This year I plan to eat more meat, and fatty meat preferred. I'd like to know the general level of price per unit weight so I can judge if it's "worth it", compared to how much I like eating it. If it makes a difference, I probably will be eating the meat all by itself (just adding some leaf veggies on the side, and that will be my meal). You will probably ascertain that I'm not experienced in culinary ways at all, but simply would like to get data in this area of food availability/suitability.

For instance, I believe that beef rib eye is great to eat, can be prepared very quickly, has a nice amount of fat, but is pretty expensive. Pork back ribs take a long time to cook tenderly, can be cooked ahead and be tasty and fatty. But because of the bones, I don't know where that falls (more expensive/less expensive) with respect to rib eye. There's also fatty fish, like salmon to compare. All the way to canned or those little bags of tuna.

Optimally, I'd like to find a list of meats (cuts of meat) that included a price range (per edible weight vs with bones), the range of fat typically found in the meat. The list would include the whole range of source animals (not just beef, or not just fish, etc, but all available in the US).

  • 3
    I've never heard a new years resolution to eat more fatty meat...I'm just wondering....is there a reason?
    – rfusca
    Jan 8, 2012 at 0:23
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    @rfusca: Flavour? Seriously - lots of us find ultra-lean meats like chicken breast to be barely edible. I'm sure there are reasonable dietary reasons as well, since fats are calorie-dense.
    – Aaronut
    Jan 8, 2012 at 0:44
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    Yep, chicken breast is mostly a waste of time. Good tasting meat doesn't need a lot of fat, just the normal healthy free range animals fat/meat balance. Well grown animals in a relatively natural environment taste great. Time to do a Zuckerberg and hunt, kill, butcher, and cook your own meat
    – TFD
    Jan 8, 2012 at 2:49
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    I don't know about the downvoter, but this seems a bit difficult to answer as-is - prices vary pretty wildly, and even the amount of fat and bone in a given cut will probably vary substantially. (Just try looking in your store at, say, pork shoulders - you'll see obvious variation without even opening the package and cutting into the meat.) Some general advice is probably possible, but I'm not so sure about the numbers you're asking for. (5-15% fat? $6-12/lb?) It's also very broad (there are a lot of meats) and will tend to solicit opinions and discussion. But maybe there are good references?
    – Cascabel
    Jan 8, 2012 at 4:00
  • @rjfusca: I just read another of Gary Taubes' books and became re-invigorated. The fat will replace refined carbs and sugars. Fat is not the enemy, even the fraction of fat in meat that happens to be saturated fat. Trans-fat is basically poison to us, and I'm afraid the baby went out with the bath water in the last 40 years.
    – Dale
    Jan 13, 2012 at 20:36

3 Answers 3


If you are planning on eating a lot of the fat then you may go for grass-fed beef or similar animals as the slower growth can help with marbling and you'll get more flavor in the fat. Also get it from a butcher than will leave the fat on. Of course the fat will be part of the price point and if you aren't a fan of gamey meats you may want to stick with corn fed.

My personal preference is pork. Decent fat content and a very versatile meat for all kinds of dishes.

If you are serious about lots of meat and saving money then invest in a chest freezer and buy whole or partial parts of an animal. You'll get a large variety of cuts (you can have ones you don't like ground) and the price will average out across all the cuts. Search around for butcher/meat shops and most should provide you with a cut price list.

I usually get a pig or two a year. Has ranged between 2-4 dollars a pound depending on who I had raise it (cheaper usually if directly via butcher) and any smoking (bacon/ham), sausage making, etc I had done.


Pork shoulder/butt is very fatty. You can get a small one, since there's only one of you, and make different things. For example, you cook it once, and you can have pulled pork to add to salads, sandwiches, omelets, refried beans.

Roasts are pretty cheap, I'm thinking Chuck roast, Sirloin tip oven roast, boneless Center cut pork roast. One small roast gives me 3-4 meals. So you can cook 3 roasts at once in the oven and you'll have meat for about 9 meals.

Chuck steak/beef stew meat, is very cheap, and you can make delicious stews to keep in the fridge or freezer in individual serving containers.

Bacon is expensive, but if you ask for bacon "ends and pieces", it's very, very cheap (and it's also very fatty).

A lot of my suggestions will make way too much meat, if you're the only one eating, but they freeze well in small containers.

Chicken leg quarters are very cheap and fatty. You can make so many things with them. Shred it for salads, soups, coconut milk curries, or have it whole by roasting in the oven.

Canned sardines (in water) are cheap, and you can add something spicy to them (e.g. chili paste or paprika) drizzle some olive oil, then broil in the oven.

If you need help in preparing these foods, leave a comment and I'll try to help.


This link will give you the amount of fat in each kind of meat, depending on the location. However, keep in mind that this varies greatly depending on the origin. Since you only buy a part of the global "ground beef" piece, and it is not homogeneous, some pieces of it will be fattier than others. As a rule, the low fat pieces will be more expensive than high-fat pieces, which is actually a good point for your problems.

As for the price, it cannot be answered since it varies greatly. However, beef tends to be more expensive than pork, which is more expensive than chicken. Usually, the more protein there is, the more expensive it is.

I think you will have to detail exactly what you want. As it is, the best answer to your answer would be to get leftover pork fat (pure fat, almost free), but I don't thik that is what you want. You will have to specify the ratio fat/protein that you want, or the maximum percentage of fat that you would be able to eat.

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