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Types of Meat You Can Cook

by Elle Paula

Meat usually comes to mind when you hear the word protein in the context of food. Typically, a serving of meat contains around 7 grams of protein, according to the Mayo Clinic. Most cooking techniques -- braising, roasting, grilling and frying among them -- work with the variety of domestic and wild meats available to home cooks.

Beef

Beef, available as roasts, steaks, ground or shaved beef, organ meats and processed products like hot dogs and beef bacon, lends itself well to many cooking methods. Typically, roasts cook in the oven and steaks are grilled or fried. Shaved beef cooks quickly and works well in fajitas and stir-fried dishes. Organ meats are an acquired taste for many diners and may benefit from a creamy sauce or a dusting with dried dip mix. Regardless of the method of cooking, most types of beef should reach a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. An exception to this rule is ground beef, which must reach a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chicken

Chicken, available as frying or roasting birds, breasts, wings, thighs and drumsticks typically takes less time to cook than beef. Whole chickens are roasted, boiled for soup or grilled on a rotisserie. Versatile breasts, boned or boneless, with skin or without, can be fried, grilled, roasted and or cut into smaller pieces for use in salads, appetizers and stews. Fried wings with creamy dressing are Sunday football favorites. Chicken should cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Turkey

While you may associate turkey with Thanksgiving, this white meat makes a great alternative to chicken. Use ground turkey to replace ground beef in recipes, lowering the total fat content. Whole turkeys are usually roasted for several hours in the oven. Deep-frying whole turkeys is increasing in popularity because of the moist, flavorful result, but this method should only be attempted by professionals. The USDA recommends cooking turkey to an internal minimum temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pork

According to MeatSafety.org, pork is the most widely consumed meat in the world. The "other white meat" is available as roasts, ribs, chops and pork loins. Fried, baked and microwaved bacon and sausage are breakfast staples. Grilling and frying work best with thinner, leaner cuts of pork, which tend to become tough when cooked too long. Roasts with plenty of marbling turn fork tender in the oven or the slow cooker. Cook pork to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

About the Author

Elle Paula has a Bachelor of Science in nutrition from Framingham State College and a certificate in holistic nutrition from the American College of Healthcare Sciences. She is also a licensed aesthetician with advanced training in skincare and makeup. She plans to continue on with her education, complete a master's degree program in nutrition and, ultimately, become a registered dietitian.

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