Not all cookbooks will give you a clear explanation of how to properly handle the stove fire? Some people, for example, naively believe that the stronger the heat of the burner on which the meat is cooked, the higher the temperature will be in the pot.
It turns out that the cooking time depends on the type of burner, on the degree of heating and can be different? Any physicist will tell you that this is not true. The time will be the same.
Whose fire is hotter?
In recent years new ways of heating both on the hob and in the oven have continued to appear. In addition to the once widespread gas burners, we now have many types of electric burners at our disposal: simple cast-iron burners so-called “pancakes” , halogen burners, “high-light” express burners, burners with automatic boiling, induction burners.
Burner of any design, gas, electric or induction, heats the water in which the food is cooked to a boiling point of 100 ° C. And if you maintain a constant boil, then any dish on any cooktop is cooked at 100°C. So the cooking speed depends neither on the type of burner nor the intensity of heating, but only on the type of food.
The same goes for frying in fat. The burner must be powerful enough to bring the fat to boiling point, and then the time depends on many things, but not on the burner.
And the speed of the new burners is that they bring the water or fat to boiling point much more quickly than conventional ovens. This is the point at which the cooking time is counted, if the cookbooks bother to specify it.
Only in microwave ovens does the cooking process follow a different law, and the recipes from conventional cookbooks are not acceptable here.
Culinary literacy: let’s cook properly
Cooking is a simple word, but it needs a definition. Cooking is the heat treatment of food with complete immersion in liquid. Because if the food is only partially immersed in the liquid, it is called poaching.
We’re talking above all about cooking meat as an art that requires special knowledge. It would seem that cooking is one of the simplest processes in the kitchen, but this process requires skillful management. Boiled meat should be tender and full of its own juices. To avoid that the meat is not tough, tasteless and nutrient-poor, you must skillfully regulate the power of the fire and carefully remove the foam from the surface.
Preferably enameled or stainless steel cookware with a well-fitting lid. The pot in which you cook the meat must hold enough water or the meat will stew, not boil.
Meat tastes better from boiling water
Most housewives believe that the meat should be put in cold water and then put the pot on the burner. But experts have studied the chemical processes occurring in products during cooking and came to the conclusion that in such a treatment the meat loses the most nutritious components.
The best result is obtained if the meat is put into boiling water, and if you keep the boiling water on for a few minutes, and then keep the pot covered with a lid at water temperature of 70-75 ° C. These are optimal conditions for giving the meat the best flavor.
When a piece of meat is lowered into boiling water, the nutrient proteins it contains coagulate become congealed in the tiny capillaries that permeate the meat and clog them , forming a shell. This casing prevents the juices from escaping and the water from getting inside, otherwise the water would mingle with the juices and render the meat tasteless.
The rate at which nutrients dissolve depends on many factors, including the rate of internal diffusion. Don’t let this scientific term confuse you. Enough to understand that this unwanted internal diffusion can be reduced by creating a significant temperature difference in the volume of the product.
And this temperature difference is obtained when the product is immediately put into boiling water. In this process, moisture and nutrients dissolved in it are actively moving from the surface layers of meat deep into it. Meat does not lose its nutritional value, becomes juicy and fragrant.
To get a tasty broth, you have to give up really tasty meat, because meat put in cold water loses many water-soluble nutrients. But, of course, it enriches the broth.
When boiling in cold water, the nutrients gradually dissolve from the surface to the center of the piece. This causes the fibers in the meat to lose their tenderness. The thinner the piece of meat, the more it loses nutrients and flavor.
Slow cooking discolors the meat. This is probably why this method is preferred by some cooks. They think that the lighter color of cooked meat is more aesthetically pleasing to the eater. In fact, the whiteness of meat that has been cooked slowly is a sign of the loss of important nutritional qualities.
It is wrong to soak fresh meat in water before cooking.
We need to boil hard water for a long time
It is better to cook meat in soft water. When boiling water, the calcium and magnesium salts that harden it precipitate. They are deposited on the surface of the piece of meat and give it an earthy flavor. If you have only hard water at your disposal, you can soften it by boiling it for 1-2 hours before use and then draining it.
Cook over low heat
Heating should be controlled with the utmost attention, whether it is the blue light of a gas stove, the invisible heat of an electric stove or a mysterious induction stove.
The results of cooking depend on skilful regulation. As a rule, the water in the pot should boil a little it looks like a slight shaking of the water surface at one of the edges of the pot .
Inexperienced hostesses believe that the stronger the boil, the faster the meat will cook. This is not the case. Water that simmers gently over a low flame is just as hot as water that boils and bubbles. Cooking time does not change, but the quality of cooked food is better on a slow fire.
For example, the broth at a rapid boil becomes turbid, the meat loses flavor and vitamins, and the piece of meat loses its shape and deforms.
How to determine the time of boiling?
As for the cooking time, it can be determined by following this rule.
The time it takes to cook a piece of meat, for example, is counted from when it comes to a boil and depends on the size of the piece of meat and its quality. The following figures can be approximated: It takes at least 40 minutes to cook every kilo of meat. And the longer the cooking continues, the better the results.
Culinary literacy: let’s fry appetizingly
Frying is the act of cooking food on hot surfaces at temperatures which produce a browning effect. The heated surface can be a frying pan on a stove top or a baking tray in the oven. Frying can be done with or without a little fat. Frying in lots of fat is called deep frying.
Frying without oil or fat is a very special skill, available mainly to cooking virtuosos. The bottom of a pan without oil heats up to very high temperatures, so you need to be quick and precise. But a good stainless steel frying pan with a solid puffed bottom and a well-fitting lid allows for successful oil-free frying even for beginner cooks.
Here’s an easy-to-fulfill recipe from the famous Italian actor and foodie Ugo Tognazzi.
Frying with a little oil or fat is more common. Stir-frying adds variety to our meals. The great thing about frying is that the fat or oil gets heated to a much higher temperature than the water, and cooking proceeds very quickly.
The philosophy behind frying is that in fat, with its high heat capacity and high boiling point, the pores on the surface of the piece of meat are instantly “sealed”, the meat is crusted over, and all its juices are preserved inside, since they are insoluble in oil.
When frying, the most important thing is to catch the moment when it is best to put the pieces processed for frying in the fat or oil. The product is heated on one side only, so it’s important not to miss the point when you flip the pieces to the other side. And of course it’s important not to miss the moment when it’s time to take the fried pieces out.
Turning off the heat does not end the cooking. This mistake is often made by inexperienced cooks who wonder why they burned the food when they turned off the heat just in time. But fat and oil, thanks to their high heat capacity, still retain a high temperature for a long time, and frying continues on the turned off stove.
The test for optimal frying
To make sure the fat is hot enough throw a piece of wheat bread into the boiling fat. If foam has formed around it, the bread has floated to the surface and begun to brown, it means you can put the meat on. If the bread has sunk into the fat it means that the fat must be heated up again.
When you are satisfied that the proper temperature has been reached and you have begun frying, lower the heat. This way the juices are better retained inside the food and the flavor is subtler.
Roasting utensils are frying pans of different sizes including the popular huge and deep Chinese wok that allows you to roast quickly, efficiently and in any quantity .
Saucepans are also used for small and delicate dishes.
At the end of frying the ready dish should be put on a paper towel folded several times or in a colander and left for a few minutes to let the excess fat drain off.
How long does it take to fry??
Also note that the cooking time depends mostly on the oil or fat you fry in. Their boiling point, as already mentioned, is different. The higher the boiling point of the oil or fat, the faster the frying goes. Make your own corrections to this plate.
This question cannot be answered as simply and unambiguously as boiling. Knowledge and confidence come with experience, which comes with many mistakes in the form of burnt or uncooked food.
To speed up your experiments with the least amount of loss, here’s a rough table of roasting times for the first time.
How to fry meat and fish without oil?
Heat a dry frying pan over medium heat. After 3-4 mnuta drop of water on its bottom: if the drops roll on the bottom in the form of transparent balls and slowly evaporate, the heat is sufficient,
If the water immediately evaporates with a hiss, let the dish cool down. Place thin slices of meat or fish in the pan. They will immediately stick to the bottom of the pot don’t be alarmed and don’t pick them off with a knife. After 2 to 3 minutes, the slices will separate from the bottom by themselves. When they are browned, flip them over and fry the other side
Now place the lid on the pan and after 2 to 3 minutes, turn off the burner. From here on it will cook on its own.
You will not even remember that you have not salted the meat, the taste of it will be tender and natural, you can salt it a little bit on the plate already.
It is not necessary to salt such dishes at all, as all mineral salts, as well as vitamins and trace elements are preserved in traditional cooking methods, a significant part of them goes to water or fat.
You have to salt it a bit more or less skillfully when you cook it
Meat broth – half an hour before it is ready.
Fish broth – at the beginning of cooking.
Chicken broth – at the beginning of cooking.
Peas and beans – when they are soft.
Over-salted soup. Don’t try to straighten it out by diluting it with water. You are only going to ruin it. Better put in the boiling broth peeled and cut into quarters 1-2 potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.
They will absorb the excess salt, after which the potatoes can be removed.A lot of salt absorbs raw rice, which is lowered into the pot in a clean cloth and after 15 minutes, take out. If this is not enough, add a pinch of sugar, stir and taste. It has to be just right!
Over-salted potatoes. Drain the tubers and immediately add boiling unsalted water. Boil it for about half a minute, then drain it again. This usually removes excess salt and makes the potatoes edible. There is a popular superstition that for better results the meat should be salted and left to rest before boiling.
This is a serious mistake. The contact of the salt with the meat causes the fibers of the meat to shrink and the juice to come out. Up to 1/3 of the juice comes out this way. The meat becomes drier and tougher, losing proteins and other valuable ingredients along with the juice. The same applies to corned beef, which can never compare in nutritional value with fresh meat.
You have to salt them quite a bit when you fry them
Roast meat – at the end of cooking or already on the plate.
Fried fish – about 15 minutes before you’re going to fry,
Roast potatoes – only when they’re almost done.