Should You Eat the Fat on a Steak?

by Charlie
Steak fat

If you’re a keen steak eater or just getting introduced to the meat, you might be wondering whether you should eat the fat on a steak. Is it good for you, and does it taste nice? Or is it better pushed to the edge of the plate and left alone? Let’s find out!

Should you eat the fat on a steak? The fat in a steak is what gives it flavor, helps it to stay juicy, and cooks through the meat to make it succulent and rich. You will often want to eat the fat and enjoy it – but there are some situations in which you might cut away some of the fat and set it aside. You won’t always want to eat all of the fat on a steak.

When Do You Eat the Fat on a Steak?

You will generally eat the fat that has marbled throughout the steak. This doesn’t need cutting away, but should be enjoyed as part of the meat. Indeed, cutting it off can be a fiddly process that results in the rest of the steak getting cold while you struggle with it. Instead, enjoy the fat running through the meat.

This fat should have become crispy, rich, and delicious during the cooking process. Running through the meat, it should be a source of juice and tenderness, forming pockets in the meat. 

Ribeye steaks, which you have probably heard of or eaten, are prized specifically for the fat that they contain, which runs all through the meat and makes it rich and succulent. As long as your steak has been cooked to perfection, this fat should be one of the best parts of the meal.

Don’t waste the fat by cutting it off and leaving it to the side of your plate; savor it as one of the best parts – if not the best – of the steak.

When Don’t You Eat the Fat on a Steak?

That said, there are instances in which you won’t want to eat the fat on your steak. The ring of fat around a steak, sometimes known as the “bark,” is not popular with some people, and there’s no reason to eat it if you don’t enjoy it. Some people find this fat heavy and unpleasant, and cut it off the meat.

There is no sense in eating the fat around your steak if you don’t like it. Some people find this the best part of a steak and indeed, feel that the meat is almost superfluous and this fat is the bit that is worth eating. Other people dislike it to the point of nausea.

Simply put, then, you don’t eat the fat on a steak if you don’t enjoy it, or if you need to keep fats in your diet low for health reasons. Remember that eating sugar is often more responsible for weight gain than eating fat – but that doesn’t mean you should just eat fat with no care for your health.

Often, whether you eat the “bark” or not will depend on how thick it is. In some steaks, it will be thin and have a nice, light char to it from the cooking process. Many people then enjoy it and find it flavorful.

If, however, it is thick and white, it can be very unappealing. It often seems uncooked, and most people cut it away and discard it, rather than trying to consume it. This is usually a healthier option if it’s a thick layer.

How Do You Get Less Fat on Your Steaks?

If you want to try and reduce the amount of fat your steak contains, look at the grading when purchasing the meat. You can also usually see visible fat on the meat when you examine it. By combining these two pieces of information, you should be able to reduce the amount of fat you buy.

You will need to check the grading system where you live, but an AA or AAA steak will be leaner and less fatty in most places. If you don’t want a lot of fat on your steak, choose one of these pieces to cook and enjoy.

You can also cut some of the fat away, either after cooking or before you cook it. If you cook the fat into the meat and then cut it off, you’ll help your steak retain flavor and juiciness, but you will consume more of the fat that way. This decision is totally up to you, your personal tastes, and your health.

Is Fat on Steak Healthy to Eat?

Most of us find fat delicious. In the natural world, it’s a rare treat, full of valuable energy. We are evolutionarily programmed to like it, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for us, especially in large quantities.

A small amount of fat is very nutritious and offers lots of energy to the person consuming it. The problem tends to be that in today’s world, we have an abundance of this kind of food, and because we like it so much, we eat too much of it.

In the natural world, our enjoyment of fatty foods would be limited by the scarcity of such foods and the difficulty of acquiring them. Now, with fatty foods available at any time, we need to consciously limit our intake.

Fat can be good for you, but in large amounts, it is not. That means you can enjoy a good steak with its fat on occasion, but you should not be eating fatty meat regularly. This can have a big impact on your heart health and overall health.

By all means, enjoy a fatty steak from time to time (unless you have health problems that mean you can’t), but look after yourself as well.

Final Thoughts

So, to conclude, you can eat the fat on a steak if you want to. Some people prefer not to eat the outer layer of fat, but in general, the marbled internal fat is what makes steaks moist and juicy, and this should usually be enjoyed along with the rest of the meat. 

Don’t spend ages cutting it out and putting it aside unless you need to for the sake of your health!

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