Saturday, January 28, 2012

Proper doneness for meat

Do you have someone that insists that all meat be cooked for hours until it is a dull grey color? Want the most flavor from a steak, or roast? We all know that raw meat is not good for you with all the pathogens and what not, but for beef the worst culprit is e. coli, and found mostly in ground beef (it remains on the surface of the meat, and grinding mixes it). Beef cooked to medium or beyond (140 degrees and up) will start to dry out and get tougher. I know "grandma's roast was always tender and falling apart" that's because there is little connective tissue in a roast, and cooking it long enough to cook it out makes it fall apart, but those stringy strands are always tough. We also tend to overcook pork due to fears of all kinds of stuff, but the fact is the diseases we fear have been bred out of hogs since the '50s. I cook my pork until it is just slightly pink, and have never been sick from it. Chicken, and ground meat I cook to about 160 degrees, and keep in mind that when you pull the meat from the heat source you get what they call carry over, and the temperature will rise about 5 degrees. There are also some studies that suggest eating overcooked meats can be detrimental to your health, it changes them on the molecular level, and they have seen increased risk of cancer from it. It is also harder for your body to digest, and the nutrients get cooked out. This chart is great for what temps are best for each meat:  if you want to make your tough meat tender, cook at a lower temp for a longer time (like the best bar b que places do) If your pork is too tough brine it (I like to brine anything that isn't beef personally). Now wild game is different (that's where most of the average 40 cases of Trichinosis in the US a year come from) but even trichinosis is killed at 138 degrees, so why cook the life out of it? Invest in a good digital meat thermometer, and use it.

1 comment:

  1. I'm commenting to make you know of the perfect experience our daughter enjoyed studying your web site. She learned a lot of pieces, not to mention what it's like to possess a marvelous helping mood to make other individuals with no trouble fully grasp a variety of hard to do things. You truly surpassed readers' expected results. Thank you for displaying these beneficial, healthy, edifying as well as cool thoughts on your topic to Gloria.
    Frigidaire Refrigerator Door Gasket Seal 218730603