When it’s grass-fed, free-range beef, it does smell sweet. Grain-fed beef can smell very different, not at at all as fresh and sweet, IMO. It also might depend on the cut and how well it’s been aged if at all.
That said, my experience has been that truly grass-fed beef, i.e. entirely raised on pasture grazing, does in fact have a different smell/taste from supermarket grain-fed beef, and that this is inherent in the product.
While yellow in grass-fed beef. Smell : If the meat you are buying smells bad, it’s not fresh. Don’t Buy It! Fresh steaks should have a slightly meaty smell but never off smelling.
All grass-fed meats taste fishy, grassy, or gamy because of their high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. The flavor of Omega-3 fatty acids is foreign to most Americans because they almost never eat any foods containing even minimal amounts of it.
The grains leave the meat with a sweeter taste. Grass-fed cows eat a combination of grass and other forage available. They don’t produce the fat that grain-fed cows produce but their muscles are leaner. Many describe the taste as meatier and even more similar to game meat.
All grass-fed meats taste fishy, grassy, or gamy because of their high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids.”
Touch the ground beef. If it’s slimy, that’s not normal. Smell and visually examine at your ground beef, and if it’s brown or an off odor, those could be signs that your ground beef is spoiled. Always remember — when in doubt, throw it out!
You can tell that your meat has gone off first and foremost by smell. Rotten meat has a really bad smell that tells everything in your body and brain to run away from it. That being said, it’s normal for meat that has been shrink-wrapped to have a slightly sulphuric smell when you first open the package.
If the animal is not treated well or eats substandard grasses or hay, it may come out gamey. If the animal doesn’t have a good place to rest or is constantly fighting for food or dealing with other stresses, it will taste gamey.
You may also see labels such as “more than 80 percent grass-fed diet” on beef packaging to reflect that the animal’s diet was switched to grain or included some grain. And keep in mind that “grass fed” or “grass finished” only tells you what the animal was fed.
Because of their higher levels of marbling, grain-fed steaks tend to be richer in both taste and texture.
When it comes to nutrition, grass-fed beef is higher in key nutrients, including antioxidants and vitamins. It also has twice as many omega-3 fatty acids as regular beef. As far as flavor goes, this leaner beef has a slightly gamey taste.
Grain-fed beef has long been promoted as richer and fattier, while grass-fed beef has gotten a bad rap as lean and chewy with an overly gamey taste.
Overcooking can cause poor taste.
If the meat is cooked to dryness, several bad things happen. The myoglobin was probably heated away, and that of itself may leave a bad flavor. In addition, dry, over-heated meat may have a poor or bad taste as the elevated temperature denatures protein.
Many hunters suggest soaking your game meat in vinegar. However, because of vinegar’s acidity, it can often dry the meat out, making it especially tough. Instead, try soaking the meat in milk or even buttermilk, both of which will produce better results with most wild animals, especially when dealing with backstraps.