Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How to Properly Freeze Meat

If there was a big sale at the supermarket and you have a lot of meat on hand you may need to freeze a lot of it. There are a few things you can do prepare your meats for freezing. The first thing you will want to do is remove the meat from the store's packaging. You will want to wrap up the meat up in freezer paper or otherwise use a good quality freezer bag.

Meats such as hamburgers, pork chops, and steaks should be wrapped individually. Wrapping each meat individually will ensure that it will stay fresher. You will want to follow these steps for any meats you plan on freezing for longer than two weeks.

For more information on freezing meats visit >> Freeze Your Smaller Cuts of Meat

Monday, February 25, 2013

Why Do We Have Ham at Easter?

Why is ham so popular at Easter? I'm sure if you are like most people, you probably have ham for your Easter dinner. It is a really common main course for most Easter dinners, but have you ever wondered why that is?

Well, the custom of eating ham at Easter is one that even predates Christianity. You see, fresh meat wasn't always that easy to come by especially in the early spring months. So, people in these times would take their fresh pork and bury it in the sand near the ocean. They would do this in the early winter.

What happened is the pork would get cured by the salt water that would soak it through the sand. This fresh pork just basically marinated in the salt water for months. After several months passed they would dig up this pork and would have a salt cured hunk of ham which would then be cooked over fire.

Are you going to buy any pork in the near future? Well, you are going to want to know what to look for. Visit >> What to Look for when Buying Pork

Saturday, February 23, 2013

What to Look for when Buying Pork

When buying pork there are several things you need to look for to make sure you a getting a good cut of pork. The best indicators of quality when it comes to pork is the color of the meat and also the firmness. You want pork that has light to reddish pink meat. If is looks like it is gray or pale pass it up. The fat on pork should be white and smooth also.

If you are able to touch the pork, it should feel firm. If it feels soft and watery you do not want that cut of pork. If it is prepackaged pork look at the packaging and make sure it isn't damaged. Also check the package and make sure there is no moisture in it. If there is any juices in the packaging make sure that it is clear and not cloudy.

These simple tips will have you buying better cuts of pork. If you like pork, you will probably like country ham. Find out what country ham is by visiting >> Country Ham - Salt Cured Ham

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Country Ham - Salt Cured Ham

If you go to your local meat market and see a ham on the shelf rather than the refrigerator case it is more than likely a country ham. This type of ham does not need to be refrigerated because they are salt cured. There are many different methods of curing ham, and salt cured is just one of the ways.

A country ham often times will have a layer of mold on the skin, do not worry this is normal. This mold can be scraped off the skin. If you do end up getting a salt cured ham know that you will need to soak it in water for several hours. After you soak the country ham it also will need to be simmered for several more hours prior to baking it.

Country hams are typically more salty than your brine cured hams. Their taste is also different than a brine cured ham, many people will need to acquire the taste for a salt cured ham. But once you do, you will fall in love with them.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Letting Your Roast Rest

When you are finished cooking a roast it is important to let it rest. The same it true for any meat you cook. Letting it rest just means to let it sit after cooking for around 15 minutes or so before you start cutting into it. What this does is lets the juices of your roast redistribute through out the meat.

When you cook a roast or any meat for that matter the juices end up going to the center of the roast. Any juices toward the surface of the meat are for the most part evaporated because of the heat. What resting the roast does is lets the juices from the center spread out throughout your meat. Thus you will have a juicer roast.

Want to know how to make lean ground beef juicy? Visit >> How to Make Your Lean Ground Beef Juicier

Monday, February 18, 2013

Adding Soup Bones to Stock

When using soup bones, timing is everything. I see lots people make the mistake of waiting to add a soup bone to their stock after it has started to boil. This is the wrong way to go about it especially if you want to impart a lot of flavor to your stock.

When you add a soup bone to boiling stock the boiling water will seal the bone. Thus all the delicious flavors will not get released into the stock. The best time to add a soup bone to your stock is right away. You should add the bone to the water when it is still cold and first placed on the stove.

What this will do is allow all the flavors, and nutrients to be released from you soup bone. Plus all the gelatinous portions of the soup bone will be release, and this helps to thicken up and add body to your stock.

Preparing Rattlesnake

Rattlesnake is a must try if you've never had it before. It is actually pretty good eating. Preparing rattlesnake isn't too difficult once you get used to the process. Just remember when dealing with a rattlesnake you must be cautious at all times. Rattlesnakes are quick and because of their reflexes you still can get bite even after it is dead.

To prepare a rattlesnake you will want to first cut off its head. After the head is off cut a slit in the skin  near where the head was and peel it back about an inch. Now take so heavy duty string or twine and tie the string around the peeled back area. Hang the rattlesnake from a tree.

What this does is frees up both hands to peel back the skin. You will need a sharp knife for peeling the skin back. Once all the skin is removed, slice open the belly of the rattlesnake and remove the guts. You can then start to cut the meat away from the bone. Once you have the meat, rinse it under some cold water that has a bit of salt in it. Cut the rattlesnake up into bite sized chunks, put a bit of flour and seasoning on it, then fry it up.

It is really simple once you do it a couple times. Like everything, it tastes a bit like chicken. If you don't have live rattlesnakes around your area, you can also purchase them from specialty shops.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What is the Best Meat for Hamburgers?

Are you wanting to know what the best meat is for hamburgers? In the news today we all here about the health concerns with fat, so they say to pick lean meats. However if you go that route, your burgers will not be as flavorful and juicy.

The meat of choice when making hamburgers is ground chuck. Ground chuck is so much better than ground beef from round, as it is from a fattier part of the cow. Do not worry about the fattiness of the burger because as you grill it most of the fat will be released and drip through the grates. A fattier ground beef will make for a juicier burger that you and your family will love. So, if at all possible for the best tasting burgers go with ground chuck.

Are you uncertain whether to go with a leaner or fattier steak? Visit >> Should You Pick a Marbled Steak?

Should You Pick a Marbled Steak?

A well marbled steak is something I love. A marbled steak is a steak that has streaks of white fat running through it. You will see it a lot on rib-eye steaks. This fat provides moisture and flavor to your steak. The fat will also help to tenderize your steak.

With a steak that has a lot of marbling it means that the cow did not get much exercise. A cow that if fed a diet rich in corn and other grains, and doesn't get much exercise means a cow that will have a lot of fat. It will thus have meat that is more tender.

So, if you like your cuts of steak tender and juicy, a well marbled steak is the obvious choice.

Want to know how to properly thaw your meat? Visit >> What is the Best Way to Thaw Meat?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

What is the Best Way to Thaw Meat?

Want to know the best way to thaw meat? If you have frozen meat and you thaw it there is always the potential for bacteria to form and also to damage the cut of meat. Therefor how you thaw your meat is important to stop the possibility of bacteria formation, and also wreaking a good cut of meat.

So, what is the proper way to thaw your meat? The best way to thaw meat is always in the refrigerator. Yes, it will take time, but it reduces you chances of bacterial contamination and loss of flavor in your meat. So, do not leave it on your counter to thaw, or use a microwave to thaw your meat. With a microwave there is a very good chance of partially cooking the meat, which will dry it out.

Yes, thawing in the refrigerator takes time, but isn't a good cut of meat worth the extra time?

Having problems with flare-ups? Visit >> How to Deal with Flare-ups with Grilling

Thursday, February 14, 2013

How to Deal with Flare-ups when Grilling

When grilling flare-ups are a common occurrence, especially when you are grilling fattier cuts of meat or chicken. There are a few things you can do if flare-ups are happening during your grilling.

The first thing you should do if you have a flare-up is reduce the amount of air. So, if you have the lid off of your grill put it back on. If you are using a charcoal grill once you have the lid back on close the top vent about halfway. This should cut down the flare-ups.

If you need to grill your foods with the lid off or the flare-ups are still happening even though you have the lid on, there is something else you can do. If it is still a problem, move the foods away from the heat source. If you foods are right over the heat flare-ups will happen more often, if you set the foods to cook indirect the flare ups will stop. You can try moving you food back over the heat source once the flare-ups stop.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Testing a Steak for Doneness

Testing a steak for doneness is a skill learned over time. You gotta cook a few steaks in order to get the feel for it. Normally a person could use a thermometer to tell precicely that their steak is done, but after you learn how to feel for doneness you will never be sticking your steak with a thermometer again.

I don't use a thermometer much as more when I grill meats, because I've learned how meat feels as it cooks. As your steak cooks it loses moisture and becomes firmer, so the longer you cook it the firmer the steak will feel. So it you are testing your steak for doneness and it feels pretty spongy, it is more than likely still rare. Now if it is really firm when pressed you probably have a medium-well or a well done steak.

With practice you will be able to easily tell if your steak is rare, medium rare, medium, medium-well, or well done. So, the next time you grill up a steak, test for doneness using your finger. For information on grilling a really good steak visit >> How to Grill the Perfect Steak

Do you like your steaks rare? Do you think a rare steak is really bloody? Find out here if a rare steak is really bloody. >> Is a Rare Steak Really Bloody?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Is a Rare Steak Really Bloody?

You probably think that when you have a rare steak it is a bloody steak. I used to think that as well. A nice rare steak that when you slice into it the red juices cover your place and the meat is still all red or pink. However, a rare steak is not a bloody steak.

So, if a rare steak is not bloody, why is it red? When a cow is butchered all of the blood is drained out, so there is hardly much left in the meat. What the reddish color you are seeing in the meat is myoglobin. Myoglobin is a pigment in the meat that makes it red, while blood gets its color from hemoglobin. So for the most part the nice red juices you see flowing when you slice into your steak is myoglobin.

Also you may notice that your beef is redder than your pork, that is because beef contains a lot more myoglobin than pork. For more information on the color of meat visit >> Color of Meat - The Sign of Freshness

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Reducing Saltiness in Ham Slices

Have you ever had really salty slices of ham? If you are really sensitive to your ham being salty, there is a simple thing you can do. Before you cook up your ham slices, place the slices in a dish of milk for approximately 20 minutes. I know it sounds pretty crazy, but it works.

You are probably thinking that your ham will taste like milk, but it won't. The ham slices will not pick up the milk flavors. After you soak the slices of ham for around twenty minutes, rinse them off with cold water and dry them with a paper towel. It is a simple and effective way to cut the saltiness of your ham slices.

For more ham tips visit >> Buying a Canned Ham

Buying a Canned Ham

Here is a simple tip when you are buying a canned ham. If you are thinking about purchasing a canned ham, buy the biggest one you can afford. You may be asking why you need to purchase the biggest canned ham you can afford? Well, it is because the majority of smaller canned hams are made from bits and pieces of ham stuck together with gelatin.

Bits and pieces stuck together with gelatin, doesn't sound too appetizing to me when I'm eating a canned ham. So, if you are not into stuck together ham pieces, buy the biggest canned ham you can afford.

For more tips on ham visit >> How to Easily Remove a Ham Bone

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Does Searing a Steak Really Seal in the Juices?

You have probably heard before that searing a steak supposedly seals in the juices. I know I've heard that from lots of sources. It seems like it would make for a juicier steak, however it really is not true.

Many people will probably argue with you if you tell them that searing your steak does not keep in the juices. Just because searing a steak doesn't really lock in the juices, doesn't mean you shouldn't do it any longer. On the contrary you should sear you steaks.

Searing a steak will cause it to brown up and will create an exceptionally good steak. I always sear my steaks because of the great flavor it produces. If you are disappointed that searing a steak doesn't really lock in the juice, I have a solution for making a juicier steak. The solution is to cook low and slow. Grilling your steak slowly at a lower temperature will help it to turn out more tender and will also help it retain more of the good juices.

If you would like more tips on grilling steak visit >> How to Grill the Perfect Steak

Monday, February 4, 2013

Why You Should Not Refreeze Meat

You probably have heard before that once you thaw meat that has been frozen, you cannot freeze it again. Of course, we all have. But, did you ever wonder why you couldn't refreeze previously frozen meats? I know I wondered for the longest time. There are many reasons why, but I'm going to tell you the main reasons.

If a meat that contains fat is refrozen the fat within the meat may potentially cause the meat to go bad. More the most part all of your meats will have some fat in them. If it was already frozen once and you go to refreeze it again it may make your meats rancid. I don't know about you, but I don't want to eat rancid meat. And I definitely do not want a good cut of meat to go to waste.

Another reason is refreezing previously frozen meat will impact the texture of the meat. You don't want to ruin the texture of a good cut of steak. So, do not freeze previously frozen meats.

How to Make Your Lean Ground Beef Juicier

A lot of people do not like the extra fat in their ground beef, so they pick the leaner, or lower fat hamburger from the supermarket. With the extra leanness of the ground beef, comes the extra dryness. With lean ground beef, hamburgers and meatloaf tends to turn out dry and less flavorful. However there is something you can do to moisten up your burgers and meatloaf with out purchasing the fattier ground beef.

Whether you are making hamburgers or a meatloaf, mix in one well beaten egg white for every pound of ground beef. You can also add a pack of dry onion soup mix to your burger, that will also moisten it up a bit. For meatloaf you could also add some cottage cheese or instant potatoes to the center of the loaf, this will moisten it up as well.

Any of these few tips will help to add more juiciness to your burgers and meatloaf made with lean ground beef.

Simple Tip for Desalting Ham

Some people do not like ham because it is salty, or they really like it, but hate that it can be so salty. Ham is naturally salty, plus you have the majority of hams you buy at your local supermarket that are injected with a salt brine solution. So, ham can be pretty salty. However there is something you can do to desalt your ham a bit.

Now, this might sound a bit strange and some of it might sound like it is defeating the purpose, but bare with me, it works. To desalt your ham pour a can of ginger ale over it. After you pour the ginger ale on your ham rub salt all over the meaty side of your ham. You are going to want to do this at least 1 hour prior to cooking your ham.

Pouring the ginger ale on the ham and rubbing salt on it will cause the salt water to come to the surface of the ham, thus making your ham less salty. I know, it sounds weird, but it works.

Want more ham tips? Check out >> How to Easily Remove a Ham Bone

Sunday, February 3, 2013

How to Easily Remove a Ham Bone

I don't know about you, but I like to use my ham bone to make navy bean and ham soup, or split pea and ham soup. But sometimes cutting all that ham off the bone is a big pain. Having a bone in the ham makes it a lot tougher to carve as well. It would be a lot better if you could easily remove the bone. Well it can be really simple to remove the ham bone if you do it the right way. I'm going to give you a simple tip to making removing the ham bone a snap.

If you want to make removing a ham bone easy, follow my next set of instructions. Before placing the ham in the cooking pan, cut a slit in the ham lengthwise down the bone. Do not take the bone out at this point, you want it in the ham for cooking. While the ham cooks, the meat will start to pull away from the bone. So, once the ham it fully cooked the ham bone will be easy to pull out.

It is that simple to remove the ham bone. Now you can easily carve your ham and also use the bone for soups.

Want to learn more about ham? Visit >> Brine Injected Ham  Here you will learn all about your brine injected hams.

How to Keep Sausage from Splitting While Cooking

It really bothers me when I'm cooking sausage and it splits open. It happens quite often when I'm not watching and it is cooking too long or hot. I have a simple solution to keep your sausages from splitting open when frying, or grilling them. I'll also let you in on a little known secret to keep your sausages from shrinking when cooking too.

We've all experienced that big, nasty split when cooking or grilling up sausages. It can easily be stopped by just piercing the sausage casing one or two times while cooking. Doing so will keep the sausages from splitting.

Oh, and you want to know how to keep those sausages from shrinking while cooking?  Simply roll them in a bit of flour before cooking them. That little bit of flour will help reduce shrinkage.

How to Keep Your Meatloaf Moist

I hate it when my meatloaf drys out, or starts cracking. It can happen when cooking, even with the coating of ketchup or tomato sauce. Nobody wants a dried hunk of meatloaf. A moist meatloaf is so much more delicious and flavorful. Well, if you have ever had your meatloaf dry out or start cracking, there is a simple solution.

To keep your meatloaf moist, instead of rubbing on the ketchup or tomato sauce, rub a bit of water on the sides and top instead. Basically when I used to prepare my meatloaf I'd coat the top and sides with ketchup, but it would still get dry and cracked. Now I just take a small amount of water and rub it on both the sides and top.

What this does is it keeps the meatloaf from cracking and drying out. Don't worry you still can add your tomato sauce or ketchup topping, just rub that on during the last 15 minutes of cooking. See, it is a simple solution to keep your meatloaf moist.

Do you have the same problem with meatballs? Here is your solution >> A Simple Tip for Moister Meatballs

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Brine Injected Ham - Know What You are Purchasing

Knowing what your buying when it comes to ham is important, just as with buying any food product. So, knowing what the label means is a must when going out to purchase a ham. How hams are cured and injected will have a big impact on the final product. Make sure you understand how they are injected and what you are buying.

There are many ways of curing hams, but for the most part they are all injected with a solution. This solution consists of brine salts, sugar, and nitrates. With these injections will come a weight gain to the ham. Differing amounts of injections will of course increase the weight of your ham by differing amounts.

If you've gone to your local super market and seen a ham labeled "ham with natural juices", this is a ham that has gone up in weight by 8% from the injections. Now on the other hand if you find a label on your ham that reads "water added" this means that the ham's weight has increased by more than 10% from the injected brine solution.

What to Do When You Burn Your Roast

A roast is great, a burnt roast is not. Sometimes it is going to happen; you're going to burn your roast. It can be pretty embarrassing to serve a burnt roast to your friends and family. It has happened to me, and it is not fun. Well, if you noticed that you have burnt your roast, there is a simple solution for saving that roast. You don't want to serve your friends and family a black roast.

When checking on your roast and you noticed that it looks scorched or burnt, the first thing you want to do is remove it from the pan. Next moisten a towel with hot water and cover your roast with it. You will want to let it sit with the hot, damp towel on it for approximately 5 minutes. Doing this will stop the cooking process.

After the 5 minutes are up, remove the towel and scrape off any burnt sections with a knife. Once it looks like you've scrapped off all the burnt areas, place the roast back in the oven to heat back up.

It is a simple way to save face and save your burnt roast. Keep this in mind the next time you cook a roast.

Reheating Meat - How to Keep it from Drying Out

I really hate it when I reheat meat and it drys out. I'm sure you can relate. You make an absolutely fantastic roast, you and your family can't finish it all in one sitting, so of course you have leftovers. So, the next day you go to have it, warm it up, and it is as dry as shoe leather. Not good.

It stinks to have a good cut of meat worthless the next day when you reheat it. However there is a really simple solution to keep your sliced meat and roasts from drying out.

When you store your leftover roast, be sure to place it back in its own juices. I know not everyone retains the juices after cooking a roast, but going forward do it, as it will keep your roast moister for when you reheat it.

Now, when you go to reheat your sliced meats place them in a dish with lettuce leaves between the slices. The lettuce will provide just enough moisture to keep your slices of meat from drying out. It is a really simple trick that works wonders.