Pointers for Meat Cuts and the Best Way to Prepare Them


If you cut meat just to make smaller pieces that are easier to cook, then you’re doing it wrong. There are proper ways to cube, cut, and shred meat for a better presentation and better-tasting meals.

Partially freeze meat to make it easier to prepare

A meat that is rock frozen is just impossible to slice, but if you thaw it completely is also difficult to slice if you are aiming for specific cuts. The best option is to partially freeze (45 minutes) the meat so that the water inside is frozen, giving it a firm structure. Your fingers should not leave an indentation either when you touch the meat.

Slice meat across the grain

Remember that most of the meat is made up of muscle that can be tough. Slicing across the grain makes the meat tender and easier to cut besides. The grain refers to the muscle fibers that are stacked like a close-packed cord. That stringy long thing you see on the meat is the muscle. The idea is to shorten those fibers so that it isn’t tough to chew.

Chicken cut recommendations

Chicken legs are considered dark meat and are best for braising, broiling, grilling, and roasting. Chicken thighs, whether boneless or bone-in, are also considered dark meat and best prepared by braising, broiling, grilling, and roasting. Chicken wings can also be prepared by braising, broiling, grilling, and roasting. Chicken breast, whether boneless or bone-in, are best enjoyed by baking, frying, and grilling.

Beef recommendations

Ribs can be broiled, grilled, roasted, or slow-cooked while brisket is best prepared when slow-cooked. Beef chuck is good for roasting, broiling, grilling or fried in a skillet. Beef plate is utilized as ground beef and best prepared by braising. Flank can be braised, broiled, grilled or pan-fried, while round is best prepared by braising. Shanks can be enjoyed in stews and soups.

The sirloin should be braised, broiled, and grilled like the tenderloin, while the top sirloin should be broiled, grilled, sautéed, and pan-fried. Short loin on the other hand is best prepared by grilling while the bottom sirloin is good for roasting and braising.

Pork recommendations

Spareribs are best for grilling and roasting, while the belly is best for braising, frying or can be cured as bacon. Pork jowl is best fried or used in stews and soups, while pork shoulder can be prepared by roasting and slow cooking. Pork loin, whether boneless or bone-in, is best enjoyed braised, grilled or roasted.

Pork rack are good for grilling or roasting like the pork sirloin. Pork arm shoulder is used for ground pork or for roasting, while hocks are best prepared by smoking or as ingredient for stews and soups. Ham can be cured or uncured and may be roasted for better presentation.

Turkey and duck recommendations

You can apply the same techniques with the chicken meat on duck meat, but duck breasts are best prepared by searing. Turkey on the other hand is lean, so it is good for brining or grinding the meat.

Fish recommendations

Oily fish are best prepared by baking, roasting, steaming and barbecuing, while other types of fish can be grilled, steamed, roasted, baked, broiled, and pan-fried. Avoid boiling fish because the meat will fall apart.

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