Cooking meat can be a delicious and rewarding experience, but it’s important to remember that handling raw meat can also be risky. Improper preparation can lead to foodborne illnesses, such as salmonella and E. coli. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips for properly and safely preparing meat before cooking.
Wash Your Hands
The first step in preparing meat is to wash your hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water. This will help to remove any bacteria that may be on your hands, and prevent it from contaminating the meat.
Use a Clean Cutting Board and Knife
When preparing meat, it’s important to use a clean cutting board and knife. Cross-contamination can occur if you use the same cutting board or knife for raw meat and other foods. It’s recommended to have separate cutting boards and knives for meat and other foods.
Thaw Meat Safely
If you’re using frozen meat, it’s important to thaw it safely. The best way to do this is to thaw the meat in the refrigerator overnight. If you need to thaw the meat quickly, you can use the microwave, but be sure to cook it immediately after thawing.
Trim Excess Fat
Before cooking the meat, trim any excess fat. This not only makes the meat look better, but it also reduces the risk of flare-ups on the grill or in the oven. It’s important to use a sharp knife when trimming meat, as a dull knife can be dangerous.
Marinate Meat Safely
Marinating can add flavor and tenderness to meat, but it’s important to do it safely. Always marinate meat in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. If you’re using the marinade as a sauce, be sure to boil it first to kill any bacteria that may be present.
Cook Meat to the Correct Temperature
Cooking meat to the correct temperature is one of the most important steps in preventing foodborne illness. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the meat is cooked to the appropriate temperature. The USDA recommends cooking beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 145°F, and ground meats to 160°F. Poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.
Rest Meat Before Serving
After cooking meat, it’s important to let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This makes the meat more soft and delicious by spreading the juices throughout. To keep the meat warm as it rests, wrap it with foil.
Properly and safely preparing meat before cooking is essential in preventing foodborne illnesses. By following these tips, you can ensure that the meat you serve is delicious and safe to eat. With above tips, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious and safe meat dishes every time.