Cooking Temps

I want to explain a little bit about the temperature of cooking foods. This has nothing to do with how hot it is outside, nor how cool your kitchen is; I am talking about the product you are going to cook. As well as give you a short guide to some quickies.

Everything has an optimal temperature. Convenience, doesn’t always go along with this, but after reading this, you’ll know what you ‘should’ do, so everything else, is what you can get away with.

It’s not complicated. You start to cook the product (food in it’s raw stage), at the temperature in which is was made (grown, raised).

Like this: Except for most sea food, there is very little which is produced cold. I can’t think of anything we eat, that is grown or raised frozen, that we cook.
So you want to have it about (at least) room temperature before you begin cooking it. Yes, that’s pretty much everything.

typical walkinp

Slightly chilled is fine, as is fresh from frozen, if you have to. Honestly, the best steak you’re going to have is one that is at room temperature, before you start cooking it. One that hasn’t ever been frozen, & seriously, not even chilled. Is is feasible? Proly not. We freeze & refrigerate things to slow down the aging process, as well as to kill bad bacteria. I won’t get into those “glued” pieces of beef that make a steak or ‘meat chunk’; they seem to cook well enough.

The same goes for your hamburger, the onion on your hamburger, the tomato on top of that, & so on. Now I’m not saying to leave everything out. Food safety is important, so is your health. So err on the side of being safe-ALWAYS!
Making a burger? You can either leave it out (from the fridge), buy it freshly cut or. . . you can use your handy microwave.

too long postP

Take your (85/15) beef patty; either on the parchment it’s packed on, or an additional plate, nuke it for about 30-45 seconds. If it cooks or browns in the center, back off the next time, or use your wattage buttons (50% power- defrost etc). I like to nuke it for about 40 seconds as the pan is getting hot. For those of you keeping notes, yes, I have nuked ‘a few’ burgers at the restaurant, to get them going. Always start with a lower setting, as you can add more.

20130118-frozen-patties-postP

Anyhow. Season your burger on the raw (up) side. You don’t have to put your final seasonings on it, just your salt & (powdered) garlic, or salt & (ground) onion. Let it cook on that side (as long as you like your burgers cooked), 3 1/2 minutes before flipping.
Flip side cooking is now 4 minutes. Now it goes on the bun & you add the toppings that you like.

Resist the urge to press on the burger! Leave those juices in there. If you don’t like juicy burgers, squish that burger down!

Once you start warming up your meat, before you cook it, you are going to find that it tastes so much better. Even the frozen bag of burgers is going to taste better once it’s warmed up before cooking it.

This same idea goes with anything you are going to cook. From the milk & cheese in your macaroni & cheese, to the bacon you wrap around your dates (the edible kind).
Convenience, is taking it from the fridge or freezer & plopping it in a pan, & there isn’t anything wrong with that.

On to how you’re cooking your french fries all wrong.

No, I’m not talking about souffle or puffy fries. What I’m talking about is called ‘slacking’. You bring your little frozen delights up to room temp before plunging them in the depths of near boiling (peanut) oil.
Don’t have a whole lotta time? Use your handy microwave once again. A ‘plate’ of fries (single height), can be ready for cooking in about a minute from the nuker.
Be sure to separate them before putting them in the hot oil. Additionally, your oil should be 375°F & you don’t need to deep fry your fries. Just an inch of oil, so you can sear them, is fine. I don’t like waiting for a pot of oil to get up to 375°F [DF] either.

For those who have a little more time. After you take them out of the nuker, put them in your toaster oven for about 50 minutes. If you want them a little crunchy, add a drizzle of your fav oil on the bottom of the sheet/pan, but you don’t need to-you are shooting for healthy with baking them. If you use your toaster oven, set it to toast, so that the top & bottom of the fries get done.

Mushrooms & onions cook the best, when at room temp. I also want to say at this time, there are certain foods which need to be salted in order to cook properly. Burger, onions & mushrooms are on the top of this list. You don’t have to salt them, they just taste better when you salt them as they cook. Eggs too (best salted & at room temp). Just saying ;}).

COPY toppers postp

Cut your mushrooms on the cap side (see pic). Does it taste better? It could, you know there are some things that need to be cut a certain way to cook it better, but overall, they will stack better on your burger (insider secret, now watch all of the fast food joints start doing this one too).

Saute’ your mushrooms till they are as dark as you like them (golden is tasty). Leave that oil for your onions (which you’ll slice round). Sprinkle a little salt (& pepper if you’re bold, daring or Italian).
Now, you can drain these before putting them on your burger. It depends on how ‘healthy’ you want your burger :}) Because there isn’t much else to say on it, I’ll ——bacon you can add bacon.

You’ll thank me for the extra flavors.

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