How to Render Fat on Steak For Perfect Texture and Taste

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One key technique for cooking a tasty steak is rendering the fat. This not only adds flavor but also helps form the crust. Mastering the art of rendering is essential whether you are grilling, broiling, or pan-searing.

Let’s turn up the heat and show you exactly how to render the fat on a steak.


The Ways to Render Fat on a Steak

The only way you will render fat is by using heat, energy, and time!

How to Render Fat in Steak for Flavor

Below are the factors that affect how fat is rendered and the steps to ensure you render the fat on your steak correctly.

1. Pick Your Cut of Steak

You need to pick your cut of steak first. Certain types of steak render better and have more marbling. The types of steak are NY Strip, ribeye, and sirloin.

2. Seasoning The Meat

The meat must be seasoned before you start cooking. You should generously apply salt and pepper and allow it to sit uncovered in the fridge for 1-2 hours. This draws out moisture and helps the crust to form.

3. Preheat

It is essential to preheat your grill or pan before cooking. You want a hot surface so the fat renders quickly and forms a crust without overcooking inside.

Fat holds temperature for longer than meat! Cooking a cold steak directly from the fridge slows down the process. It is the same when you want to render the fat.

Take the steak out of the fridge for at least 10-15 minutes before you plan on heating it, cover and leave at room temperature.

4. Butter or Oil?

If you’re using a pan or skillet, you should use a high smoke point fat, such as butter or oil. These will help enhance the flavor and form the crust. You can also use the fat to baste the steak as it cooks. I like to throw in a sprig of rosemary as I do this. Just tilt the pan to the side, collect the fat, and drizzle it over the steak. Cook until it reaches your desired temperature.

5. Rest The Steak

Once your steak has reached the desired temperature, remove it from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to be redistributed and ensures your steak is juicier and tender.


What is the best cut of steak for rendering fat?

Below are my favorite cuts of steak to render. Each will have a different level of fat content, so remember: Rendering the fat will not be the same for any steak you cook!

Eye Fillet Steak/Tenderloin Steak

These leaner steaks contain minimal subcutaneous fat but high intermuscular fat, which will be rendered down when cooking the meat, so don’t worry about it!

Ribeye Steak

A ribeye steak has a lot of marling It contains all four types of fat and is located in the rib primal.

Sirloin/Rump Steak

A sirloin and rump steak comes from the back end of the animal. It will likely have a thick fat cap that will need trimming and rendering down correctly. Cook on medium heat with the fat facing down until you achieve a crisp crust.

T-Bone Steak

A T-Bone steak will not be as marbled as a ribeye or sirloin but still needs a bit of help with rendering.


What are the benefits of rendering fat?

Rendering the fat adds a crispy crust as well as meat. It enhances the taste and texture of the steak.

How long does it take?

It takes 3-5 minutes to render the fat on steak, but it varies depending on the cut, thickness, and the type of cooking method you choose.

Should you trim the steak before rendering?

You should trim any large pieces of fat, like a fat cap, I like to leave 1/4 inch of fat. Make sure you leave some as it adds flavor during the cooking process.

Do you need a grill to render steak?

No you don’t need a grill to render steak, you can use a cast iron pan or a skillet. You just need to ensure you can get the pan hot enough to sear it, so you can develop the crust.


Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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