Check For Marbling For The Best Steaks

If you want the juiciest, most flavourful steak you can cook, look for plenty of fat throughout the meat. Serious Eat's guide to grilling steak says marbling is a more important quality to look for than just the grade of the beef.

Photo by Ernesto Andrade.

Why is this? Well, that marbling is responsible for both moisture and that beefy flavour:

As well-marbled meat cooks, the fat will slowly melt, adding juiciness built right into the meat. Non-marbled meat might have plenty of fat on the exterior, but it doesn't enhance the steak in the same way. Sort of like the difference between drinking a glass of chocolate milk or drinking the milk then shooting the chocolate syrup.

Flavorwise, almost all of the compounds our tongues sense that give us the thought "ooh, that's beefy" are found in the fat. In fact, if you take the fat out of a piece of beef and replace it with lamb fat, it'll taste like lamb. Want chicken-flavored beef? Cook lean beef in chicken fat.

J. Kenji López-Alt also offers 10 other tips for cooking a perfect steak, particularly on the grill. Many of the tips we've mentioned before, such as turning the meat often for more even cooking and to reduce cooking time, salting your steak well in advance, and letting that steak rest.

The Food Lab: How to Grill a Steak, a Complete Guide [Serious Eats]


    That's why Wagyu steaks are brilliant, they are actually graded by marbling. The fat also gives them the flavour too.

    Although if you are a regular red meat eater, you should leave the marbled slabs for those decadent meals, as they aren't exactly the best for your waistline.

    If you are working out or something, with the goal of losing fat weight, and are eating red meat for the protein boost, then heavily marbled steaks will subtract from the usefulness of your workout.

    After all, the marbled ones are the best tasting, and it's nice to save something for that special meal and glass of red.

      Kangaroo - tastes better than 'beef' steak, IMO, and I'm not wasting money paying for fat.

    Great advice but not sure which came first, this or the exact same details from the show 'How to cook like Heston'. Did try this tonight mind you, worked an absolute treat!

    I actually can't stand marbled beef. I love me some steak, but not fatty steak.

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