Beef Quality: Why Marbling in Meat Matters

Blog | June 8th, 2018

All beef eaters will agree that nothing is worse than biting into a bad piece of this type of meat, whether it is a steak or another cut. Instead of the ideal tenderness and flavour, they receive a tasteless, tough experience. When trying to select the best beef quality for consumption, most experts agree that they look at the amount of marbling running through the steaks and other cuts of this meat. To help you better understand the relationship of marbling to high-quality beef, we share the following information about it with you.

What Marbling Is

Marbling is not the fat that is around the outside of steak or other cuts of beef, or the thick strip of fat in the middle area of ribeye steaks rather it is the thin flecks or streaks of white or intramuscular fat in the muscle area of the steak or other cuts of beef. It travels through the muscle similar to the veins through marble. Thus, the name suits this type of fat.

How Marbling Affects the Beef Quality

As beef cooks and reaches a temperature of about 54-degrees C, the marbling starts to melt and cover the surrounding muscle fibres of the meat. This results in a bolder flavour and tenderer texture than with beef that lacks sufficient marbling. Take note that you must cook the beef to a high enough temperature to receive this effect or the marbling will fail to melt and when this happens, unfavourable results occur.

Cattle Breeders Can Affect Marbling through Breeding and Feeding Practices

Breeders of cattle can affect how much marbling there is in their cattle through breeding and feeding practices. During the various phases that the cattle go through while maturing, marbling increases at different rates. By ensuring that the cattle gain weight at the right rate through these phases along with paying attention to the heritage of the cattle, breeders can manipulate the marbling to bring about favourable results.

Does the Breed of Cattle Influence Marbling?

The short answer to this question is ‘yes’. Angus cattle are famous for their marbling for one example of an excellent breed to invest in to produce meat with marketable marbling. When you buy quality seed stock, breed appropriately and care for these cattle in the correct manner, Angus always provide well-marbled meat that is juicy, tender and flavourful.

Rely on Southfork Angus for healthy, well-tempered Angus seed stock. We guarantee that our cows and bulls come from strong lineage to make reliable producers as they mature. They also are highly fertile and the cows make great moms.

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