Beef Breed vs Jersey Cross Freezer Beef Taste Test

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Walking W
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Beef Breed vs Jersey Cross Freezer Beef Taste Test

Post by Walking W » Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:35 pm

My family, 10 of us, did a taste test during the Fourth of July weekend. I had rib-eye steaks from three different animals that I raised on my small place. They were an angus heifer(~1000lbs), and angus steer(1200lbs), and a jersey/limousine cross(1350 lbs -yes this is based on weigh tickets). They were all feed out at least 90 days.

The steaks were prepared by bringing them all to room temperature and seasoned simply with just salt and pepper. They were placed in a smoker, using oak from my place, for 30 minutes at 225 F for 30 minutes and then grilled one minute to a side to a medium rare.

To a person, the jersey/limousine cross won for taste and the tenderness was evident even before it was tasted. The forks just slid effortlessly right into the steaks.

I will be raising more jersey crosses for freezer beef in the future.



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Re: Beef Breed vs Jersey Cross Freezer Beef Taste Test

Post by Walking W » Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:47 pm

I should admit that the jersey cross wouldn't make any sense for a commercial operation. I raised the steer from a couple of months old and processed at 18 months. The average daily gain was OK at about 2.25 lb/day average but the 1350 lb animal with an 800 lb hanging weight only yielded 450 lbs of packaged meat. That makes it about $3.5 per lb average all in cost for purchase, fertilizer, feed, and processing.

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Re: Beef Breed vs Jersey Cross Freezer Beef Taste Test

Post by farmerjan » Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:47 pm

Jerseys are the second best marbling beef after Wagyu. I have been eating jersey and jersey cross beef for over 40 years, although there have been a few angus and other crosses in there too over the years. The jersey beef also tends to be just a little "sweeter" tasting.... it could be because of the marbling too.
Neat that you were able to compare the beef all together at the same time. That was a GREAT EXPERIMENT.
If you were to accelerate the feeding with silage during the growing process, the gain would be a little better. But, one thing, did you take into account that an angus jersey cross would finish out a little sooner than the limousin cross as they are a bigger beef breed so take longer to get the size before they start to "finish" ????
A few in this area are using Wagyu on angus to get a better marbled carcass, but Wagyu also take longer to finish properly.

Mostly I will breed the jerseys to angus for feeder calves. And I am going to start holding the calves to finish for freezer beef to sell.... They can always go in my freezer if they don't sell.

Actually, the limi/jersey cross is something that is being promoted as a viable and economical cross to add value to the "mostly worthless" jersey bull calves. Since I raise the calves on nurse cows, the growth is pretty good.
I am fortunate to have one of the dairy farms I test that is mostly using beef bulls on all but their best cows, since the calves are worth twice or more than say a dairy calf. Plus they tend to be more active and aggressive. Most are angus cross. I will take whatever he has at the time if I need an extra calf to graft on a nurse cow, there have been a few simmental crosses. They make a better "beef cow" if you retain the heifers, as the simi tends to put a little more "body" on the dairy cross.... than the angus cross. And the simi cross tends to not be such a "milk wagon" as the angus cross is. But there are different results with different bulls too. Have some that come out looking mostly dairy and some looking more like a beefier animal with a little dairy in it.
Have had some pretty good tasting and tender hol/beef cross, beef to eat too. But my favorite is jersey and jer/x.

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Re: Beef Breed vs Jersey Cross Freezer Beef Taste Test

Post by Son of Butch » Sun Jul 12, 2020 5:56 am

In restaurant studies tenderness of steak was #1 in determining overall meal satisfaction.

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Re: Beef Breed vs Jersey Cross Freezer Beef Taste Test

Post by sstterry » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:15 am

I think that VaCowman would disagree with you on the marbling Jan. The Akaushi breed is equal to or next behind Waygu in marbling. As I recall he should be slaughtering some this fall.

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Re: Beef Breed vs Jersey Cross Freezer Beef Taste Test

Post by _H Ranch » Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:22 am

Need steak and eggs now for breakfast haha

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Re: Beef Breed vs Jersey Cross Freezer Beef Taste Test

Post by BigBear56 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 9:12 am

I would agree that the Jerseys flavor and tenderness is the best we’ve experienced. We started out with Jersey bull calves from my aunt and uncles dairy farm. We loved the meat but our customers complained about the size of the steaks and fat pockets in the steaks. This could be due to me pushing them harder on grain than they could take. I would imagine a man could slow grow a Jersey out to about 24-30 months and get some absolutely incredible meat. We wound up switching to angus and angus cross due to customer demand.

With the dairy market in the tank my aunt and uncle have started breeding their lower performing Jerseys to angus bulls. My aunt is always amazed at how much vigor the calves have. She said they get up immediately after calving and are aggressive eaters (compared to her lifetime of calving pure bred jerseys).

They have a local feeder buying them for $200 at 3 days old. He told them in all his years those angus jersey crosses finished with the best meat he’s raised and gained at the same rate as the beef crosses he brings in.

I think at some point in the next year I’m gonna bring one home and try it out.

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Re: Beef Breed vs Jersey Cross Freezer Beef Taste Test

Post by Nesikep » Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:28 am

farmerjan wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:47 pm

Actually, the limi/jersey cross is something that is being promoted as a viable and economical cross to add value to the "mostly worthless" jersey bull calves. Since I raise the calves on nurse cows, the growth is pretty good.
I've heard of Gelbvieh used for the same reason
Friend of mine was given a Jersey/angus heifer as a bottle calf, she's had two sets of twins for him now from my homeraised bulls, you can still tell they're dairy influenced but they do alright.

I grass feed my steers to about 28 months, they eat what the cows eat, and I've been really happy with the meat, good flavor and unless you really overcook it (I like rare to medium rare) it's really tender
Got one scheduled for being processed in a few weeks, he's probably 1600 lbs or so.. I figure 900something hanging, 600 something in the freezer.
Doing grassfed / no implant, I found it only pays to keep the best growing ones only, the others just eat and don't gain
What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence
-Christopher Hitchens

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Re: Beef Breed vs Jersey Cross Freezer Beef Taste Test

Post by Walking W » Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:19 pm

farmerjan wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:47 pm
Jerseys are the second best marbling beef after Wagyu. I have been eating jersey and jersey cross beef for over 40 years, although there have been a few angus and other crosses in there too over the years. The jersey beef also tends to be just a little "sweeter" tasting.... it could be because of the marbling too.
Neat that you were able to compare the beef all together at the same time. That was a GREAT EXPERIMENT.
If you were to accelerate the feeding with silage during the growing process, the gain would be a little better. But, one thing, did you take into account that an angus jersey cross would finish out a little sooner than the limousin cross as they are a bigger beef breed so take longer to get the size before they start to "finish" ????
A few in this area are using Wagyu on angus to get a better marbled carcass, but Wagyu also take longer to finish properly.

Mostly I will breed the jerseys to angus for feeder calves. And I am going to start holding the calves to finish for freezer beef to sell.... They can always go in my freezer if they don't sell.

Actually, the limi/jersey cross is something that is being promoted as a viable and economical cross to add value to the "mostly worthless" jersey bull calves. Since I raise the calves on nurse cows, the growth is pretty good.
I am fortunate to have one of the dairy farms I test that is mostly using beef bulls on all but their best cows, since the calves are worth twice or more than say a dairy calf. Plus they tend to be more active and aggressive. Most are angus cross. I will take whatever he has at the time if I need an extra calf to graft on a nurse cow, there have been a few simmental crosses. They make a better "beef cow" if you retain the heifers, as the simi tends to put a little more "body" on the dairy cross.... than the angus cross. And the simi cross tends to not be such a "milk wagon" as the angus cross is. But there are different results with different bulls too. Have some that come out looking mostly dairy and some looking more like a beefier animal with a little dairy in it.
Have had some pretty good tasting and tender hol/beef cross, beef to eat too. But my favorite is jersey and jer/x.
Thanks for the reply @ farmerjan. I appreciate the experience based comments and suggestions. I don't own any breeding stock since I have only a few acres in pasture. I am retired and living in the country for the first time on what I call a micro-ranch near Ft Worth. I don't raise calves for the money but I do like knowing what went into the beef my family eats. I have raised 4 steers at a time but when the dry months come around I buy a lot of hay.

I would like to try another cross but am limited to what is available locally. There are several jersey dairies nearby and lots of people take the bulls for bottle calves until they are eating hay and then sell to people like me. I bought, what were advertised as, two jersey/lim crosses the last time. One did well and the other had, what I understand to be, a hay belly. It just didn't grow as well as the other. I suspected it when I bought it but didn't want to raise one lonely steer. The poorly one had to go away when I started fattening the other. He brought 0.25/lb at 750 lbs which was less than what I payed when he was 200 lbs.

I could buy a jersey cow and breed her to the neighbor's bull and raise my own bottle calves, I guess. Otherwise there are some simi/hol crosses available nearby. if you have a suggestion, I would be willing to listen.

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Re: Beef Breed vs Jersey Cross Freezer Beef Taste Test

Post by Walking W » Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:37 pm

Nesikep wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:28 am
farmerjan wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:47 pm

Actually, the limi/jersey cross is something that is being promoted as a viable and economical cross to add value to the "mostly worthless" jersey bull calves. Since I raise the calves on nurse cows, the growth is pretty good.
I've heard of Gelbvieh used for the same reason
Friend of mine was given a Jersey/angus heifer as a bottle calf, she's had two sets of twins for him now from my homeraised bulls, you can still tell they're dairy influenced but they do alright.

I grass feed my steers to about 28 months, they eat what the cows eat, and I've been really happy with the meat, good flavor and unless you really overcook it (I like rare to medium rare) it's really tender
Got one scheduled for being processed in a few weeks, he's probably 1600 lbs or so.. I figure 900something hanging, 600 something in the freezer.
Doing grassfed / no implant, I found it only pays to keep the best growing ones only, the others just eat and don't gain
I appreciate your input and comments. Wow! He's a big one! That looks like a good yield for a part jersey, too. 28 months seems like a long time to keep a calf. My first angus was processed at 13 months and 1100 lbs. Do you get any questions from the processor about the older animal(ie. mad cow disease). I thought after 24 months, they had some restrictions.

Grass feeding would save a large chunk of my total cost of raising an animal. I understand grass fed is leaner and has a different flavor. Is that your experience?

Thanks again for the comments.

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Re: Beef Breed vs Jersey Cross Freezer Beef Taste Test

Post by Nesikep » Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:45 pm

Walking W wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:37 pm

I appreciate your input and comments. Wow! He's a big one! That looks like a good yield for a part jersey, too. 28 months seems like a long time to keep a calf. My first angus was processed at 13 months and 1100 lbs. Do you get any questions from the processor about the older animal(ie. mad cow disease). I thought after 24 months, they had some restrictions.

Grass feeding would save a large chunk of my total cost of raising an animal. I understand grass fed is leaner and has a different flavor. Is that your experience?

Thanks again for the comments.
I think, at least around here, the restrictions are after 30 months, your area may be different.
When I was talking about yield, that's not from a dairy influenced animal, that's a good meaty Gelbvieh/Shorthorn cross.. this guy here Image

It's hard for me to say about the flavor, since it's pretty much all I've eaten for so long, since the animal is older, you have more flavor.. Mine aren't butterballs like 4H projects are, but they don't have a hard life either.. the butchers usually say it's beautiful meat.
As I said, I only keep the good growing steers, the ones that make your mouth water when you look at them, the ones that look like they wouldn't miss a chunk of top loin removed right then and there. I think you just have an uphill battle if you don't start with something that had a good start
What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence
-Christopher Hitchens

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Re: Beef Breed vs Jersey Cross Freezer Beef Taste Test

Post by sstterry » Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:58 am

Walking W wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:19 pm
The poorly one had to go away when I started fattening the other. He brought 0.25/lb at 750 lbs which was less than what I payed when he was 200 lbs.
You could turn him into hamburger and not have lost as much money.

Grass-fed beef will be leaner just because they will not put on the finish that grain will. A lot of people like the taste of grass-finished beef. Personally, I don't see the rationale for all the hype. Grain finished beef in my view is more tender and has better taste because of the marbling.

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