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Mini guide on cooking meat

How to recognize the doneness of meat: an art to master

Cooking the meat is a fundamental aspect to obtain a tasty and succulent dish.

However, understanding the ideal cooking point can be a challenge for many.

In this article, we'll explore different types of doneness, such as rare, medium, rare and well-rare, and discover methods like testing the resistance and using a meat thermometer to help you achieve perfect doneness every time.

What are the 4 cooking methods for meat?

Meat can be cooked according to different cooking points, each of which offers a different tasting experience. Here is an overview of the main cooking points:

  • Bleu/Rare : This is the most delicate cooking and requires brief exposure to heat. The meat will be bright red inside, with a soft and juicy texture.
  • Rare/Medium rare : In this cooking, the meat is red-pink inside and is still very juicy. It is one of the most popular cooking points for those who want to enjoy tender and succulent meat.
  • Permanent/Medium : The meat is evenly cooked with a light pink in the center. It has a firmer consistency than previous cooking methods, but still retains good tenderness.
  • Well done : This cooking brings the meat to a uniform color and no pink inside. The meat will be firmer and drier than previous cooking, but some people prefer this cooking for safety reasons or personal taste.

How do you tell if meat is cooked without a thermometer?

A practical method to evaluate the doneness of meat is the resistance test. Here's how you can use it:

Bring your thumb closer to a finger of the same hand without applying too much pressure. With the other hand, feel the resistance of the part of the palm under the thumb.

Compare the texture of the cut of meat with the resistance you feel.

  • Thumb and index finger (weak resistance) : corresponds to the "blue/rare" cooking point.
  • Thumb and middle (medium resistance): corresponds to the "rare/medium rare" cooking point.
  • Thumb and ring finger (high resistance): corresponds to the "fine/medium" cooking point.
  • Thumb and little finger (very high resistance): corresponds to the "well done" cooking point.

Identify the cooking point with a meat thermometer

Another reliable method for recognizing the doneness of meat is to use a meat thermometer. Here are the recommended internal temperatures for the different cooking points - be careful, these are indicative temperatures because everything depends on the cut of meat we are cooking:

  • Blue/Rare: Approx. 46°C
  • Rare/Medium rare: approximately 51°C
  • Full/Medium: approx. 60°C
  • Well done: approx. 70°C

By using a meat thermometer, you can accurately measure the internal temperature of your meat and ensure you reach your desired doneness.

It is important to remember that choosing where to cook your meat is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer juicier, pinker meat, while others prefer it more well-done and well-done. However, it is essential to ensure that the meat reaches a safe internal temperature to ensure health.

In addition to the methods described above, there are also other visual and tactile signs that can help you evaluate the doneness of your meat. For example, the texture of the surface of the meat can provide clues to the degree of doneness. A golden, crispy crust may indicate higher cooking, while a softer surface may indicate less intense cooking.

Which meat needs to be well cooked?

Generally, red meat, such as beef, lamb or duck, prefers rare cooking, therefore undercooked, while white meat, such as veal, poultry or pork, requires prolonged cooking.

Choosing how much to cook meat depends on personal preference, but in general, some meats are often recommended to be cooked until well done for food safety reasons.

These include ground meats, such as ground beef or ground chicken. Cooking these meats thoroughly can help reduce the risk of contamination from bacteria, such as salmonella or E. coli, which may be present in the internal parts of minced meat.

Additionally, some people also prefer to fully cook pork and poultry meats, such as sausages, whole chickens, or chicken legs, to ensure safe and thorough cooking.

However, it is important to remember that cooking meats until well done can result in a reduction in the tenderness and juiciness of the meat. Therefore, if you are using high-quality, fresh meat and following proper food safety practices, you can choose to cook the meat to perfection or rare if you prefer.

In any case, to ensure safe cooking and prevent any health risks, it is always advisable to follow food safety guidelines, such as cooking meat to a recommended internal temperature and handling and storing meat in a hygienic manner.

Correct cooking of the meat

In conclusion, understanding the doneness of meat is an art that requires practice and experimentation. By using methods such as resistance testing and meat thermometers, you can achieve perfect doneness, satisfying your personal preferences while ensuring food safety. So, experiment with different cooking times and find out which meat cooking point satisfies you best. Enjoy your meal!