How to Cook Meat, Poultry and Fish

It is always crucial to choose the correct cooking method for any type of meat. Cooking alters the look, tenderness, juiciness, aroma and essentially the substance of any variety of meat. There are numerous distinct cooking techniques used to cook meat, fowl, and fish but there are two fundamental methods of cooking meat – preparations that utilize dry heat and preparations that use moist heat.

For more tender pieces of meat, poultry, and fish dry-heat cooking is fittingly used. Broiling and grilling, roasting (or baking), and cooking with heated fat, such as frying or pan-grilling all fall under this category. Dry-heat is used to cook meats like some roasts, steaks and other premium cuts of beef, and ground meats, ham and other pork products, turkey and chicken, and fish filets and nuggets.

Moist-heat cooking includes a variety of techniques where some fluid is added during the cooking process. The technique includes braising, stewing, and poaching. Meat, poultry, and fish may also be cooked using moist-heat techniques when it is chewier. Poaching is another moist heat cooking method practiced to cook fish and poultry.

Dry-heat and moist-heat combinations include braising and stewing. Searing is done first to give the meat flavor and color. Then liquid and seasonings are added and the product is simmered until done. It is called braising when a large piece of meat is used. Stewing is for smaller pieces of meat, poultry, or fish.

Meat preparation techniques are countless but here is an overview of a couple of the most loved methods.

The common methods of cooking are roasting, barbecue, broiling, boiling, smoked meat, frying, stewing, sausage making and decocting.

Roasting

Roasting is a cooking method in which meat is smothered and cooked by dry heat, whether an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Meat is not covered and no water is added. Roasted foods get drier and browned on the outside by initially exposing it to a high temperature. This keeps most of the moisture from being cooked out of the food. Temperature is then brought down to cook the meat through. Meats and most root and bulb vegetables can be roasted. Any piece of meat, especially red meat, which has been cooked in this fashion, is called a roast. In addition, huge uncooked cuts of meat are referred to as roasts. A roast joint of meat can take one, two, even three hours to cook – the resulting meat is tender. Also, meats and vegetables prepared in this way are described as “roasted”, e.g., roasted chicken or roasted squash.

Barbecue

The procedure and apparatus to roast or broil pieces of beef, fowl, fish, or the like, on a rack or rotating spit over or before the hot smoke of a wood fire, hot charcoals, electricity, or gas is called barbecue. A sauce or marinade is applied to the meat before or during cooking.

The term as a noun can refer to the meat, the cooking apparatus itself (the “barbecue grill” or simply “barbecue”) or to the party that includes such food or such preparation methods. The term as an adjective can refer to foods cooked by this method. The term is also used as a verb for the act of cooking food in this manner.

The type of sauce and best heat source for barbecuing often depends on individual taste and practical economics; for instance, it may be much more convenient and cheaper to use a gas or charcoal grill than attempting to cook with a special oven using wood.

Broiling

Broiling is to cook by direct radiant heat, as over a grill or under an electric element. The elemental rule for broiling, pan-broiling or pan-frying meat is to use enough heat to brown the outside without overcooking the inside of the meat. A modest temperature is advisable for broiling and frying most meats. Broiling necessitates a brisk fire, free from smoke, the combustible being either charcoal or coke. The fire should extend more or less beyond the edges of the gridiron, in order that the sides of the meat may be acted upon by the heat at the same time as that portion which is in more close contact with the fire.

In boiling, the meat is exposed to a high temperature in water. You wait until the water has achieved the boiling-point before you plunge the meat in it, and allow for it to cook for about five minutes at that temperature. The heat of the water, 212 degrees Fahrenheit, at once clots the albumen in the outer layer of flesh, which becomes thus a waterproof shell in which the meat cooks, secured from the infiltration of water and from the escape of its juice. After the first five minutes the cooking should carry on more gently, at a temperature of 162 degrees Fahrenheit.

Smoked Meat

Smoked meat is a method of preparing red meat (and fish) which arose in prehistoric culture. Its role is to preserve these protein-rich foods, which would otherwise spoil quickly, for extended periods. It does this by dehydrating meat and through absorbed smoke’s antibacterial properties. In modern days, the elevated flavor of smoked foods makes them a delicacy in many cultures.

Frying

Frying is the cooking of food in oil or another fat that originated in ancient Egypt around 2500 BC. Chemically, oils and fats are the identical; differing only in melting point, but the distinction is only made when demanded. Foods can be fried in a variety of fats, including lard, vegetable oil, rapeseed oil and olive oil. To fry in olive or vegetable oil is sometimes seen as healthier than doing so in lard, because the chief fat in olive oil is Monounsaturated fat, not saturated fat. In commerce, many fats are called oils by custom, e.g. palm oil and coconut oil, which are solid at room temperature. A variety of foods may be fried, including the potato chip, bread, eggs and foods made from eggs, such as omelets or pancakes.

Stewing

A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and dished out in the resultant gravy. Ingredients in a stew can include several combination of vegetables (such as carrots, potatoes, beans, peppers and tomatoes, etc.), meat, especially tougher meats fit for slow-cooking, such as beef. Poultry, sausages, and seafood are also used. While water can be used as the stew-cooking liquid, wine, stock, and beer are also common. Seasoning and flavorings may also be added. Stews are typically cooked at a relatively soft temperature (simmered, not boiled), allowing flavors to mingle.

Stewing is fit for the least tender cuts of meat that become soft and juicy with the slow moist heat method. This makes it common in low-cost cooking. Cuts having a distinct measure of marbling and gelatinous connective tissue give moist, juicy stews, while lean meat may well become flat.

Sausage

Making sausage is not as dreadful as it seems. Sausage is fixed from ground meat, ground pork fat such as fatback, salt, herbs and spices. Typically the sausage is shaped in a shell traditionally produced from gut, but sometimes artificial, and may be removed upon serving. Sausages are a means of using pieces of an animal that may not seem likeable – such as blood or organs – but are eatable and extremely healthy. Some sausages are done during processing and the shell may be removed later on. Sausage making is a traditional food preservation technique. Sausages may be preserved by curing, drying, or smoking. Numerous nations have their own characteristic sausages, using a variety of meats and spices.

Decoction

Decoction is the process of pulling the juice from meat and separating it from the fiber and tissues; it is the reversal of roasting or broiling and their derivative processes. In order to draw the juice of meat we place the flesh in cold water, the temperature of which is very slowly elevated to the boiling-point: thus all the juice of the flesh is dissolved out and completely separated from the muscular fiber. Mashing is done first, and then boiling in water to extract oils, volatile organic compounds, and other chemical substances. The process can also be applied to meats and vegetables to prepare bouillon or stock.

Prepare a chicken recipe today or learn to cook food by watching cooking videos.

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