The Safe Temperature For Beef & Other Meat Myths
Beef is the backbone of the barbecue. When many people think of firing up the grill, images of juicy burgers, gigantic steaks, and ridiculous roasts float through their heads. Did you know that there are many meat myths floating around beef? It pays to know the safe temperature for beef, both ground, and whole. Let us help you sort out and debunk these meat myths surrounding beef.
MYTH 1) Ground Beef is safe when it’s pink or brown
Actually, ground beef oxidizes when it is exposed to air, not to mention that little additions like onion and peppers in your patties and meatloaf can keep your ground beef from turning to that cooked brown color too. It is best to use a meat thermometer and cook your ground beef to a safe and delicious temperature of 160°F.
MYTH 2) Salting before grilling dries out your steak
Many people believe that salting a steak before you place it on the grill will ensure that beautiful piece of meat is dry and tasteless. They consider it a-salt. (Meat puns are fun aren't they?) You just need to know when to salt a steak. Sure, if you were to leave the salt on for days, it will have the time to remove a lot of moisture, but you’re not making pastrami. When you salt a steak just before grilling – within 10 to 25 minutes – there isn’t enough time to effectively draw out moisture. In fact, a healthy dose of salt will help eliminate surface moisture and help give you a better sear!
MYTH 3) A rare steak makes a bloody mess on your plate
As mentioned in the article Nine Reasons to Never Cook A Steak Past Medium, the red stuff on your plate when you cut into a perfectly grilled steak isn’t blood. This is one of the top food myths spouted by others. That red stuff is, in fact, called myoglobin. Myoglobin is an iron and oxygen-binding protein found in muscle tissue. That lovely red liquid contains extra flavor, flavor that would otherwise be lost if a steak is cooked into well-done oblivion.
MYTH 4) Always bring beef to room temperature before grilling
Although you don’t want your steak nearly frozen when you throw it onto the grill, you also don’t need to bring it up to room temperature before grilling. After only 20 to 30 minutes, the core temperature won’t have risen by a couple of degrees. To get your meat to room temperature before grilling, you would need to leave it on the counter almost all day, which is more than long enough for harmful bacteria to grow.
MYTH 5) Bones bring big flavor, always cook bone in
There is a great number of people out there that believe this meat myth. Cooking bone-in isn’t more flavorful. There isn’t some magical osmosis-like exchange that somehow grants the meat more flavor. The reason that this myth has perpetuated is that the parts touching the bone are insulated and cook a little less than the surrounding area. This produces a more tender bite in that section of the meat, like in a T-Bone or Prime Rib
From learning the safe cooking temperature to exploring bringing beef to room temperature before grilling, we’ve looked at a lot of food myths surrounding beef. Which of these meat myths were you guilty of believing?