What you need to know to keep your meat juicy.

Here are the 3 main factors that have any effect on the juiciness of your cooked meat:

Internal fat:

We rely on fat to make meat more juicy. This is where marbling comes in. Marbling is the intramuscular fat within the meat’s muscle tissue. When we cut into the cooked meat the marbling that has softened the muscle fibres, makes the meat tender and juicy.

Grain fed meat is more juicy and tender than grass fed meat so this may be a reason for you to chose grain fed meat when you are at the butcher next time.

Gelatin

There is plenty of connective tissue in the tougher cuts of meat (the most exercised area of the animal). When the meat (from a tough cut) is braised the connective tissue breaks down and converts to gelatin. The gelatin is the reason why a braised dish can taste so good! The gelatin holds the water molecules together within the meat improving the texture of the meat in the mouth. This makes for a pleasant eating experience and explains one of the reasons why I like to prepare braised dishes. I hope to encourage you to look at your dinner repertoire and include braised dishes for the above reason. There are other reasons why braised dishes are terrific as I have mentioned in my book (Your Meat Mate) but the fact that gelatin is released into the meat and into the sauce to create a delicious texture is a strong reason to make braised dishes.

Protein Coagulation

This is about pan frying or grilling the tender cuts. This is about moisture loss. The more you apply high heat the more the protein in the meat hardens and loses moisture/juiciness. It is your job to know when to stop pan frying – hence when your meat is cooked and to avoid unnecessary loss of juice.

 

Juiciness is a critical component to the successful cooking of red meat. Thinking about the above when applying the different cookery methods will help you to ensure that your cooked meat is juicy each and every time.