The Meat Sheet: Your Guide To Cooking All Meats

Some love the slow cook of an oven, while others prefer the instant gratification of cooking in a pressure cooker. But while cooking food at home remains a personal process it doesn’t hurt to acquaint yourself with more varied cooking techniques such as braising, grilling, searing, roasting, broiling and more. Master these in your home kitchen, enhance your meaty dishes, and wait for the compliments to roll in.

First Things First

A well-cooked meat preparation depends on many factors—the kind of meat you’re working with (lamb, beef, pork or poultry), time used for marinating, cooking temperature, and most importantly, the cooking technique.

Braising

The Elements:

While a Dutch oven is best, you can also braise in a crock-pot, pressure cooker, or a large sauté pan.

Formula:

This one is our favourite, and certainly, the most foolproof method of cooking meats. Braising is a combination cooking method that involves a mixture of applying dry heat and letting your meat sit and cook in a variable amount of liquid on low heat. This can be done on a stove-top, oven or both for yummier results.

Braising is a great way to cook tougher cuts of meat. The first rule of thumb is to start by searing your meat—cooking the meat in any form of fat for a few minutes to get the desired brown colour and crispiness on the exterior. This also helps your braised dish look more palatable, and brings out complex flavours and aromas.

#EatExtra:

Mostly used to cook red meat and poultry.

Roasting

The Elements:

If you’re not oven-handy, this might be the best ice-breaker. You would also need a heavy roasting rack or pan.

Formula:

A dry-heat cooking method, roasting requires the use of an oven on high-heat. Ideally done on an uncovered pan, the heat in the oven helps cook the meat from all around, adding certain crispiness and giving the exteriors a beautiful brown colour.

#EatExtra:

Roasting is primarily done for larger cuts of meats. Nothing beats a simple and classic spice-rubbed whole roast chicken recipe (I’m sure you all have a hidden family recipe for this one).

Broiling

The Elements:

Ovens mostly come with a built-in broiler but you can also opt for a separate broiling appliance if your oven lacks the facility. A broiling pan or a cast-iron dish is ideal for the purpose of broiling.

Formula:

Broiling is a quick cooking method where the food is cooked by applying direct heat from above where the food is usually placed 4-6 inches away from the heat source. More like an upside-down grill, one can perfectly substitute grilling (where the direct heat source comes from below the food) for broiling.

#EatExtra:

Commonly used to cook sausages and tender cuts (of beef) such as: Rib-eye steak, porterhouse, sirloin, T-bone and top lion.

Grilling

The Elements:

While you can grill on a stove-top, our most favourite way of using the grill method is cooking over charcoal. This rustic method infuses the charcoal smokiness into the cooked meats. Other common ways of grilling include: Flat-top grill, charcoal grill, wood-grill or gas grill.

Formula:

Though technically opposite, grilling gives more or less the same results as broiling. It involves direct heat to be applied from the bottom and is mostly done on a grate or solid surface with the flame under.

If you’re looking for crispy edges, rustic grill lines and a beautifully browned meat presentation, then grilling works best. Always choose grilling over broiling for better and enhanced flavour.

#EatExtra:

Best suited for short ribs, pork chops, steaks and burger patties.

Chetna Chopra