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Oct 3, 2008 06:25 AM

sweet spot?

i've been cooking for a few years (around four?) and i've a question that's bugging me. (i'm sorry if this question has been discussed before. if you could direct me in the right direction, i can read up on it myself.)

on one hand, the longer you cook a piece of meat the more connective tissue breaks down. on the other hand, the longer you cook a piece of meat the dryer it becomes. where's the balance?

i made a stew last night. i cooked short ribs in some liquid for 2.5 hours in 70-75C water. the beef was okay - it was not overly moist nor was fall-to-pieces tender. i'm just not sure what i did wrong. should i've cooked the meat longer? shorter? used more heat? less?

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  1. Well, it depends on what kind of meat you are cooking. A filet mignon or pork tenderloin cooked too long will dry out, where as tougher meats, such as short ribs and stew meats benefit from longer cooking. 70C is about 158 degrees F - do you mean that the water when you added it was that temperature, or that you cooked it at the heat? If the latter, it's way too low - I usually cook short ribs for three hours at about 325 degrees (162C). The meat should definitely fall off the bone, so I'd be sure to cook it longer next time.