All you need to know about meat quality: buying, preparing and cooking meat sometimes seems like a science. What do I need to take into account when buying meat? Should I wash it before cooking or grilling it? How do I notice when my meat has spoiled? Chill, all of us have asked these questions about meat quality before. It’s time for Otto to answer them.
Meat Quality: Fresh vs. Frozen
Have you ever bought too much meat? Or better yet, have you had a friend give you half of his wild boar he freshly hunted? You don’t want it to spoil so the best thing is to freeze it. When you don’t want to waste meat, freeze it. But when you buy it, try to avoid frozen meat when possible. Why? It’s quite simple: when you freeze meat, the muscle cells break down. When you defrost frozen meat, you will notice a lot of liquid being released – the liquids that provide flavor and moisture. So, there’s no contest when it comes to meat quality: go for fresh meat. For braised recipes such as good old German goulash, you can bend the rules and buy frozen meat since you will be slow cooking the meat in the stew and the liquids will add flavor to the broth. And remember, whether frozen or fresh, choose a high quality meat not only for taste but nutrition.
Confused on the cuts of beef? Use Otto’s steak chart – and now, you know.
Rinsing Meat – Yes or No?
Many people rinse their meat before cooking it to get rid of the pathogens. This is unnecessary. If there are any pathogens on your meat at all, they will not survive the heat of the grill. This is true when you cook you meat on a regular old stove-top pan. Now imagine that at 1,500˚F on your Otto Steak Grill! By rinsing your meat, you will only be spreading pathogens and meat juices in your sink.
It is crucial that your meat be dry if you intend to sear it or create the desirable caramelized crust. To achieve this, we recommend salting your quality meat 30 minutes prior to cooking, and then wiping it off with a paper towel before placing it on the grill.
Has Your Meat Spoiled?
It may sound old-fashioned, but there’s only one way to notice spoilage: smell it! Good meat should not smell like anything. Only dry-aged meat may have a slight smell, but that’s another story… So, when your meat has the slightest off-putting smell, please don’t use it. When your meat has a slight dazzling sheen on the surface or feels sticky, it’s a clear sign of spoilage – please don’t use it! We hate to waste food too, especially quality meat, but it is pertinent to your health not to grill up even the slightest spoiled meat.
Does meat need to be room temperature before grilling it?
We recommend taking your meat out of the fridge an hour before grilling it on your Otto Grill. Season your meat right out of the fridge so that the spices can be absorbed. Otto shows you the perfect way to salt your meat. Then, when your grill is ready, dry off your cut of meat before grilling it for the desired, golden-crispy crust.
Now that you have quality meat, check out Otto’s checklist for grilling the perfect steak.