As you look for ways to knock out the fat on all your favorite foods, trimming meat is one of the easiest places to start. By trimming off excess fat from the pieces of meat you’re using, you start to knock out the fat from your food before you ever place it on the grill. In addition, particularly for steaks and other cuts of beef, excess fat can actually curl the edges of your meat up, so trimming before cooking keeps your finished plate looking great.
To make trimming meat easy, follow these simple steps:
- Always sharpen your knife first. Fat and fatty tissue can be extremely hard to cut through. If you try to do it with a dull knife there’s a good chance that you’re going to destroy your cut of meat as you try to trim. With a sharp knife, you don’t have to worry about tearing up your meat as you trim the fat.
- Freeze meat for a few minutes before trimming. By freezing the meat (only for about 20 minutes), you’re making it easier to cut and trim. If you freeze the cut that you’re using, you’ll be able to cut off the excess fat much faster. Note: If you’re slicing meat for a salad, sandwich or other dish, freezing will also make this much faster!
- Pat meat dry before placing on cutting board. There’s nothing worse than trying to cut something, only than to have it slide as you slice. If you pat your cuts dry before you place them on the board, they are less likely to slide.
- Slice, don’t saw. You want to use smooth slicing strokes going away from your body to easily remove the fat. Slicing away from your body will provide added protection for you as you cut, and slicing is a lot less work than sawing at a piece of meat. In truth, if a piece of fat won’t cut away easily, remove your knife and reposition. Simply sawing on that same cut is just going to tear up the meat itself.
- Cut off small pieces of fat to avoid trimming off meat. By trimming off the fat in smaller pieces, rather than trying to take it off in large sections, you’re less likely to cut off actual meat with the fat you’re trying to trim. There’s nothing worse than buying a 6 oz. steak, then ending up with 4 oz. because you trimmed off a good bit of the meat with the fat.