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What Does Bone Marrow Taste Like? Learn about Its Flavor.

Bone marrow is a nutrient-rich ingredient that has been used in cuisine for centuries. It is found in the center of bones and has a creamy texture and rich flavor. But what does bone marrow taste like?

It’s no wonder that even our early ancestors loved eating it. Since it is not as popular as meat, it is best to research it before cooking with it. How do you remove it from the bone? And how do you cook bone marrow? These are just a few questions this article will answer.

sliced bone marrow on top of the black serving board.

What Is Bone Marrow?

Bone marrow is a soft, fatty tissue you’ll find inside the bone cavity of bones.

There are two kinds of bone marrow. The most common type of marrow people use in dishes is the yellow bone marrow. You can find it inside the long bones of the animal.

The other kind, the red bone marrow, is more nutritious, but you can only find it in bone-in meat cuts.

Bone marrow is semi-solid, and it is where the production of blood cells takes place in most mammals.

Worldwide, animal bone marrow is a delicacy, especially beef bone marrow. But even when most animal bones have marrows, not all bones are fit for cooking bone marrow dishes.

The large bones of cows, goats, and sheep make the best marrow recipes. These bone marrows can be red, yellow, or off-white when raw. Once cooked, the marrows become slightly brown.

As for the texture, cooked bone marrow is soft. Some can be slightly firm, like gelatin, but it is almost always buttery smooth that melts in your mouth.

You can find both fresh and frozen bone marrow in most supermarkets. Depending on the dish you’re going to cook, you can ask your butcher to cut the bones across or along its length.

What Does Bone Marrow Taste Like?

Many people describe the bone marrow flavor as buttery and sweet. This particular animal part also has an umami flavor. Its high-fat content adds richness, giving the bone marrow a full-bodied taste.

Because of its rich flavor, bone marrow tastes great with mild-tasting ingredients. Avoid pairing it with other ingredients with a strong flavor, as they can be overwhelming.

The intense taste of bone marrows tastes great with certain seasonings, though. For the best marrow experience, use some acid like lemon juice or vinegar to balance with the fat.

You can also use salt, black pepper, garlic, rosemary, and thyme to add more flavor to bone marrow. Bone marrows will also taste better with parsley, shallots, and celery.

Bone Marrow Health Benefits

Bone marrow is not only rich-tasting but also nutrient-dense. It is a bounty of protein, collagen, and CLA or conjugated linoleic acid.

CLA is a potent anti-inflammatory compound. This part of the animal is also a great source of vitamins A, B12, and E.

On top of that, it also boasts thiamine, phosphorus, riboflavin, and iron.

Lastly, you’ll get zinc as well from eating bone marrow.

How To Get The Bone Marrow Out Of The Bone

Since yellow marrow is inside bone cavities, getting it all out can be tricky. One of the best ways to get the most out of it is to ask your butcher to do the canoe cut.

They’ll then proceed to cut the bones along their length. This cut gives you bone pieces that resemble canoes, hence the name.

Here are different ways to get the bone marrow out:

Use A Spoon

One of the easiest and less messy ways to take bone marrow from the bones is using a spoon. Scoop out the marrow as you’d do to the flesh of an avocado.

Once you get a spoonful, examine it carefully before eating it. You might have scooped out small bits and pieces of the bone. Remove them before indulging with the marrow.

And hold the bone tightly as you do so, as it may be greasy due to the bone marrow drippings.

Try It With Chopsticks

As the bone may have nooks and crevices that a spoon might not reach, you may need some help from chopsticks.

Scrape the sides of the bone with chopsticks and get whatever marrow is there. Poke into the deep corners of the bone to coax the marrow out.

Get Your Fingers Dirty

In some cases, using your fingers to do the scraping is necessary. Just ensure that your hands are clean, of course!

Use A Piece Of Bread

You can also dab a piece of bread on the insides of the bone. Any remaining marrow will stick to the bread, and you’ll be able to get some juices as well.

Do A Whiskey Luge

Did you know about bone marrow luges? You do a bone marrow luge when you tip the bone marrow into your mouth and pour whiskey on the other end. The whiskey will pick up any remaining marrow and juices. And you’ll get a unique twist to your drink.

How To Eat Bone Marrow?

Now that you know how to get every last bit of the marrow out of the bone, you may wonder how to incorporate them into your meals.

Here are a few ways to eat bone marrow and add it to your recipes:

Roast Them

Among the easiest ways to enjoy it is to roast the bone marrows. Roasted marrow has earned the name “poor man’s foie gras” because it is a great appetizer.

To roast the marrow:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F for canoed marrow or 450F for whole bones.
  2. Season the marrow with salt and other herbs or spices of your choice.
  3. Arrange the bone on a lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 425F until the marrows start to bubble lightly. Take the roasted marrow bones out of the oven at the first sign of bubbling so as not to overbake.

An overbaked marrow will melt and become a pool of fat on your baking sheet.

Make A Bone Soup or Broth

You can also make a hearty bone marrow soup. Or, make a broth and incorporate it into your other recipes for a burst of flavor.

To make the most flavorful soup, you must roast the bone marrows first. Follow the guide above for the best results.

After roasting bone marrow, toss it into a pot, and add water and vegetables of your choice. Bring to a boil and simmer until the vegetables are tender.

On the other hand, if you like to make bone broth, skip adding vegetables. And feel free to take out some of the marrow for your other recipes.

Boil and simmer the bones with some seasonings to make the most of the marrow still sticking to the bones. Then, drain to get rid of the solids.

You can use this broth like you would any other broth.

Add It To Scrambled Eggs

Adding marrow to scrambled eggs is a great way to use the roasted marrow you’ll get from following the guide above.

Or you can start from scratch by roasting a fresh batch of bones. This time, though, allow some of the marrow fat to melt into the bottom of your baking sheet.

Scoop out the marrow from the bone and whisk it with the eggs and seasonings of your choice. Then, take the fat from your baking sheet and use it for cooking your scrambled eggs.

Make Bone Marrow Dumplings

Bone marrow dumplings are easy to make. First, roast the bone marrow until it melts. Then, let the melted marrow cool.

In a bowl, whisk eggs, melted marrow, and bread crumbs. Season the dough with parsley, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

Make balls from the dough and drop them in boiling broth. You’ll know you’ve cooked the dumplings when they start floating.

Spread It On Toast

Since roasted bone marrow has a buttery texture and flavor, it tastes great on toast! Spread the cooked bone marrow into your toast as you would butter.

Top it with parsley and chives for some herby flavor, and enjoy your decadent toast. The contrast of the soft marrow and the crunchy toast will give you a mouthfeel like no other.

Make Bone Marrow Butter

Sure, steak, in itself, is already a delightful dish. But did you know that melting a marrow butter over it makes it even better? After all, people don’t call bone marrow butter the “butter of the gods” for nothing.

To make the richest butter, you should first remove all the blood from the marrows. To do this, soak the bones in brine for at least 12 hours.

To make the butter, you’d have to roast the marrow until it melts completely. Whisk it into a creamed regular butter, and add chopped chives. Use this butter as you’d do regular butter. Melt it over steak or use it in toasts.

Tips For Buying Bone Marrow

To make the tastiest marrow dishes, you should always purchase the highest-quality ones.

Buy your marrow from trusted retailers.

Look for clean, pale pink raw bone marrow with little to no blood spots.

Remember that the bone marrows are inside bone cavities. Unless you ask them to cut it across, there is no way to tell how much there actually is. For good measure, always buy a little extra on the side.

Do plan ahead so you can ask your butcher what cut to do. Cutting the bones yourself is a lot of work, not to mention you’d need some equipment and end up with a messy workspace.

Does Bone Marrow Taste Like Beef?

Yes, it does. It is just more intense and comes with rich, nutty, sweet, and buttery flavors. For this reason, it is not a good idea to pair it with other strong-flavored foods. It takes seasonings well, so feel free to use any of your favorite seasonings.

Is Bone Marrow Slimy?

Yes, bone marrow is slimy and gooey. This texture enables the bone to melt into a liquid pool of fat when cooked thoroughly. But because of this texture, not all people love it, so it is an acquired taste.

How Can Bone Marrow Be Used In Recipes?

You can eat the bone marrow straight from the bone or roast it first. Roasted bone marrow is a perfect addition to scrambled eggs and fresh salads. You can also make bone marrow butter and use it in your recipes as regular butter.


Bone marrow is a tasty and flavorful part of the animal. It has a gooey, gelatin-like texture and a strong smell. But what does bone marrow taste like? The flavor of bone marrow is intense. It is sweet, nutty, and rich. Bone marrow also has a buttery flavor that lends richness to dishes.

It is best to soak the bones in brine to get rid of the blood. Doing so ensures the most delicious bone marrow recipes. Some people go as far as letting the bones soak for 3 days. After soaking, you can roast the bone marrow and eat it as-is. Or, you can add it to recipes for richer-tasting dishes.

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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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