Techniques for Cooking Meat

8 Techniques for Cooking Meat - a special request hub

There are many techniques for cooking meat: Braising, cooking in liquid, broiling, grilling, skillet cooking, stir frying, roasting and parboiling (before grilling) will be covered here.

I don't claim to be an expert but I have used all of these methods. If you are choosing a less-expensive cut of meat, you will need moist heat for cooking. The more tender cuts of meat will be best-cooked by dry heat. Let me explain.

For beef, the least expensive cuts are chuck steaks, chuck roasts and short ribs, round steaks, briskets and bottom round cuts.

For pork, the less-expensive cuts are ham hocks and spareribs.

For lamb, hind shanks, fore shanks and sometimes the blade chops.

When you cook the meats that are cheaper, a moist heat is preferred.

http://i.ehow.com/images
http://i.ehow.com/images

BRAISING

This method is used for the less expensive cuts of meat.

Turn your stove burner on medium-high heat. Let the pan heat up for 1-2 minutes. I usually use a skillet or Dutch oven. Lay your meat in the pan. You should hear a sizzle. Brown the meat on all sides. If it starts to burn, turn the heat down a little. Sometimes I use a tablespoon of olive oil, but it is not necessary because you are going to "de-glaze" the pan. I'll explain.

After the meat is browned on all sides, you can use liquid to finish the cooking. I like to use red wine (about a tablespoon at a time) to loosen those stuck-on bits on the bottom of the skillet. (De-glazing) The alcohol content evaporates. If you don't use wine, you can use water, beef broth, juice. (Apple juice is good with pork.)


COOKING IN LIQUID OR STEWING

Cooking in liquid is similar to braising. After browning the meat, more liquid is used. This will make a sauce or broth later. I usually add about a cup of liquid at a time. Vegetables can be added here. After the meat is cooked, the sauce can be thickened with cornstarch or flour to make a gravy. Some people just like to use the broth, as is, to pour over the meat later. You may want to add more liquid as it evaporates, so watch your pot.

TENDERIZING

Less tender cuts of meat can be tenderized before cooking.

1) Pounding - I remember my mother always used to pound the round steak or cubed steak before she cooked it. Use a meat mallet. Start at the center and pound the meat to the edges until thin.

2) Scoring - Use a sharp knife to make diagonal cuts in the meat (not too deep)

3) Marinating - Use a combination of something acidic like lemon juice, vinegar, wine or tomatoes over the meat. Then refrigerate for an hour or overnight. This will not only tenderize the meat but add flavor.

Asian-Flavored Marinade

Combine 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce or Tamari, 1 Tablespoon orange peel, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1 Tablespoon lemon peel, 3 Tablespoons lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, 2 teaspoons sesame oil and 3 cloves minced garlic. Pour over meat and refrigerate. You can turn the meat after 1/2 hour to marinate on other side.

4) Commercial meat tenderizer - You can buy tenderizer in the grocery store. It comes in a spice-type bottle and when I buy it, I try to get one that doesn't have MSG in it  (Monosodium glutamate) because I am sensitive to it and sometimes get headaches.

http://www.bbq-ribs.com
http://www.bbq-ribs.com

Parboiling Before Grilling

Parboiling is simply pre-cooking the meat before you cook it! Make sense?

I like to parboil pork spareribs and beef country ribs before I bar-b-que them or grill them. Get a large Dutch oven and fill it about halfway with water. Bring to a boil. Carefully drop in your ribs and boil them for about 45 min to one hour.Then you can make your barbeque sauce while the ribs are cooking.

It's OK to bake them, covered, in a roasting pan for about an hour at 350 degrees instead. Then you can grill them with barbeque sauce for another 30 minutes.

Try both ways and see which way you prefer!



BROILING GUIDELINES FOR BEEF

http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com
http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com

BROILING

Now that I've explained how to cook less expensive meats, let's talk about the more tender cuts of meat.

Beef - rib eye steak, tenderloin steak, strip steak, T-bone or Porterhouse steak, top sirloin steak

Pork - Blade steak, top loin chops, butterfly chops, rib chops, smoked loin chops, bacon, center cut ham

Lamb - rib chops, arm chops, loin chops, blade chops, leg center slice

These can all be broiled. To broil, preheat your broiler. Place meat in a broiler pan. For thinner cuts, broil 3-4 inches from the heat. For thicker cuts, broil 4-5 inches from the heat.

GRILLING

I could write a hub all about grilling, but I'll just cover the basics. All of the steaks and chops you can broil, you can also grill. In addition, if you marinated or parboiled your cheaper cuts of meat, you can grill them as well.

Place the meat on the grill directly over medium heat. For charcoal grills, you can grill uncovered, turning once. For gas grills, preheat the grill, place meat on grill over medium heat and cover. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.

My father always cooked steaks on the grill and he always said 6 minutes on each side was perfect for a medium steak.

Here is a chart from sizzleonthe grill.com.

http://sizzleonthegrill.com
http://sizzleonthegrill.com

ROASTING

Beef - Bottom sirloin roast, eye round roast, ribeye roast, top round roast, round tip roast, tenderloin roast, rib roast

Lamb - Leg of lamb, shoulder roast, sirloin roast

Pork - Ham, sirloin roast, top loin roast, spareribs, country style ribs, crown roast smoked shoulder picnic ham

Place meat, fat side up, in a roasting pan. Do not cover nor add water or liquid. Insert a meat thermometer and roast at 325 degrees until the thermometer reaches the desired temperature. After removing from oven, let it set about 10-15 minutes before carving.

My mother used to take a piece of aluminum foil (enough to wrap the roast), put the meat in the middle of it and sprinkle a packet of dry onion soup mix over the roast. Wrap it up and roast. Yummy! and it smells so good!


http://www.channel4.com
http://www.channel4.com

STIR FRYING

Use lean boneless pork for a real Asian flavor. You can also use other meats like beef or chicken.

Use a wok or a large skillet. Prepare all of your ingredients before you start cooking. There will be a lot of slicing and chopping to do.

Use a vegetable oil that will cook at a high temperature without excessive smoking, like sesame oil.

Cook pork until juices run clean (no pink). Add one thing at a time, so that the food doesn't stew in liquid. Do not leave the wok. Continue to stir constantly.

Stir fry over high heat until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Season with soy sauce or Tamari and cook for about 1-2 minutes only.

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Comments 20 comments

Smireles profile image

Smireles 7 years ago from Texas

Excellent piece on cooking meat. You have provided detailed instructions that should benefit even the novice cook. Good job.


judydianne profile image

judydianne 7 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL Author

Thanks, Smireles. You're such a nice fan!


Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

Thanks these are great tips. You'd think I would have learned some of the on my own by now, but seeing as I haven't these are great. I will be passing this one on.


Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

Thanks these are great tips. You'd think I would have learned some of the on my own by now, but seeing as I haven't these are great. I will be passing this one on.

Sorry, hit this twice I guess. My bad LOL


judydianne profile image

judydianne 7 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL Author

Thank you, Dutchess. It was a special request by one of my fans! Thanks for passing it on!


The Steve profile image

The Steve 7 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

This info needs to be put in the same envelope as your will, Mom, so that when you're gone I'll be able to feed myself. LOL! And what about sautee'? How do you do that?


judydianne profile image

judydianne 7 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL Author

The Steve, Sauteing is very similar to braising except that you use oil or butter instead of liquid. When you braise you can start with high temperatures, whereas when you sauté, you use lower temperatures so that you don't burn the butter or fat.


Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 6 years ago from Northam Western Australia

judydiane, this is a very helpful for the newlyweds or a couple starting out together. you should make it into a little booklet and have it printed up and sell it. No it is not a waky idea.

I have self printed, published and sold booklets on ebay like this. You would need to expand it a little more probably add a few recipes for ideas but it could work.


Digital Probe Thermometer 6 years ago

Works great on steaks and chops when you want to know exactly when they're done. Always take into consideration the "target" finishing temperature. When you let meat rest the temperature will continue to go up, called carryover cooking .


dreamreachout 6 years ago

Wonderful hub for a meat eater like me though I mostly eat lamb and chicken!! Thanks for the info!!


Hot Potatoe 5 years ago

This is very helpful but I need some more detail on the stir fry method using a wok. I can cook vege's perfectly using the wok but every time I try with meat, the meat comes out tough and dry. No matter whether I cook slow or fast I just can't get it like the chinese restaurant. Maybe using MSG, or similar, is the trick.


judydianne profile image

judydianne 5 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL Author

Try marinating your meat in soy sauce or a ginger-soy marinade for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before cooking.

Thank you for the question.


saif113sb profile image

saif113sb 5 years ago

Very nice and great hub. Thanks


judydianne profile image

judydianne 5 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL Author

Thanks for stopping by, saif113sb.


coriwbaker 5 years ago

Very informative hub. Never know how important to know the techniques in cooking meat.


judydianne profile image

judydianne 5 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL Author

Thank you, coriwbaker, for the comment.


Sue B. profile image

Sue B. 4 years ago

Thanks! this hub helped me get a rough clue on how long it would take me to cook lamb ribs.


judydianne profile image

judydianne 4 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL Author

Sue B., I used to love lamb. Hope you enjoy the tips.


Nathaly 4 years ago

Very informative , thanks for the guide


judydianne profile image

judydianne 4 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL Author

Glad you liked it, Nathaly.

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