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When choosing beef, look for lean cuts that are bright red in color and ground beef that is cherry red. The interior of ground beef, as well as beef that has been vacuum packaged, typically has a darker, purplish red. When beef is exposed to air, it takes on its recognizable bright red color. Chuck, round, and sirloin are the three primary beef cuts used to make ground beef. Leanness varies from 70% to more than 90%. We tested our recipes using ground beef that’s 80% lean. 12 ounces of cooked beef are typically produced from 1 pound of ground beef. Cook beef to medium-rare or medium-doneness, excluding ground beef, for the best flavor and texture as well as to eradicate any bacteria that may be present in the meat. Ground beef should be cooked thoroughly. Cooking Ground Beef Ground beef is frequently handled and touches numerous surfaces while being ground, making it a bacterial easy target. So it’s important to cook it thoroughly. To be safe to eat, meat loaf and all other ground meats must reach a temperature of 160° in the center of the thickest portion. Note: Even though beef is cooked to 160 degrees, meat loaves may still be pink because certain ingredients commonly used in meat loaves, such as onions, celery, and bell peppers, naturally contain nitrate. Always use a thermometer to check meat loaf to ensure the thickest part has reached 160 degrees. Very lean ground beef requires some assistance when cooking, in contrast to regular ground beef, which contains enough fat to prevent sticking. Spray a little cooking spray in the skillet to prevent sticking. Lean ground beef is slightly drier than ground beef with a higher fat content because it loses moisture while cooking. When preparing ground beef for burgers, meatballs, or meat loaves, do not overmix it as the meat may become compact and tough. Roasting Beef Since there is essentially no water used during the roasting process, choose a tender cut of meat, like a boneless rump roast or a rib roast. To ascertain the appropriate oven temperatures and times for each cut, consult the Timetable for Roasting Beef. For roasted beef that is evenly browned on the outside and moist and tender on the inside, follow these steps: From the Timetable for Roasting Beef, pick a beef cut. 2. Place the beef on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, fat side up, straight from the refrigerator. (For easy cleanup, line the pan with aluminum foil first. (As the fat melts, it bastes the beef, negating the need for additional basting while cooking. 3. If desired, season the beef before, during, or after cooking with herbs, spices, or other seasonings. Sprinkling the roast with salt before cooking adds flavor. 4. Place a meat thermometer inside the roast’s thickest part, making sure that the tip is not resting on fat or touching bone. Don’t cover the roast or add water. 5. According to the chart, roast at the suggested oven temperature until the meat thermometer reads the temperature listed under “Meat Thermometer Reading (after roasting)”. After you remove the roast from the oven, it will continue to cook. 6. After removing the roast from the oven, tent it loosely with foil. Until it reaches the “Final Meat Thermometer Reading (after standing)” temperature, let stand for 15 to 20 minutes. After standing, the roast also will be easier to carve. Avoid tightly covering the roast as this will produce steam and soften the surface of the beef. Cooking Tender Beef Cuts on the Broiler or Grill Steaks and hamburger patties can be cooked on the broiler or grill. Less-tender cuts broil and grill best if they’re marinated first. The tips below use direct heat. To find the cook time and doneness temperature for each cut, refer to the Timetable for Broiling or Grilling Beef, below. 1. From the Timetable for Broiling or Grilling Beef (below), pick a cut suitable for broiling or grilling. If you like, marinate the beef first. 2. To Broil: Set oven to broil. To determine whether the oven door should be open or closed while broiling, consult your oven’s manual. To grill, preheat the gas grill to medium-high heat and spread the coals out into a single layer. 3. Remove any excess fat before cooking to avoid flare-ups. 4. Place the beef on the rack in the broiler pan to cook it. (For easy cleanup, line the pan with aluminum foil first. ) Place the pan so that the top of the beef is at the distance from the heat that the chart suggests. Place the beef on the grill at the recommended distance from the heat in the chart. 5. The beef should be broiled or grilled for about half the recommended time, or until one side is brown. 6. When the beef is done to your liking, turn it over and continue broiling or grilling. Cut a tiny slit in the middle of a boneless cut or in the middle, close to the bone, of a bone-in cut to check if it’s finished. Medium is light pink in the center, well-done is brown throughout, and medium-rare has a very pink center. Burgers need to be cooked until a thermometer reads 160° when inserted in the thickest part of the patty. If you like, season the beef after it’s done. Beef Cooked Panbroiling is a quick, low-fat method of cooking beef because drippings are poured off as they develop. In other words, the meat doesn’t require additional fat to cook or stew in its own juices. Panbroiling is a great way to cook steaks and burgers. For the ideal oven temperatures and times for each cut, refer to the Timetable for Panbroiling Beef below. 1. Pick a panbroiling cut from the Timetable for Panbroiling Beef. 2. Use a large nonstick skillet, or spray cooking spray or vegetable oil on a regular skillet. Heat the skillet for 5 minutes over medium heat. 3. Add the beef to the skillet, but don’t cover it or add any water or oil. 4. Cook for the time recommended in the chart, turning once. Occasionally turn cuts that are 1-inch thick. Drain excess drippings from the skillet as they form. Cut a tiny slit through the center of boneless cuts or the center of bone-in cuts close to the bone to determine whether the beef is done. Medium is light pink in the center, well-done is brown throughout, and medium-rare has a very pink center. Burgers need to be cooked until a thermometer reads 160° when inserted in the thickest part of the patty. If you like, season the meat after it’s done. How to Carve a Standing Rib Roast Place the roast on the carving board, large side down. Slice the roast off at the large end to make it stand firmly. Insert meat fork below top rib. Slice from outside of roast toward rib side. Slice several times, then use the tip of the knife to cut along the inner side of the rib bone. Release each slice, slide knife under, and raise to plate. the ninth edition of “Betty Crockers Complete Cookbook, Everything You Need to Know to Cook Today” ” Text Copyright 2000 General Mills, Inc. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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