Is Bone-In Meat Better Than Alternatives?

Is Bone-In Meat Better Than Alternatives?

Posted on: January 16, 2023

Eating outdoors is always a nice option for spending quality time together, getting fresh air, and bonding after hectic work and school schedules.

Eating outdoors is always a nice option for spending quality time together, getting fresh air, and bonding after hectic work and school schedules. Barbecuing is a main staple when eating outside, as it tends to be less demanding than actual cooking or baking. However, many people choose to gravitate towards a more delicate way of preparing meat: smoking. Although it uses similar tools as grilling and barbecuing, it makes a world of difference to meat.

Bone-In Cuts of Meat

Smoking works well, especially with bone-in meat like spare ribs, chicken leg portions, and T-Bone steaks.

Casual meat lovers might assume that their favorite meat delicacies become more flavorful when cooked bone-in. However, that’s not the case. What bones do is release stocks coming from its collagen and act as a contributor to the “feel,” but not actual flavor. In fact, keeping bones on your steak makes it lose its crispness, which many people enjoy.

Boneless Cuts of Meat

Most people choose boneless cuts of meat because it saves money without sacrificing the quality. However, there are a lot of professionals in the cooking industry who prefer using bone-in meat, especially when cooking for high-end restaurants. Smoking meat is very popular in most restaurants, and the type of meat being smoked will ultimately decide the quality of the final dish.

Most chefs and meat lovers will tell you that steaks will always taste better bone-in. The popular belief is that the flavor of the bone from your favorite meat is being transferred to the meat itself. Grillers and smokers point out that fluid from the marrow cannot pass through the bones, so there’s no way the flavor from the marrow can penetrate the meat during cooking.


Marrow, a substance found in all meat bones, comes in two forms, namely red marrow and yellow marrow. In steak bones, yellow marrow makes the meat extra delicious, and cowboys used to call it prairie butter. Those who have tried actual butter on their steaks might agree because the texture of yellow marrow and pasteurized butter is almost the same.

No Difference

There are plenty of meat lovers who argue that cooking your steak boneless is not very different from cooking it bone-in. Scientifically speaking, bone-in meats and boneless steaks are indistinguishable, which is quite surprising. Meat bones don’t have enough permeable surface to allow marrow to carry its flavor through to the meat.


If you’re interested in smoking meat, Bradley Smoker is one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of food smokers. Whether you prefer bone-in or boneless, our recipes will appeal to you. Food smoking is what we specialize in, and we have food smokers that work well with both bone-in meat and alternatives. You can find all of our recipes here, we update weekly! So don’t forget to check out our site often for the best and latest recipes!

Furthermore, bones take too long to dissolve and are relatively flavorless by themselves, thus contributing nothing to the meat’s flavor. Whether we love cooking steaks with or without the bones, we can always choose the smoking method. Smoking meat gives it a uniquely distinct flavor as well as enhanced appearance, smell, and even safety and preservation.

Advantages of Food Smoking

Food smoking, specifically, has been chosen by most cooking enthusiasts because of its numerous advantages in cooking both bone-in and boneless meat. Though smoking consumes more time and needs constant temperature checking, it gives more tenderness and flavor to the meat than grilling.

The products you choose to smoke will also impact the flavor. Our Bradley Bisquettes have many flavors to choose from.

For more great ideas on how to get the most of your Bradley Smoker, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Food Smoking Blog for more tips & tricks.