Can I Grind Meat With Silver Skin?

Preparing your meals from scratch is a great skill that can help you save money and have a healthy, well-balanced diet. Maybe you have some beef to grind into ground beef and wonder if you could grind it with the silver skin attached. Or what would happen if you didn't remove the silver skin? We've researched these questions and have found results to share with you!

It is advised to avoid grinding meat with the silver skin attached because it will harden when cooked, and it is difficult to chew and digest. 

Ready to learn more about meat preparation and how to remove the silver skin from your meat products correctly? Great! Please keep reading. We have a lot of helpful information to share with you. Without further ado, let's get into it.

Grinding fresh red meat on a metal manual meat grinder, close-up on a brick wall background with copy space. - Can I Grind Meat With Silver Skin?

Can I Grind Meat With Silver Skin?

raw salmon fillet with silver skin on white background

Although it is possible to grind beef, pork, and venison meat with the silver skin attached, it is highly encouraged by professionals and home cooks to remove the silver skin prior to grinding the meat.

Mainly because it will prevent the meat from absorbing seasonings and cook unevenly, which could be hazardous to human health.

Suppose you leave the silver skin attached to the meat and start feeding it through the grinder.  The silver skin is going to cause some wear and tear on the small appliance, which is another reason why removing the silver skin is the best option.

Click here to view the KitchenAid meat grinder on Amazon.

Is Silver Skin Edible?

Silver skin will become tough after cooking, and it will be very difficult to chew and even more difficult to digest. For the best results, request that the butcher remove the silver skin, or remove it yourself at home. Please keep reading. We will cover how to remove silver skin in just a bit!

What Is Silver Skin?

Silver skin is a silvery connective membrane tissue commonly found on most large cuts of beef, pork, and lamb. Generally, pork ribs will have silver skin lining the underside of the ribs that is removed professionally by the meat processing plant or the butchers at the grocery store.

Learning how to process meat products yourself is a great skill set to develop. Click here to read more: How To Cut Beef Bones At Home

What Happens If You Don't Remove Silver Skin?

The silver skin is hardened when it's cooked and causes the piece of meat to corkscrew while cooking, which means the meat will be misshaped. Also, any seasonings and marinades will not evenly permeate the meat because the silver skin will block the spices from being absorbed into the meat.

Bowl of mince with electric meat grinder in kitchen interior

Do Butchers Remove The Silver Skin?

Generally, the butchers will remove the silver skin from meat products. However, there may be times when small pieces of silver skin will be left on the meat, which the consumer should remove before cooking, grinding, or freezing the meat.

Are you wondering if you can cut meat on your wooden cutting board? Click here to read more: Can You Cut Meat On A Wood Cutting Board? [Raw And Cooked]

How To Remove The Silver Skin

To remove the silver skin, you will need a clean cutting board and a knife, and the meat must be thawed to remove the silver skin safely.

  1. Wash hands thoroughly, and wipe down the countertop for a clean workspace.
  2. Place meat on the cutting board, and use a boning knife to trim off the fat to see the silver skin clearly.
  3. Insert the knife under the silver skin to create a small opening.
  4. Hold the end of the silver skin with your nondominant hand to create tension on the silver skin, and in the opposite direction, glide the knife away from the initial opening.
  5. Angle the knife slightly upwards to avoid accidentally cutting the meat under the silver skin.
  6. After cutting through the first strip of silver skin, go back and cut off the end piece.

Repeat steps 3 through 7 until all the silver skin has been removed.

Tips For Removing The Silver Skin

taking off the silver skin from spare ribs

  • Wear cut gloves to prevent accidental cuts.
  • Use a plastic cutting board instead of a wooden board.
  • Use a slight back-and-forth sawing motion when trimming the meat's silver skin.
  • Always wash hands with soapy water before and after handling raw meat.
  • Wipe the work area with anti-bacterial cleaning wipes or hot soapy water after processing meats.

Click here to see this boning knife on Amazon.

Are you interested in wearing cut gloves to protect your hands in the kitchen?

Click here to see these food-grade cut gloves on Amazon.

How Can You Tell The Difference Between Silver Skin And Fat?

The differences between silver skin and fat are easily distinguishable. Silver skin will have a tough texture and a sleek silver appearance that is closely connected to the bones and meat and has to be removed with a sharp knife.

Fat will have a white or yellow tint, a soft texture, and will melt during the cooking process. The silver skin will not cook down or melt while cooking. Instead, the silver skin will cook and become very tough and difficult to chew.

Also, leaving silver skin connected to the meat will cause it to cook unevenly, and depending on the cut of meat, it will cause it to curl, and the seasonings will not be evenly distributed throughout the piece of meat.

Do You Need To Remove The Silver Skin From Pork Ribs?

Yes, removing the silver skin from the ribs is the best option for the seasoning, smoke, and sauce to penetrate the meat. If you don't remove the silver skin, it will leave a layer of leathery skin on the back side of the ribs, which is less than appetizing.

Moreover, the ribs will get very misshapen while cooking, and parts of the ribs could be undercooked due to the layer of silver skin preventing the meat from even heat distribution.

taking off the silver skin from spare ribs

Do Costco Ribs Have The Silver Skin Removed?

Yes, the Costco meat department does remove the silver skin from the ribs before packaging the pork ribs for consumer sales. Generally, all grocery store chains will sell pork ribs with the silver skin removed.

However, if you would like to double-check your local store before heading out to pick up your ribs for the barbecue, call the store and ask for the meat department, or visit the website to confirm the butchering practices of the butcher/grocery store.

Safety Precautions For Operating A Meat Grinder

Raw meat. The process of preparing forcemeat by means of a meat grinder. Female hands use meat chopper at kitchen.

Using a meat grinder to prepare ground beef, sausages, and other meat products will help lower your grocery bill. However, using a meat grinder is not foolproof, and there are several safety precautions to keep in mind to prevent accidents and injuries.

  • Keep hair pulled back and sleeves rolled up when using the meat grinder.
  • Always wash hands before handling the grinder.
  • Clean the grinder after each and every use.
  • Do not use your fingers to push the meat through; only use the pusher.
  • Do not allow children and pets to be unattended with the grinder.
  • Never force meat through the grinder.
  • Store the grinder unplugged.
  • Only use the grinder when it is fully assembled.
  • Reference the owner's manual for directions and approved cleaning products.
  • Cover the grinder with an appliance cover to prevent dust and debris from entering the device.

Wrapping Up!

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read our article!

Today we discussed silver skin, what it is, how to identify it, and more importantly, how to correctly remove it from cuts of meat. Also, we covered safety precautions for operating a meat grinder that will help you maintain a clean and injury-free kitchen.

Please be sure to check out some of our other posts to help further your culinary knowledge base:

What Can You Cut With A Paring Knife? [How About Meat?]

Can You Cut Meat On A Wood Cutting Board? [Raw And Cooked]

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