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Low and Slow is the way to go!

Nov 23

Low-Temperature Cooking for your home

Cooking is a beloved art form that has been around for ages. It is the science of applying heat to raw food to produce a variety of food primarily for consumption. Cooking has been around since the discovery of heat. There are so many methods of cooking such as frying, sauteing, boiling, poaching, simmering, searing, broiling, grilling, and so much more. Most of these cooking techniques are used not just in industrial and commercial kitchens, they are used daily in our homes.

During this pandemic and the lockdowns in some countries, most people did not have the option to dine out. Instead, people have turned to their trusty old kitchens to make and cook their own food, and try to recreate their restaurant favorites, such as roasts and BBQs. Meat cookery is daunting for some and fairly easy for others. The most common techniques of meat cookery are grilling, broiling, pan-frying, and stir-frying. There is one technique that has been gaining popularity in the culinary industry and it is not exactly a newly discovered method: Slow cooking. 

What is Slow Cooking? 

Slow cooking has many names. It is called "Low-Temperature Cooking" and is also popularly known among meat enthusiasts as the "Low and Slow Method".  The Low and Slow method is basically cooking food at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. The temperature used in this method ranges from 45 to 85 °C (113 to 180 °F).  Slow cooking techniques include several methods as listed below. 

Slow cooker method 

A slow cooker is a home appliance that is used for simmering food at low temperatures. Food is left to cook overnight or for hours in the slow cooker, not requiring much stirring or mixing. There are a lot of dishes that can be done using a slow cooker like pot roasts, stews, soups, desserts, and even some drinks. 

Oven Roasting method 

Roasting is a method of cooking that uses dry heat to cook food evenly on all sides at temperatures of at least 150 °C (300 °F) from an open flame or oven. The high temperature is not always applied throughout the entire roasting. Most of the time, especially with large pieces of meat, the temperature is set high at the beginning to help develop a crust and proper caramelization then is lowered to let it cook in its own juices. 

Sous Vide method 

Sous vide is a French term that means "under vacuum". It is a fairly new cooking technique that requires food to be placed in vacuum-packed bags to be cooked in a temperature-controlled water bath to achieve full-flavored food and very tender meat that is of restaurant quality. 

Low and Slow Barbeque method 

Barbeque is defined as "a cooking method that cooks different kinds of meat on direct heat in a barbeque grill". Barbeque can be considered as a fast cooking technique and can also be recognized as a low and slow cooking method. Low and slow barbeques involve using large cuts of meat that are cooked over hot coals or woodchips for hours. This gives the meat a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and a smokey flavor very unique to this technique. The perfect cuts of meat for this type of cooking are brisket, shanks, shoulder, and chuck. You can visit your friendly butcher and order from The Meat Inn Place, the best online and offline meat shop in Melbourne.

Benefits of low and slow cooking 

  • Tender Meats - The tenderisation of meats take place at temperatures of 55 and 65 °C (131 and 149 °F). When cooked for hours, the meat breaks down better resulting in a buttery and soft meat that is to die for! 
  • Robust Flavor - Because food is cooked in its own juices, you are guaranteed full flavors that explode in your mouth. 
  • Food Safety - Bacteria is killed at 68 °C (154 °F). 
  • Gravy - Slow roasting and cooking food can produce more flavorful juices that can be made into a delicious gravy or sauce that can complement your main dish. 

One thing is for sure, once you learn how to cook meat properly, you may want to just dine at home all the time!