Why You Should Always Buy Bone-In Meats, According To MasterChef's Courtney Lapresi

People have strong opinions about bone-in versus boneless cuts. Some far prefer the ease of just dealing with the protein, while others enjoy the flavor that a bone-in selection imparts. However, MasterChef winner Courtney Lapresi prefers to pick out bone-in meats because of what she does with the bones, not because of anything to do with the preparation of the meat itself.

Lapresi, a dancer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who competed on the fifth season of the reality television show (via Reality TV Revisited), took to Instagram back in November 2020 with a video showing her butchering a chicken with the aid of a razor-sharp knife. She put all the bones to the side as she systematically made her way through the meat, and in the caption of the post, made sure to clarify that those portions wouldn't be going in the trash when the video was over — they'd be heading straight to a stock pot.

As Lapresi stated in the Instagram caption: "I always buy bone-in meats because I enjoy using the bones for stock. Probably gunna make some more chicken n dumpling soup because why not?" Why not, indeed? After all, a flavorful stock, crafted from any type of bones, is a solid start to a delicious meal.

Are there any other benefits of bone-in cuts?

Many meat-lovers absolutely swear by the extra flavor imparted by the simple act of keeping the bone in the meat while cooking. While you may not be able to tell the difference with something cooked quickly at a high heat, as Smoking Meat Geeks explains, a dish you're planning to cook low and slow benefits from keeping the bone in throughout the cooking process.

Meat aside, the bones themselves have some major nutritional benefits that shouldn't be overlooked. Cooking and consuming broth with these bones can help with hydration and sleep, according to WebMD, and Healthline states that bone broth can make it easier to ingest essential vitamins and minerals.

While browsing the aisles of your local grocery store, you may have spotted cartons or jars of bone broth and gotten a bit of sticker shock — NPR reports that they can often retail for more than $12 per quart. If you're willing to put in a bit of time and effort, though, you can craft the tasty and healthy substance yourself, all from parts you may have originally thrown out. However, there are a few steps you may want to be aware of, such as blanching and roasting the bones for a superior flavor (via Bon Appétit).