Helpful Hints In the Kitchen: Part 4, Main Dishes

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern



Have you ever cooked a meal with one of your parents or grandparents and they showed you a cool trick or shortcut you didn’t know before? Well thanks to Southwest Family Citrus, we have a whole series of them for you! Make sure to check back next week for more tips.


  1. Use little oil when preparing sauces and marinades for red meats. Fat from the meat will render out during cooking and will provide plenty of flavor. Certain meats, like ribs and pot roast, can be parboiled before grilling to reduce the fat content.
  2. When trying to reduce your fat intake, buy the leanest cuts you can find. Fat will show up as a opaque white coating or can also run through the meat fibers, as marbling. Although most of the fat (the white coating) can be trimmed away, there isn’t much that can be done about the marbling. Stay away from well-marbled cuts of meat.
  3. Home from work late with no time for marinating meat? Pound meat lightly with a mallet or rolling pin, pierce with a fork, sprinkle lightly with meat tenderizer, and add marinade. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes, and you’ll have succulent, tender meat.
  4. Marinating is a cinch if you use a plastic bag. The meat stays in the marinade and it’s easy to turn and rearrange. Cleanup is easy; just toss the bag.
  5. It’s easier to thinly slice meat if it’s partially frozen.
  6. Tomatoes added to roasts will help to naturally tenderize them. Tomatoes contain an acid that works well to break down meats.
  7. Whenever possible, cut meats across the grain; the will be easier to eat and have a better appearance.
  8. When frying meat, sprinkle paprika over it to turn it golden brown.
  9. Thaw all meats in the refrigerator for maximum safety.
  10. Refrigerate poultry promptly after purchasing. Keep it in the coldest section of your refrigerator for up to two days. Freeze poultry for longer storage. Never leave poultry at room temperature for more than two hours.
  11. If you’re microwaving skinned chicken, cover the baking dish with vented clear plastic wrap to keep the chicken moist.
  12. Lemon juice rubbed on fish before cooking will enhance the flavor and help maintain a good color.
  13. Scaling a fish is easier if vinegar is rubbed on the scales first.


Find more cooking tips on Fill Your Plate’s blog!

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This entry was posted in Beef, Chicken, Cooking, Food, Food Facts, Food Safety, Grocery, Health Tips, Healthy Eating, Heart Health, In the Kitchen, Pork, Protein and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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