A Comparison of Cooking Techniques for Meat
When following the paleo or “caveman” diet, there are several different ways to cook your meat that can be followed, but it can be confusing to know which is best for the particular type or cut of meat you are preparing. Below are a few of the most popular ways to prepare paleo recipes, as a comparison, to help you decide which is the optimal way to prepare various meats and proteins.
Regardless of which technique you decide on, it is always a good idea to cook your meat when it’s at room temperature to aid in cooking it more quickly and evenly.
Roasting is great for tender cuts of much, such as pork loin, ribs and roasts. A standard rule of thumb when it comes to roasting is put the meat into the oven at a higher temperature (generally around 425 degrees F) for the first 15 minutes of cooking, and then lower the temperature to about 350 degrees F for the remainder of the cook time. It’s also a good idea to baste the meat periodically, during the cooking process. Other roasting options include slow-roasting, which is basically the same process as regular roasting, but you cook your meat at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time. This is a good option for tougher cuts of meat.
Frying and Stir-Frying
Frying and stir-frying are very popular options for a variety of paleo recipes, and they work best for cuts of meat that are tender, such as chicken breasts, steaks, pork and other chops and tenderloins. To fry your cuts of meats, it’s best to heat a pan to medium-high heat, and add an oil that is high in saturated fat, such as coconut oil, so that it won’t be damaged by the high heat level. During the frying process you should turn the meat over several times in the pan to prevent burning. With stir-frying, the pan should be heated to a sizzling hot temperature and an oil high in saturated fat should be added. The meat should be stirred constantly during the stir-fry process.
Poaching is a good way to cook tender cuts of meats, as well as pieces of fish, or even whole fish. You can also use the stock that is produced in the poaching process as a sauce for the meat, or later in another recipe. With poaching, the key is a tight lid that will evenly cook the meat or fish with the steam that is produced. When poaching, it’s also important to keep the temperature low, and the liquid in the pot should never be at a temperature higher than will lead to simmering.
Stewing and Braising
Using stewing or braising as a cooking technique in paleo recipes is ideal for tougher cuts of meat such as shoulders and brisket. Stewing and braising can be done in the oven, the stove top or the crock pot, for a very tender result. You can add vegetables, herbs and spices and cook at a very low temperature. Braising is best done with a whole cut of meat, rather than pieces, and the meat shouldn’t be covered completely by whatever liquid you choose to cook the meat in, because much like poaching, the steam will cook the portions of the meat that aren’t covered by liquid.