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Bone-In VS Bone-Out Cuts: What Cut Is Better And Why?

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There’s been a lot of debate in the culinary world as to whether keeping the bone in a steak or chop adds to the overall flavor, presentation, tenderness and moisture levels. As you know, some dishes are served with the bone, while others aren’t. Why is that? Does the bone add to the dish? When should the bone be kept in and when should it be removed? 

These are all great questions that Lady Jaye can answer for you! Whether you’re dining in at our restaurant or visiting the most fabulous butcher shop West Seattle has to offer—hint, hint it’s our butcher shop—we want to make sure you understand the nuances of bone-in and bone-out cuts. So, sit back, enjoy a Seattle steak, and learn some more about bone in vs. bone out cuts

HOW DOES THE BONE AFFECT OVERALL FLAVOR?

When you visit our Seattle butcher shop, you’ll notice that there are many different cuts of meat, some with the bone in and some with the bone out. When you’re selecting your cuts you’re probably thinking a lot about flavor and may be wondering whether the bone affects the overall flavor of your meat. 

This has been a hotly debated topic for many years. Some have said that the bone marrow flavors the meat, while others claim that the bone doesn’t matter in terms of flavor, because cow bones are too impenetrable for any of the marrow to flavor the meat. Finally, the Meat Science team at Texas A&M and Serious Eats’ J. Kenji-Lopez have put this debate to rest. They determined that you literally can’t taste the difference between bone-in and bone-out cuts

If you find this disappointing—never fear. The bone can add to your dish in other ways.

HOW DOES THE BONE ALTER COOKING TIME?

The experts at our meat shop West Seattle location can tell you all about how a bone, or lack thereof, can alter cooking time. Bone-in meat is going to take a bit longer to cook than bone out meat. Why, you ask? Because bones influence how heat is distributed through the meat you’re cooking. The meat adjacent to the bone stays anywhere from 5-10 degrees cooler than the outer layer.

Bones are so dense that they act as an insulator, which keeps the temperature around the bone at a lower temperature. This results in a longer cook time. If you’re new to grilling or smoking meat, consider using a cut that’s bone in. Bone in is an easier option, because it heats up more gradually. As a result, you’re less likely to over-cook your meat. On the other hand, if you want to quickly whip up a dinner with an excellent cut of meat—and you’re an old pro—bone-out meat is an excellent choice. 

DOES BONE-IN INFLUENCE THE TEXTURE AND JUICINESS OF YOUR BEEF OR PORK?

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t quite that simple—it never is, right? When selecting your meat, you should consider your preference for doneness. If you enjoy your meat medium to well done, the bone can make the meat around the bone more tender and juicy. However, if you like your meat rare to medium rare, it’s best to stick with a bone-out cut. Leaving the bone in and only cooking the meat to rare or medium rare could make the meat raw and chewy. In summary, bone-in and bone-out can both be positive choices depending on how you like your final product. 

DOES A BONE DETERMINE FAT CONTENT?

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Nope! The fat content of meat is determined by what cut you’ve selected. You can always trim the fat to your liking or ask your butcher to include fat trimmings. 

WHAT CUTS CAN YOU EXPECT AT LADY JAYE?

Even though Lady Jaye’s cuts change seasonally and based on local supply, we still have cuts that regularly make the lineup. Here are the bone-in and bone-out options you can enjoy during Seattle outdoor happy hour and beyond:

  • Tenderloin: Highly regarded as the most tender and popular cut of meat. The Tenderloin sits between the ribs and backbone.
  • New York: The New York Strip is cut from the beef short loin and has intense flavors with bold, beefy notes.
  • Zabuton: The Zabuton meaning “little pillow” in Japanese is a primal cut from the chuck. In Wagyu, this cut is marbled with fat making it tender and rich.
  • Bavette: French for flank steak, this is a highly flavorful cut of meat taken from the underbelly of the cow.
  • Ribeye: The Tomahawk or bone-in ribeye is a well marbled, thick and buttery ribeye with at least five inches of rib bone attached.
  • Flank: One of the leanest cuts, flank steak is taken from the abdominal muscles or lower chest of the cow.
  • Toro: Toro Beef is a fattier, thinly sliced cut of beef that is packed with tons of flavor.
  • Delmonico: A high quality meat with plenty of marbling, the Delmonico Steak is sort of like a mini-ribeye.
  • Flanken Ribs: Flavorful pieces of meat that are thinly sliced across the rib section of beef bones around ½ inch thick.
  • Teres Major: This lean and rare cut comes from the shoulder or chuck of the steer. This is the second most tender cut of the cow after the tenderloin.

Heard enough? Order your fresh cuts of meat now!