Now We’re Cookin’! #MeatCamp Highlights

Yesterday at #MeatCamp we discussed various types of meat cookery.  As usual, the program went well beyond the one hour we “plan” for – the after-party was still going until 11 pm ET yesterday.  Below are some of the highlights from last night’s chat.

We were joined by Chef Mark Tafoya (@ChefMark), who offered his insight about various styles of cooking meat.  We chatted about all sorts of things — various cuts, braising, broiling, frying…  Comments by various participants have been grouped and re-posted below from the complete transcript.

Is meat quality / texture a product of muscle use in the animal?


Grilladelic Brisket, shoulders, ribs need the low temps on the BBQ..’muscle use’ right? Making these cuts tender is an art form (via science) #meatcamp -8:16 PM Mar 4th, 2010


iTweetMeat locomotion muscles tougher, support muscles more tender. round, some chuck muscles are less tender. #meatcamp -8:15 PM Mar 4th, 2010


iTweetMeat @Grilladelic Yes. A cow’s brisket is the same muscle as your pecs. #meatcamp -8:19 PM Mar 4th, 2010

How about the components of meat? It’s more than just lean muscle tissue.


ChefMark meat is made us of about 75% water, 20% protein and 5% fat (generally), so how you cook it, depensing on the cut, makes big diff#meatcamp -8:21 PM Mar 4th, 2010


iTweetMeat @carrieoliver CT = “Background toughness.” See, the muscle fiber can be tough in and of itself. #meatcamp -8:21 PM Mar 4th, 2010


ChefMark the large amount of water in meat is the reason why it shrinks when cooked. #meatcamp -8:22 PM Mar 4th, 2010


ChefMark Collagen is white tissue that CAN be broken down and made more tender if you use the right cooking method. Elastin, no dice#meatcamp -8:24 PM Mar 4th, 2010

Moist heat vs. dry heat cooking


StuartDonald @iTweetMeat moist as in braising, dry as in roasting/grilling right? #meatcamp -8:31 PM Mar 4th, 2010


ChefMark and also wet heat vs dry heat. Some dry heat methods with fat: broiling, roasting, grilling, griddling, pan broiling #meatcamp -8:32 PM


Grilladelic I’ve found that w/indirect heat, there are several different techniques that have slightly different results too… #meatcamp -8:33 PM Mar 4th, 2010


carrieoliver @ChefMark We learned braising v stewing from @DJPegLeg@TheUnknownChef. What’s diff’t b/t roasting & grilling? How tell whch 2 do? #meatcamp -8:33 PM Mar 4th, 2010


ChefMark braising does not require large amounts of liquid. Sometimes the moisture in the food is sufficient (vs. stewing, which submerges)#meatcamp -8:35 PM Mar 4th, 2010


jxs138 Braising could be crockpot? #meatcamp -8:36 PM Mar 4th, 2010


StuartDonald The ironically named pot roast is actually a braised dish.#meatcamp -8:36 PM Mar 4th, 2010


meatcamp No wonder we’re all confused RT @StuartDonald The ironically named pot roast is actually a braised dish. #meatcamp -8:38 PM Mar 4th, 2010  <– No doubt!

What’s broiling?  Watch out for smoke and grease fires.


ChefMark Broiling radiates heat from above, generally best for tender cuts, not the ones with tons of connective tissue #meatcamp -8:40 PM Mar 4th, 2010


jxs138 Broil for me means smoke & the alarms going off. Never tried w/ my gas oven. #meatcamp -8:41 PM Mar 4th, 2010 <– Same for me, too, sometimes


meatcamp RT @ChefMark Broiling is a dry heat method without fat: The heat from a (usually directional) flame cooks the meat #meatcamp -8:42 PM Mar 4th, 2010


carrieoliver @jxs138 I have to disengage the smoke alarms or set up one of my daughters w/ dish towel to clear smoke in front of alarm, lol#meatcamp -8:43 PM Mar 4th, 2010 <– Uh, oh!


ChefMark @SOLEFoodNY if you broil TOO close to the flame, the fat burns & THAT’S what causes smoke. I’d say 3-4 inches #meatcamp -8:46 PM Mar 4th, 2010


DaisiePusher Genius! RT @ChefMark@jxs138 U know U cn leave the oven door open when broiling 2 pay closer attention 2 it BEFORE it burns ;-) #meatcamp -8:51 PM Mar 4th, 2010

Boiling meat. (Yes, it happens...)


iTweetMeat Yes, yeS and YES. RT @jxs138: You boil potatoes and pasta, not meat! #meatcamp -8:48 PM Mar 4th, 2010


ChefMark Boiling is a method of ooking, but NOT a good one for meat. It takes all flavor & fat away, & makes for sallow, grey meat. not fun#meatcamp -8:49 PM Mar 4th, 2010


ChefMark @StuartDonald yes, corned beef is boiled, but brined 1st, imparting lots of flavor. Then the boiling breaks down connective tissue#meatcamp -8:52 PM Mar 4th, 2010


KyFarmersMatter Very scientific description Dr :) ROFL Agreed tho RT@iTweetMeat: OK, so, we know boiling meat sucks. So, onto different methods. #meatcamp -8:55 PM Mar 4th, 2010

And what about frying? Pan-frying vs. Deep-frying.


ChefMark Frying, interestingly, is considered a dry heat with fat method (not a wet-heat method) #meatcamp -8:54 PM Mar 4th, 2010


TheUnknownChef Its usually best 2do thinner cuts on the grill & thicker cuts in the oven. Although there r some exceptions. #meatcamp -8:54 PM Mar 4th, 2010


ChefMark Pan-frying also differs from sauteeing in that it uses much more fat and a lower cooking temperature, larger pieces #meatcamp -8:56 PM Mar 4th, 2010


ChefMark usually, pan-fried items would have a coating, whether flour, breading, etc. Sauteed usually not #meatcamp -8:56 PM Mar 4th, 2010


StuartDonald @jxs138 I prefer pan frying for chicken, deep frying for seafood. #meatcamp -8:57 PM Mar 4th, 2010

Other interesting meat tweets


amnichols Lurking at #meatcamp. Sine my husband hunts I mostly cook deer, antelope and elk. Rarely beef except for BBQ ribs and brisket. -8:10 PM Mar 4th, 2010


SOLEFoodNY I am a former vegetarian and returned to meat after I found sustainable sources. I can’t imagine life without a variety of meats. #meatcamp -8:13 PM Mar 4th, 2010

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