Tips on Marbling & Coloring of Meat

Marbling & Color 
Another key to juciness and flavor is how well-marbled the meat is and its color.


Marbling: Also called graining, is the small streaks of fat that run through the cut of the meat. These streaks of fat act as a lubricant, dissolving into the meat as it cooks. Meat that has little marbling may be dry and and have less flavor.


Beef – Prime beef should be firm, finely textured, and a light cherry-red color. It should be well trimmed, with very little outer fat. Any fat should be creamy in color. If there are bones, they should be soft looking with a reddish color.

Lamb – Meat from high quality young lambs is fine textured, firm and lean. It is light tan in color with bones being red, moist and porous. Any outside fat should be firm and white and not too thick. In older lambs the meat is light red, the fat is apt to be thicker and creamy in color, and the bones may look drier, harder and less red than those of younger lambs.

Veal – Prime veal should be from almost white to a very light pink. The flesh should have a firm, velvety and moist look without being too watery. Bones should be small in width and fairly soft to the touch and bright red in color. Any fat covering the meat should be slight and whitish in color.

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