Meaty tips

A few basic ides to help you cook meat and poultry to perfection and with the least effort.

Both meat and poultry have a place in a balanced diet. Red meat is a good source of high quality protein, zinc and iron; while poultry is a great source of B vitamins, but doesn’t have as much iron as red meat. There are a few things to be aware when dealing with meat or poultry.

Dealing with meat

Slicing meat thinly is easier when meat has cooled. If you plan to reuse a pot roast for beef dip the next day, don’t slice it all and make your beef dip slices once it has cooled.

Keep bacon from curling when frying by dipping it into cold water first.

Place your cooked bacon on a paper towel to soak up excessive grease. You’ll get crispier bacon and just a little less cholesterol.

Never put bacon grease down your drain. The grease will harden and clog things up. Instead, fill an empty jar or can and discard it when it’s full. Or wait until the grease hardens in your pan and wipe it up with paper towel.

Bring your steaks and beef roasts to room temperature before cooking. It will produce a much more tender meat.

Let cooked meat rest for before eating. The meat still cooks during this time and the moisture will be better distributed. Wait 5 minutes for small pieces and up to 30 minutes for large roasted meats.

When making gravies and thickening sauces, mix your flour or cornstarch with water first. It will help prevent lumps.

Kids won’t eat vegetables, but love meat loaf? Just about any vegetable can be pureed and added to your ground beef mixture.

Dealing with poultry

Looking for the moistest roast poultry possible? Try brining whole chicken, turkey and other poultry in a salt and water mixture for several hours.

The tastiest brines include extra flavorings from vegetables, citrus fruit and seasoning. Bring the water and salt mixture to a boil with your selected additions and remove from heat as soon as it boils. Cool completely before inserting your poultry.

Beer can chicken produces a very moist and delicious bird. Coat the bird with your favorite rub and carefully place it over a beer can, ¾ full of bear. Roast for approximately 90 minutes at 375° F or to an internal temperature of 165° F.

Add margarine or butter inside the skin of a roasted chicken for a juicier bird and crispier skin.

Did you know that chicken has about the same amount of cholesterol per serving as beef? Don't eat the skin.