Whether you’re a grill aficionado, a professional chef, or the one in charge of the grocery shopping in your household, you know that marbling can make all the difference in a cut of beef. What exactly is this pattern and how does it affect the taste of the meal? We’ll tell you all you need to know in today’s blog. Visit our website for more recipes and cooking advice sure to be a hit in your home. 

What is marbling? Beef marbling is small threads of something called intramuscular fat. These threads are wound and interspersed between the muscle fibers in the steak, which can create a marbling pattern. It’s important to know the difference between intramuscular fat, or marbling, and intermuscular fat, which only occurs on the outside of a cut. This second type of fat is typically trimmed off, like in strip steak.

How does it affect taste? The marbling within the muscle fibers gives the beef its unique flavor, juiciness, and tenderness. It accomplishes this during cooking. As the beef cooks, the intramuscular fat melts into the steak, which helps to keep the meat moist as it cooks. It’s actually so important that it’s one of the most important elements in how the USDA grades beef. Learn more about how labeling works here. 

If it’s fat, is it healthy? The type of fat that makes the marbling effect is actually unsaturated fat, which is a part of any healthy diet. Marbled meat also contains oleic acid, also found in olive oil, which is used for preventing heart disease and lowering cholesterol. 

While marbling doesn’t tell the whole story of beef, it can play an important part in how it tastes. Purchase some of your own from us at Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch and try it out for yourself. You’ll be able to taste the difference with our beef.