Baking Your Meat
When you bake your meat what temperature do you set on the oven thermostat? Most people will have a 325-375 degree F setting which is used for roasting and cooking meats at moderate temperatures for prolonged periods of time.
The meat may be browned before baking in order to seal in juices or sear onto the surface of the meat.
Low heat is required so that moisture does not escape from the inside of the cut(s). The inside of the meat will cook at a slow rate making sure that this cut is cooked thoroughly.
The oven temperature should be monitored as you do not want your meat to dry out while also making sure it is cooked through.
Broiling Your Meat
If you want to broil your meat, the healthiest way to do this is by using a broiler pan. The broiler will cook your meat evenly and eliminate the need for constant basting or flipping of your meat.
The healthiest way to choose your meat is by choosing leaner cuts because they tend to be healthier than fattier cuts. The best poultry to use is skinless, boneless chicken breasts.
The Best Method for Baking Fish
Fish can be baked by placing it in an oven with oil and butter or cooking on top of a stovetop broiler and grill grates. The fish may be placed straight onto the rack for browning, baking or broiling.
The fish should not flake easily when tested; it should come apart only when pulled with tongs (for example, salmon). The best way to ensure that all bacteria are killed would be to bake at a high temperature for a longer period of time.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires that fish be cooked to at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63o Celsius). The top part of the fish should also be an opaque white color, not translucent and jelly-like, indicating that it is done.
The USDA recommends cooking the fish until its internal temperature reaches at least 145 F and then letting it sit for 3 minutes before eating or serving it.
The center of the fish should still be slightly translucent when fully cooked but not so soft you can see through it. The best way to tell if a baked fillet has been properly prepared is if there is no flesh separation between the flakes when tested with tongs; they should not be easy to pull apart.
The fish should flake easily with a fork, but not fall apart or crumble like it was cooked in a microwave. The salmon should have an opaque white appearance overall and the center of the fillet should be slightly translucent while remaining firm enough to be eaten without being mushy.
Salmon can also be cooked using a steam-baking method by wrapping each individual piece in parchment paper, seasoning it with salt if desired, and then placing the wrapped parcels onto cooking racks placed on top of pans filled with 1/2 - 3/4 inch water that is brought to a boil before being covered and removed from heat for 15 minutes.
Reverse Sear the Meat
Reverse searing means baking meat in the oven and then frying it.
The result is a much moisture, more flavorful piece of meat that results in less loss of nutrients than other cooking methods. The reverse sear uses your oven as a dehydrator to break down tough collagen fibers while also reducing the time needed for you to cook your meal.
The fact is that baking takes longer than frying and frying cook faster at higher temperatures but can dry out food if not done properly. The trick with this method is to use a lower temperature when you bake so that moisture stays within the food and doesn't get lost through evaporation.
Grill Leaner Cuts
If you are cooking leaner cuts, you should grill them. The only problem with this method is that the meat may become too tough from the grilling method.
The best way to make sure your meat is cooked properly and also so it does not become too tough as a result of any grilling methods, you should let your meats marinate for at least thirty minutes prior to cooking them. The marinating process tenderizes the meat.
If you are going to grill red meats like steaks or roast beef, then avoid using paper towels when blotting off excess grease as they tend to soak up the fat which will result in you ingesting much more fat than what you usually would by simply eating these cuts of meat raw.
The best thing to do is either lay a paper bag over the meat or blot off any excess grease with a clean rag.
The paper bag will ensure that all of the fat gets absorbed into the bag and you can throw it away when you are done so there is literally nothing to worry about in terms of eating extra fat.
When cooking meat, make sure to add spices since they are very good at reducing the carcinogenic properties of meat. The major spices that reduce these risks are turmeric, oregano and thyme.
One way to cook your meat is by baking it or broiling it in the oven on a rack that allows for air circulation around the entire piece of meat.
Baking and broiling both allow for maximum surface exposure which is important because this ensures maximum caramelization of the sugar from the marinade as well as ensuring that everything winds up properly cooked throughout.
The only downside with either method is that they can dry out your meat if you're not careful so make sure to keep an eye on things while it's cooking and add extra juices if needed (cider vinegar works best!).
Choose Grass-Fed Meat Options
Choosing grass-fed meat options is good for you because this meat contains more omega 3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), Vitamin E and lower levels of saturated fats.
The best part of this recommendation is that you can actually cook the meat using one of the three previously mentioned cooking methods with no negative effects on the nutritional value as long as you take certain precautions such as slicing it thin, not overcooking it and eating it within a reasonable time frame after preparing it.
The reason why these steps are prudent is that overcooking increases levels of unhealthy polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in beef.
Which Meats are the Healthiest?
The healthiest steaks and roasts are round, flank, top loin, bottom sirloin and top round roasts as well as the eye of round, tri-tip roast and tenderloin tip roast.
The least healthy beef that you can choose would be chuck, rump roast and brisket roasts while the most healthy beef would be top blade steak, top loin steak (porterhouse and T-bone), bottom round steak, top sirloin steak (porterhouse and T-bone) and eye of the round steak.
The healthiest pork that you can choose is loin chops, center ribs roast (ribeye), tenderloin chops or steaks. The least healthy are spareribs, shoulder butt roasts and country style ribs while the most healthy is center cut ham and thick-sliced ham but remember to remove any visible fat before eating.
The healthiest fish is wild salmon because it is high in omega 3 fatty acids while the least healthy would be swordfish which contains high mercury levels so eat them in moderation if at all.
Meanwhile, the best poultry for sautéing are boneless, skinless chicken breasts without any fats or oils. The best way to prevent fatty meat is to avoid high-fat meats like pot roast and sausage, ground beef, ribeye steaks with visible fat and bacon.
Moreover, the healthiest ways of cooking red meat are by grilling, broiling or stir-frying while the worst ways are by frying it in oil or butter. The healthiest poultry is roasted without adding any fats or oils while the least healthy way is fried chicken.
The best ways of cooking fish are by poaching, steaming, baking and grilling while the worst way that you can choose is deep-fat frying which makes fish absorb more saturated fats than it normally would from its own juices.