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Reheating/Cooking Instructions

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

These notes serve as an overview for preparation and cooking of meats.

Storing

The Texas Steak Warehouse meats are vacuum sealed in plastic wrap, or wrapped in a specially-coated butcher paper.  This special packaging keeps the meat fresh and flavorful up to 1 year in your freezer.

Thawing

Do not thaw at room temperature.  For best results, thaw in the refrigerator for a day or two, until well-thawed (soft to the touch).   This allows for juicier, more flavorful steaks, pork, poultry and seafood.  Remove steaks or other items from their container and place in a single layer on a tray.  Always leave the wrapper on while thawing.

For quicker (though less preferable) thawing...thaw items in cold water while still in their wrapper.  For example, Filet Mignon will take approximately 20-25 minutes to thaw.

Although microwave ovens provide an alternative for thawing your steaks, it is our least recommended method.  If you choose to thaw your steaks in the microwave, here are the steps: Leave meat in wrapping, do not puncture, and watch carefully.  When the outer portions thaw, remove.  Standing time will complete thawing in the center.  Meats thawed in the microwave will cook too fast, will lose more of their natural juices, and therefore the final product will be drier and less tender than when thawed in the refrigerator.

Re-freezing

Meat that is thawed to refrigerated temperatures (36°F to 40°F) can be re-frozen.  Re-freeze defrosted meat within 1-2 days of holding at refrigerated temperatures.  Do not re-freeze defrosted meat that is held at room temperature for more than two hours.  If the vacuum wrap has been removed, re-wrap the steaks in a wrapper suitable for frozen products.

Cooking

  • When cooking your steaks, follow times shown in the Steak Cooking Chart .  
  • The Steak Cooking Chart serves as a guideline for grilling, however, cooking time will vary with weather, fire, placement on the grill and degree of doneness desired, so check food carefully.  
  • Turn your steak over when the meat juices start to bubble up through the meat to the top of the steak. 
  • To test for doneness, press the meat with the flat part of a fork, or if you're brave, your finger. 
  • Rare meat will be soft and wobbly, medium will have a springy firmness and well done will feel very firm and unyielding. 
  • A steak will cook a little after you remove it from the grill or oven, so stop cooking when the steak tests slightly less done than desired. 
  • For great results every time, use an instant read kitchen thermometer. 
    • Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of your steak, hamburger, or chops where there is no bone or marbling. 
    • Thermometer readings should be 120°F to 125°F for rare, 130°F to 135°F for medium rare, and 140°F to 145°F for medium. 
  • Steaks are optimum in flavor and texture when cooked to no more than medium doneness. 
  • The internal temperature for medium well steak is 155°F and well done 160°F. 
  • Over-cooking causes greater shrinkage and decreased tenderness.

Cooking from Frozen

It is preferable to cook from a thawed state. Cooking from frozen will result in drier and less tender meat.  If you cook from frozen, place meat farther from heat when broiling or grilling.  Broil or grill 1 1/2 to 2 times the required time for unfrozen items.  Roast 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 times that required for unfrozen roasts. (continued on back).

Toaster Ovens

Satisfactory results can be obtained with this method.  Use temperatures and times listed for oven baking.  Slight time adjustments may be necessary.  Consult your oven owner's manual.

Conventional Ovens

Times and temperatures in this guide are based on conventional ovens.  Keep in mind that household current can affect the temperature in a conventional electric oven, particularly at peak load times.  If you are in doubt as to whether your oven is regulated correctly, an oven thermometer can be invaluable in the accurate preparation of your products from Gourmet Foods.  When cooking several items in the oven at the same time, make sure there is sufficient space between the foods so that hot air can circulate around them.  For multiple item, roasting time and temperature do not need to be increased.

Broiling in the Oven

Broiling is a rapid, high heat cooking method that is used for tender cuts of meat and fish.  A two-part pan is used for broiling meat.  Always preheat the oven.  Turn oven control to "Broil" and leave the oven door ajar, when using an electric oven.  Check to make sure the food is 2-3" away from the heat.

Roasting

All of our roasts are especially easy to prepare in the oven.  You will want to leave the roasts uncovered so they will brown nicely for you.  If a roast has a netting, leave it on while cooking.  A meat thermometer is the most accurate way to determine doneness in large cuts of meat.  Thermometer readings should be 120°-130°F for rare, 130°-140°F for medium-rare, and 140°-150°F for medium.

Convection Ovens

With convection ovens you can roast in 1/3 less time or bake at temperatures 25-50 degrees lower than a conventional oven.  Please take the time to check your owner's manual regarding the type of cooking pans recommended for use in your convection oven.

Microwave Ovens

Many of our items (sausages, franks, etc.) can be prepared in the microwave.  Red meats, roasts, steaks and chops are at their best when cooked by traditional broilers, grills, and ovens.  Tender red meats cook unevenly in the microwave oven.  Microwaving does not result in the characteristic flavor and appearance, and it is difficult to achieve the exact doneness desired.

Grilling Techniques

Although there are many shapes and sizes of outdoor grills (gas and charcoal), there are some general tips that apply to almost all outdoor cooking.
A grill lid regulates temperature.  
Keeping the lid on will speed up cooking time and reduce flare-ups. 
Raising the lid lowers the temperature.  
Always preheat a grill and if you're using charcoal, and let the charcoal acquire a thin coating of gray ash and red glow. 
The Steak Cooking Chart can serve as a basis for grilling, however, keep in mind that cooking time will vary with weather, fire, placement on the grill and degree of doneness desired, so check food carefully. 
Cooking bone-in cuts will take slightly longer than boneless cuts.


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