For many beef enthusiasts, a grass-fed steak tastes the way a good piece of meat should: rich and earthy. (Corn’s high sugar content makes mainstream beef taste sweeter; over the years, our tastes have adapted to it.) Because of the difference in texture and flavor, you will need to take a few extra but easy steps in the kitchen to make your meal the best it can be, says Michael Leviton, chef/owner of Lumière Restaurant and executive chef of Persephone Restaurant in Boston. He and fellow grass-fed specialist Eric Stenberg, executive chef of the Club at Spanish Peaks in Big Sky, Montana, suggest these three simple rules:

proper preparation of grass fed beef1. Defrost it in the fridge, not the microwave. Grass-fed beef tends to be on the tough side, and the heat flash of nuking can cause the muscle fibers to shorten, making the meat even tougher.

2. Keep seasonings simple. Grass-fed’s naturally bold flavor doesn’t need to be drowned out by heavy marinades or sauces. Stick with salt, black pepper, and a little olive oil, or create a subtle marinade out of crushed garlic, thyme, and bay leaves.

3. Because grass-fed has less fat, it’s quicker to dry out. To lock in moisture, braise it (sear on high heat, cover with liquid, then simmer at a lower temp) or grill it over a low fire. Once the internal temp hits 120°F, take it off the heat. (A typical medium steak cooks to 150 degrees.)

Any way you choose to cook it, you’ll notice the difference grass fed beef has to offer.  From taste, to texture to health, natural is just better!