The Truth about Bone-in VS. Boneless

Greetings Carnivores,

I was at a party the other night and a buddy and I were chatting about … you guessed it, meat. The subject was whether or not to by bone-in or boneless steaks, chops or Roasts.

My Grandmother used to say “the meat is always sweeter closest to the bone” and, there’s been a raging debate for years about whether or not this is more myth than fact.

Mostly myth … sorry Grandma.

Now, having said that … there is some truth to the bone adding a depth of flavour when you are using a “wet” cooking method such as braising in a slow cooker. The flavour in this case comes from the marrow.

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Veal Osso Buco

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Beef Short ribs for Korean BBQ

Osso Buco is a braised Veal shank, cut across the bone, Korean beef short ribs are thinly sliced cross sections of ribs that are cooked low and slow. The meat doesn’t gain much in the flavour department from the actual bone itself but rather, like I said … the marrow. This where the whole idea came from that the bone adds flavour but, it doesn’t.

You may think that Pork side spare ribs and baby back ribs are getting their flavour from the bone but, you’d be mistaken. They get their beautiful porky goodness from the long, low and slow cooking process. This renders all that tough connective tissue, fat and collagen BETWEEN the bones, fall off the bone tender … but the bone doesn’t add much.

When using dry cooking methods such as grilling, frying and baking, the bone adds nothing to the flavour.

So, back to my conversation the other night with my buddy. He was saying he doesn’t like to buy bone-in because you can’t eat the bone and why pay for something you are going to throw away.

Truth but, if you notice bone-in is always cheaper and that’s because if the butcher throws it away, you’ll be paying a much higher price for the boneless by-product.

Look at it this way … if Beef NY Strip Loins are selling for $30.00/kg and Beef Tenderloin is selling for $48.00/kg. why wouldn’t you just buy the T-bone for $25.00/kg?

t-bone-steak-

Behold, the mighty T-Bone

When you cut the bone out, you’ve got your NY Strip AND your Tenderloin and, you only paid $25.00/kg for BOTH!

Even when you factor in the weight of the bone at $25.00/kg … YOU’RE STILL WAY AHEAD OF THE GAME!

Same with bone-in chicken breasts. Boneless breasts are expensive so, buy the bone-in ones (they’re always a good value) and bone them out yourselves. You’ll save money AND you have the bones left over for making stock.

I know I’ve been saying that the bones add very little in the flavour dept. and now, I’m contradicting myself saying use them to make stock but … when you use bones to make stock remember, the flavour comes mostly from the MARROW.

That’s it for today Carnivores 🙂 🙂

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13 thoughts on “The Truth about Bone-in VS. Boneless

  1. DougieDee, I never thought to buy the T-Bone rather than the Strip Steak! But speaking of buying meats bone-in, on average, how much does say the bone in a T-Bone weigh? Just curious.
    For Poultry I do prefer to purchase bone-in, butcher it down myself, and yes, make my own stock with the bones and aromatic vegetable scrapes that I save in the freezer. I like knowing what’s in my food, ya know? 😉

  2. Amen! We don’t often eat beef…. but when we do, we go for a good T-bone. My favorite part is near the bone, not for the added flavor but because the meat is nice and rare nearest the bone.
    One of our favorite recipes is Nilgai osso buco. It wouldn’t be the same without the bone.
    I agree on all counts. Thanks for a great post!

  3. I did not know that about NY Strip Loin & Tenderloin. I have to admit I enjoy gnawing on the bone when we have a T Bone. Thanks DDD!

    • As I said … the flavour comes from the bone marrow. As long as the bones have exposed marrow then the addition of bones to a curry (or any dish) is wonderful. Don’t misunderstand me, I said the bone itself is not where the flavor comes from … it’s what’s INSIDE the bone that matters. Thank you for your input.

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