thing that gives steak flavor does make it healthier, but it also reduces the luxuriant richness that most steak-lovers are looking for.

Deer Trail Meat Co. is based out of Deer Trail. Colorado and offers beef and pork that are grass-fed, grain finished without the use of chemicals, hormones or steroids. Our custom cuts give you the option to customize your order to suit your family’s needs. Farm to table without compromise. Visit our website to learn more.