4 Things you Need to Know About Meat Quality

Everything you need to know about meat quality-- buying, preparing, and cooking it-- is something of a science. What do you need to consider when buying meat? Should you wash it before cooking or grilling it? How do you know when your meat has spoiled? These are question's we've all had! It’s time for Otto to answer them.

Meat quality: fresh vs. frozen
Have you ever bought too much meat? Or, better yet, have you had a friend give you half of his freshly hunted wild boar? You don’t want it to spoil, so you put it in the freezer. Freezing is your best option when the other choice is to waste meat. However, when you're buying meat, it's always best to buy fresh rather than frozen. Why? It’s quite simple: when you freeze meat, the muscle cells break down. When you defrost frozen meat, those liquids are released– liquids that provide flavor and moisture. So, there’s no contest when it comes to meat quality: go for fresh meat.

For braised recipes, such as good old German goulash, you can bend the rules and buy frozen meat since you will be slow cooking the meat in the stew and the liquids will add flavor to the broth. And remember, whether frozen or fresh, choose a high-quality meat, not only for better taste, but for increased nutrition. Need a refresher on the different cuts of beef? Check out Otto’s steak chart!

Steak Cuts

Rinsing meat: yes or no?
Many people rinse their meat before cooking it to get rid of potential bacteria. This is unnecessary. If there are any pathogens on your meat at all, they will not survive the heat of the grill. This is true even when you cook your meat in a regular old stovetop pan. Now imagine that at 1,500˚F on your Otto Steak Grill! By rinsing your meat, you only risk spreading bacteria around your sink. It is crucial that your meat be dry if you intend to sear it or create a caramelized crust. To achieve this, we recommend salting your quality meat 30 minutes prior to cooking, then wiping it off with a paper towel before placing it on the grill.

Has your meat spoiled?
It sounds too simple, but there’s only one way to notice spoilage: smell it! Good meat should not smell like anything. Only dry-aged meat may have a slight smell, but that’s another story… So, if your meat has even the slightest off-putting smell, please don’t use it. If your meat has a slight sheen on the surface or feels sticky, it’s a clear sign of spoilage – please don’t use it! We hate to waste food too, especially quality meat, but it is crucial to your health not to grill meat that seems even the slightest bit spoiled.

Does meat need to be room temperature before grilling it?
We recommend taking your meat out of the fridge an hour before grilling it on your Otto Grill. Season your meat right out of the fridge so that the spices can be absorbed, starting with the perfect way to salt your meat. Then, when your grill is ready, dry off your cut of meat before grilling it to achieve that golden, crispy crust.

Now that you know you're cooking with quality meat, check out Otto’s checklist for grilling the perfect steak.


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