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Don't Overcook

March 30, 2017

Have you ever watched a cooking show and seen the chef start cooking on the stovetop and then place the pan in the oven to "finish".  Why do they do that? If you remember, this process is usually for cooking proteins. They will get the pan scorching hot to sear the outside of the meat/chicken/pork, sometimes referred to as "sealing in the juices". What is really happening is the carmelization of sugars.  You see this when you grill and there are grill marks on the steak or brown something in the pan. Many home cooks are afraid of burning the dinner so they start at a low temperature and increase as they go. This leads to overcooking! You need to start with a hot pan and then reduce the heat significantly to finish cooking. Carmelization occurs at 320˚F. Once the meat is browned then you reduce the temperature on the stovetop or if you are using an oven safe pan, put it in the oven like a pro to finish. Lastly, have you taken my advice and bought yourself a thermometer? Do you have a $1000 stove, but no thermometer?  You will be a better cook WITH ONE! Cutting it open to see if it is done lets out all the juices and it will be dry.  So you left it on too long? Well you have gone past the done stage at 165˚F and let it cook to 212˚F which is the Evaporation of Moisture stage. Yes it's done, but it is also dried out now. So remember, start Hot and then lower the temperature!  You will be cranking out restaurant quality meals in no time!

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