Tuesday, October 20, 2020

How To Distinguish Between A Good Cook And A Bad Cook

Currently, many of those who are reading this article are entering a phase in their lives where they are required to be able to really cook food, rather than just mix water with this or that powder. Because of the lack of practice, many of you are completely unable to cope with it.

At least, I couldn't. However, over the past two years I have devoted myself entirely to cooking - not only because I am insatiable and completely devoid of willpower and self-control, but mostly because cooking is a great way to relieve accumulated stress. Having cooked a huge number of more and more appetizing dishes each time, having heard Gordon Ramsey scream "idiot" at people in white aprons hundreds of times, I found the main mistake of beginners and unskilled cooks.

Bad cook is too quick to slice meat

What do beginner chefs usually do:
You have spent half an hour preparing a perfect dish, and your stomach is already rumbling impatiently. The smell is so strong that you can't resist it, and you can't wait any longer, because you can control yourself no better than a 4-month-old puppy. So, you take the meat out of the oven, and thank God it's finally ready. You start cutting it, and the meat juice is flowing all over the place. This is a good sign. The juicy meat is delicious. But when you bite off a piece and you realize that something is wrong.

How can meat be so dry when brown juice has just oozed out of it? That's the problem. All of the juice is now on your plate, not in the meat. You couldn't wait for the meat to "rest" before slicing it.

Why shouldn't you do it?

When meat is heated during cooking, the juice inside starts to "boil" from inside to outside. In fact, as the meat is being cooked, the muscle cells contract, pushing the juices out. That's why when you put a dry piece of meat in the oven, by the end of cooking, a small puddle of juice is formed underneath it - and it's not drowned fat at all.

When you take the meat out of the oven, the juices inside continue to boil for a few more minutes. The residual heat from the surface of the meat must be balanced by the less hot middle of the piece, so that the middle of the piece heats up while the surface cools down. This is very important to know, because while the meat is resting, the process of balancing the temperature reaches its peak, and only then the whole piece of meat starts to cool down - now muscle cells begin to relax, turning into a kind of sponge and pulling back the liquid they had previously given.

If you start slicing meat before it has rested and absorbed moisture, you deprive it of juice, making it drier than if you leave it to rest for a few minutes. A good rule in this case is to leave the fried piece of meat for 15-20 minutes on the off stove, where it is still warm but not hot anymore. Or cover it with foil so that it does not cool down sharply. Small pieces of meat - steaks or chicken - take 5 to 10 minutes.

This is s a guest blog entry.

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