You can have too much of a good thing. Even too much of our fine meat. That's why you have to pay attention to your diet. We all know that a balanced, moderate diet is the key to good health. You need protein, carbohydrates, and yes, even some fat. In other words, you should eat a variety of foods, and you should limit your intake.

Variety

You may not realize that your body needs about forty different nutrients, including a number of vitamins and minerals. You also need what grandma called roughage - fiber. No single food provides all these essential nutrients. So how do you make sure you're getting enough protein, enough calcium, enough molybdenum? The real key to healthy eating is variety. By selecting foods in all the different categories - grains, cereals, breads; vegetables, fruits; meat, fish, and poultry; and dairy products - you'll make your body happy.

Moderation

Of course, sensible eating means consuming a reasonable quantity of food. You have to balance your body's energy expenditure against caloric intake. Americans are blessed with a tremendous variety of available foods. But we do have a tendency to eat too much of foods we enjoy. We also tend, putting it delicately, to remain too long at the table.

Summary

Make it a rule to eat all kinds of food, but not too much. Balance eating with exercise (a good stress reliever, too!). And of course, eating healthy doesn't mean you have to sacrifice taste. The meat from Steak Central is incredibly lean, and rich in important nutrients your body needs.

 

 

 



Food Safety for Meat  |  Meat Preperation Tips

Food Safety Tips for Meat

Always focus on food safety when you're feeding family and friends. Besides thoroughly cooking hot dogs and hamburgers, here are some other food-preparation caveats to keep your guests healthy.

  • Bacteria can spread from one surface to another; it's called cross-contamination. Bacteria in raw meat juices can contaminate foods that have been cooked safely or raw foods that won't be cooked, such as salad ingredients. Bacteria can also be present on equipment, hands, even in the air.

    To avoid cross-contamination, wash your hands with soap and hot water before and after handling raw meat. Don't reuse packaging materials. Use soap and hot water to wash utensils and surfaces that have contacted raw meat. Don't put cooked burgers back on the same platter that held the raw patties.

  • If using frozen hamburger, keep it cold while thawing. The best method is to thaw it slowly in the refrigerator. To defrost more rapidly, put the meat in a watertight plastic bag in cold water. Cook immediately or refrigerate after thawing. Do not refreeze.

  • Do not reuse marinade or basting sauce without reheating it to the boiling point.

  • If eating outdoors when the temperature is 85 degrees or higher, do not leave meat out more than an hour.

  • Meat and poultry shouldn't be brought to room temperature before cooking, though the meat browns better that way. Bacteria grow when food is in the danger zone of between 40 and 140 degrees.

  • Marinating time in the refrigerator should not exceed the recommended storage time for fish, poultry and ground meats (1 to 2 days). Marinades don't destroy bacteria.

  • It isn't necessary to wash raw chicken before cooking it. Any bacteria will be destroyed by cooking. But, for aesthetic reasons, you may want to rinse off pink juices with cool tap water and pat dry with paper towels.

  • Never brown or partially cook chicken to be refrigerated and grilled later; any bacteria present won't have been destroyed. It is safe, however, to partially precook or to microwave chicken immediately before transferring it to the hot grill to finish cooking.

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Meat Preparation Tips

Storage

Most cuts of beef can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Ground beef should be used within two days.

Freezing

While freezing never improves the flavor of meat, sometimes it's unavoidable. So if you must freeze it:

1. Take the meat out of the original package. Wrap it in freezer paper.

Note: If you don't have any freezer paper on hand, plastic wrap will do. Just make sure the plastic clings tightly to all surfaces of the meat. Then wrap it a second time.

2. Store the meat at 0 degrees F. or colder.

Meat can be kept in your freezer up to 6 months.

Defrosting

Never defrost at room temperature or in warm water. Always defrost in the refrigerator or under running cold water.

Defrosting times vary. Allow:

4 - 7 hours per pound for a large roast
3 - 5 hours per pound for a small roast
12 - 14 hours for a one-inch steak

Note: Re-freezing never improves the flavor of meat. You can do it, but you won't like it. There's nothing wrong with leftovers. Just make sure leftover meat has been:

Refrigerated promptly
Stored in a sealed container
Used within two or three days.

Cooking Techniques

You've made the perfect choice - a tender, high-quality cut. It's up to you to bring the flavor to the table. What do you do now?

There are two basic methods for cooking meat.Which you choose depends on the cut and how big it is:

Dry heat cooking
Moist heat cooking

Dry-heat Cookery

Use this method of cooking meats for the most tender cuts, such as: ribs, short loin, and sirloin chuck or round steaks. It takes place in the oven, on the grill, or in a pan.

Oven Roasting

This is a Dry-heat cooking method used primarily for large cuts:

1. Place the roast fat side up on a rack in a waterless pan. Insert a meat thermometer. Make sure it doesn't touch fat or bone.

2. Roast at 300 to 325 degrees F.

3. At desired doneness, remove from pan. Let rest in a warm place for about 20 minutes (for easier carving).

Oven Roast Guide for Beef
Desired Doneness Temperature (deg. F)
Very Rare
130
Rare
140
Medium Rare
150
Medium
160
Medium Well
165
Well Done
170

Note: Roasts over 2 pounds continue to cook out of the oven. Take them out about 5 degrees below the desired temperature.

Grilling

This is a very popular outdoor method of cooking, used mostly for steaks, burgers, and kabobs.

1. Place meat on a preheated grill.
2. Grill until red juices appear on the top (uncooked) side.
3. Turn using tongs or spatula to avoid piercing the meat.
4. Season cooked side.
5. Continue grilling to desired doneness.

Broiling

This method takes place in the oven. It is best for steaks, burgers, and kabobs.

Broil following grilling instructions above.

Pan Cooking (non-frying)

Cooking in a pan may be considered by most people as frying; but in this method, the meat is lightly coated with oil; there is no liquid placed in the pan before cooking. This method works very well for steaks.

1. Lightly coat one side of the meat with oil.
2. Place oil side down in a heavy, hot skillet.
3. Cook until juices rise to top of uncooked side.
4. Coat uncooked side with oil. Turn.
5. Season cooked side.
6. Continue to desired doneness.

Frying Pan

This method differs from the Pan Cooking method because this one uses oil in the pan to cook the meat. It is good for steaks, patties, or thin beef.

1. Heat thin layer of oil until very hot.
2. Sear steaks - two minutes per side.
3. Reduce temperature. Season.
4. Continue to desired doneness.

Stir frying

This method is great for strips from steaks or roasts.

1. Slice meat into thin slices or strips.
2. In skillet or wok with small amount of oil, fry a small batch quickly, stirring constantly.
3. Drain drippings after each batch.
4. Remove meat. Stir fry vegetables separately.
5. Add beef and serve.

Moist-heat cookery

Moist-heat Cookery methods are used for cuts from beef, such as chuck, round, tip, foreshank, plate, and flank, It takes place using liquid in a covered pot in the oven, on the range, or in a slow-cooker.

Pot roasting

For roasts up to 5 pounds:

  1. Brown meat on all sides in heavy pan or Dutch oven in small amount of oil. Pour off drippings.
  2. Place meat on rack in Dutch oven or pan. Add boiling water or hot broth to a depth of 1/2 inch. Cover tightly.
  3. Simmer on range for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Add liquids as needed. Turn meat occasionally to keep moist.
  4. Add vegetables and simmer additional 45 minutes.

Stewing

Best for small pieces of beef, lamb, or pork:

  1. Brown meat in heavy pan or Dutch oven in small amount of oil. Pour off drippings.
  2. Cover meat with boiling water or hot broth. Bring to boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Add vegetables and simmer unit meat and vegetables are tender. Season to taste.

Braising

A technique that works for various cuts:

  1. Coat pieces of meat in flour.
  2. Brown on all sides in oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add liquid (water, stock, soup, tomato-based sauce, marinade, or wine) to cover meat. Simmer until fork tender.


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