Beef Cooking - Tried and True Cooking Recommendations
The BeefInfo.org folks went to the lab to investigate some tried-and-true cooking recommendations to see how true they are. Here is the scoop on some of their findings.
Myth #1 Let beef stand at room temperature prior to cooking.
In a word - NO! Internal temperatures of roasts and steaks sitiing out of the refrigerator created food safety risks that far outweighed any small quality benefits - even with a standing time of just 15 minutes. So just SAY NO - keep meat refrigerated prior to cooking.
Myth #2 Cook burgers until no longer pink inside and juices run clear.
This will put an end to the color confusion. Numerous studies have proven that you cannot judge beef doneness by looking at its color or juices. Burgers can be brown in the center even when they are not cooked through OR pink even when they are cooked. Cook burgers to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (71 degrees C), testing temperature with a digital rapid-read thermometer to determine if they are cooked properly.
Myth #3 Grilling is best done with the lid up.
Cooking with the lid down when grilling has advantages. Keeping the lid down, like you do for indirect or rotisserie roasting, cooks the meat faster and more evenly. The more you lift the lid, the longer it takes to cook.
Myth #4 Piercing meat will cause it to be dry and tough.
Half myth, half truth. If you pierce meat while grilling juices are lost and flare ups can occur. Specifically, it was found that piercing an Inside Round Roast before cooking and letting it rest for 24 hours (refrigerated of coourse) improved tenderness. So piercing before cooking helps tenderize the beef.
Myth #5 You shouldn't season beef with salt before cooking.
The practice of salting before cooking beef was thought to toughen and dry meat. It was found that meat allowed to stand after salting did have increased loss in juices, however, there were also benefits. Steaks salted just before cooking had lower cooking losses and scored higher for flavor, browning, juiceness and overal tenderness. An added bones: you'll likely find you need less salt for seasoning if done prior to cooking since more complex flavors, other than a salt flavor, develop during cooking.