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Guide to Dry-Heat Cooking Methods

Let roast stand 10 to 15 minutes before carving—larger the roast, longer the standing time.

Dry-heat methods are more suitable for cooking tender cuts of meat from the rib or loin, because they have few connective tissues.

 

Broil
A low-fat, direct-heat cooking method similar to grilling.
1. Select a cut 3/4-inch thick or thicker for best results. Season or marinate meat as desired.
2. Heat oven for broiling.
3. Place meat on the rack in broiler pan or in a foil-lined baking sheet on a wire rack.
4. Position oven shelf so cuts that are 3/4- to 1-inch thick cook about 2 to 3 inches from heat; thicker cuts about 4 to 6 inches from heat.
5. Broil 3/4-inch thick cuts about 4 to 6 minutes per side and 1-inch thick cuts about 5 to 7 minutes per side. Turn meat once. Season to taste and serve.

 

Grill
This fast dry-heat cooking method provides high retention of vitamins and minerals.
1. Select a cut 3/4 to 1 1/4 inches thick for best results.
2. Start with a great fire: Heat gas grill for 10 minutes with the lid closed. Heat wood chunks 20 minutes with lid open until smoke subsides. Heat charcoal 30 minutes with lid open.
3. Keep grill about 4 inches above heat source. When your hand count is at 4 seconds, grill directly over medium coals or gas heat.
4. Follow cooking time guidelines. Insert thermometer through side of meat to center to check doneness.
5. Turn meats only once halfway through cooking time with tongs. Do not pierce meat.

 

Indirect grilling
Cooking by reflective heat is best for thick cuts (1 1/4 inches or greater) or roasts that require a longer cooking time at a lower temperature. This method of grilling is similar to the way a conventional oven cooks.
1. Meat may be seared 1 to 2 minutes per side directly over the heat before cooking with indirect heat.
2. Place the meat on the grill grate away from the coals, or in a foil pan with coals banked around the perimeter.
3. To create a roasting effect, close the lid and cook with the vents open.
4. Maintain grill chamber temperature at 300 to 400 degrees F, depending on the tenderness of the cut - lower heat for tougher cuts. Place an oven thermometer near the meat on the grill grate to measure cooking temperature. It's optional, but not necessary to turn meat while cooking.

 

Pan broil
A quick and healthy cooking method similar to frying, but without adding fat. To cook thinner cuts of meat use a nonstick, heavy skillet without oil.
1. Select cuts 3/8 to 1/2-inch thick for best results. Cuts 3/4 to 1-inch thick also may be cooked using this method.
2. Season meat with rubs or marinades before cooking. But if the seasoning or herb is likely to burn or blacken wait to season until after cooking.
3. For nonstick skillets, don't add oil or water. If a nonstick skillet isn't available, a regular skillet may be lightly brushed with a thin film of oil or sprayed with cooking spray.
4. Heat a nonstick, heavy skillet over:
            medium-high for thin (1/2-inch or less) cuts
            medium for cuts 3/4-inch thick
            medium-low for 1-inch thick cuts
5. Add meat to heated skillet and cook:
            2 minutes per side if thin
            3 to 4 minutes per side if 3/4 inch thick
            5 to 6 minutes per side if 1 inch thick
6. Turn meat once. Don't cover skillet during cooking.

 

Pan fry
Also called sauteing, pan frying is generally used for tender cuts of meat.
1. Select cuts 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick for best results. Cuts 3/4 to 1 inch thick also may be cooked by this method.
2. Season meat or dip both sides of meat in seasoned flour or coating mixture.
3. Add a small amount of oil to heated skillet. Heat skillet over medium-high for thin (1/2 inch or less) cuts or medium for thicker cuts.
4. Brown meat on both sides: 2 minutes per side if thin, 4 minutes per side if thicker. Turn meat once or occasionally. Don't cover skillet during cooking.

 

Roast
This simple cooking method requires little attention and minimal equipment. You'll need a shallow roasting pan, roasting rack, and meat thermometer.
1. Heat oven to 300 to 425 degrees F, depending on weight and diameter of roast. Larger and less tender roasts should be cooked at lower oven temperatures. Smaller roasts, such as tenderloin, may be roasted in high heat.
2. Season or rub roast with herbs and spices before cooking.
3. Place roast in a shallow roasting pan, fat side up. Be sure not to add water, and don't cover. Then place roasting pan on rack.
4. To check doneness, insert an oven-safe meat thermometer into the center of the thickest part, or use a quick-read thermometer toward the end of cooking time. Make sure thermometer is not touching bone or fat.
5. Roast in center of oven until meat thermometer reads 135 to 140 degrees F for medium rare or 150 to 155 degrees F for medium. The smaller the roast weight, the more minutes per pound to allow for cooking time.
6. Let roast stand 10 to 15 minutes before carving. The larger the roast, the longer the standing time.

 

Stir-fry
A fast method for cooking uniform pieces of beef; a variation of pan-frying.
1. Partially freeze meat for easier slicing, if desired.
2. Slice meat into thin, uniform strips about 1/8-inch thick, preferably no thicker than 3/8 inch. Marinate strips to add flavor while preparing vegetables and other ingredients.
3. Heat a small amount of oil with a high-smoking point, such as peanut, safflower, soybean, or corn oil, in a skillet or wok over medium high to high.
4. Stir-fry meat, turning with a scooping motion while cooking, 1 to 3 minutes until pink is gone.

 

Sear then roast in hot oven
A technique well suited for thicker, tender cuts.
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Season 1-inch to 1 1/2-inch thick cuts as desired.
2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a small amount of butter or olive oil to hot skillet.
3. Add meat and sear 1 to 2 minutes on each side, depending on thickness, until browned.
4. Place steaks on a wire rack in a shallow baking pan. Roast in upper half of oven 10 to 20 minutes, depending on thickness, until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 140 degrees F for medium rare or 155 degrees F for medium. Don't overcook.


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