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Take Your At Home Cooking Skills to the Next Level

Of course, there are many ways that you can take your at-home cooking skills the next level. But I want to share one professional tip with you today that will make your meat juicer, your vegetables perfect, and your cookies amazingly soft.

Want to know what it is?

The secret is called Carry-Over Cooking.

Let me explain:

When you pull meat out of the oven, or take it off the grill, for the next few minutes the meat will still cook. This is because the outside temperature of the meat is hotter than the internal temperature. So the internal temperature will continue to rise until the heat is spread evenly throughout the meat. That is why this principle is called carry-over cooking. The meat continues to cook even thought it is off the grill and out of the oven.

You can use this principle to your advantage. If you are going to cook your meat to 160 degrees internally, then take the meat off the grill or out of the oven when the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. For the next 15-20 minutes, you’ll let carry-over cooking do it’s job. It will take the internal temperature up, but still allow the meat to retain the juices that make it moist.

For larger quantities of meat, take the meat away from the heat source 10-15 degrees cooler than you want it. Let carry-over cooking do its job for up to 30 minutes.

For smaller quantities of meat, take it away about 3-5 degrees cooler than than you want it. Let carry-over cooking take over for up to 15 minutes.

Just remember, you’ll want to be checking the internal temperature using a thermometer.

This same concept can be applied to vegetables.

Just slightly under cook your vegetables, and then let carry-over cooking take over.

My favorite way to use this principle is with cookies.

You probably noticed in this post, I told you to immediately remove the cookies from the hot cookie sheet and place them on a cooling rack. This is because even though the cookies are out of the oven, they are sitting on the hot cookie sheet so they will continue to cook.

Carry-over cooking takes place for the first minute or so when you place the cookie on the cooling rack. If you take them off the sheet as soon as you take them out of the oven, you are left with an extremely soft cookie. And who doesn’t want that?

Hopefully you learned something from this post. Do any of you have success stories using carry-over cooking? What about unsuccessful attempts from not using this principle? We’d love to hear about them!

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4 Comments

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Summer
    March 21, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks for the tip! I have heard of this but I am always worried about the meat getting cold. With the meat waiting for 15-20 minutes doesn’t it cool off quite a bit? Or am I just over worrying? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Cait
      March 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      Summer,
      Sometimes it doesn’t take that long for the internal temperature to rise. Be sure to use a thermometer so you’ll know. I didn’t mention this in the post, but covering the meat will help the heat to stay in the meat and the internal temperature will still rise. Any time that I use this principle, I always keep my meat covered, so I’ve never had to worry about it getting cold. Try it out and let me know. Hopefully this helps! Good luck!
      -Cait

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