Is Dexter Beef Really Different?
Updated: Dec 20, 2020
With respect to claims made about the taste of Dexter beef, I have to tell you, we were NOT believers. After all, how different can beef really be? It didn’t help that we were gifted some Dexter beef to try and it fell very short of our expectations. We were so concerned we had made a mistake. We had invested so much money in our Dexter herd based on what we had heard and read. The very foundation of our business required we sell premium Dexter beef. Needless to say, we were both excited and worried when we sent our first Dexter to freezer camp.
The only option we had at the time was to process our 29 month old Dexter bull. We had to find out if we had made a mistake. He was a great bull and served us well, but we wanted to go a different direction with our breeding program. Fortunately, we were able to find a replacement bull that checked all the boxes for us. With our decision and our processing appointment made, we brought our bull in after breeding season and started lightly grain feeding him every day.
It’s important to note we did not make this decision lightly. We love our Dexters and wish we could keep them all, but we realize that keeping them all is not realistic. In the last days of our bull’s life, he lived “The Life of Riley” being pampered and brushed daily as all of our Dexters are. Not many beef in this world are treated so compassionately prior to processing.
Our beef was dry aged for 14 days. When we picked up the beef, the butcher was full of questions and comments. He was amazed at the quality of our beef and said it was one of the best beef he had ever processed in his thirty years as a butcher. He continued to rave about the color and texture of the meat. Of course, this gave us the perfect opportunity to tell him all about Dexter beef! If only there had been a huge audience!
It so happened that my husband's birthday came up just prior to getting our Dexter beef from the processor, so I resorted to purchasing some VERY EXPENSIVE store bought Angus Ribeye steaks to celebrate his birthday. Sadly, no one finished their steak and no one ate the leftovers. We ended up throwing out what remained of the cooked steaks!
One of our boys was not able to partake in the birthday meal, so we had an extra Ribeye steak we put it in the freezer for later. A short time later we were finally able to pick up our beef. After talking with the butcher, we couldn’t contain ourselves! We were so excited to taste our first Dexter beef!
We made a conscious decision to try a T-bone steak since it is not our favorite steak. We actually prefer Ribeye steaks. We figured if we were sold on the T-Bone, the Ribeye would be even better. Plus, we like to save our Ribeye steaks for special occasions. Go figure!
With the T-Bone in hand, we excitedly remembered we had the extra store bought Angus Ribeye in the freezer. Oh what fun it would be to hold our own little blindfolded taste test to see if we could tell the difference between the two! Had we thought it about it earlier, we would have compared two Ribeye steaks, but the taste test was an afterthought.
Taste test, here we come…
The first thing we noticed was the difference in color. The Dexter T-Bone steak was bright red whereas the Angus Ribeye was lacking in color and looked less appetizing. The Dexter steak was definitely more appealing. Next, we compared the marbling which appeared to be equal between the two. Both were of equal thickness, size and fat cover. The Dexter steak appeared to be finer grained when compared to the Angus steak. We concluded it would be a fair contest.
Both were cooked to a perfect medium rare. Nothing fancy, just salt and pepper. We wanted to be able to taste the actual beef. I blindfolded my husband and cut similar sized pieces of each steak. I immediately knew upon cutting the two there was a difference. The Dexter T-Bone cut like butter and the Angus Ribeye not so much. Unfortunately, in all the excitement to start the taste test, I didn’t think to take a picture of the cooked steaks! Instead, here is a picture of two cooked Dexter Ribeye steaks to get your mouth watering…
I gave my husband a taste of the Angus Ribeye first. No real reaction from him. I then gave him a taste of the Dexter T-bone. He lit up and said, "That is definitely the Dexter! Oh my God..." Anxious to see for myself, my husband blindfolded me and we went through the same exercise. Then we did the same with our son. It was the most amazing beef we have ever had the pleasure of eating! We devoured the Dexter steak and ended up throwing out the $25+ Angus steak. From that moment on we were in love with Dexter beef! It was easy to see why it is highly sought after by world renowned chefs such as Gordon Ramsey and consistently ranks in the top three in national blind taste tests! Oh, and may I remind you this was our 2-1/2 year old bull?
We were so relieved. We had invested all this time and money into our Dexter herd on hearsay and were worried the meat would be less than desirable. That was not the case! With that said, beef must be finished properly prior to processing. We don’t believe this was the case with the gifted Dexter beef.
The Indescribable Taste of Dexter Beef
After tasting properly finished Dexter beef for the first time, we struggled to describe the taste. Here is our best attempt. It is actually easier to describe the Angus Ribeye.
The texture of the store bought Angus Ribeye was like chewing on a piece of cardboard and was virtually tasteless when compared to the Dexter T-bone. The grain of the meat of the Angus Ribeye was dense, difficult to cut, and didn't seem to hold in the juice like the Dexter T-bone.
As for the Dexter T-bone, there was an explosion of flavor in every bite. It was so juicy and tender. It had what we can only be described as a "beefy" taste, reminiscent of what beef should taste like. The grain of the meat was "different" and easy to cut. It was very flavorful, succulent and robust. Even the fat was delicious whereas the fat from the Angus Ribeye solidified and stuck to the roof of our mouth, leaving a bad taste that was difficult to get rid of! Yuck!
Well, there you have it – our best attempt at describing the taste of Dexter beef. Beyond that, all I can say is you need to taste it for yourself! You won’t be disappointed!