Meat may be a staple food in many diets. It’s tasty, satisfying and is a superb source of high-quality protein and other important nutrients.
However, different cooking methods can affect the standard and healthiness of meat.
This article takes an in depth check out the changes that occur in meat during cooking. It also provides guidance for selecting the healthiest cooking methods.
How You Cook Your Meat Matters
Humans are cooking meat for a minimum of 250,000 years, consistent with estimates. Cooking meat breaks down any tough fibers and animal tissue , which makes it easier to chew and digest. It also results in better nutrient absorption (1Trusted Source, 2).
In addition, cooking meat properly kills harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli, which may cause gastrointestinal disorder that leads to illness or maybe death (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).
However, cooking meat can reduce its antioxidant capacity, counting on how it’s cooked and for a way long (5Trusted Source).
Nutrients also can be lost during the method of cooking meat. The extent to which this happens is strongly influenced by the cooking method.
What’s more, heating meat to high temperatures for while periods can cause the formation of harmful compounds which will increase disease risk.
Choosing cooking methods that minimize nutrient loss and produce rock bottom amounts of harmful chemicals can maximize the health benefits of consuming meat.
Read on for an summary of how different cooking methods affect meat.
Although cooking meat makes it easier to digest and kills harmful germs, it also can reduce the nutrient content and make harmful chemicals that potentially increase disease risk.
Roasting and Baking
Roasting and baking are similar sorts of cooking using dry heat. Dry heat cooking differs from moist heat methods, where meat is cooked in water or another liquid.
The term roasting typically refers to cooking meat during a large dish called a roasting pan. A roasting pan often includes a rack to stay the meat above the juices that drip down because it cooks.
This can even be through with an oven rotisserie, a tool that permits meat to cook on a slow-turning spit. this system is typically reserved for cooking large pieces of meat or entire animals, like chickens or turkeys.
By contrast, baking is usually used for chicken, poultry or fish instead of meat . The meat is cooked during a baking dish which will be covered or open.
Temperatures for roasting and baking range from 300–425°F (149–218°C) and cooking time may vary from half-hour to an hour or more, counting on the sort and cut of meat.
Generally speaking, roasting and baking are healthy sorts of cooking that end in minimal losses of vitamin C .
However, during long cooking times at high temperatures, up to 40% of B vitamins could also be lost within the juices that drip from the meat (6).
Gathering these juices and serving them with the meat, which is usually called juicy on menus, can help minimize nutrient loss.
Roasting and baking are similar sorts of healthy cooking, especially at lower temperatures and cooking times. Serving meat juicy can replace a number of the B vitamins lost in cooking.
Grilling and Broiling
Grilling and broiling are very similar dry heat, high-temperature cooking methods.
Grilling involves cooking with a heat source directly below your food, like an open grill or barbecue. Grilling temperatures usually range from 375–450°F (190–232°C).
In broiling, the warmth source comes from above, like the broiler in your oven. Broiling occurs at very high temperatures, typically 500–550°F (260–288°C).
Grilling is extremely popular because it imparts a delicious flavor to meat, especially steaks and burgers.
Unfortunately, this method of cooking often results in the assembly of probably harmful chemicals.
When meat is grilled at high temperatures, fat melts and drips onto the grill or cooking surface. This creates toxic compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which will get up and seep into the meat (7Trusted Source).
PAHs are linked to many sorts of cancer, including breast and carcinoma (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).
However, studies have found that removing drippings can reduce PAH formation by up to 89% (7Trusted Source).
Another concern with both grilling and broiling is that they promote the formation of compounds referred to as advanced glycation end products (AGEs).
AGEs are linked to an increased risk of several diseases, including heart condition , renal disorder and skin aging (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).
They are created within the body as by-products of a reaction that happens between sugars and proteins. they will also form in foods during cooking, especially at high temperatures.
One study found that broiled beef had higher levels of AGEs than beef cooked by other methods (15Trusted Source).
Keeping cooking times short and removing meat from high heat before it becomes charred may help reduce the quantity of AGEs produced.
Grilling may be a popular sort of cooking which will produce toxic by-products referred to as PAHs. Both grilling and broiling promote the formation of AGEs, which can increase disease risk.
Simmering, Poaching and Stewing
Simmering, poaching and stewing are similar moist heat methods of cooking.
Although cooking times are generally longer than for several other cooking methods, temperatures are lower.
The three methods are classified by the temperature of the cooking liquid:
Poaching: 140–180°F (60–82°C)
Stewing: 160–180°F (71–82°C)
Simmering: 185–200°F (85–93°C)
Lengthy cooking in liquids at temperatures above 200°F (93°C) may cause meat proteins to toughen.
Poaching involves shorter cooking times than stewing or simmering and is reserved for delicate foods like chicken, fish and duck.
Research has shown that cooking with moist heat at low temperatures can minimize the formation of AGEs (16Trusted Source).
On the opposite hand, the lengthy cooking times for stewing and simmering can cause a loss of B vitamins, nutrients that are typically high in meat and poultry.
Up to 60% of thiamine, niacin and other B vitamins could also be lost from the meat as its juices escape . Fortunately, consuming the meat’s juices as a part of a stew or soup can significantly reduce these vitamin losses (6).