Ways to Determine If a Grilled Meat Is Cooked
Grilling meat products like pork and beef is a delicious way of cooking that is common in many countries. It is used for steaks and barbecues that can be served as is or with side dishes, dips, and/or sauces. The basics of such technique include properly choosing the parts to use, adding the right flavors, and marinating time, if needed. People who also grill meat should make sure that the grilling equipment is hot enough for the meat. Too little heat can affect the consistency of cooking. Too much heat can burn the meat without it being cooked.
People should also remember that when they cook a meat, they should make sure that they cook it at in a way that it is still juicy. Thus, it should not be under and overcooked. They should find the right balance between such. Since different types, sizes, and thickness of meats differ in cooking time, experts have developed many ways by which cooks can determine if the meat is already cooked. A traditional technique that is being used is the "finger test". It is a technique wherein the cook will feel the meat with his or her point finger. The sensation will be compared with the consistency of the area of the hand below the thumb. It is believed that a raw meat will have the same feeling when the palm is open.
Another traditional technique is simply using the eyes. However, many commit mistakes with this technique because they are deceived by the grill marks that appear on the meat. It is advisable that cooks should look into the size of the meat that they are cooking. When the meat has already shrunk, then it is assumed that it is already cooked. Another technique that has been developed by home cooks in the past is the poke test. As the name implies, the cook will use an ice pick, a knife, or anything that is sharp. He or she will simply pierce a small portion and wait for the juice to come out. When the juice is clear, the meat is cooked. If it is reddish, then it is still raw. However, this technique is more accurate when used for chicken.
As recipes started to develop, many professional cooks have developed techniques to help all cooks determine if a meat is already cooked. They made charts that are composed of different types of meats that can be grilled and the estimated time wherein each is cooked. With such, they no longer have to second guess themselves. Likewise, timers have become a popular companion of these charts. Although such has been successful, the problem that has been encountered by some cooks is when the size and thickness of the meat is already different from the one in the chart. With such in regard, a tool that is great to use when cooking meat has been developed. Such is called a meat thermometer.
The tool is just like an oven thermometer but has a sharp area that will be used to poke the meat being cooked. The meat should be poked because it is measuring the internal heat of the meat and not the outer part. Rare, medium-rare, rare, and well-done meat have different standard temperatures. However, cooks should make sure that they learn how to use grill thermometers properly.