If you love meat, the first things to do is learn how to cook it properly! Cooking it wrong can give you a strange taste, and more often than not, an unappetizing texture.
To begin with, try roasting your meat, as this is one of the most simple forms of cooking. All types of protein can be roasted, or baked, in the oven.
This method lends itself to cooking a whole chicken, turkey, or fish, or a beef rib roast, or pork shoulder. Try using a cut of meat with a little more fat, because roasting tends to dry out meat.
To keep juices or sauces locked in so food stays moist, cover the roasting pan. Poultry that is cooked without the skin would need to be cooked in a moist medium (like a broth) and covered, while chicken parts that might have skin on them or a more fatty fish, could be cooked uncovered, at least for part of the cooking process.
Experiment with herbs and spices to flavor meat – without adding calories! Look for easy recipes for dry rubs, usually herb and spice mixtures, that coat the meat’s surface.
Next, try some easy grilling. Most people think of grilling on an outdoor barbecue or smoker, but grilling really involves any method that uses radiant heat from underneath the food, giving it crispy edges.
Broiling is another cooking technique that uses high heat, usually from above, in the oven. With roasting in an oven, the chef needs to exercise caution in making certain the food doesn’t dry out and is cooked slowly, so it doesn’t burn.
You can do this by pre-cooking chicken in the microwave, or covered in the oven, before throwing the meat on the grill to achieve the barbecue taste. Place pieces of fish in a grill rack in order to keep them tender and prevent them from falling apart.
She adds that lean cuts of meat are best grilled, since any fat will drip off. First marinate your meat, chicken, or large fish steaks or thick fillets, then baste them regularly to retain the taste.
Also, be sure to monitor the flame on your grill so you can control the speed of cooking. The goal is to cook the meat or fish evenly on the inside, while preventing it from burning on the outside.
When you prepare food in an open cooking pan, the technique is called sauteing; use a wok and it’s stir-frying. Either way, you can cook food in a small amount of oil – be sure to choose one of the healthy unsaturated types, such as olive, canola, peanut, sunflower, or safflower – or just use cooking spray.
Because you are using only one pan for both the protein and the veggies, these methods make for easy cleanup. Be sure to slice or a dice all of your ingredients, so the nutrients stay in the veggies.
You can use various types of veggies for flavor, and you don’t have to add a ton of sauce to give the food a wonderful taste. When it comes to poaching, this healthy cooking technique involves barely covering food in liquid that is brought to a simmer, rather than a boil — between 160 and 180 degrees.
Use a covered cooking pan or pot large enough for the food to be placed in one layer only. You can enhance the flavor of the liquid by using broth, wine, spices, and soup-stock vegetables like onions, celery, leeks, and carrots.
Though poaching is probably the least popular cooking method, it keeps whatever protein you cook very moist. Salmon or other thick pieces of fish are perfect for poaching – and poaching chicken cutlets keeps them moist.
After cooking, you usually remove the food from the poaching liquid, which can be discarded. When it comes to stewing, this slow-cooking method involves placing all your ingredients in liquid, but it is different from poaching because the liquid often becomes part of the finished dish or can be used as a light sauce.
You can fill your pot with plenty of veggies and a protein. Use lean cuts of meat, as well as chicken or seafood, since this is moist cooking and will tenderize the food.
If you do use a fattier cut of meat, you can precook it, then drain all the fat from the pot before adding other ingredients. Experiment with these healthy cooking techniques, and you will soon savor the natural taste of foods, enhanced with fresh herbs and spices rather than butter and other fats. BOLA TANGKAS