How to Pan Cook Grassfed Steak

Before jumping into tips on pan cooking grassfed, grass-finished steak, we'd like to take a minute to congratulate you on choosing to prepare one of the best fat-burning foods you can eat. Yes, fat-burning. That's not true of all steaks, but it's true for steaks from cattle that lived their entire lives walking around in a pasture eating grass. Pasture-raised beef contains two to three times more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than grain-fed beef. CLA helps with weight loss and reduces the risk of heart disease. Heck, it is even known as a cancer-fighting agent. 

High-CLA North of Nowhere Farm grassfed, grass-finished steaks come to you frozen and vacuum-packed. It's perfectly safe to thaw and store your steak in the original vacuum-packed bag in your refrigerator for a few days before cooking. In fact, we recommend it. You not only gain the convenience of having a ready-to-use steak in your fridge, it also "ages" the steak to increase tenderness and flavor complexity.

Steps to Pan Cooking Grassfed Steak

A note to my fellow chronic multi-taskers: A key thing to remember when you're getting ready to cook a grassfed steak is that it is very lean and will cook about 30 percent faster than grain-fed beef. A grassfed, grass-finished steak can go from perfect to overdone in less than a minute, so stay focused on the task at hand while cooking.

A grassfed steak sears in a pan on the stove. A raw steak is in the background.

  1. Start by removing the steak from the vacuum-packed bag and patting it dry. Let it sit for 30-60 minutes to adjust to room temperature. This promotes even cooking. 
  2. Season your steak generously with salt and pepper. Or use a rub or spice mix. Warm, smoky flavors like paprika or cumin go particularly well with grassfed, grass-finished beef.
  3. Heat a cast iron pan on medium-high with enough high-quality oil, butter, gee, lard or tallow to lightly cover the bottom.
  4. When the oil has reached the point of shimmering in the hot pan, add the steak and lightly press down to get a good sear. After 2-4 minutes, flip and sear the other side. Searing steak in a pan provides a crust of caramelization to get the best flavor. It's one of the reasons many people prefer pan-cooked steak to grilled steak.
  5. Remove the steak from the pan when it reaches an internal temperature of 110-115 F for Rare and 120-125 F for Medium Rare. The worst thing you can do to grassfed steak is overcook it, so watch closely for the target temperature range. Don't be afraid that the steak will be undercooked. It will continue to cook for several minutes after it is removed from the heat, and you can always place it back in the pan for an additional minute or so if needed. If you want steak cooked more than Medium, we suggest lowering the temperature and adding a sauce. Or just choose fattier grain-finished beef (but you'll be giving up some health benefits).
  6. Remove the steak from the pan, melt a tablespoon of butter on top of it, and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Steak continues to cook and lock in juices during the resting period. For lean steaks, butter is important to enhance flavor, richness and texture.
  7. When serving and eating, slice the steak against the grain. This creates shorter muscles fibers for more a more tender texture and easier chewing. It also helps keep juices locked in.

Pan cooked New York stip steak with a pat of butter on top.

All that walking around and eating grass that North of Nowhere cattle do makes their bodies healthier. We couldn't be happier that our committment to keeping our cattle out of the feedlot system results in a delicious, fat-burning, high-quality protein food source for you. 

Download our handy 'How to Cook Grassfed Steak' cheat sheet: 

Let us know your tips for cooking grassfed steak. Do you have a favorite rub or seasoning? A particular type of pan you recommend? Please share!

Sliced grassfed steak on a plate with roasted carrots and purple and yellow potatoes.

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