How To Cook Meat Like A Pro

(Image credit: Unknown)

Preheat your meat

Apart from tiny things such as squid, prawns and so on, protein cooks better if it’s at room temperature first. Jacob Kenedy, Bocca Di Lupo

Stop smoking

If you need a very hot pan because you’re cooking, say, a steak, add your oil after the pan has been heated to the required temperature or the oil will burn. Shirin Kouros, The Good Life Eatery

Soak and serve

If you perfect your marinades, meat will taste so good you won’t need a rich sauce. Blitz lemongrass, ginger, garlic, spring onions, coriander, salt and olive oil together in a blender for a perfect Asian-style marinade. Caroline Mili Artiss, The Gorgeous Kitchen

Use the shoulder

Pork shoulder, or blade, is very versatile. It can be fried, or slow-roasted for as long as six hours. Cook it with apples and carrots. Allan Pickett, The Globe

Nice cubes

Freeze cubes of lamb or beef to make kebabs. Coat them in yogurt before freezing – it will make them more tender when you thaw and then grill them. Tony Kitous, Comptoir Libanais

Super soaker

Use acidic marinades to make meat tender. Marinate small cuts for one to 24 hours, or big ones for one to two days, in a yogurt- or lemon juice-based marinade. It’s especially good for barbecuing. Jacob Kenedy

The thighs have it

When properly seasoned and cooked at a high heat, chicken thighs release any excess fat and crisp up, giving you all the flavour and none of the health downsides. Sprinkle them with salt before cooking. Lee Bennett, Monte Carlo, Las Vegas

Paper baked

Use baking parchment or silicon paper – not greaseproof paper – in the bottom of your frying pan. You’ll need next to no fat in the pan, nothing will stick and your meat will colour nicely. Bernhard Engelhardt

Bag it up

When using skinless chicken breast or any other lean meat, try cooking it sous-vide by placing it in a vacuum bag in a water bath at low temperature of 55-64°C for about 45 minutes. This will reduce shrinkage of the meat while retaining all the nutrients, flavour and goodness. Bernhard Engelhardt

Lean out

Lean protein lends itself to lean cooking. Steaks and white meats such as veal, pork, chicken, rabbit and fish are ideal for grilling, searing, poaching and roasting. Jacob Kenedy

Face facts

Pork cheeks are widely used in restaurants but not at home. Season them and throw them in a casserole dish for a few hours for a cheap, tasty meal. Lee Bennett

Rest for success

Lean meats dry out more easily while cooking, so it’s important that you rest them afterwards to distribute the juice through the meat. As a rule, rest your meat for one minute per 100g. Cover big cuts loosely in foil to stop them getting cold. Gee Charman, The Gorgeous Kitchen

Pork out

For better bacon, bring it to room temperature before cooking, then put it in a frying pan before you turn on the heat. This will ensure the bacon heats up slowly, maximising the amount of fat rendered out of the bacon. Theresa Gilliam, Bacon

Bring it up

When cooking steak, allow the meat to come up to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Season with smoked Maldon sea salt when grilling. Allan Pickett

Flip it

When roasting a whole bird, turn it upside down when it’s finished cooking and pierce the breast cavity from the inside. The juices will go into the breast meat. Andrew Turner,

Brine power

To keep pork and poultry moist, brine it. Use a mixture of salt, sugar (or honey or treacle) and water in a ratio of 1:1:10 by volume. Brine small cuts of meat for a few hours and larger cuts or whole birds for a day or two before cooking. Jacob Kenedy

Go hot turkey

Use minced turkey as a low-fat alternative to minced beef. Try my Asian-style meatballs – add a generous amount of chopped garlic, ginger, chilli, coriander, a dash of fish sauce and an egg to minced turkey, season well and roll into balls. Caroline Mili Artiss

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