It’s all about aging

One of the best ways of getting full flavor from your beef is by aging. When we think of fine wins or delicious cheese, we know that they go through an aging process that enhances the flavor. The same holds true with beef. Your beef needs to go through the aging process to bring out its flavor and tender texture.

Types of aging

There are two ways to age beef – wet and dry. Both processes keep the meat refrigerated at 320 to 340 in a climate-controlled environment.

For wet aging, the meat is placed in air-tight bags for up to three weeks. Dry aged meat is stored uncovered for up to four weeks.

Why age?

As the beef ages, it loses some of its moisture. Loss of water does not mean less juicy. Losing some water is good because it enhances the flavor. Think about cooking a sauce. If the sauce is watery, it usually lacks the flavor and texture of a nice, thick sauce.

Aging meat allows the natural enzymes in the meat to work. They break down the muscle bonds in the meat. These muscle cells are made up of different materials. The two primary ones are protein and glycogen. These molecules fuel the muscles to contract. Unbroken, the meat would not be flavorful. And yes, the glycogen does get broken down into sugars, producing a sweeter, but not sugary, flavor.

That process produces a more tender texture of the beef. By breaking down the proteins, we get a cut of beef that is easier to slice and more flavorful when we chew it.

From hanging to table

The entire process, from the time the beef is first hung to the time it is processed for your table can take about a month. There is some loss of weight between the hanging weight the processed weight, but that is another blog topic.

So, enjoy your steak, roast, or burger knowing that like wine or cheese, beef tastes better with age.

KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef, chicken, pork, and eggs, is located in Davisburg, Michigan. Check out our website to discover all of our products and services.

Let’s Get Grillin’!

grilling burgers

Memorial Weekend starts the picnic and grilling season for most of us. From hamburgers to steaks to chicken or ribs, nothing is safe from the flames.

But we need to do it right to keep it safe for everyone.

Wash your hands

That goes without saying, you have to keep clean around food and that includes your hands. But do you wash them between handling different types of meat? Put the chicken on, then wash your hands before picking up the burgers or ribs. Bacteria can spread easily between as you touch the different meats without washing. And use a different cutting board or wash the cutting board for each type of meat.

Use a thermometer

Good chefs keep a meat thermometer nearby. That chop may look done, but is it? Here are the three temperatures you should remember:

  1. 145 degrees Fahrenheit for steaks, roasts, chops, fish, and other whole cuts of meat
  2. 160 F for ground meat, including beef, pork, and lamb
  3. 165 F for poultry

To read the temperature accurately, put the point of the thermometer into the center of the meat but never touching the bone. Thinner cuts, like burgers, insert it from the side.

Keep meat cold

Keep your meat in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook it. Room temperature is an invitation for bacteria to form. If you need to bring it out, due to the distance of the grill and your fridge, don’t let it sit out for more than 30 minutes.

Keep hot and cold cold

Many grills have a warming rack where you can keep those extra burgers until they are eaten. I make an ice tray, but filling a cake pan with water, then freezing it days before the picnic. Place the salad bowls on top of the ice pan. Any cold foods will stay cold but won’t soggy.

And, of course, promptly move the leftovers to the fridge so they will stay good. Just plan to eat them within 2 or 3 days.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get grillin’ and enjoy ourselves this summer.

KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef, chicken, pork,  and eggs, is located in Davisburg, Michigan. Check out our website to discover all of our products and services.


Calf watch is officially on!

Part of our farm dream is to establish a quality herd of cattle. We are well on our way. Our two heifers were impregnated in November and are due at the end of this month. Similar to humans, the gestation period for cattle is about nine months. Like any pregnancy, the due date depends on a lot of factors and first births can be as early as two weeks before the due date.

Pregnant heifers re

Today, both heifers look very pregnant. Callie seems a bit bigger than Cherry. We hope both births go smoothly and the calves are a good weight for a first birth.

The bull, Pedro, is a calm, laid-back Black Angus. Our heifers are Red Angus. Cherry is a Maine-Anjou cross and Callie is part Shorthorn. Based on their genetics and their dispositions, we should have some very nice calves soon.

Just like women who are pregnant, we’ve been watching their feed. Plenty of good hay is always available. They are on pasture, so they can graze if they want. And they get supplemental feed to make sure they don’t lose weight, but not so much that they get fat.

Once the calves are born, we will have a whole, new routine here. But mostly watching the young calves being introduced to their world and just having fun!

KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef and eggs, as well as premium hay, is located in Rose Township, Michigan and is in the process of acquiring the required licenses to become a small wine maker.

5 Fast Facts About the New FDA Antibiotics Guidelines — Facts About Beef

When it comes to healthy animals, no one cares more than farmers and ranchers. The beef that farmers and ranchers raise and sell to restaurants and supermarkets is the same beef they feed their own families, so it’s no surprise that they want the best care for their livestock to ensure everyone has safe, healthy beef.

via 5 Fast Facts About the New FDA Antibiotics Guidelines — Facts About Beef

What Are the Popular Cattle Breeds in the United States? — Facts About Beef

Cattle come in many different shapes and sizes – much of which can be attributed to various breeds of beef cattle. Not all cattle breeds are created equal – some are well-known for their meat quality while other cattle breeds are well-known for the amount of muscle they possess. Here’s an introduction to five popular […]

via What Are the Popular Cattle Breeds in the United States? — Facts About Beef

Have a Great Burger!


Nutrition has always been a primary interest of mine. For years, when my children were growing up, I would freeze and can fresh fruits and vegetables when they were in season. Often, I would take the kids to the farm so we could pick our own. I think the “farmer” gene has always been in me, even when we lived in the city.

Now that we raise our own cattle for beef and hens for eggs, I’m very conscious about what we feed our animals and how we can produce the healthiest food for the table.

The controversy over grass-fed and corn-fed cattle has been going on for quite a while. Now, with the government looking at how much meat we should really consume, there are more and more studies that look at the nutritional value of our meat.

One of the latest studies that was published by researchers from Texas A&M University’s Department of Animal Science1 compared ground beef from grass-fed cattle with traditional, grain-fed cattle and the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type II diabetes in men. The conclusion? No significant difference.

What they did find is that ground beef is one of the most important sources of the healthful monounsaturated fatty acid in our diet. The interesting thing is that although grass-fed beef is higher in omega-3 fatty acids, something we would expect, it is also higher in saturated and transfat. This is the fat we should monitor and eat as little of as possible.

Premium beef, on the other hand, although lower in omega-3 fatty acids, again as expected, it was higher than grass-fed beef in monounsaturated fats and lower in saturated and transfat.

But what this study did not take into account is how some cattle farmers feed – which is neither 100% grass nor high concentrations of corn.

We feed our cattle free choice pasture and hay, much like most grass-fed herds, but, we offer our cattle a small amount of a grain feed, which is blended for us at the feed elevator. It is a mix of corn, barley, and other grains to provide a more balanced feed that is both nutritious and contributes to the marbling that is required to produce premium beef.

So, go ahead and treat yourself to that burger. Grass-fed or grain-fed, it’s great for dinner.

KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef and eggs, is located in Davisburg, Michigan.

What’s a Quarter?


One of our most frequently asked questions is – what’s a quarter? Is it the front or the back?

Understandable confusion – many years ago there were butcher shops around that would sell beef by the front quarter or the hind quarter with the front being less expensive than the hind. But, you only received chuck and ribs if you selected the front quarter, and the porterhouse and T-bone steaks are in the hind quarter.

When we sell by the quarter, you receive one-fourth of the steer. The means, you get ALL the available cuts. T-bone, porterhouse, Delmonico, chuck, round steak, sirloin steak, roasts, steak-burger, and soup bones.

Wow! That’s quite a variety of cuts.

And a quarter typically weighs out at 100 pounds of table ready beef. Yes, that’s a lot of beef. Considering that the average American in 2012 consumed 71.2 pounds of red meat and about 60% of that was beef, a quarter can last your family anywhere from six months to two years.

Note: this figure includes ALL red meat eaten, regardless of where it was prepared.

The next question is how do I prepare the cuts I’ve never tried before? We’ll help you there. Both on this blog and on our website we will be adding recipes and tips on how to prepare every cut of meat you receive in quarter.

Whether you grill, roast, or fry, we want you to enjoy your quarter.

KeiLin Farm produces farm fresh beef and eggs and is located in Davisburg, Michigan.

Got Beef?

Steak dinner from farm raised beef
Beef! It’s what’s for dinner.


It’s National Beef Month and whether you enjoy steaks, roast, burgers or any of the other cuts, beef is a staple for most families. And if you are like many, you want your cuts to be tender, flavorful, and nutritious.

To celebrate this month, here are some beef facts:

  • The basic cuts of beef are the chuck, loin, rib and round. The names for some cuts of meat can vary from one area to another.
  • There are 50 breeds of beef cattle in the U.S. The breed most recognized is Angus. Hereford, Brahman, Maine-Anjou, and Charolais are among other breed raised for beef.
  • A 3 ounce serving of beef provides more than half of your required protein for the day.
  • Beef is an excellent source of all the necessary amino acids.
  • The United States provides 25 percent of the world’s beef, but only has 10 percent of the world’s cattle.
  • A 3-oz serving of lean beef contains about 150 calories provides about the same amount of protein as 1½ cups of cooked black beans which is about 341 calories

Purchasing your beef by the quarter or half from a local farmer allows you to see the growing conditions of the cattle. Most farmers are more than willing to discuss the feed sources for their animals. Many grow their own hay to ensure that their stock receive the best hay available so you get the best beef possible.

Beef! It’s what’s for dinner at our house. How about yours?

KeiLin Farm produces farm fresh beef and eggs and is located in Davisburg, Michigan.