Quicktip: Resting

I mentioned this topic briefly in an earlier post: after you cook meat, you need to rest it.  Internal juices need to redistribute throughout the meat, and if you cut prematurely, they will run right out onto the cutting board.  You’ve seen this on just about every cooking show since the beginning of time.

More times than not, we’re instructed to rest under the cover of aluminum foil.  This drives me absolutely bonkers.  We have spent precious time preparing, seasoning, brining, drying, and cooking the meat.  We have developed a delicate crust that is brown and delicious.  Now we want to cover it up and destroy it by steaming the outside of the meat.  That’s what you’re doing when you “tent” with foil – destroying it.

My point is this: do not cover meat while it rests.  I know you’re thinking, “it’ll get cold”.  Trust me, it won’t.  You’re not going to let it rest that long.  Sure, if you leave a chicken breast on the cutting board for half an hour, it’ll get cold.  We’re not talking about defying the laws of physics here.

The general rule for resting is this: rest for 1/2 the cooking time, up to 1/2 hour.  If a pork chop takes 6-8 min per side, then only rest for about 7 minutes.  If you roast a turkey for 4 hours, then rest it for 1/2 hour (don’t rest more than a 1/2 hour).  There is enough heat in the meat to: 1. raise the temperature a degree or two (carry over heat that I’m sure you’ve planned ahead for), and 2. keep the meat hot until it’s ready to serve.

If you want to get technical about it, you should rest on a rack – like your cookie cooling rack.  It’s unfortunately named, but it does the job.  You can use the foil here, underneath the rack, to catch any drippings.

Rest, uncovered, and keep the integrity of your meat intact.  All the cool kids are doing it.

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