Whenever the topic of improving diet and lifestyle comes up, a constant pushback (ahem… Excuse) I hear is “but I can’t cook meat / fish”. This quick post is here to help you out.
For those looking for the TLDR, it reduces down to this: Use less heat, cook with more fat, and be patient.
First ingredient? Confidence. While you shouldn’t be scared to mess around with new proteins and cooking methods, start simple! Pick up a basic frying pan and grab an easy to use meat thermometer, then go from there!
My secrets to protein cooking success are:
1) Simmer down! Keep the heat at medium or medium-low on the stovetop, and 350 degrees in the oven. Beginners will crank the heat way too hot – panic – and things burn. Start slow, and just let time do the rest. Ps: my smoke alarm still goes off regularly, it’s ok!
2) Grease up! When cooking, the main reason your food sticks / burns / doesn’t flip nicely is not adding enough cooking fat to your pan. So when your pan has heated up (allow 2-3 minutes at least), toss TWICE the amount of oil or butter you think is appropriate. Then add a little more. No need to pour all the cooking fat on to the finished product, but for a successful pan-fry (eggs, fish, chicken, steak etc) your pan needs the fat. You’re welcome!
3) Patience. Don’t start cooking when already ravenous, or your children are grabbing your ankles begging for snacks. You will set yourself up to fail, cut your cook short, or increase the heat to speed things up. These are panic decisions that will lead to lacklustre results, most protein needs time! So start with a little time in the bank. Chop and prepare your ingredients as your oven / pan is heating up. Take it easy, enjoy, and your results will consistently improve & occasionally magic.
That’s all, it’s really that simple. Use less heat, more fat, and be patient. You will gain confidence in your own abilities, small steps will lead to success.
Ciao til next time!