The best steaks have fat “marbling” to melt and infuse the steak with the excellent flavor we all want. And in the cooking process, the fat keeps the steak tender and juicy.
But there are times when there may be too much fat, and you may want to trim it. Although fat delivers a rich flavor to a steak, it may need trimming or cutting off. Likewise, if the steak has too much fat, called “bark,” around it, it may need trimming. But don’t fear the fat.
When Should You Eat Steak Fat?
Steaks with fat marbling are the best for eating as the marbled fat gives it a satisfying steak flavor. This fat is best eaten on a steak and should be eaten and not trimmed away. Instead of wasting time trying to trim the fat, enjoy it and let the fat running through the steak work its magic.
How Does Marbled Fat Add Flavor?
Fat marbled throughout the steak becomes crispy with a deep rich flavor. Cooking the steak makes fat pockets of juiciness, adding flavor and tenderness to the steak.
An example of a steak with rich marbling is Ribeye. Ribeye steaks are used for grilling due to the spidery fat running through the steak. Cooked properly, the fat melts to add a deep rich flavor and can be the most flavorable part of the steak. Also, the hunk of fat in the middle is not part of the marbling,
When Should You Not Eat Steak Fat?
There may be certain times you want to eat something other than steak fat. The spidery fat marbling in steaks melts down to enhance the steak flavor. But, if the steak has a thick ring of fat around it, known as “bark,” it should be trimmed. Although thick fat is not harmful, it is too much fat, and many don’t enjoy eating it. So if you don’t like it, trim it and enjoy a juicy and tender steak.
Should You Eat the Thicker “Bark” Ring?
Some diners enjoy the extra fat found in the bark ring around the steak. And for others, it is too much fat, and trim it from the steak. The fat on properly cooked steaks is the steaks’ best part. But, if you do not enjoy eating the steak fat, then don’t eat it and enjoy the richness of the steak.
People often cut most of the thick ring of fat around the steak and discard it. But it may be the most flavorable part for cooked steaks.
How to Find Steaks With Less Fat
An easy way to discover steaks without fat is by buying graded steaks. These steaks are graded upon the “Beef Marbling Score” or BMS. They can have less or more fat depending on the grade type. These are some grades of steaks with marbling content based on the BMS index. Popular graded steaks have ratings from no marbling (0) to extreme marbling (12).
- Select Grade (1) – The select grade of meat has little marbling and is leaner than Choice or Prime grades. And it can be tougher with less flavor than other steaks.
- Choice Grade (2) – They are below prime but better than select-grade steaks. Choice steaks will have more marbling and tenderness than the select grade of steaks.
- Prime Grade (3 – 6) – Prime grade steaks have the most marbling. They are the juiciest, most tender, and most flavorable steaks. Grade three is a rating for Angus beef, and the upper scale six is for Crossbred Waygu beef. Waygu steaks, from Asian cattle, are the most marbleized and tender in the world.
Best Steak Cuts Ranked According to Marbling
These steak cuts are ranked according to the amount of fat marbling. The best and highest-rated steaks ranked first.
1. Ribeye Cap Steak – Cut from the outside of the ribeye roll, the source of Ribeye and Prime Rib. The Ribeye Cap Steak is also called the “butcher’s butter” steak. This is due to its exquisite buttery, tender, juicy, rich beef flavor. Unfortunately, this luxurious cut of steak is rare and hard to find. They are usually sold through butcher shops.
2. Ribeye Steak – Another premium steak with heavy marbling and an “eye” of fat in the center. Thus, they are known as Ribeye Steaks. Cooking the marbled steak melts the fat to create a buttery, juicy, and tender steak.
3. Prime Rib – A large cut of meat from ribs 6 to 12, in the same vicinity as Ribeye Steaks. Ribeye steaks can even be made from a large Prime Rib with the eye of the rib and a large fat cap. The Prime Rib is famous for being juicy, tender, and with a luscious, full-bodied flavor. Due to its large size, at around 3 – 6 pounds, it cooks low and slow. Most often, cooking steaks is a quick process at a high temperature.
4. Tomahawk Steak – A type of bone-in Ribeye noted being a thick cut. This steak is around 2″ thick, depending on the rib size. With a long rib bone, it looks like an Indian warrior’s tomahawk. The Tomahawk Steak has extensive marbling and is rich with juice and a rich flavor. Adding to the allure of a Tomahawk Steak is the fact it looks like a tomahawk.
5. Flat Iron Steak – This steak is not cut from the rib prime but from the chuck prime. This section of beef produces rather tough meat, such as chuck roast. But the Flat Iron Steak is an exception, cut from the top blade muscle. It is not a premium steak, but it has rich fat marbling. Also, it has an enticing fragrance and satisfying mouthfeel. Many meat experts regard flat iron steaks as second only to Filet Mignon for tenderness.