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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Meat: Rarer is Better

In most cases, the less you cook meat, the healthier it is.

Chicken should always be fully cooked, but duck, lamb, pork, beef, buffalo, and venison don’t need to be.

Cooking meat too much destroys nutrients like vitamins and antioxidants, and damages healthy omega-3 fats.

Cooking meat too much also creates toxic compounds like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Heterocyclic amines (HCAs). These toxins have been linked to several kinds cancer including tumors of the gastrointestinal tract, lung, liver, skin, prostate, breast and blood (leukemia).

For perfectly done meats, cook them until they reach these internal temperatures:
  • Duck breast: 145 to 150ºF (medium rare)
  • Chicken and all other poultry: 165 to 170ºF (thoroughly cooked) 
  • Beef, buffalo, lamb, and venison: 115 to 120ºF (rare) or 125 to 130ºF (medium rare)
  • Pork: 140 to 145ºF (trace of pink)

At temperatures above 170°F, proteins in meat change shape and create new bonds between molecules that make meat tough.

If you need some practice, try this simple recipe for steak with a quick pan sauce:

The Perfect Grass-Fed Steak with Sauce Maison


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