For all the hardcore carnivores out there, here are some hacks to improve your meat cooking game. From defrosting meat in the microwave to sautéing meats with sugar, these 7 tips are all you'll need.
Defrosting in the Microwave
If you’ve ever defrosted meat or fish in the microwave, you probably know that the “defrost” or low power settings are your best bets for ensuring that the outer edges of the food don't cook before the middle can defrost. But here’s something you might not know: Arranging loose pieces of meat in a single layer with thickest parts or largest pieces toward the outside will also ensure more even defrosting.
Neat Tip for Meat
Stainless steel rods are often used in construction or crafts. But they can also come in handy in the kitchen, too! When cooking dense meats such as whole chicken legs, beef, or pork in the oven, insert a clean, stainless steel rod into the meat. It will serve as a heat conductor, allowing the inside of the meat to cook at the same rate as the outside. You’ll never again have the problem of a perfectly burnished exterior, while the insides are undercooked and bloody.
Cook Once, Eat Twice
Want to cook once and eat twice? Next time you’re preparing boneless, skinless chicken breasts, make a few extra, then toss the cooked chicken in a freezer bag with some Caesar dressing, and refrigerate. Tomorrow night, warm them in the microwave, toss over salad greens, shave a little Parmesan cheese on top, and dinner is ready!
All meat (except organ meat and ground beef) should stand at room temperature for a few minutes before cooking. This allows it to brown more evenly, cook faster, remain juicier, and stick less when frying.
Cutting meat into bite-sized pieces for dishes like pastas and stir-fries is easier when it’s half frozen. Place fresh meat in the freezer for two hours before you start dinner. Or, place frozen meat in the microwave and cook on the defrost setting for about five minutes (turning once if you don’t have a turntable). Your knife will glide right through!
Sauté with Sugar
Before sautéing meats, sprinkle a tiny amount of sugar on the surface of the meat. The sugar will react with the juices and then caramelize, causing a deeper browning as well as a tastier result.
A Great Use for Stale Bread
If you’re broiling steaks or chops, put a few slices of stale bread in the bottom of the broiler pan to absorb fat drippings. This will eliminate smoking fat, and it should also reduce any danger of a grease fire.
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