Master butcher and author of The Everyday Meat Guide, Ray Venezia breaks down the basics of buying and cooking meat:
HOW MUCH MEAT DO YOU NEED TO BUY?
“This is one of the most common questions I get,” says Venezia.
If you’re roasting... 1/2 pound per person (so you need at least a 2-pound roast for 4 people)
If you’re roasting bone-in... 1/2 pound per person + 2 pounds to account for the bones (so you need at least a 4-pound roast for 4 people)
If you’re braising... 3/4 to 1 pound per person (because the meat shrinks more with this cooking method)
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOUR MEAT IS DONE?
Always cook your meat to the proper temperature for safety!
Ground Meat (any kind): 160°
Pork: 145° - 160°
Beef: 125° - 160°
HOW SHOULD YOU COOK DIFFERENT CUTS OF MEAT?
Different meats should be cooked using different techniques based on where the meat comes from on the animal.
Front: You should braise because these cuts include the muscles that are used most, so they need more time.
Middle and back: Grill, because these cuts are leaner so you want a higher temperature and faster cooking.
Back: Roast, because these are the leanest and largest muscle groups with a nice fat cover. You want a high temperature, but should cook to medium to medium rare -- no more, no less.
GET COOKING: Five-Ingredient Grilled Steak and Escarole