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Can you eat the fat on steak? (Explained)

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The best steaks tend to be the ones that have the highest fat content. Fat is what makes a steak nice and juicy, and fat also deepens the savory flavor of the meat.

Many people even enjoy the taste and texture of the fat itself, and if you do too, you can definitely eat the fat on a piece of steak.

Usually, you want to leave about 1/8 – 1/4 of an inch of fat on your steak. If the fat is thicker than this, you can trim some off to avoid a greasy meal and prevent excessive dripping in your grill. Out of all the different cuts of steak, the Ribeye and the New York Strip have the highest fat content. If you love the flavor of the fat on its own, you can eat the fat on the steak as well as the meat.

Keep reading to learn more about when you should trim the fat off your steak, what steaks have the most fat, and some of the perks of eating the fat on your steak.

How much fat should you leave on the steak?

If your steak has a particularly thick hunk of fat along the edge, you may be wondering if you should trim some off. Generally, you want the fat to be about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch thick. 

By leaving 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch of fat on your steak, you can prevent your steak from drying out too much while it’s cooking. The fat can help improve the moisture and flavor of your steak, so you will want to leave at least some of it still attached.

When to cut some fat off the steak?

When a steak has too much fat along the side, it can result in a greasy meal and a messy grill. If your cut has more than 1/4” of fat, you can consider trimming some off.

Too much fat can make for a greasy steak. If that’s not your thing, you’ll definitely want to trim off some of the fat. Another problem is that excess fat can leak into your grill, increasing the chance of a grease fire. A drippy steak can make a big mess in your grill.

In the case that there is more than 1/4” of fat along the edge of your steak, you can trim off some of the fat without compromising the quality of the steak. 

If you’re someone who really doesn’t enjoy the fat along the edge of your steak cut, you can trim away even more of the fat. We recommend that you still leave some of the fat on, however, so that your steak doesn’t dry out during the cooking process.

Cuts of steak with the most fat on them

Of all the different steak cuts, the ribeye has the highest fat content, followed by the New York Strip.

A ribeye comes from a cow’s ribs and has the highest fat content of any cut of steak. Ribeyes are well known for having incredible flavor, and this flavor is largely due to the high fat content. 

A good steak will have ample marbling that is consistent throughout the meat cut. Marbling refers to the white spirals of fat that you can see in your steak cut. Ribeyes have excellent marbling, which makes for a juicy steak that is rich in flavor.

The New York Strip has the second highest fat content of all the steak cuts and is another fan favorite. This type of cut comes from below a cow’s backbone and is a lesser-used muscle, which makes the meat very tender. New York Strips are a great choice next to the ribeye.

If you love a juicy steak, you’ll want to go with a ribeye or a New York Strip.

Final Thoughts 

The fat on a piece of steak is very nutritious, and you can thank the fat for your steak’s awesome flavor and texture. Some people enjoy eating the outer fat just as much as the meat itself, and that’s totally fine! You can eat the fat on a piece of steak if the flavor and texture are to your liking. 

If you’re not a fan of the fat, you can trim some off. Doing this can make your meal less greasy, and it can make for a faster clean up. You should be mindful to leave at least some of the fat on the steak, however. Getting rid of all of the fat can lead to a drier steak that isn’t as flavorful.