Recipes

How Hot Do You Really Need to Cook Your Meat? A Master Butcher Answers This and More

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 5:58 PM, January 4, 2017

Aired July 26, 2017

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)

GET COOKING: Daphne Oz’s Cider-Braised Brisket with Red Cabbage and Apples

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOUR MEAT IS DONE?
Always cook your meat to the proper temperature for safety!

Ground Meat (any kind): 160°
Poultry: 165°
Pork: 145° - 160°
Beef: 125° - 160°

GET COOKING: Pork Loin Filled with Butternut Squash, Hazelnuts and Sage on Whole Shallots

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

MORE:
Ray the Butcher Shows You How to Carve a Rotisserie Chicken The Right Way

4 Crucial Facts Your Butcher Wants You to Know About Meat

How to Beef Up Your Grocery List Without Busting Your Budget