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I like to bake (roast?) whole chicken and whole ducks. I noticed that the best meat is always the meat the is closest to the bone (whether or not this meat is close or far away from the skin). The meat closer to the bone is more juicy and more tasty. Why is that?

Is it because those muscles have a different physiology? Is it because the bones release delicious fats (or something else) that accumulate in the nearby meat?

Is it a general observation that also apply to red meat?

  • I always imagine it's the bone protecting the meat from drying out, but have zero evidence or knowledge to back it up. But I wholeheartedly agree with Louis Prima. Nice question. – Willem van Rumpt Oct 14 at 4:40
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This contains a nice explanation of why meat is juicy and tasty, and it is due to the presence of fat and conjunctive tissue in the muscles, as well as brining and marinating.

If you take a look at bird anatomy, the chest and other major muscle masses have less fat and conjunctive tissue as they evolved to be, well, muscle masses for propelling the bird around.

The muscles "closer to the bone" have the conjunctive tissue that connects them to the correlated bone, and in certain parts, the muscles are smaller due to the need for fine movements (like the wings).

I explained in another answer the mechanics of maximizing marinade power, and one of the factors involved is the surface-to-volume ratio of the part you're trying to marinade, which is also better closer to the bone (including cavities)

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