GUIDE TO DRY AND MOIST HEAT
COOKING METHODS

There are billions of recipes gathered from all over the world. Some are passed down from generation to generation and others are new and announced to the world as the next best thing in culinary genius.

Meat recipes abound everywhere; however, while sifting through these delicious recipes, you can narrow the meat cooking methods down to two basic groups. They are the Dry Heat Method and the Moist Heat Method.

Both bring out a distinctive flavour in your meat. The method that you use will depend on your meat cut and what you intend to do with it. The success of your dinner depends greatly on your choice of cooking method.

To choose the right method will depend on these factors:

  • The tenderness of your meat
  • The connective tissue that your meat possesses
  • How much fat is in your meat
  • The thickness and size of your meat cut
  • Your time constraints

DRY HEAT METHOD


dry-heat-cooking-method


The Dry Heat Cooking Method uses the fat and hot air to cook the meat to desired temperatures. Moisture plays a very minimal part here.

Cooking with this method leaves your meat with a rich, more distinct flavour due to the browning of the meat and the caramelization that develops.

This method is perfect for cooking tender to medium cuts or meat. It does not use liquid but can use the fat that drips from the meat as it is cooking or added cooking oils.

Dry Heat Cooking Methods Include:

ROASTING (BAKING):

stir-frying-method

With this method, the meat is cooked in an uncovered pot used in the oven. This method can also be done over a spit in a rotisserie oven or over an open flame.


GRILLING-BROILING

stir-frying-method

This type of Dry Heat cooking is done quickly using direct heat from either gas or electric options. The meat can be cooked over the heat source or under it, depending on the conveyance used.


BRAAIING

stir-frying-method

This quick cooking method is done on a rack over a gas powered or charcoal flamed grill.


PAN GRILLING (Not Pan-frying)

stir-frying-method

This method does use the heavy iron skillet but is not constituted as traditional pan-frying. Pan-grilling is done on a pre-heated dry heavy skillet or griddle pan which has been coated for non-stick purposes but no other grease is added except your meat’s own drippings.


FAN GRILLING

This unique method uses a multi-function oven with radiant heat coming from an upper element and a fan that circulates the heated air. This device is thermostat controlled.


SHALLOW PAN-FRYING

This popular technique requires the pan to be shallow and to fry the meat in a small amount of oil. Usually, this is done uncovered. It is great for thin cuts.


STIR-FRYING

stir-frying-method

This method cooks finely chopped or cut meat in a wok with hot oil over high heat. The meat is slightly tossed regularly to keep it from burning.


SAUTÉ

saute

This is a lot like stir-frying. Thinly cut meats are cooked in a shallow pan with hot oil. It is agitated regularly by tossing or stirring to keep cooking.


SEARING

searing-method

Meat is cooked with this method, at a high temperature in a shallow pan until a caramelised crust forms.


DEEP-FRYING

deep-frying

This method cooks the meat in a deep pot of hot oil or fat. These are vastly different than the Moist Heat Method which takes more time to cook your meat but also leaves it more tender and steeped in flavour.



MOIST HEAT METHOD


braising-moist-cooking-method



This method uses steam or a heated liquid in the form of water, broths or sauces to cook your food.

Dry Heat Cooking Methods Include:


SLOW-COOKING

slow-cooking-method

This method is usually done in a crock-pot using water or broth to slowly cook your meat over a long period of time.


STEWING

stewing

The cooking method requires a lot of time as it is a slow procedure. Meat is cooked into small pieces and cooked in stock, water or sauce. It is cooked in a covered pan on the stove with spices and vegetables added.


CASSEROLE

cassarole

This method is dryer than a stew but still requires liquid in a minimal amount. Meat is cut into small pieces and added along with vegetables and often pasta, in a pot or oven-safe covered dish. This method can be accomplished on the stove top or in the oven.


BRAISING

The cooking method is simple to accomplish. Brown your meat in a pan with some oil. Then, put it in a covered dish to cook slowly with added water or broth. This is usually done to meats before they finish cooking in a slow-cooker.


SIMMERING

To simmer your meat, put it in a shallow pan with liquid then bring to a boil. Cook your meat at a temperature just below a boil. This can be done in a covered or uncovered skillet.


BOILING

boiling

This is one of the easiest ways to cook meat. Simply put your meat in a pot with enough water to cover. The pot can be covered or uncovered. Bring to boil and allow to cook.


PRESSURE COOKING

This method uses a pressure cooker that will cook the food quicker than any other Moist Heat method. The pressure is developed by boiling water or broth inside the enclosed cooker. The trapped steam raises the internal temperatures.

The differences between these two methods are very different. One isn’t better than the other and the choice of which to use depends on the recipe that you wish to make and the cut of meat involved.