Monthly Archives: January 2017

Successfully Cook Great Meat Dishes Outdoors

Successful outdoor cooking arises for a number of reasons, the most important of which are: having the right outdoor cooking equipment for the job in hand; having a great recipe; using good quality ingredients; taking great care when you’re preparing and cooking the meal and then there is the magic ingredient which is loving what you’re doing. In this article we look at the 8 most important things that need to be considered when ‘preparing & cooking meats outdoors’.

The following 8 secrets are in no order of priority or respective importance; they are all important in their own way to a greater or lesser extent;

1. Ask your butcher for some meat for cooking outdoors; he or she will know best; say what you’re planning and be guided by them

Popular TV & Magazine advertising would have us believe that bright red, fat free, fresh meats, rather than brown, fat streaked, meats, are those we should select. No, Fresh in, freshly cut, red meat is not yet ready for cooking. Steaks need time to age. They do this using naturally occurring enzymes that beak down protein in the meat that helps to build flavor & to tenderise. When you get your meat home put it in the fridge for 24-48 hours. Always try to select meat with some fat on the outside, or with veins of fat going through the meat. This is where all the juicy flavours come from.

2. Dry the steak and then salt it before cooking

The drier you can get the steak the less water vapour will be created at the start of cooking. This helps the process that builds a crust on the steak and gives it great flavour; this process is enhanced still further if you salt your steak after drying.

3. Cook your steaks on a really hot grill

Pre-Heat the grill to a high temperature-so that it’s almost smoking; then drop the temperature to medium before placing the meat. To test the temperature, hold your hand over the grill, if you can keep it there for 3-4 seconds, this is medium. If your grill is too hot your steaks may char; burnt outside & rare inside.

Don’t cook partially frozen steaks

Thaw your meat thoroughly. Do this in the refrigerator; this retains texture & flavor. Steaks & chops usually thaw in one day, large roasts can take 36 hours. Take steaks out of the refrigerator one hour before cooking; this will keep them juicy. Ensure your steaks are at room temperature before grilling. This avoids the shock of hitting the hot grill affecting flavor and texture. If you need to thaw meat quickly use cold water. Meat may be thawed in a microwave oven, DON’T! It will lose it’s juices making it dry & chewy.

5. Meat Cooking Temperatures

There is no right or wrong temperature for cooking meat as we all love our, meat particularly our steaks, cooked differently. Remember that meat with bone in takes longer than meat without. As a general guideline the following temperatures apply for different grades of meat:

Steak & Lamb

Rare 120-130°F. 6-7 minutes. Center of steak still cold when served;

Medium Rare 130-135°F. 8-9 minutes Cooked on outside, deep pink inside;

Medium 140-150°F, 10-12 minutes. Served uniformly pink throughout the center.

Medium to Well done 155-165°F. Almost totally cooked through with slight pink in the center.

Well done 170°F. 13-15 minutes Completely cooked through Has to be cooked slowly

Pork

Medium 140°F to 155°F Meat is slightly pink in centre

Well-Done 160°F to 185°F Meat is uniformly brown

Veal

Medium 145°F to 155°F

All poultry:

Cook to 165°F with juices running clear in the thickest part of the bird

6. Testing the temperature of your meat

Meat can be checked for how well its cooked by pressing with your finger. Rare meat feels soft; medium meat is springy & slightly firm; well-done meat feels very firm. The most accurate method is to use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of your meat, away from the bone.

7. Don’t keep turning the steaks

To achieve even cooking and see those lovely grill strips across each steak, turn the steaks only once. Always use tongs, never a fork as puncturing the meat allows juices to escape.

8. Take your time and brown your meats first when cooking stews

The Maillard reaction is an important action when cooking stews that you want to taste great. When cooking stew always start by browning the meat in a skillet. What you are doing is allowing the Maillard reaction to occur. This reaction happens only when meat is cooked at a heat of over 115°C, which is when the meats natural amino acids start to react creating a melange of complex flavors. It is because of the Maillard reaction that crusted brown steak tastes so good.

So why is this important in stews? Well for the simple reason that if you cook your meats in a stew without first browning the meat then you’re reliant on the heat of the water to do all the cooking, which means the highest temperature the meat will reach will be 100°C; [the boiling temperature of water] meaning the Maillard reaction will not occur! Meaning your meat won’t be as tasty as might otherwise be.

So what should you do? Its simple: first cut your meat into cubes, season it; then heat a little oil in a heavy frying pan; then gently brown the meat on all sides over a medium heat. Do this in small batches. Never cook with an over filled pan and don’t turn up the heat to go more quickly; take it steady.

Outdoor Cooking Equipment

Outdoor cooking turns simple meal into something special events. The wonderful taste of food coming off the grill is great. Get the grill out and prepare it for cooking your favorite dish. Try an expedition 2x with temperature gauges and portable leg stands. An efficient Camp Chef Oven is portable and has the benefit of a carrying case. If your outdoor requirements are less grandiose try a 12″ Aluminum Dutch oven priced between $69 and $112. Open air cooking comes with the use of outdoor cookware, handy outdoor screens and other accessories. Smokers are a part of the outside scene for cooking on open flames.

Enjoy your outdoor patio cooking by using a fire pit or fire bowl which is very popular in cabin areas. They are beautifully designed and quite useful in cold weather. Need an excuse to grille pick any sporting event and throw a tail gate party with great grilling equipment. Outside grills and accessories are a wonder for hiking trips and emergency cooking situations. No meals missed because of the lack of conventional cooking facilities. Whether outside cooking involves backyard patio or cooking in the wild outdoors there is no reason you cannot have the luxury of modern convenience with this well built cooking equipment.

Spending time on your patio can truly be enhanced with a kitchen patio. This is open air grilling at its finest with grill, cabinets and fridge. Grill cooking can require many extras this can include a propane adapter. Maybe a great outdoor chef can use a cooking apron to announce to the world what fantastic cuisine you can prepare on an outdoor grill. On barbeque shows the charcoal lighter basket is a great asset for outdoor cooking There is the meat thermometer to make sure your food is cooked to just the right level of done ness

Idea About Commercial Kitchen Equipment

Over the last few years there has been a huge change in each and every aspect of human life, be it technology, be it fashion or be it habit. It is quite obvious that with changing time and technology it has become absolutely important for people to make the best possible use of the available resources in every possible manner. Commercial kitchen equipment are generally designed for industrial users so that they can have a cost efficient cooking solution and thus have a good return on their investment. In recent years there have been enough technological advancements that have made production of these equipment a lot easier. Nowadays these products are widely available all over the world and users can make a choice from a large number of options.

Cooking equipment

Commercial kitchen equipment that are used for cooking purpose mainly include different kinds of ovens and fryers. Depending on the requirement, clients can choose an oven from a range of options. Normally ovens are available in single burner, double burner, triple burner and four burner configurations. In most of the cases the triple burner ovens are used in commercial kitchens. Apart from ovens there are griddle plates and fryers that are chiefly used to bake and fry food items. These products are widely used in commercial kitchens and offer a very good return on investment.

Refrigeration equipment

Refrigeration equipment also form an important part of Commercial kitchen equipment. Apart from normal refrigerators different types of chillers are found in commercial kitchens. Under counter refrigerator and pantry fridge are two of the most commonly found commercial refrigeration equipment. Some under counter bar refrigerators are even fitted with bar chillers. Glass door refrigerators are also in vogue nowadays as these products perfectly blend quality with beauty. Most of the refrigerators used in commercial kitchens are four door refrigerators. These enable users to store things in a definite way and have more storage space. Users can easily choose from a large number of models the one that would cater to their requirements in the proper way.

Exhaust equipment

Commercial kitchens almost always make use of exhaust equipment in order to prevent the evaporated oil and spice from sticking onto the walls ceiling and furniture in the kitchen. These equipment make use of an exhaust fan to release the fume outside the building through a chimney. As far as cleanliness of the kitchen is concerned, these products play a hugely important role in this regard. Modern exhaust equipment are fitted with lights and auto-cleaning technology in order to reduce the need and cost of manual maintenance. There are a large number of products available in the market and users can easily make a choice from the product range

Buying The Best Commercial Kitchen Catering Equipment

With rapid advancement in technology in the past few years, many sophisticated and energy efficient commercial kitchen equipment loaded with various useful features are available on the market at reasonable rates. In catering or restaurant business, we have to closely monitor our daily cash flow as well as profits in a careful way. Therefore, whatever equipment we plan to buy, we must ensure that there is sufficient demand and cash to pay for it.

These days, commercial kitchens are more demanding, and need reliable and efficient equipment for preparing food in a timely and safe way. If you want to buy commercial catering equipment for the first time, you should be clear on what you should buy so that you have all the necessary equipment to provide culinary assistance to cater to your customer base on daily basis. Let’s have a close look at few options.

Refrigeration units

Refrigeration is the foundation of every commercial kitchen, and is used extensively for keeping the food at correct temperature both before and after its preparation. High quality freezers and refrigerators are vital for all those who are in catering business. With a reach-in refrigerator, you can get easy access to stored food. Refrigerators, and under counter freezers make it easy to store the food right there on the kitchen line. Beverage coolers ensure that drinks served by you are always chilled to the desired temperature, and are ready to serve.

Commercial fryers

Catering companies, restaurants, and hospitals serve various types of meals, and need proper equipment for frying food. Commercial fryers are available in double, triple, and individual units to meet the expanding needs of catering companies and restaurants.

Preparation equipment

You need wide range of equipment for preparing soups, sauces, and to sauté foods. Many chefs use solid cook top for cooking meats, and various other culinary recipes that need charring and grilling.
Many restaurants use griddles for making crepes and other delicacies from around the world. You can buy this equipment for gas or electric use.

Ware washing equipment

With ware washing equipment, you can keep your pans, utensils, and other tools that are used in kitchen sterilized and clean. High quality glasswasher, faucets, sinks, and stainless steel washing basin are some of the best and widely used commercial catering equipment used in commercial kitchens.

Aside from this, other commercial kitchen equipment that is quite useful in preparation of various types of food include food warmers, mixers and blenders. You can use commercial mixers for processing large batches of liquids and flour. Similarly, heavy duty blenders are best for preparing marinades, sauces, and stocks.

Few tips that can help you in buying best commercial kitchen equipment are:

Buy commercial kitchen equipment to prepare the maximum amount of food within a short time. When researching these types of equipment, you should look for features that will positively contribute to your food serving abilities.

Consider commercial kitchen equipment that uses infrared spectrum technology. This is best technology for cooking tasty and nutritious food. It also helps in maintaining the taste of food.

Lastly, you should buy equipment that comes with water saving features. Lot of water is used in commercial kitchens whether it is for cleaning, or for cooking. Even with small saving, you can save hundreds of dollars every month by using these equipments.

Quick Cooking Tips

With all the things we have to do every day, like working, shopping, cleaning etc., cooking our own healthy meals often becomes a challenge that makes many give up. We then seek our refuge in fast food that we pick up on the way home and ready-made meals out of the freezer which are neither good for our budget nor for our health when we eat them too often.

But did you know that there are some great shortcuts you can take to prepare meals in less time? Half an hour can be all you need to get a tasty and healthy meal on the table. Let me explain to you how to cook faster by using foods which take less time to prepare!

  1. Focus on little and easy-to-prepare ingredients
  2. Base your meals on foods that are ready for use

Trick #1: Focus on little and easy-to-prepare ingredients

  • It can be quite challenging to handle a wide variety of ingredients when you are in a hurry. To keep the overview, rather stick with a small number of ingredients, about 3 to 5 for the most.
  • Also make sure you choose foods that are quick and easy to prepare, that is for example everything that does not need to be peeled, does not have pips or seeds to remove and is cut very easily, like marrow, mushrooms or tomatoes.
  • Thirdly, use foods that don’t take long to cook (even if you cut larger pieces to save time), e.g. leek, aubergines and peppers.

Trick #2: Base your meals on foods that are ready for use

  • Buy fresh foods that are already cleaned and cut so that you just need to cook them.
  • Canned or frozen fruit or vegetables are another great asset for fast cooking. Canned foods just need to be warmed, which is an issue of minutes. Frozen foods can be cooked straight from the freezer and are done in about half the time as if you would use the same amount of fresh food.
  • Foods that can be eaten raw are also marvellous if you don’t have much time. Think for example of a green salad with cucumber slices and pieces of pepper. Or add canned pineapple pieces and chopped walnuts, or shredded tuna and cherry tomatoes.
  • Left-overs often make you create great meals. Try to plan left-overs that can help you. If you have grilled chicken filet one day, prepare enough so that you can cut it up for a salad or pasta sauce. Cook more potatoes than you need so that the next day you just need to bake them quickly.

These are two simple but powerful tricks that you can apply easily. Fast cooking is not magic, all it takes is to know some basic rules and techniques, and you can prepare healthy meals yourself in little time, leaving you and your family healthier and with more time and money to spend on other things you enjoy.

Easy and Healthy Recipes for Achieving Your Fat Loss and Muscle Building Goals

When it comes to fat loss or muscle building, you truly will get what you eat. This means that your results will solely depend on how well your nutrition is. Though it is very important to have a very consistent workout plan and a lot of rest, nutrition is the most important thing to focus on. Often times you will see people working out for hours everyday and for some reason they are never to changes their bodies. This is because some people actually believe that since they are working out, they can simply eat whatever they want. Though there is nothing wrong with treating yourself to a cheat meal at least twice a week, you should never have that mentality. A typical weight loss muscle building diet will usually consist of easy and healthy recipes because you will be eating foods that are not in packages and are either grown or hunted. Here are a few things to think about when trying to burn fat or gain muscle.

Say Goodbye To Junk Food

Though this may seem like common sense to some, a majority of people will have a hard time with taking out junk food. This is because our brains are trained to want everything conveniently and when people walk by a convenient store, they can’t help but grab a bag off chips and a soda. This is a bad habit and should be stopped as soon as possible. Try your best to make a conscious effort to make healthier decisions. Instead of buying the soda, it will be much better to get a bottle of water. Instead of a bad of chips, you can then just buy a banana or an apple. These are simple alternatives when you start to have the cravings for junk food.

Say Goodbye To Eating Out Everyday

A lot of people love to eat out on a daily basis and this is not a good lifestyle. Often times you will never know what they are putting in your food and this is a great way to eat hidden calories. Most salads at restaurants are shown to be healthy and nutritious but really they are just drenched in mayonnaise based sauces and it can often be just as bad as a burger or steak. The best way to have a healthy eating lifestyle is to eat at home as you will have full control over what you put into your body. The problem is that most people have no idea how to cook for fat loss and I highly suggest learning more about Metabolic Cooking.

Say Hello To Metabolic Cooking

Metabolic Cooking is a guide that gives people the opportunity to learn how to eat to be able to burn fat. Too often people are led to believe that food must be tasteless and boring for it to be “healthy” and Metabolic Cooking allows people to still enjoy their healthy food. This is great for people who simply still want to enjoy life and not want to give up the joy of eating delicious food. Metabolic Cooking is a great way to burn fat and at the same time still be able to gain muscle.

When it comes to eating and trying to change your body, it will truly all depend on what you eat.