I am slightly confused about eating meat on Fridays outside of lent. My understanding is that you are not to eat meat on Fridays outside of lent, but the practice can be replaced with acts of piety or penance. Am I wrong?
If you are in the U.K. I believe it is required to abstain from meat. The requirement in the U.S. to abstain from meat on Fridays outside of Lent was removed. Friday remains a day of penitence and something should be done, and not eating meat is one of those things, but other things can be done instead. You can read the Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence here:
In the UK we abstain from meat on all Fridays, except feast days. There are some special dispensations, but that is getting down into the weeds and they are special exceptions rather than excuses.
You are correct
You can eat meat on non-Lenten Fridays.
In 1966, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) decided: "Friday should be in each week something of what Lent is in the entire year. For this reason we urge all to prepare for that weekly Easter that comes with each Sunday be freely making of every Friday a day of self-denial and mortification in prayerful remembrance of the passion of Jesus Christ;
“Among the works of voluntary self-denial and personal penance which we especially commend to our people for the future observance of Friday, EVEN THOUGH WE HEREBY TERMINATE THE TRADITIONAL LAW OF ABSTINENCE AS BINDING UNDER PAIN OF SIN, as the sole prescribed means of observing Friday, we give first place to abstinence from flesh meat. We do so in the hope that the Catholic community will ordinarily continue to abstain from meat by free choice as formerly we did in obedience to Church law” (2-3; emphasis in original).
You can read the NCCB’s decision in context here:
Or perhaps not. In part it depends on what country you live in and the OP doesn’t list that information.