Teach Me To (series)

How To Cook Any Meat Perfectly

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The secret of how to cook meat perfectly has eluded me most of my life. But, Lord knows, I tried.

And as a blind squirrel who stumbles on a nut every now and then, I’d managed to make a really good steak, a juicy bird, or a perfect salmon filet. But the things were covered in unsightly stab wounds due to my efforts to get visual confirmation of doneness. (You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?)

But the perfectly-cooked meat entrees I got in good restaurants didn’t have stab wounds. How’d they do that?

I learned how they do it! And since I discovered their secret, even I can cook meat perfectly. Any kind, every time. And you can, too.

The Secret Of How To Cook Meat Perfectly

The secret to any tender, juicy meat is slow cooking. But when you get to a restaurant and place your order, you don’t want to wait all the time it would normally take. So chefs cook the steaks (for example) ahead of time, sous vide, and then simply finished them with a quick sear when the kitchen gets an order.

Sous vide (pronounced “sue-veed”) is a water bath technology professional chefs have used for 30 years. Basically, meat sealed in an air-tight package cooks at a precise temperature in circulating water. This method does not allow the inner temperature of the meat to exceed the specified temperature. So it won’t undercook and it can’t overcook! Home cooks can use the same technology to get the same perfect, professional results.

Find more info on how to become a good cook here.

How Cook Sous Vide

After researching home models, I purchased the highly-recommended Anova Precision Cooker. It had the best online reviews. It also has a feature that makes it idiot-proof: Bluetooth.

Click this picture to see product reviews on Amazon.

You download an app on your smartphone, let it sync to your cooking unit, select what you’re cooking on your phone, and press start. It sets the temp for you, lets you know when the water’s heated and you can put your food in it, and keeps the time. (Remember, it won’t overcook even if you leave it cooking past when it’s “done”.)

After you sync your unit, set it in a container of water and begin the heating process. While it’s preheating, you can prep your meat. Professional chefs season the meat and vacuum seal it. I don’t have a vacuum sealer – and it’s not necessary with the Anova cooker. A Ziplock bag will do.

When the water reaches the recommended temperature, insert the bag into the water and start the timer.

Professionals use polycarbonate containers to do their sous vide cooking. I don’t have those either – yet. (Can’t wait for Christmas!) So I use a regular cooking pot and put it on my stove. Look closely and notice the stove is not on. It’s just a convenient place to set the pot so it doesn’t take up my counter space. And it’s close enough to an outlet to plug in the Anova.

As you can see, I also use a clothespin to attach the bag to the side of the pot to keep it in place. While the water swirls around the bagged meat, it cooks it uniformly from edge to edge. After the process is complete, sear the meat in a very hot skillet for a minute on each side to give the outside a beautiful crust. Or, as my husband prefers, to throw it on a hot barbeque grill.

No More Guess Work (or ugly stab wounds)!

This method perfectly cooks any type of meat – or vegetables or eggs (I have yet to experiment with those. I’m still addicted to making crazy good steaks, chops, and salmon!) It will take your home cooking to the next level – professional level. It sure did mine!

Consider adding it to your Christmas gift list or for someone special who loves cooking. Or add it to your own wish list so you can cook great meals for others.

And because a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s a how-to video (he doesn’t use the Bluetooth feature) to show you how easy it is to use and how perfect the results.