There’s nothing better than a juicy, delicious, grilled steak. But what good is it to have a steak if it doesn’t taste right or makes you sick? In order to cook meat safely and easily, it is helpful to have a few specialized kitchen tools. This guide will introduce you to three beneficial gadgets for proper meat preparation.
A Good Knife
When you're cutting meat, it's best to start with a knife that is specifically designed for this purpose. Chef's knives, utility knives, slicing knives, and meat cleavers are all good choices for meat preparation. Slicing knives are ideal for cutting thin slices of meat, and meat cleavers will help you split thick meat from the bone. Paring knives aren't very good for cutting meat. In general, a 5-inch knife is recommended for slicing boneless meat, and you may wish to use one with a serrated blade. Seven-inch boning knives are beneficial for removing skin from meat, and they can also be used to debone meat.
A Meat Thermometer
Using a meat thermometer helps you know if the meat has been cooked to a safe temperature. Undercooked meat is a major cause of food poisoning, and some people are at greater risk than others of foodborne illness. It is especially important to use a meat thermometer if you are preparing meat for children, seniors, or individuals who have underlying medical issues. In general, you want to cook whole cuts of meat to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, and these need to rest for at least three minutes before serving. Ground meats should be cooked to a minimum of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and poultry requires an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Always clean the meat thermometer after each use.
A Meat Tenderizer
Meat tenderizers help you flatten certain cuts of meat. They are particularly useful for tough meats, such as steak, and many people like to use them to make chicken-fried steak and schnitzel. Tenderizing meat generally makes it easier to chew and easier to digest. Meat tenderizers are available in a wide variety of shapes. You may want to choose one that resembles a mallet, and you could also opt for one that looks similar to a potato masher. Blade tenderizers are available as well. You may need to experiment with a few different products to find the one that works best for your skill level and the type of meat that you are preparing. Most people start by using mallet-style tenderizers at first. Always ensure that you read the directions completely before using a tenderizer.
The kitchen tools described above can make cooking meat much more enjoyable. If you cook meat frequently, you may want to invest in upgraded products and seek out other useful gadgets as well.
If you want to give your meat an extra fancy twist, try seasoning it with one of our Whiskey Oak Seasonings!