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Great Tasting Grass-Fed is FINALLY here!

Vermont Smoke & Cure Grass-Fed Jalapeño Lime Beef Sticks

Over two years in the making, but great-tasting Grass-Fed is FINALLY here.

We’ve focused on producing “Better Meat for All” from the beginning, so using grass-fed meat has always been on our radar. The potential benefits of grass-fed meat are endless: higher omega 3’s (these are essential fats our bodies need for a variety of important functions), a better life for cattle, leaner meat with a better nutrition and greater flavor, fewer calories, as well as a more resilient food system. The challenge was making a better product that also tasted delicious: We tried many of our competitors’ grass-fed sticks and noticed that the harsh-gamey flavor sometimes associated with grass-fed beef was overpowering. We wanted to truly produce the BEST-TASTING grass-fed meat snack, and strongly believe that we have.

What causes “gamey flavor?”

Before producing the best-tasting grass-fed product, we needed to understand why so many grass-fed meat sticks just weren’t doing it for us. As a population, Americans tend to prefer fattier, “marbled” meat (marbling refers to the fat content within a piece of meat and existing between the muscle fibers of the cut). Modern American meat is raised to create fatty cuts with heavy marbling, and that results in the milder flavor we’re used to. Grass-fed beef on the other hand, has a much more complex and often overpowering flavor profile, for several reasons:

  • Grass-fed cattle often develop more muscle mass than their conventionally-raised counterparts due to their more active lifestyle.
  • Grass-fed cattle’s active lifestyle correlates with higher levels of myoglobin, a protein found in the muscles of animals often associated with “gamey flavor.”
  • Grass-fed cattle’s more diversified diet can also lead to a gamier flavor.

How did we do it?

Clearly, developing a truly delicious tasting beef stick with grass fed meat is by no means simple – but it started with simple beginnings. As always, our Grass-Fed line started in our founder, Chris Bailey’s home kitchen. Chris took high quality spices, herbs, and grass-fed beef, formed different flavor combinations and cooked them in patty form. We learned that creating a delicious grass-fed stick requires using the highest quality ingredients that elevate the unique and often misunderstood flavor profile of grass-fed beef, rather than trying to mask the complex flavor of it with overwhelming flavors or tons of sodium. Chris started off with thirteen flavors (some as out there as blueberry and other more standard flavors such as Korean BBQ and Hickory Smoked BBQ.)

Through trial and tribulation, Chris decided on our final two flavors: Jalapeno Lime and Maple Teriyaki. Everyone agreed these flavors were the most delicious, but we didn’t stop there. We tested, tasted, and changed the recipe over and over again. And again. And again. Sensory panels were a regular—for years. We became slightly obsessed with introducing a grass-fed beef stick that consumers could feel good about (for its health and environmental benefits) but that they also LOVED to eat.

These new sticks are handcrafted in our smokehouse in Vermont and naturally hardwood smoked for a richer flavor. Maple Teriyaki is smoked with corn cob, while Jalapeno Lime is smoked with maple wood. Our Maple Teriyaki Grass-fed Stick has all the delicious, rich, umami flavoring of Teriyaki you’d expect, without soy, a common allergen for many. (Yes, we actual developed a soy-free teriyaki recipe. We think it’s the only one on the market. If you find another, let us know!) Rich, flavorful grass-fed meat is elevated with sweet maple sugar (this IS Vermont!), savory sesame oil, and flavor-rich ginger and garlic. You can expect a notable kick when biting into the Jalapeno Lime meat stick, with citrus notes from lime, rounded out with a bit of garlic.

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