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When to trim the fat.

When to trim the fat

Responding to health concerns about saturated fats and cholesterol, many consumers are trimming away fats on meat. But when much of the external fat melts away during cooking anyway, is there any advantage to trimming meat before it's cooked? Yes, according to a new study by meat scientists at Texas A&M University in College Station.

Working with USDA Choice cuts of beef, Ki Soon Rhee and her colleagues trimmed all external fat from half of their strip-loin steaks and one side of each roast (top rounds, briskets, eye of rounds and arm pot roasts). Fat on the remaining steaks and the other side of each roast was trimmed to a thickness of 0.4 inch. After broiling the steaks and roasting or braising the other cuts, the researchers trimmed off any remaining external fat.

Fat content tended to be higher in cuts cooked with external fat. Fully pretrimming the steaks lowered fat content by as much as 19.4 percent, the researchers report in the January/February JOURNAL OF FOOD SCIENCE. And except in the case of the braised brisket, pretrimming did not compromise flavor, juiciness or tenderness. Moreover, for those who are weight-conscious, these data indicate that pretrimming fat from a typical USDA Choice strip-loin steak could result in a savings of about 13 calories per 100 grams (3.5 ounces).

Ironically, there was no advantage to pretrimming the fat to just 0.2 inch. After cooking, those cuts had internal fat equalling that of meats cooked with twice the external fat.
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Title Annotation:how trimming fat from meat affects fat content
Publication:Science News
Date:Mar 5, 1988
Previous Article:For more iron, elevate that cow.
Next Article:What it takes to get a steak.

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