Watkins Cattle is a truly remarkable palate experience.
As ranchers of this family owned and operated company in Ojai, California, we understand the delicate balance between nature and the human element. Our cattle graze openly on thousands of acres of lush ranches.
They feed from the land and drink from crisp, natural waters that wind their way down the hillside. Our believe is to raise a herd without the use of steroids, growth hormones, or antibiotics.
Our core values, as ranchers in the cowboy tradition, dictate that all animals deserve to be raised in the right way. The way it was done way back when.
Pasture fed beef is the slow way, but, in the end, it’s the right way. So treat yourself to the true pasture to plate process by Watkins Cattle Co.
Recent studies have shown that range fed beef is a perfect source for Omega3 fatty acids. Omega 3's are beneficial for individuals with heart disease and some studies indicate that Omega 3's may also have an anti-carcinogenic effect. Our range fed cattle source the Omega 3's from the green leaves of native natural grasses on which they graze freely.
Watkins Butcher Shop
105 E. El Roblar Drive
Meiners Oaks, Ca 92023
Monday to Friday 9 am - 6 pm
Saturday 9 am - 5 pm
Sunday 9 am - 2 pm
Farmers Markets & Grocery
Tri-County Produce Co., Santa Barbara
Gladdens, Santa Barbara
Pacific Health Foods, Carpinteria
Ventura Farmer's Market
Santa Barbara Farmer's Market
Pasadena Farmer's Market
Santa Clarita Farmer's Market
Lucky's, Santa Barbara
Brass Bear, Santa Barbara
Cork Tree Cellars, Carpinteria
Pedalers Fork, Calabasas
The Story - Pasture To Plate Process
Watkins cattle have thousands of acres that they graze throughout the Tri-Counties. From our 400-acre ranch in the Ojai Valley to 25,000 acres in Utah.
All cattle are fed naturally through pastureland. At no time are they ever treated with antibiotics, given hormones, or administered steroids for growth. Cattle are fed grass, hay, alfalfa mixture as supplementation during dry times of the year to remove the yellow from the fat caused by carrots and green grass. We also feed spent brewery grains from several local microbreweries. This makes our process very sustainable and gives our product awesome flavor. But our cattle are ALWAYS on pasture.
Once cattle reach a desired weight, they are transported to BROPACK in Pico Rivera. BROPACK is a privately owned processing plant that caters to local ranchers and is registered with the USDA, animal welfare, and kosher organizations. When the cattle first arrive they are immediately identified by the ear tags associated with the rancher. Then BROPACK creates a lot number and tag ID system. Once processed, these numbers are visible on each front and hind quarter for easy matching and can easily be cross-referenced to the rancher’s original ear tags.
The product is then held under refrigeration until picked-up by the rancher.
Watkins cattle transports all processed product via refrigerated box bed truck. The cargo temperature is strictly monitored from the time it is in possession at BROPACK until the time it arrives at the Watkins cutting facility in Ojai.
Upon arrival at facility all product is unloaded into a refrigerated workroom. At this time all hind and front quarter tags are matched with paperwork from BROPACK to insure accuracy and documented with the on-premise USDA inspector. Once number matching is complete product is hung and moved into a temperature and humidity controlled locker to begin the aging process of 15 to 20 days.
After aging, the carcasses are ready to be cut and processed. Under direct supervision of an USDA official, John Watkins and his experienced team begins the butchering and determines (based on inventory) what cuts of meat are to be packaged for our customers. Temperatures on the cutting table are checked every two hours to make sure product is held well below the critical control point. The facility also undergoes a rigorous daily inspection to insure all USDA/HACCAP sanitation requirements are strictly followed and recorded.
During the cutting process, packaging begins. Watkins uses a commercial grade Mini-Pak MVS-45-2 to remove all air from around the product and provide a watertight seal for product longevity and safety. It is immediately weighed and tagged with price, but most importantly to consumers, Watkins displays information on the label that ties directly back to the tag numbers created during processing.
Product is then boxed and moved to the freezer. It remains there until needed for shipment to consumer, farmers markets, restaurants, and local grocery stores.. A complete inventory sheet is kept for each day of cutting to allow Watkins to easily access information about what products were produced that day.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions. Thank you!
How To Cook The Perfect Steak
A great steak is an art that's easy to perfect. Use these tips to get the best results every time.
Before hitting the barbecue
Take the steaks out of the fridge 10 minutes before you cook them. This stops the meat tightening and becoming tough.
Season the steaks lightly with salt and pepper.
Oil the steak not the barbecue. This stops your steaks sticking and the oil burning on the grill.
The three essentials
Heat the barbecue before you add the steaks. This ensures maximum flavor and tenderness. The steak should sizzle as it makes contact with the heat. If you're cooking a thick steak (or like your steak well done), move it to cooler part of the barbecue or lower the heat to moderately-high as it cooks.
Turn the steaks only once. The more you flip the steak, the tougher it gets. Let the steak cook on one side until moisture appears on top, then turn it.
Learn to test when your steaks are done. Knowing when your steak is ready to be removed from the heat is the key to a perfectly cooked steak. Use either the back of your tongs or fingertip (make sure your hands are clean) and press the center of the steak. Rare is soft when pressed, medium is springy and well done is very firm. Always rest the steaks after they come off the heat. This keeps the steaks juicy and tender. Just loosely cover with foil for 2 to 4 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
"In today's world it has become more important than any other time in history to buy locally, support small farms & purchase from quality family run ranches. That’s what partnering with Watkins Cattle Company means to me. It means that I am supporting my local community while providing my guests with the very best hormone free, grass fed all natural beef from right here in Ojai, California."
Executive Chef, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
"Hands down, Watkins Beef is the most flavorful product we’ve used. Our clients rave over the burgers, steaks and roasts we serve at their parties. Buying local and free range is always important, but what is truly amazing is that when we use Watkins Beef, EVERYONE can tell that the meat is the best! Love you guys!"
Main Catering Director, Main Course California, LLC
"I search for the best quality product I can find. Watkins Cattle Company products are as good as it gets."
Chef, The Sidecar Restaurant