How To Buy Best Meat and brine it

How To Buy Best Meat and brine it?

How To Buy Best Meat and brine it?

Meat is divided in two major groups- white and red meat. The former class largely refers to domestic poultry like chicken, turkey and fish. The latter category encompasses mainly the large domestic mammals, such as pig, cattle, lamb.

White meat is popularly known as the healthiest because it is mostly fatless. Furthermore, animal fat is not always bad for us. For instance, not many people know that organic beef contains omega-3 fatty acids (which is unsaturated fat), analogous to that found in fish and olive oil, which aid up to the human cardiovascular system, immune function, nervous system operations.

Some Meat Fact's

One of nature's most balanced foods and is filled with the nutrients that your body needs to build and maintain muscle, gain strength and vitality!

A meat based high protein diet is good for you. Red meat and poultry are great sources of protein and nutrients and should be made part of a balanced diet, but always in moderation.

How To Buy Best Meat and brine it?

How To Buy Best Meat and brine it?

Interesting Meat Facts:

• Cows were first domesticated for beef in the regions of Greece and Turkey about 4,000 years ago.

• There are about 1.3 billion cattle in the world today, more than 200 million in India.

• Beef is one of the best sources of protein, B12, niacin, zinc, B2 and iron.

• A cow is more valuable for its milk, cheese, butter, yogurt than it is for its beef.

• The average lifespan of a cow is 7 years. The oldest cow ever recorded was Big Bertha. She reached 48 in 1993.

• Bacon is one of the oldest meats on history; the Chinese were preserving pork bellies around 1500 B.C.

• Wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 mph and can run up to 20 mph, domesticated turkeys can't fly.

• In a turkey the active muscles such as the legs store a lot of oxygen and become dark, while less active muscles like the breast remain white.

• You can order your steak cooked in six different ways in restaurants: very rare, rare, medium rare, medium, well done and very well done.

• Japan produces the world's most expensive Kobe beef. Cattles are fed a diet of beer and soybeans and even given a daily massage.

• It is sensible to reduce the number of meals that include red meat and substitute the red meat with lean poultry and fish.

• However red meat is not always higher in fat than white meat. This depends on how you cook the meat, the cut of the meat and what you add to it - creamy sauces and butter. Chicken wings and pork belly are rather high in fat too.

• Always buy fresh and unprocessed meats and make your own meals, rather than low quality processed meats like sausages and burgers as they tend to be full of saturated fats or include very little meat.

• Cut off all visible fat before cooking and skin on poultry.

• Do not fry meat, frying adds nothing more than fat and calories into your meal.

• Meats should be stored in the refrigerator for no more than three days in the original wrapper.

• Leftover cooked meat can be kept four to five days in the refrigerator. Never eat after five days!

• Fresh beef is cherry-red in colour. The darker the beef the older the animal. Fat should be white, not yellow.

How To Buy Best Meat and brine it?

How To Buy Best Meat?

The quality grade of meat does not necessarily mean that you will be getting good meat. Some cuts of meat are just naturally more tender than others. For instance, You should look for cuts from the less used muscles along the back such as the rib and loin sections. The shoulder, flank and leg cuts will be tougher.

How to make sure you buy good meat?

Here are some tips on how to make sure you buy good meat.

The USDA beef quality grade is like this prime, choice, select. The best beef meat that you can find is of course prime, but this is very hard to find and does come with a large price tag(expensive). Most of the beef that you find at your local grocery will be choice or select and Standard which is usually sold as un-graded or only with "brand name" meat.

  • If you are looking for Roast and steaks ensure the cut is firm. Do not purchase soft or squishy feeling roast or steaks no matter the type of meat.
  • Check the sale by date and no buy after that date. You should buy the meat either before or on the day that is the "sell by date".
  • Check the packaging for any type of damage. The meat should be cold and wrapped securely. It should not have any sign of Freezer burn.
  • The package should not contain any moisture. This could mean that the temperature of the meat has been above 40 degrees and that will cause the taste of your meat to be less quality.
  • Look for beef that is bright red in colour and has thin creamy white fat evenly distributed throughout the roast or steak. On the other hand, veal should not be bright red; it should be almost white in colour or lightly pink and no marbling
  • Before you buy any meat find out if it has been injected with flavourings. You do not want to purchase any meat that has been injected with flavourings, this can cause your meat to break down and become mushy.
  • Do your own tenderizing. Do not buy meat that has been tenderized by the butcher. He uses piercing products that allows the natural flavor and juices to escape from your meat and this will be produce a tough and un-flavourful meat.
  •  Try to purchase dry aged if at all possible(hung meat in butcher shop for aging). This type of meat will probably only be found at a butcher shop. Dry aging is a process where the meat is taken from the bag that it arrives in to the butcher and is hung in a cooler for a certain amount of time to dry out. This will make the cost go up, but the aging adds more flavor and also tenderizes the meat. 
How To Buy Best Meat and brine it?
  • If you buy your steak from the local grocery, the steak has been cut, wrapped in plastic and has aged on the way to the store.
  • When in doubt, talk with your butcher and use FIFO rules; First in, First out.

Let's talk about storage of Meat

If you buy your meat in bulk, break the larger portions down into the serving sizes. you'll need, vacuum pack them or pack them in plastic bags and place them in your freezer. Mark the date that you pack it on the outside of the freezer bag. Meat that stays in the freezer too long will get freezer burn and you won't be able to eat it. Vacuum packed meats will last longer, so if you can afford a home vacuum sealer, it's a good idea to buy one.

There are many different types of meat, from beef to poultry to fish that you can store and prepare for your meals. Some meat cooking basics and tips to remember are:
  • Thaw meat thoroughly before cooking, either in the refrigerator or in a bowl of ice water. It's never a good idea to thaw meat at room temperature.
  • Have a meat thermometer handy, especially when cooking things like turkey, roast chicken or meat loaf.
  • It's best to cook all meats until their well done, usually 160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for beef and similar meats.
  • Make sure the area where you're working is clean and that you use clean utensils. For example, if you used a knife to cut chicken, wash and rinse the knife thoroughly before using it to cut any other meat.
  • After your meal, promptly put leftover meat in the refrigerator to prevent spoiling.

Do you have idea on how to brine meat?

Brining is soaking meat in a salt heavy solution. Most mammals are mostly made up of water. When meat is soaked with brine, the water in the meat will be drawn out into the brine because the moisture inside the meat is greater than the moisture outside due to the salt. This happens until the point the that the brine dries out the meat so much that there's more moisture in the brine. 

The meat will then start drawing in the brine and until the moisture is equal. This is when the brine mixes all throughout the meat. Simply put, soaking meat in a salt heavy, flavored, and seasoned solution will replace the water in the meat with the solution. 

This alone is reason enough to brine before cooking, but brining also breaks down proteins which make it harder for the meat to lose moisture by non-liquid means. So brining can evenly season and flavor meat and also makes meat more juicy after cooking. Brining is also the best way to season deep fried turkey or chicken.

How to brine ?

The basic brine is about 1 cup of salt per 1 gallon of water. You will find Many brine recipes will have equal parts sugar or brown sugar and salt. Sugar will help brown and crisp the outside of the meat while cooking. Other than salt and water, any other seasoning can be used in the brine.

Some of the water can be substituted with broth, fruit juices, wine, or beer. Coarse herbs, seeds, and fruit can be added. Use whatever seasoning you want the meat to be seasoned with, including just black pepper.

Once you're ingredients are picked out, add them all in a pot with enough water to easily mix and cover the salt and sugar. Boiling is not necessary, just heat until all the salt is dissolved. You can also just boil water in a tea kettle and pour into your ingredients. The brine needs to be cold before adding the meat. You can wait until it's cooled, or just add it to the rest of the cold water and use ice cubes to cool it down faster.

Brining takes 6 to 12 hours. Brining overnight is usually all that's needed. At least double the amount of brine solution as the amount of meat is needed and at least enough to submerge the meat in the container. Three times the amount of brine as the amount of meat and in a spacious container is best. Although the salt in the brine greatly slows the breeding of bacteria, the brine and the raw meat are contaminated and should be treated as such. Prevent it from spilling or other items in the refrigerator from touching it.

After brining and before cooking, rinse the meat with fresh water and dry. Do not add anymore salt during or before cooking. Also keep in mind that most all meat cooks faster and browns faster after brining. 

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