Throughout this book, I ask you to trim various cuts of meat. What you want to remove is any sinew, gristle, and silverskin. And excess fat-not all fat.
By excess fat, I mean large pieces (1 inch or more) of fat or a layer of fat that’s more than 1/2 inch thick. Fat may be bad in nutritional circles. (I should know: I write a series of High-Flavor, Low-Fat cookbooks.) But when it comes to barbecue, fat is good. Well-marbled steaks or briskets covered with a sheath of fat always taste better than absolutely lean cuts of meat.
The reason is simple: Grilling is a dry-cooking method. The blast of dry heat tends to dry meats out. As a well-marbled piece of meat cooks, the fat melts, basting the meat fibers, keeping them moist and succulent.
Besides, there’s nothing more delicious than the flame-charred fat at the edge of a steak or rib. Just don’t make a steady diet of it!
So the next time you go to trim meat, resist the temptation to remove all the fat. Your barbecue will be much the better for it.
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