Many people ask “What are the cooking methods for meat”? The answer is twofold. 1. Dry and Moist heat cooking methods. 2. But then these can be broken down into 6 subcategories: Roasting, broiling, pan-broiling, pan-frying, braising and stewing. Pretty confusing right? But then you have the next question: Why are these cooking methods so important? That answer is really simple. Meat cooked by the wrong method will result in the most tender cut of meat becoming leathery but cooked the right way the toughest cut of meat becoming tender.
Nothing is more frustrating than sitting down to eat that beautiful cut of meat and finding it tasteless and tough. Please don’t let this happen to you. Read on and let’s make some tasty meat shall we?
Types of Cooking Methods For Meat
There are two types of cooking methods for meat. Dry, and moist. These two methods can further be broken down into subcategories.
This method uses no water, liquid, or steam. It relies on hot air or contact with fat to transfer heat to foods
This method uses liquid or steam. Moist heat will not produce a browned crust. So many cooks or chefs will use the dry heat cooking method to get a sear on the meat and then proceed with a moist heat cooking method.
These Two main methods can be further broken down into 6 sub-categories
- Roasting (dry heat)
- broiling (dry heat)
- pan broiling (dry heat)
- frying (dry heat)
- braising (moist heat)
- Cooking in Liquid (moist heat)
The 6 Basic Cooking Methods
Place meat fat side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Do not cover. Do not add water. Searing can be done prior to roasting to develop aroma and flavor on the outside or to produce drippings of rich brown color.
I want to add here that roasting and baking are used similarly with the difference being that roasting is used with higher heat temperatures of 400 degrees and up. Also, the food already has a solid structure before cooking such as potatoes chicken beef.
Whereas baking is done with lower heat temperatures of 375 degrees and lower and with foods without an initial structure such as cookies and cakes. Baking casseroles is another example.
This method is used for large, tender cuts of meat.
Broiling is exposing the meat directly to the heat source. Grilling and broiling are similar in that you cook the meat one side at a time. With grilling, however, the heat source is at the bottom, and broiling, the heat source is at the top.
This method is for tender steaks, chops, sliced ham, or bacon. Steaks and chops should be at least 3/4 inch thick and ham slices need to be at least 1/2 inch thick.
Pan-broiling is done in a skillet on top of the stove. No need to preheat the pan. Add little to no fat and no liquid such as water. Cook the meat slowly until browned on both sides, turning occasionally. Pour off the fat as it accumulates.
This method is for thin cuts that are no more than an inch thick
If not using a nonstick pan, add a small amount of fat. Brown both sides of the meat over medium heat. Let the fat accumulate as it cooks. Turn occasionally until meat is done. Do not cover.
This method is for thin tender cuts of meat that have been scored, cubed, or ground
This method really falls under a combination of dry and moist heat. Brown meat in a heavy pan slowly on all sides. Pour off the drippings, season, and add a small amount of liquid such as broth or water. More tender cuts of meat may not need any liquid. Cover tightly and simmer either in a 300 to 325-degree oven or on top of the stove until the meat is tender.
This method is recommended for less tender cuts of meat and certain tender cuts, particularly pork
Cooking In Liquid
Before beginning, you can brown the meat on all sides. After browning, cover the meat with liquid as directed, season, cover, and simmer until meat is tender. Do not boil.
A word here about braising and cooking in liquid. These two cooking methods are very similar with one exception. The amount of liquid you use.
This method is for large less tender cuts and stew meat
Now that we got the different cooking methods down. What Cooking method do you use with what cut of meat? This is important. After all, you don’t want to fry a chuck roast or stew that beautiful rib-eye steak? Lord, I shudder at the thought!
No need to sit down to a tough piece of meat. If you follow the recommendations on the meat cuts below and the cooking methods above you will be able to cook any cut of meat with great results.
The Right Method For Different Cuts Of Meat
The right method for different cuts of meat depends on its tenderness, size, and thickness
Chuck Roast*-braise or cook in liquid
Chuck Short Ribs-braise or cook in liquid
Blade Roast-braise or cook in liquid
Blade Steak-braise or cook in liquid
Arm Roast– braise or cook in liquid
Arm Steak-braise or cook in liquid
Boneless Shoulder Roast-braise or cook in liquid
Boneless Shoulder Steak-braise or cook in liquid
T-Bone Steak-roast, broil, or pan-fry
Porterhouse Steak– roast, broil, or pan-fry
Top Loin Steak-roast, broil, or pan-fry
Filet Mignon-roast, broil, or pan-fry
Rolled Rump Roast*-braise or cook in liquid
Round Steak*– braise or cook in liquid
Bottom Round Steak*– braise or cook in liquid
Bottom Round Roast*– braise or cook in liquid
Top Round Steak*– braise or cook in liquid
Eye of Round or Heel of Round– braise or cook in liquid
Cubed Steak*– braise or cook in liquid
Tip Steak*– braise
Rib Roast-roast, broil, or pan-fry
Boneless Rib Steak-roast, broil, or pan-fry
Rib-Eye Roast-roast, broil, or pan-fry
Rib-Eye Steak-roast, broil, or pan-fry
Pin Bone Sirloin Steak-broil or pan-fry
Flat bone Sirloin Steak– broil or pan-fry
Wedge Bone Sirloin Steak– broil or pan-fry
Boneless Sirloin Steak– broil or pan-fry
Short Ribs– braise or cook in liquid
Skirt Steak Roll– braise or cook in liquid
Flank Steak*– braise or cook in liquid
Flank Steak Roll*– braise or cook in liquid
Fresh Brisket– braise or cook in liquid
Corned Brisket– braise or cook in liquid
Shank Cross Cuts– braise or cook in liquid
*Many cuts from very high-quality beef may be roasted, broiled, or pan-fried instead of braised. These recommendations are not set in stone just a guide
Blade Boston Roast-braise or roast
Boneless Blade Boston Roast-braise or roast
Blade Steak-braise or pan-fry
Boneless Top Loin Roast-roast
Blade Loin Roast-roast
Center Loin Roast-roast
Tenderloin-roast, braise, or pan-fry
Back Ribs-roast, braise, or cook in liquid
Country-Style Ribs-roast, braise or cook in liquid
Canadian-Style Bacon-roast, broil or pan-fry
Rib Chop-braise, broil, or pan-fry
Loin Chop-braise, broil, or pan-fry
Sirloin Chop-braise, broil, or pan-fry
Top Loin Chop-braise, broil, or pan-fry
Blade Chop-braise, broil, or pan-fry
Butterfly Chop-braise, broil, or pan-fry
Sirloin Cutlet-braise, broil, or pan-fry
Smoked Loin Chop-broil or pan-fry
Smoked Ham, Shank, or Butt Portion-roast or cook in liquid
Boneless Leg or Fresh Ham-roast
Boneless Smoked Ham– roast
Center Smoke Ham Slice-broil or pan-dry
Salt Pork-broil, pan-fry, cook in liquid, or bake
Spareribs-roast, braise, or cook in liquid
Sliced Bacon-broil, pan-fry or bake
Fresh or Smoked Hock-braise or cook in liquid
Neckbones-cook in liquid
Fresh Arm Picnic-roast
Smoked Arm Picnic-roast or cook in liquid
Arm Steak-braise or pan-fry
Smoked Jowl-cook in liquid, broil or pan-fry
Pig’s Feet-braise or cook in liquid
Cushion Shoulder Roast-roast
Boneless Shoulder Roast-roast
Square Shoulder Roast-roast
Arm Chop-broil or pan-fry
Blade Chop-broil or pan-fry
Boneless Blade Chop-broil or pan-fry
Frenched Rib Chop-broil or pan-fry
Boneless Double Loin Roast-roast
Boneless Double Loin Chop-broil or pan-fry
Loin Chop-broil or pan-fry
Sirloin Half of leg-roast
Shank half of leg-roast
Leg Chop(steak)-broil or pan-fry
Sirloin Chop-broil or pan-fry
Breast-roast or braise
Rolled Breast-roast or braise
Spareribs-braise or roast
Stuffed Chop-broil or pan-fry
Foreshank-braise or cook in liquid
Hindshank-braise or cook in liquid
Arm roast-roast or braise
blade roast- roast or braise
boneless shoulder roast– roast or braise
arm steak-braise or pan-fry
blade steak– braise or pan-fry
stew veal– braise or cook in liquid
Rib Roast– roast
Rib Chop-braise or pan-fry
Boneless Rib Chop– braise or pan-fry
Loin Roast-roast or braise
Loin Chop-braise or pan-fry
Kidney Chop-braise or pan-fry
Top Loin Chop– braise or pan-fry
Sirloin Roast– roast
Boneless Sirloin Roast– roast
Rump Roast-roast or braise
Boneless Rump Roast– roast or braise
Round Roast– roast or braise
Sirloin Chop-braise or pan-fry
Round Steak-braise or pan-fry
Cutlet-braise or pan-fry
Breast-roast or braise
Stuffed Breast– roast or braise
Riblets-braise or cook in liquid
Boneless Riblets-braise or cook in liquid
Stuffed Chop-braise or pan-fry
Shank-braise or cook in liquid
Shank Cross Cut-braise or cook in liquid
Meat cooked by the wrong method will result in the most tender cut of meat becoming leathery but cooked the right way the toughest cut of meat will become tender. By following the above recommendations by no means should you be frustrated with dry, tough, or tasteless meat.
When I was first married. I totally made my chuck roasts wrong. I cooked the roast from a frozen state with some onion, potatoes, salt, and pepper thrown in and then covered it all with water. The meat was tender, don’t get me wrong but there was no taste. My dad, who was a cook by profession, told me I was boiling it. My guests would cover the meat with….Ketchup!
I have come a long way from those days. And I hope to help you not make the mistakes I did. They say you learn from your mistakes, and boy did I. No longer do we smother our chuck roasts in ketchup:)
I thought you might enjoy this hearty vegetable soup using beef stew meat.
I hope you found this article helpful and that you learned something.
Please leave me a comment below. I would love to hear about your experiences with cooking meat.
And as Always
Have A Wonderful Day!