Cut the Fat, Keep the Flavor
Sticking to a healthy, low-fat diet is one of the goals many of us are still trying to master. But if you think that means a nice juicy steak is off the table, think again. Since many traditional meat-and-potato dishes don’t usually nod toward healthier ingredients, we have a few tricks and tools to help you cut the fat, but keep the flavor. It all starts by using professional-grade knives, like those from Chicago Cutlery®.
Chicago Cutlery knives (such as a chef’s knife or utility knife) are the perfect tools for trimming and prepping your meats for cooking. However, a dull knife does you no good, so get in the habit of sharpening your knife after every couple of uses. The CHICAGO CUTLERY® MAGNA SHARP™ KNIFE SHARPENER gives great results every time. A knife steel, included in many block sets, is also a helpful tool for keeping a sharp edge.
To make sure your meal is full of as much flavor as possible, without compromising on health, here’s what you should know before cooking.
- Which cuts are lean? Nearly 30 cuts of beef qualify as lean, according to federal guidelines. So how can you tell which is which? Look for the words “loin” or “round” when purchasing meat. Other smart choices include flank steak, T-bone and 95% lean ground beef.
- How much fat is right? When grilling or broiling, we recommend leaving a side layer of fat only about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Be careful not to cut into the meat; what you are aiming for is a thin, even layer left on the steak.
- What’s the best knife for the job? Select a large knife such as the CHICAGO CUTLERY® ESSENTIALS® 8-INCH CHEF’S KNIFE. This knife is a great value and makes easy work of any kitchen task—including trimming fat. We also recommend designating one cutting board for your meats, preferably plastic or glass.
START WITH HIGH TEMPS
Heat your grill or cooking surface to a very high temperature. Season the steak with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and sear the meat to help it develop a rich and flavorful crust.
USE HERBS AS FLAVOR ENHANCERS
Instead of using gravy or heavy sauces, try marinades or light dressings using fresh herbs to impart vibrant flavors on grilled steaks, chicken and pork.
- The best knife for herbs? The CHICAGO CUTLERY® VIVID™ 5-INCH UTILITY KNIFE is perfect for preparing any kind of herb—parsley, coriander, mint, rosemary, thyme and more.
- Flavorful marinade: Mix freshly chopped parsley with a couple tablespoons of canola or olive oil; add in a little salt and pepper, freshly squeezed lemon juice and crushed garlic. You have the perfect marinade for healthier skinless chicken breasts, which will give you juicy, tender meat packed with flavor, and very little fat.
WHOLE CUTS OF MEAT
While whole cuts are often good value, but they often have a lot of fat and gristle on them. The best way to cook these cuts is in a slow cooker or broiler. To prep meat for slow cookers, trim away any visible fat. The CHICAGO CUTLERU® FULLERTON™ 3-PIECE KNIFE SET , for example, contains a great carving knife to help you get your meat in tip-top shape.