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Old 01-05-2009, 12:54 AM   #1
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Questions on Preparing Meat

Hi guys,
I'm a total beginning cook so please excuse me if this sounds like a really dumb question. When you get the meat home, I've noticed that sometimes there is a lot of that red liquid protein (I've been told it's not blood). Am I suppose to wash the meat before I cook it? I get concerned it won't be as juicy.

Thanks in advance


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Old 01-05-2009, 12:56 AM   #2
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I usually cook it in with the meat - particularly for a stew type dish. Last night I reserved it and added it to the gravy for some extra flavour.

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Old 01-05-2009, 01:03 AM   #3
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The only meat I wash is poultry. I am not sure if that is the correct thing to do, but it is true for me LOL.
And I took like the juice to be there when I am either searing it, putting it in the slow cooker, or making a gravy. Like anything else, I just make sure it gets thoroughly cooked up.
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:06 AM   #4
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No need to wash. Just dry the meat with some paper towels before cooking. Starting with a dry meat surface makes browning much easier.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:14 AM   #5
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I'm with Andy. I just take it out of the package and dry it with paper towels. I think that the moistness in cooked meat comes from rendered fat, not the residual liquid in the package.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:23 AM   #6
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The USDA actually recommends against washing any meats, including poultry, before cooking, because of the risk of cross-contamination. Here's their factsheet: Washing Food: Does it Promote Food Safety?.

I don't fully agree with them. I general, I don't wash meats or poultry before cooking but sometimes I do. It depends on how it looks. For example, if there's a lot of bone dust, etc., that I can't satisfactorily remove by scraping and wiping, I'll wash it lightly. Also, if the meat feels or looks slimey (but still smells fresh), I'll wash it. With seafood, I sometimes wash with lemon water.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:24 AM   #7
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The food safety folks have stated that one should not wash chicken anymore because of the risk of spreading salmonella around your kitchen. It has been said that if you bring the chicken to the proper temp--you will be fine. Since that time, I have not washed chicken.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:14 AM   #8
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Most people I know, and me included always wash meat and chicken.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:23 AM   #9
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I agree with Andy and that is what I do as well.
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:54 PM   #10
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The "red liquid" in the package is actually serum albumen, which is one of the fluids that makes up blood. This liquid is actually a protein, and will set up just like egg whites (also an albumen). I have been known to use this liquid to help create some extra fond in the pan when I want an extra-rich sauce.

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