The Correct Way To Cutting Fat Off Of Meat, According To Andrew Zimmern

If you ever find yourself trimming the fat off of enough wagyu beef to serve 20 people, like Andrew Zimmern – okay, fine, even if you're just trimming fat off of a pot roast that doesn't cost more than a month of your rent, there's a way to do it right. Andrew Zimmern posted a video on Twitter showing him trimming some fat off of beef in a very particular way, and gave a shout-out to Pat LaFrieda, a New Jersey butcher of national meat fame.

Zimmern says in the video, eliciting a laugh from a nearby friend, "Pat LaFrieda would be so proud of me, trimming meat the correct way." He's holding a sharp boning knife "backwards" in his hand, and shaving fat off the back of the cut, as he says, to avoid cutting himself. Instead of his thumb facing the blade of the knife, it's held with the hand in a fist, and the thumb is furthest away from the blade. By the looks of LaFrieda trimming a brisket in this video posted by Zero Point Zero Production, Inc, we're not so sure that he'd champion Zimmern's specific method (via YouTube) – but there are a few good principles to remember when butchering and trimming.

What to know what you're handling meat

First, be sanitary, folks. Improperly handled meat can lead to foodborne illness, which the CDC estimates sickens one in six Americans every year. The best way to be safe when handling raw meat is to wash your hands thoroughly with warm water before and after handling it, keeping raw meat away from other food, and sanitizing food prep materials if they've touched raw meat (via USDA). Second – according to Pat LaFrieda - is working with the right tools (via YouTube).

Ditch that knife block full of knives of every shape and size – that's so very 80s ranch-kitchen of you (via Apartment Therapy). LaFrieda says, and many seasoned chefs will tell you, you don't need more than a few knives, and maybe even just one. LaFrieda opts for the vaguely murder-y cimeter (look it up), which is a large curved blade that can slice through meat without getting the point stuck. The second is a simple boning knife – perfect for tricky small cuts and yes, trimming fat, as Zimmern demonstrated. A few how-tos on YouTube later, and you'll be good to go for safe, clean butchery at home.