The Best Cooking Methods for Meat
Do you ever find yourself cooking the same meats in the same ways? Mix up your routine and learn the best way to cook different
cuts of meats.
Animal proteins differ in fat content, water retention, flavor, and size of cut. This means that the preferred cooking method may also differ. A meat's cooking method will affect its taste, texture, and consistency. Check out a variety of cooking methods below.
Most commonly done in a frying pan over medium-high heat, sautéing allows the outside of the protein to cook and brown more quickly than the middle which is great for locking in moisture.
Works best with: thin or small cuts of meat, ground meats, pork chops, and chicken cutlets
Similar to grilling, broiling heats meat only inches away from the oven’s open flame. Broiling cooks meat quickly, so tender cuts are best to broil. Any protein 1-1.5 inches thick can be broiled as well. Avoid broiling larger cuts as they will not cook evenly.
Works best with: tender meat cuts (tenderloin, t-bone, and top loin)
How to Broil
Place meat onto the oven’s top rack 3-4 inches below the heat source. Meats may be placed on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil for easy clean up or on a broiler pan. When meat is correctly positioned, turn on the broil function on the oven. Duration of broil can be determined by the thickness of protein and desired doneness.
Baking proteins is probably the most common way to prepare proteins in the oven. Meats are typically cooked between 400-450 degrees. When baking low fat meats, try using a baking dish with a small amount of liquid like broth or a marinade to maintain moisture.
Works best with: higher fat meats because baking causes meats to dry out
Braising is a moist cooking method, typically for longer periods of time. Braising can be used to make tougher cuts of meat much more tender. These meats do well if they are seared first to lock in flavor before cooking at a low temperature in a small amount of liquid. A slow cooker can be a convenient tool; however all that is needed to braise is a pot with a lid such as a dutch oven.
Works best with: pork shoulder, beef brisket, and lamb shanks
How to Braise
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sear protein in a skillet, along with desired vegetables and seasoning. Add fluid such as broth and cover. When oven is heated, let mixture cook for one to three hours at 350 degrees, or lower if desired. Alternatively, after seared, all ingredients can go into a slow cooker for several hours on medium or high heat.
Cook one of your meats or proteins using an above cooking method that you've never tried before.