It’s not a good feeling when you put the effort into cooking a nice cut of meat only to have it turn out too tough to cut into. Here are 9 tips to help you cook up juicy, tender meat every time!

  1. When making meatballs, mix ground beef, veal and pork for added flavor and moisture. It’s worth the three ‘asks’ at the butcher counter!
  2. When cooking tougher (and less expensive) cuts of meat, long and slow is the way to go! The long slow heating allows collagen to break down and not only tenderizes the meat but adds moisture as well. Go slow or go home!
  3. To sear a piece of meat, start with a very hot pan and make certain the meat is dry before you start.
  4. When flattening a ground meat patty, dip the bottom of a glass in water between each press to keep it from sticking to the meat then make a small divot in the center of the patty to keep it at an even thickness as it cooks.
  5. If you marinate meat for more than 1 hour, eliminate any citrus from the marinade until an hour before you cook. The acid in the citrus breaks down the meat proteins and makes the texture mealy.
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask your butcher for help at the meat counter. It can be very difficult to know which cuts are best for your recipe! They will also help you determine freshness and quality!
  7. Don’t trim your brisket before cooking! The fat will prevent the meat from drying out. If you prefer a leaner brisket, cook it a day in advance then refrigerate it in its cooking liquid overnight. The next day, trim excess fat from the meat and skim the solidified fat from the cooking liquid. Warm the meat while submerged in the liquid in a 350 degree oven for 20–30 minutes or just until hot—but not boiling.
  8. Marbling is a term used for the thin streaks of fat that can be seen within the meat fibers. These little white flecks and streaks can make all the difference in the flavor and moisture of your steak. The more marbling, the better the flavor and tenderness of the meat.
  9. Let steak rest 5 minutes before serving or cutting into it. The meat fibers will relax, allowing the juices to remain in the meat and you’ll get a tastier, juicier steak.