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53

You can use the rule of thumb method to measure the "doneness" of the steak: You loosely touch one of your fingers with your thumb depending on how well done you want it, and the tension of the muscle of your hand below the thumb will be the same as how the meat should feel when you press it.


42

You should be able to get a reasonable steak stovetop using a cast iron grill pan, if you have a strong enough exhaust. Oil the cast iron pan (with canola or such), then heat it very hot, until it starts to smoke. Make sure the meat is completely dry on the outside (wipe with a paper towel, water will prevent browning) and gently place in the pan. Leave it ...


36

First, let the meat warm to about room temperature. This way you aren't trying to heat up a cold center. Personally I prefer to only cook each side once (meaning I only flip the meat over once). The actual temperature of your grill and the amount of time you cook it per side will depend on the thickness of the steak and how you want it done. Don't use a fork ...


35

hobodave's answer is most of the way there but I think it understates the importance of protein toxins. With the vast majority of foodborne illnesses, the bacteria aren't particularly harmful at all; what you need to worry about is the protein toxins they produce. E.Coli - probably the most well-known form of food poisoning along with Salmonella - is ...


32

There are a couple of reasons why 'resting' meat is a good idea. First, as the meat cooks the muscle fibres contract, which forces the juices out. Letting the meat rest helps the muscle fibres relax so the juices are re-incorporated into the meat and not lost on the chopping board, which would happen if carved immediately. The second reason to let meat rest ...


31

A lot of bacteria grows in the range of 40-100F (i.e. room temperature). It's definitely not recommended to defrost meat at room temperature. In fact, you are not supposed to leave meat at room temperature for more than an hour. However, defrosting in the refrigerator can take a long time and require you to plan at least one day ahead of time. I'm not so ...


25

No. As you noted, searing beef performs what's called the Maillard Process (or Reaction) which is a specific form of caramelization. Nothing is "sealed" into the meat because the meat isn't sealed by the process. It's still porous and will therefore leech moisture during cooking. You can retain moisture in cooked beef by buying quality beef and not cooking ...


25

One important thing to know is that heat doesn't instantly kill bacteria. At least not at temperatures that leave edible material behind. Bacteria take both time and temperature to destroy. The higher the temperature, the less time required. Take Salmonella senftenberg for example, it takes 60 minutes at 140 F (60 C) to kill 99.9999% of the population. But ...


25

It is perfectly safe to eat (when produced, transported, and so on under sanitary conditions, just like any other edible meat). In some cultures it is considered a delicacy; in others, it is not considered appropriate to eat, but those issues of cultural norms, not of safety. The news is because it is a violation of trust (truth in labeling) in a ...


23

An important part of the process missed by the other answers is allowing the meat to rest for up to ten minutes before before serving (depending on size). This is because at temperature the muscle fibres have tightened up and are unable to retain their juices. A steak straight off the heat and cut open will instantly lose all its juices. If you allow the ...


23

In fact it's the porous nature of wood that make then ideal for preparing meat. There was a test done a while ago, which showed the bacteria are drawn into the wood and no longer replicate, in fact they die relatively quickly. Personally, I can't stand plastic boards, they're hell on good knives and although they're non-porous they do stain. It always makes ...


23

Straight after it comes out of the pan it will usually be too hot to eat. Regardless of resting or not, you can't fully taste things which are too hot, they need to come down to a comfortable temperature before you eat them. Some things you can do to stop the meat being too cold when you serve it: You can rest the meat wrapped in foil, this will stop it ...


23

No, the mold on meat isn't especially bad. It won't eat your insides. But still, moldy meat is worse than moldy plants. Mold itself isn't a strong health concern. It can't cause an illness, and doesn't grow in the human stomach. There are some kinds which produce metabolic byproducts poisonous for humans, and this means that you shouldn't eat moldy food, ...


22

In theory you could thaw and refreeze as many times as you like, though the changes in temperature would definitely alter the quality of the meat's taste and texture. What matters most is how long the meat has been in the so-called "danger zone" speaking from a temperature perspective. The "danger zone" is defined as being between 41 to 135 °F (5 to 57 °C). ...


21

It's my opinion that the "proper temperature" is a number set by lawyers, not by chefs. The government standard for a roast bird is 180°F (83°C)! Are you kidding me? HTST pasteurization is 161°F (72°C) for 20 seconds, but my turkey has to get to 180°F for safe human consumtion? What the hell kind of bacteria do they think live in there? 165°F (74°C) is a ...


21

It's neither necessary nor a particularly good idea; it does little to remove bacteria from the surface of the meat (which you're about to cook, remember) and runs the risk of spraying/dripping bacteria all over the kitchen. The FSIS has an article on it here: Washing raw poultry, beef, pork, lamb, or veal before cooking it is not recommended. Bacteria ...


20

Here is the method I use for turning out a perfect steak every time. Pick a quality piece of meat that is approximately 1.5 inches(almost 4cm) thick. Let it sit on the counter-top for 30-45 minutes until it is roughly room temperature. Heat up a cast-iron skillet (or similar) to medium-high. Lightly coat the skillet with an oil that has a high smoke point ...


20

Here's how I grill a steak: Let it thaw completely before attempting to cook it. Set the grill to medium/high heat. Clean the grill by putting an onion on a skewer and using that to clean the bars. It adds flavor and gets the bars clean for a clean cook. For an average thickness steak, I throw it on the grill, close the cover, wait 6 minutes. (closing the ...


20

It's really a question of taste. It's not going to hurt you, but there will be some undesirable effects. For example, to cook turkey properly, it must come to an internal temp. of 180. If the meat is frozen, it is going to take a lot longer for the int. temp to rise that high, so the outside of the bird will be somewhat overcooked (compared to roasting a ...


19

One technique, but not the only, is velveting. Here the meat is tenderized in an egg-white/cornstarch mixture for 20+ minutes, then cooked briefly (a minute) in oil or simmering water with a small amount of oil prior to using in stir fries. I've never velveted in straight oil but water/oil definitely gives the chicken that smoothness that Chinese ...


17

Clingwrap works fine for me -- but I don't use a meat tenderizer -- I just use a small but fairly heavy pan (but not my cast iron, as it's not smooth on the bottom). When I was in college, I tried a few things. I can get pretty decent results just hitting it with my cutting board. (with it between saran wrap). Part of it might be technique -- if I'm ...


17

Alton Brown did an experiment in an episode of Good Eats called "Myth Smashers". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AW9npAc2Sgw If you are measuring the overall progress by internal temperature, then searing the outside will not result in juicier meat. However, if you are new to cooking and trying to measure doneness by the outward appearance you see at a ...


16

To start with, the red, or dark, juice from red meat is not, in fact, blood, which is a common misconception. Most blood is drained from red meat when it is butchered. It is, rather, a protein (myoglobin) and a lot of water. It is an animal's levels (or lack of) myoglobin, that determine whether it is a 'red' meat or white. As for its safety after being ...


16

It doesn't go into the meat, it soaks up water and becomes a slurry. The slurry is transparent, so you don't see it. If you fry it as it is, you won't prevent spraying and sticking the same way it would have been possible with a dry flour layer. If you roll it again, you will have these effects again, plus slightly more heat buffering because of the double ...


15

I'm not sure what causes the bowing to be more pronounced from one cooking method versus another, but the solution is to put a thumbprint indentation in the middle, creating a slight "donutted" shape. This will help to ensure you get the "patty" shape you want.


15

I understand the intent of the advice to always keep meat and vegetable preparation tools and areas separate is to establish a habit, to avoid the possibility of cross contamination in cases where you are not going to be cooking the vegetables as much or at all; and similarly in a catering environment to be able to visibly demonstrate that working practices ...


15

They're rather different. Gyros are Greek in origin. They are simply meat, tomatoes, onion, and tzatziki sauce on pita. In Greece the meat is typically pork (never had one). In America, specifically here in Chicago (their local origin), the meat is a combination of beef & lamb. Shwawarma is Middle Eastern in origin. The possible toppings are much more ...


14

I always stick the chicken in a zip lock bag and pound it that way. And I use a flat meat tenderizer which doesn't rip the bag.


14

Freezer burn is just the food being dehydrated. Most meat will change color, and it becomes very obvious if you defrost it. It's not unsafe: just yucky.



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