DRY HEAT COOKING METHODS
Dry heat refers to cooking meat uncovered without adding moisture. Dry heat methods include roasting, baking, broiling, and grilling. These methods are used for tender cuts of meat that have little connective tissue.
Grill steaks, beef patties with soy, ham slices, bacon, liver, and pork sausage are suitable for grilling. In grilling, the meat is placed directly on the ungreased griddle. The heat is transmitted to the meat from the hot metal of the griddle. A moderate temperature is maintained that prevents the meat from overbrowning. Enough fat cooks out to keep the meat from sticking. Excess fat should be removed as it collects to prevent the meat from frying. Tongs or a food turner should be used to turn the meat. Do not use a fork to turn the meat because puncturing the meat with the tines of a fork allows the juices to escape. If the juices escape the meat becomes dry and coarse. Check the AFRS for cuts of beef, lamb, and pork that may be grilled.
Pork requires thorough cooking to bring out its full flavor. Braised pork chops are more desirable from the standpoint of aroma, texture, tenderness, and flavor of the lean meat. If pork chops and pork steaks are grilled, they require additional cooking in the oven to ensure complete doneness. Veal is usually not grilled because it is a lean meat and has an abundance of connective tissue that requires long, slow cooking.
Grilled meat is usually turned only once. The seasoning is applied to the cooked side just after it is turned.
Broiling is cooking by dry heat. Conventional and continuous broilers are available in some Navy GMs. For cooking times and temperatures, check the manufacturer's directions for cooking meats. Steaks and hamburgers are generally cooked using broilers. Where broilers are not available, grills are used
Roasting and Baking
The word roasting describes the cooking of meat by dry heat in an oven. Any tender cut of beef, pork, or lamb may be roasted. Baking is the preparation method used in roasting ham, meat loaf, fish, and some chicken recipes.
Roasting pans should be of a heavy material with low sides that allow meat to be cooked by hot air freely circulating over and around the meat. Open pan roasting will brown roasts evenly. Do not crowd roasts. Season meat as directed on the AFRS recipes. If racks are available, place roasts on racks to allow juices and fat to drain from roasts as they are cooked.
The following rules pertaining to roasting apply to beef, veal, pork, and lamb. Included with each rule is the "why."
0 Use a moderately low oven temperature (325F) so the roast will be uniformly done throughout, the cooking losses will be moderate, the meat will be more palatable, and the roast will be plump and full. High temperatures cause excessive shrinkage, uneven cooking, and decreased juiciness and tenderness.
0 Do not sear meat before roasting. Searing toughens the outer layer of meat, increases cooking losses, causes a loss of fat, and contributes to excessive shrinkage.
0 Place roast fat side up on the pan. This eliminates basting; as the meat cooks, it will baste itself with the melting fat.
a Add salt to the roast before or after it is cooked. Salt penetrates less than half an inch below the surface and any salt added before the roast is cooked adds flavor to the drippings.
0 Unless specified in the AFRS recipe, never cover a roast. If the roasting pan is covered, the moisture escaping from the meat will surround it and the meat will be cooked by moist heat.
0 Do not add water. Roasts cooked without water are juicier and more flavorful. The only reason for adding water would be to keep the drippings from becoming too brown. This will not happen, however, when low oven temperatures are used.
0 Do not flour the roast. Drippings from a floured roast may be a more attractive brown, but the same results can be obtained by browning flour in the drippings when you make the gravy.
0 Use a meat thermometer to tell when the roast is done. The meat thermometer is the only accurate measure of doneness. The length of cooking time depends on the temperature of the oven, the weight and shape of the roast, and the kind of meat. A dial-type meat thermometer is shown ir fivure 6-5,
The thermometer should be inserted into the center of the main muscle (the thickest part of the meat) so that the tip of the thermometer does not touch the bone, gristle, or the fat. As the heat from the oven penetrates the meat, the internal temperature at the center of the roast gradually rises and this rise is registered on the thermometer. When the thermometer registers the
Figure 6-5.-Dial-type roast meat thermometer.
desired temperature for that particular kind of meat, the roast is ready to be removed from the oven.
0 Boneless meat will require a somewhat longer cooking period than meat with bones. A smaller roast requires more minutes per pound than a larger one. Follow the AFRS recipe that specifies the type of meat required and the proper cooking temperature.
Cooking time is only a guide to meat doneness. Roasts will continue to cook slightly after being removed from the oven. Cooking time depends principally upon the size and cut of the meat, the degree of doneness desired or required, and the cooking temperature. The temperatures at which meats are cooked also determine cooking times. Maintaining even temperatures aids in predicting cooking periods. For information on convection oven cooking, check the AFRS guidelines, specific recipes, and manufacturer's directions for meat cookery.