COOKING TIP III, meat

NOLAchef_tips_on_cooking_meats_temperatures

Cooking meat, not as simple as one might think.

If you have the basics covered your meat skills will increase drastically and you wont be stuck with dry tough cuts that your body is super pissed about digesting.

Follow these guidelines and you’ll be good to go!

-COOK WITH ROOM TEMPERATURE MEAT.  Remove it from the fridge ahead of time so it’s not super cold when you throw it on the grill-pan-oven-whatever.  Cold meats will drop the pans temperature and cause it to stick.  And then it wont brown properly and you’ll miss out on the oh-so tasty caramelization where flavor magically develops from a little bit of heat.

-GET THE PAN HOT.  If the pan-grill-griddle-whatever isn’t HOT when you put your meat on it will stick, tear, fall apart.

-PATIENCE.  Once your meat is cooking don’t fuss with it!  Try to cook it 50-70% through on the first (presentation) side, flip it, and finish cooking it on the second side.

-KNOW YOUR MEAT TEMPERATURES.  Invest in a meat thermometer.  They run about 15 bucks.  Carefully stab your meat in its thickest part and read the temperature.  If you want, stop cooking the meat a few degrees before your desired temperature since it will continue to cook once it’s taken off the heat source.

-REST YOUR MEAT.  After your burger-chicken-pork chop is done leave it on a resting rack for about 5 minutes.  When the flesh hits the heat it naturally reacts by tightening itself.  Allowing your meats to rest will give it the time to relax which also distributes its juices as opposed to leaking out in your first cut.

-KNOW YOUR CUTS OF MEAT.  As a general rule, the more expensive the cut, the less time it needs to cook.  Meaning, if you want to braise beef (a technique that involves 3-5 hours) use a part of the cow that is tough, one that gets a lot of use.  The last thing you want is to make boeuf bourguignon with a nice cut of filet!  The super tender cuts get harder as you cook them, and the tougher ones start to break down.  My favorite are brisket and chuck.  They’re the cheapest here in BA and they melt like butter when cooked properly.  Check out this site for more about beef cuts.

HOW HOT TO COOK YOUR MEAT ::
-
130°F   med-rare beef   54°C
-
140°F   med-rare lamb   60°C
-
145°F   eggs, medium beef, pork   63°C
-
155°F   ground meats   68°C
-
165°F   all poultry   74°C

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