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Why is bone in more flavorful?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Here I am once again questioning another piece of cooking gospel.  Why is a T-bone perceived to be more flavorful than a Strip?

post #2 of 20
Because the bone infuses some of its flavor to the meat, much like it would to the water when making stock. The bone also holds the meat in shape, preventing it from shrinking and drying even more. I've cooked a lot of chicken lately and find there's an incredible difference between boneless chicken breasts vs breasts cooked while still on the carcass - for those two reasons. 
 
post #3 of 20

I doubt any of the above, sorry F.F.

 

T-bone is more expensive,  and if it's moe expensive, well, it's gotta be better-taste better, right?

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post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post

I doubt any of the above, sorry F.F.


Really foodpump? Are you telling me a boneless chicken breast cooks exactly the same way and holds its shape exactly the same way as a whole chicken carcass with the breasts still on? 

 

post #5 of 20

Don't question these things, just like the bone and get on with it.

 

Lol just kidding.  I'm only guessing here but I think it's because the bone takes much longer to heat up, thus keeping the meat alongside it more tender because of the better temperature regulation.

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post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

Don't question these things, just like the bone and get on with it.


Maybe you're actually right. biggrin.gif

 

I think on top of what I already mentioned and Koukouvagia's comment, there's also, obviously, the smell of the grilled bone, and the action of handling it and gnawing on it, getting extra flavor as a result. 

 

Imagine boneless grilled baby back ribs. That would be pretty sad. 

 

post #7 of 20

So is the real question about T-bone vs Strip, or about bone-in meats in general?  I tend to keep the bone in for applications that will take a half hour or more to cook, or are cooked slowly on purpose.  It actually takes quite a while for bone to release its "goodness" and just won't happen when you're talking about a shorter cook time. So for a mid-rare cooked t-bone, cooked in maybe just under 10 minutes, you wanna tell me there's flavor added from that bone? Sorry, don't buy it for a second. Help keep it's shape, again, we're talking about cook times here. I cook steak all day of every day. A steak cooked mid-rare, in my experience, may not be the same shape as when it was raw, but plumped up a bit. But closer to well will have shrunk noticeably. But at that point, really, you've cooked all the flavor out of meat, are you really going to tell me you're not concerned about what flavor that bone has to offer?  But don't get me wrong, my favorite cuts have a bone. T-bone, rib-roast, center-cut pork chop, lamb chop...

 

If you're well versed in fresh stock making, you know too that some bones have lots of flavor (almost all chicken bones) and some bones have next to none (most beef or veal bones, sadly).

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcieluck View Post

Help keep it's shape, again, we're talking about cook times here. I cook steak all day of every day. 


The shape comment was addressing chicken breasts, not steaks. I was answering the question in the title of this thread. 


Edited by French Fries - 6/15/11 at 11:52pm
post #9 of 20

I hate chx-breast on bone. That's why I've I've learned how to properly cook boneless. I hate chx bones. We cut and serve the same rib-eyes two(2) ways; off and on the bone (cowboy steaks). They're the same price, but the cowboy steaks are/look much bigger because of the bone and we trim them out less. I don't really know why, but we sell a lot more cowboy steaks than boneless. I don't think they look as good off the grill either. The bone causes stupid difficulties getting really good marks because it doesn't sit on the grill the same way. Anyway, book writers have claimed you get different flavors from the bone because of it's own flavor and the difference in cooking times/temps. I've never really noticed. I like boneless. I much prefer porterhouse to T-bones. If I'm gonna spend bigger price, I want a bigger fillet piece. It all doesn't matter anyway because I order rib-eyes in the first place. 

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post #10 of 20

What I have found is that the thickness of the cut is the key point of difference between a good steak on the bone and a bad one. Boneless steak can be cooked to suit the style and like of the client, but no matter what,,, some part of a steak on bone will disappoint most of us....from a theoretical point of view I would never challenge the theory that meat on the bone tastes better, but I would definitely challenge the fact that it cooks better. Meat on bone is definitely tastier in a stew particularly when its cut with marrow exposed.

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post #11 of 20

There used to be a saying that perhaps the older guys on here will remember?  "The nearer the bone, the sweeer the meat."""This does not pertain to poultry only meat.

You wil get many answers ranging from the bone conducts the heat, the bone throws out a liquid which has natural protein tenderizers in it, the bone protects the meat from overcooking. Any and all of these could be true. If the bone conducts the heat, then why when you cut open  a real rare steak is the meat just as rare around the bone? When you are told to put a thermometer in something with a bone  then why  are you told keep away from bone. False reading? which way up or down? Once the bone gets hot it will hold heat longer then meat. There are many science questions in meat to bone.

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      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #12 of 20

Until a side-by-side blind taste test is done, we are all guessing.

I have tried to make stock using just bones with no marrow and no meat, the stock was basically insipid without much taste.

 

I don’t believe bones can keep the meat in shape and not shrink. It may not shrink in length, but the meat will shrink in thickness.

 

It does feel good to chew on bones to satify that primal instinct that has been bred into us thru millions of years of evolution.

 

dcarch

 

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcarch View Post

I don’t believe bones can keep the meat in shape and not shrink.


Even when cooking, say, beef ribs? Pork spare ribs? Do you think those cuts would hold their shapes without their bones? Really? Are you sure? I don't agree. 

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post




Even when cooking, say, beef ribs? Pork spare ribs? Do you think those cuts would hold their shapes without their bones? Really? Are you sure? I don't agree. 



Those are very good examples to proof my point. I think we all are familiar how meat shrinks on ribs.

 

dcarch

 

post #15 of 20

Maybe we could rephrase this? Bones help keep an ideal shape?  Right now I agree with both of you.

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcarch View Post

Those are very good examples to proof my point. I think we all are familiar how meat shrinks on ribs.

 

dcarch

 

But are you familiar with how meat shrinks off the ribs? Do you think they'd shrink by just the same amount, and would have the exact same texture and flavor? I have trouble believing it. 

 

In any case the test is easy enough to do on a chicken breast. Try cooking it on the bone or off the bone, completely different shape. You don't have to believe me, try it for yourself and make up your own mind. I have. 

post #17 of 20

Yeah-butt.....

 

How long does a steak--bone in or not-- stay on the grill?  10 mins?

 

A prime rib?  2 hours min.

 

Pork ribs?  Smoked/bbq'd? an hour at least?

 

Rack of lamb?  20 mins?  But then the bones are much, much smaller too.

 

Chicken brst? !0-15 mins, but then again, the bones are much, much smaller 

 

Beef bones, by themselves have diddly-squat for flavour.  Knuckles, trim, gristle/cartlidge, have some flavour and natural gelatine, as well as connective tissue that breaks down after loooong cooking.

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post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post



 

But are you familiar with how meat shrinks off the ribs? Do you think they'd shrink by just the same amount, and would have the exact same texture and flavor? I have trouble believing it. 

 

In any case the test is easy enough to do on a chicken breast. Try cooking it on the bone or off the bone, completely different shape. You don't have to believe me, try it for yourself and make up your own mind. I have. 



 

Look at it this way, meat is just a glob of chemicals, water and proteins. Changes will take place when you subject the meat to different cooking temperatures and cooking time.

 

If you have pieces of identical qualities of meat, given the same amount of time and temperature, the texture and shrinkage of the pieces will go thru the exact same textural and dimensional (shrinkage and weight) changes, regardless of external forces. There is nothing you can do to modify that end result. You can nail, glue, staple, or clamp the meat to the bone, you will still get the same end results. Physical restrains can not change chemical reactions.

 

You are correct in the observation that chicken breast on bones may look like it has less shrinkage, that is because the shrinkage is in the thickness, not in length.

 

dcarch

post #19 of 20

I think all the bone does is keeping the nearby meat from flames and drying out.

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post #20 of 20

that it definitely does. and one thing you may depend on is that the meat next to the bone will be rare, if that's what you are going for. Bones in roasts are, in my mind, invaluable. But for quick grilling? meh... Bones in chicken breasts? You're robbing me of bones for my stock!

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