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Rinsing meat?

Do you rinse meat before using it? Or do you cook it straight from the tray? I was taught to wash meat especially the chicken. Today I want to cook thin slices of beef and am feeling lazy. Is it going to do any harm if I didn't wash them?

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  1. Washing meat? Why ?

    Does it have dirt on it? If so, switch butchers.

    Washing it doesn't kill bacteria unless you use antibacterial soap. Cooking does.

    The USDA says never wash meat or poultry, by the way. It's unnecessary and you risk cross contaminating your kitchen by doing so.

    1 Reply
    1. re: C. Hamster

      <<<The USDA says never wash meat or poultry, by the way. It's unnecessary and you risk cross contaminating your kitchen by doing so.>>>


    2. The studies I've seen say that you don't need to wash your meat, but you should always wash vegetables and fruit that isn't going to be peeled.

      I do rinse things like fish or squid after cleaning it, though.

      1. I rinse meat if I want to contaminate my kitchen sink.

        1. I rinse some meats and then dry them if I'm going to sear them. Chicken mostly.

          1. No, no, and no.

            No, I don't rinse meat. No, I don't cook it straight from the package, I usually pat it dry with paper towels. No, it won't do any harm if you don't wash it, and in fact you'll do less harm than if you do.

            10 Replies
            1. re: ricepad

              When some meat comes out of the package, it deserves a little rinse. No harm done.

              1. re: c oliver

                Possible harm done. When you rinse meat, everything you rinse off gets scattered and splattered around your sink, and possibly all over your kitchen. And if you think "no harm done", I'll ask what *benefit* there is to rinsing meat? Anything on the surface of the meat that you'd otherwise rinse away is going to be killed by the heat from cooking.

                Your choice: Possible harm done/no benefit, or no harm done at all. I know what I choose.

                1. re: ricepad

                  But, ya see, I live in a "magic house," so I'm not concerned about cooties. I just want to rinse off the 'bloody stuff.'

                  1. re: ricepad

                    <When you rinse meat, everything you rinse off gets scattered and splattered around your sink, and possibly all over your kitchen. >

                    Possibly, but so does flushing the toilets.

                    Anyway, I still rinse my meat once awhile. Funny thing is that I don't consistently wash it or consistently not wash it.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      That's why code disallows their door opening into a kitchen, I suppose.

                      1. re: GH1618

                        Oh we definitely do not want toilet connect to kitchens. However, I meant typical household toilets. Most of us flush the toilet without putting down the lids and "things" actually splatter everywhere. :)


                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Me too. Yesterday I had a little beef roast that I just wiped dry with paper towels. Today I had a chicken that had been sitting in the fridge for a day. Some 'jus' was in the bottom of the plate. So I rinsed it off. No bid deal either way.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          <Possibly, but so does flushing the toilets.>

                          That's why a toilet in the home is never flushed with the lid up. In fact, the whole "toilet seat up or down" is immaterial beause the toilet seat and lid are only in tshe upright position when someone is using the apparatus. After use, the seat and lid are always put down before flushing. At least this happens in my house, if they have listened to me, that is.

                  2. I only like to rinse poultry. Then pat dry before cooking.

                    1. I mostly rinse my meat (maybe 50/50), but not all the time.

                      1. Never rinse meat. Just dry with paper towels.

                        1. Thanks everyone for your input. I do sanitize the sink and surrounding areas afterward so no worries.

                          1. I rinse meat and poultry befoer cooking. That said, it is kosher meat and it has been soaked and salted in the koshering process. The habit of rinsing is to rid any risidual salt.

                            1. While it may not be recommended, or necessary to rinse meat from the tray.......I always rinse meat when it come in Cryovac packaging to rinse off the liquid it has been stored in.....as it almost always smells terrible.

                              As for any possible contamination.....bleach and water in a spray bottle to sanitize handle that issue.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: fourunder

                                If I bought meat that emitted a terrible odor, I would not buy that particular brand of meat any longer, rinse or no rinse.

                                1. re: John E.

                                  Apparently, you do not wet age......and it's not the meat that smells, it's the pool of liquid i was specific about.

                                  1. re: John E.

                                    Then you'd be missing out on some pretty good stuff for a very silly reason.

                                    1. re: acgold7

                                      Very true ac.....wet/dry age meat can really smell bad...but oh so good.

                                      1. re: fourunder

                                        My mom grew up in a home without refrigeration. Leftover cooked meat was a rarity, she said, and was usually slimy by the time it was going to be served again, so it was rinsed off.
                                        They were used to it so it did not sicken them.

                                        Last week I bought a quick-sale boneless chuck roast, then had it in the fridge for 2 days before using it. It was brown and slimy on the outside and even the interior was devoid of red. Rinsed, dried, seared, braised. One of the best braises ever.

                                2. I rinse it all the time, with no ill effects. Must be my magic sink.

                                  1. I don't usually rinse. The only time I do is when I am cooking a whole chicken or turkey. My refrigerator does not keep temp very well (so we err on the side of it being a little cold) and it takes forever for a whole bird to thaw. There is generally still some ice in the cavity when I'm ready to cook it, so I rinse until that is gone, then pat the bird dry.