So, let's talk about it. What should and shouldn't you do when cooking meat?
DO Let Your Meat Fully Defrost Before Cooking
Cooking meat that's frozen can result in overcooking and uneven spots. Instead, defrost your meat safely in the refrigerator overnight, so it will be ready to enjoy the next day.
DON'T Rinse Your Meat Before Cooking
This is a common recommendation to "wash off bacteria," especially when cooking chicken. However, it can actually raise your likelihood of contamination in the process and any existing bacteria will be eliminated during the cooking process.
DO Season Your Meat Before Cooking
Though this does depend on personal preference, use selective seasonings to enhance the flavors of the meat you're cooking. At the very least, you're going to want to use some salt.
DON'T Over-Flip Your Meat
While it can be tempting to keep turning your meat, you aren't a rotisserie. Whether grilling or on the stove top, resist the urge to flip your meat constantly. Instead, let it cook long enough on each side that you only need to flip once or twice before it's done. This will create better caramelization or sear on the outside and make for more even cooking.
DO Use a Meat Thermometer
While you can certainly give up the meat thermometer with experience, there's no safer or smarter way to make sure your meat is cooked to your ideal temperature. Plus, meat thermometers aren't just good for ensuring doneness — they're also good for preventing overdoneness.
DON'T Cut Into Your Meat Right Away
Let it rest, my friend, let it rest. While this advice is most commonly given for steak, it applies for all meat. Give those juices time to settle. Trust us: you'll thank us after that first bite.
DO Buy Organic, Grass-fed or Free-Range When Possible
Quite simply, these quality categories make a big difference in the final product — both in nutritional value and taste.
DON'T Give Up
If you're struggling to produce the entree of your dreams, don't give up. Like all fine arts, cooking requires practice. The more experience you have cooking meat, the better you'll get at preparing it the way you like.