Ask any non-vegetarian, a bowl of meat curry wins hearts in no time. Juicy succulent pieces of chicken, mutton or any other form of meat, dunked in spicy gravy, makes for a scrumptious meal when paired with rice or roti. That's not all. We also use meats to prepare kebabs, soup, fritters and various other dishes from across the globe. But have we ever paid attention to prepping the meat properly? You heard us. It is equally important to handle the raw meat carefully to get the best taste, texture and benefits out of it. Fret not, it is not as hard as you may think. We will help you understand how to handle meat properly to follow safe cooking practices.
Also Read: Kitchen Tips: How To Get Rid Of Meat Odour From Utensils
Why It Is Important To Handle Meat Carefully?
Meat and meat products are best enjoyed fresh. But do you know, raw meat may have various bacteria as well, some of which could be hazardous to health? This is why, it is important to clean and store it carefully to avoid any kind of contamination. If you scroll through the internet, you would find multiple blogs and videos featuring tips to handle meat safely. We understand it can be really confusing and overwhelming at times. We say, keep it all aside and follow some basic rules every single time you buy raw meat from the market. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you need to follow some golden rules at home to avoid any kind of hazard - "Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill". Let's elucidate further.
Also Read: Meat Lover's Shopping Guide: Things To Keep In Mind While Buying Meat
5 Basic Tips To Remember While Handling Raw Meat:
1. Select your choice of meat properly:
It is important to understand that the meat you buy from the store needs to be as fresh as possible. We understand fresh-cut meats are not always available nearby, in that case, go for the ones that are packaged well and cold stored. Always check the expiry date; the trick is to buy meat that has late expiration.
2. Clean it properly:
Once you get the meat home, do not store it directly in the freezer. Why? If the meat has some bacteria attached, then it may affect the food products that are stored alongside it. So, open the packet, wash the meat well with lukewarm water, with some salt and turmeric powder added to it. Do not forget to wash your hands before and after the process.
3. Store it properly:
If you plan to buy the meat in bulk and store it for future use, then keep some clean, air-tight containers handy. Segregate the meat into small portions (as per your need) and store them in containers separately. Then keep all the containers in the freezer. According to experts, ideally, your freezer should be as close to -18 degrees Celsius to extend the shelf life of the meat.
4. Avoid cross-contamination:
It is probably one of the major factors that lead to foodborne illnesses. Never mix raw meat with other food items, especially vegetables. For instance, if you use a chopper and knife to slit, cut or shred meat, wash the tools well before cutting anything else with them. It is because the residue of the meat may spread bacteria to other food items, making them poisonous.
5. Cook at the right temperature:
While overcooking meat takes away the taste and goodness, undercooking can be equally bad for health and taste. It is important to cook any kind of meat at the right temperature to kill germs (if any) and enhance the taste and texture.
Follow these golden rules and up your meal experience by leaps and bounds.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.