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Old 05-10-2008, 06:24 PM   #1
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Pan frying meat question.

Hi there,
I like to stir fry, but have problems when cooking meats. It seems that when I add the meat and begin cooking, it releases a ton of juice or water, and I end up with meat that is more boiled than fried. I have tried varying the amount of oil and different temperatures. The one thing that does seem to help is to cook only a small amount of meat at a time, but this takes a long time.

My feeling is that when I add the meat the temperature drops so the meat doesn't get seared and releases its juices all at once.

Perhaps I need to cook at even higher temp?

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Old 05-10-2008, 07:25 PM   #2
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Hi vikubz...Welcome to DC....The problem you describe is a common one...most, if not all home stoves just don't generate enough heat to stir fry in very large quantities...the solution, most times are as you describe...small batches... which can be time consuming, and frustrating...One alternative I use sometimes is an outdoor fish cooker with a 150 thousand BTU burner...it does a pretty good job. If you have access to one of these give it a try...If not...Turn the burner on your stove to high...preheat the pan...and stir fry in small quantities. HTH

Welcome again!
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Old 05-10-2008, 08:00 PM   #3
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Only cook enought meat to layer the bottom of the pan lightly. If you're cooking say cubed beef, make sure there's about 1/2 to 1 inch space between each piece. In other words, don't crowd the pan. Put a little canola oil in the pan for more surface area and to promote searing. About 2 tablespoons in a 12" skillet would be enough. Like you said, try to be more aggressive at first.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:14 PM   #4
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I get my wok screaming hot and cook the meat in batches. If the wok is hot enough it really does not take that long to cook it that way. I keep the cooked meat in a covered bowl then put it back in with the veg right at the end to heat through before I make the sauce.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:25 PM   #5
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I add my welcome vikubz. Agree with UncaBob and Jeekinz, you need a lotta heat. (Do not know what an outdoor fish cooker with a 150 thousand BTU burner is - but it sounds like something I would desperately want if I saw one. There are so many big cooking items I crave, but since there are only two of us I just have yearn in vain. Rats.)

The house we have came with a Viking four burner propane (in the boonies) stove.

But for the first time in years we can stir fry. Yay.

But yep, even with that stove cannot cook in large batches. About twice a year we both get a hankerin' for take out Chinese food (I hate to call it Chinese because the cuisine is so perfect and that stuff at the take out is - well I do carry on) and they have these stoves that crank out enormous heat and woks that you could bathe a large baby in.

And those cooks don't put out more than enough for a dish or so at a time. The increased heat, and larger wok, lets the food cooks faster and that is what you want with stir fry.

When all we had electric stoves would stir fry with a wok with a flat bottom. I can do it but it never was anything close to what a very hot wok could accomplish. But if one made small dishes it would work. Sorta.

In a perfect kitchen we would all have three or four stoves. And a pizza oven. And whatever the heck a turbocharged fish cooker UncaBob has. But we all deal with what we have. But that should just evoke the creativity in us. I know of a place that had basically little more than counter top appliances and put out a decent lunch. It was the cook, not the cookery.

That is my blog, but if UncaBob wants to sell his fish thingy - no it is time to call my food gadget-a-holic sponsor.

Lol, and again, welcome aboard.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:56 PM   #6
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Aunt Dot.....Something like this...but without the "beer can" pan!

Amazon.com: Bayou Classic B135 Sportsman's Choice Fish Cooker: Patio, Lawn & Garden

Make sure it has this burner...not anything less..

Amazon.com: Bayou Classic BG10 High Pressure Cast-Iron Replacement Burner for Round Bayou Classic Cooker Frames: Patio, Lawn & Garden

I have 4 of these contraptions of one type or another...my favorite... a homemade one that belonged to my brother...It will take a gallon of P-nut oil to 360* in two heart beats
...after that you turn it down to idle...or it will turn a catfish filet into charcoal!!
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:02 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies. I'll just have to keep practicing!
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:32 PM   #8
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I don't know if this helps, but it's what my parents always do when stir frying beef: marinate the beef in a marinade with corn starch. It supposedly helps keep the juices sealed in when you stir fry.
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insanity View Post
I don't know if this helps, but it's what my parents always do when stir frying beef: marinate the beef in a marinade with corn starch. It supposedly helps keep the juices sealed in when you stir fry.
This is called velveting. You don't actually marinate the meat in the corn starch but you toss it to coat just before putting it in the pan. It is an excellent technique. It is a mixture of corn starch and water.

The corn starch coating protects the meat from the heat and you end up with a very tender piece of meat. This is common practice in many Chinese restaurants.
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Old 05-13-2008, 05:29 PM   #10
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Well I just learned something today... actualy several things....It's getting to be a regular thing lately...Anyway, I didn't know that method was called "velveting"
Thanks GB!!
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