Tenderness, cooking tips for poke meat
Pork is the culinary name for meat from the pig.
- Avoid freezing whenever possible to eliminate moisture loss that occurs during thawing. The moisture loss in thawing results in less tender meat.
- Keep pork from drying out in the refrigerator by keeping it tightly wrapped. If the meat dries out it will become tough.
- Cook to the proper temperature but do not overcook or the meat will become dry and tough.
- Let meat rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving to allow juices to be distributed throughout the flesh.
- Cutting meat across the grain will produce slices with shorter fibers, resulting in more tender pieces.
- Do not overcook pork or it will become dry and tough. The threat of trichinosis is eliminated when the pork is heated to 137°F but the USDA recommends cooking pork to 145°F to be safe. Cooking to 145°F will result in clear or slightly pink tinted juices and provides meat that is juicy and tender.
- When frying or sautéing, do not place a cover over the pan. This will lock in moisture and cause the meat to braise or steam.
- Lightly coat pork with vegetable oil to keep it from drying out during cooking.
- Before roasting pork, sear all sides to create a flavorful crusty surface on the meat.
- Do not overcrowd pork cuts when cooking. Leaving space between them will allow them to brown and cook more evenly.
- If using a marinade for basting, set some aside before placing raw pork in it to marinate. Never reuse marinade that the meat was marinated in.
- Poach uncooked sausages for a few minutes before frying, broiling or grilling. Sausage casings should not be pierced before poaching. Piercing will cause the juices to be released and sausages will become dry.
- Do not partially cook pork and then store in refrigerator to use later. It must be cooked until done. It can be partially cooked or browned using one method, such as microwaving or searing, and then immediately cooked until done using a different method, such as roasting, frying, grilling or broiling.