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Culinary Food handling, food prep: Best Practices

Discussion in 'The Burrow' started by Zombie, Sep 12, 2017.

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  1. Story Content: Food Safety: Egg Cracking
    Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    A thread to share your food handling techniques, and best practices for food safety. Here you can talk about FIFO, COOL signing, cold and hot chain.

    I'll start; something people don't think about. Crack an egg on a flat surface. If you use an edged surface you're introducing bacteria into something that is sterile. As well as you're more likely to get bits of shell in your eggs.
     
  2. Story Content: Heat v. Toxins
    pbluekan

    pbluekan Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    Let's talk temperatures and toxins. The purpose of cooking is threefold:
    1. Cooking breaks down complex protein structures and carbohydrates making it easier to digest.
    2. Cooking kills most all pathogens when internal temperatures reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Red meats don't have to be cooked through entirely.
    3. Cooking denatures a few toxins that have leeched into the food.
    However, most bacterial toxins will not denature until much higher temperatures are reached. This makes them still toxic, and is why food poisoning can have symptoms begin within hours or take as long as days.

    Immediate Onset:
    Caused by toxins present in food, not necessarily the pathogen itself.

    Delayed Onset:
    Caused by the pathogen present in the food.

    What this means, is this: if you have food that is spoiled, getting rid of "the bad part" does little to nothing, and will likely make you sick. It also means that cooking the spoiled food or the "unspoiled portion" will still likely make you sick as the toxins are still there.

    If food, particularly dairy, meat, and poultry products are past their sell dates check them carefully for discoloration and smell. If they are more than a week and a half past, throw them out. You can't always see or smell a problem.

    If something is moudly, throw it out. Period. Do not bother picking off the mould. Mould has spores, and if you can even see a bit of mould, then the entire product is coated in spores.

    Obligatory Edit: Mould on cheese is a vastly different story.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  3. Story Content: Cheese Mold
    Perspicacity

    Perspicacity High Score: 3,994 Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Molds on hard cheeses can be cut away safely. Also, molds on cheeses like brie or camembert are fine to eat.
     
  4. Story Content: Cheese Mold Cont.
    Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Cheese mold is delicious. It's the white specks on the rinds of aged cheddar that give it the sharp nutty flavor.

    There's a distinction between cheese mold (that's supposed to be there) and moldy cheese (which isn't).

    If it's furry, walk away.
     
  5. Story Content: Cook Temps
    Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    If you don't know, then you will now, Internal Temps for meat that is safe to eat.



    Pork: 145F or 62.7C. This includes loin, chops, roast. Suggested rest time* is 3 minutes because the meat will continue to cook off the heat.

    Beef, Veal, and Lamb: 145F or 62.7C is also a given. You need to rest these as well, 3 minutes is the minimum amount of time, but resting is also a part of cooking and allows the meat to retain its moisture instead of bleeding out if you cut it up right of the pan.

    Fish and Shellfish: 145F or 62.7C, you can do a rest time with this, but you don't have to.

    Ground Meat (Beef, Pork, Chicken, Turkey): 160F or 71C No rest time required.
    Poultry: 165F or 73.8C No rest time required.

    Anyone in fast food/casual/restaurant should be aware of this already as its part of your Holding Temp/Cook Temp SOP. For the at home cook, an internal thermometer is your best friend, ever. If you don't have one, I'd suggest you buy one.

    One last one, Leftovers: heat to 165F or 73.8C before consumption. I know the urge to just pull it out of the fridge and eat it works for you half the time, but wait until you get a intestinal infection because you couldn't wait for the lo mein to warm back up.

    @pbluekan: Sorry, didn't mean to gank your post, but I didn't see many temps listed.


    *Rest time is defined as the amount of time the meat remains at the final temperature after being removed from the heatsource.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  6. thoriyan

    thoriyan Slug Club Member

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    You can kill the bacteria in red meat at 125F or 135F in a sous-vide type of application, provided you hold it at temp for an extended period of time
     
  7. Story Content: Removing Moisture
    Matian

    Matian Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    Wiping away the moisture from any steak or chicken breasts makes them deliciously tender.

    Use a paper towel (like one of those you wipe your nose with because they won't stick to the meat) to wipe the moisture off with, then rub the meat with salt, let it rest for 15 min, then wipe it off again, including some of the salt. The salt help bring out even more moisture. If you do it correctly you'll see the "grains" running along the meat.

    Remember not to use too much salt.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  8. Story Content: Room Temp Cook
    Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    When cooking steak, let it be at room temperature before you put it in the oven. Much like wiping the moisture off of it, makes the end result juicer, and you're able to get a consistent sear without overcooking it.
     
  9. Randeemy

    Randeemy Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Harold McGee's Keys to good cooking is an excellent book for explaining food hygiene, the best way to cook foods and the science behind what happens when you heat things, be it sous vide, confit, direct heat or convection.

    He also busts some common cooking myths such as searing meat to seal in juices, and pork being a white meat.

    I happily cook chicken in a water bath to 66c as the bacteria can't live past 62.7°c, fish around 45c.
     
  10. Story Content: Toxins Cont.
    pbluekan

    pbluekan Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    Totes cool. I probably should have addressed it, but I was mainly angling for the "just because you've heated it doesn't mean it's good" message.

    A few other food safety honorable mentions:

    Clostridium botulinum - This is basically a worthless concern for adults, but nearly had a heart attack watching my godson's mother feed him honey. C. botulinum, otherwise known as botulism is a spore forming bacteria commonly present in spore form in honey. All honey. When active, it produces a muscle relaxant known as Botulinum Toxin, or Botox. The spores are almost impossible to kill. Bacterial spores will last in the dirt, in space, wherever the fuck you please, for as long as it takes for the environment to be suitable. They are also small enough that filtering them all out is next to impossible.

    So. You cannot kill them.

    In adults, our immune system is developed enough to kill off the bacteria once it germinates in our digestive tract and we are none the wiser. In babies, the spores will germinate, grow, and then flood the infant's system with botulism toxin. Once it get to this point, it is fatal.

    There is no such thing as botulism free honey (at least none I would trust) and you cannot get rid of the spores. So don't give babies honey. Don't give them anything with honey in it or on it. Don't give it here, don't give it there, don't give it anywhere.

    For this same reason, don't give babies food that was canned at home, or food from a damaged can. Food canned at home commonly contains botulism spores. It's just part of what happens. Store bought cans are prepared in far more sterile environments than your kitchen, at least as far as food borne illness is concerned.

    Listeria monocytogenes - I'll be short with this one. Don't give hotdogs to babies or pregnant women. At all. It's like one of the leading causes of miscarriage.

    Sorry, I've diverged a little bit from food prep and handling, but I spent four years on this shit, I'll use it when I damn well can.
     
  11. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    If you're ever cooking for someone you love, or someone important. Never cook a new recipe or try a new ingredient you're not familiar with. Looks better on you to execute something you know well, and your meal doesn't taste awful because of your unfamiliarity with the ingredients..
     
  12. Jeram

    Jeram Elder of Zion DLP Supporter

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    I've been looking for a goof meat thermometer to measure temps for meat, but I'm not sure the right one. I've seen a few listed on lifehacker, but I haven't tried them myself. I do want to sing the praises of convection ovens; if you can use one, it's great.
     
  13. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I have a Lavatool Javelin Pro, little one handed thing that's pretty great and its cheap. Then I have one I can keep in the oven as well to monitor internal temperate as things cooks, can't remember the brand of it though.

    Don't really need to spend too much money on these things, you're basically just trading one feature for another when you spend more than 30 bucks on one, and you just need it to tell temp, not check email and send faxes.
     
  14. General_Max

    General_Max Squib

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    The big thing I have always stressed in my kitchen is the danger zone. Between the temperatures of 40F to 140F or 4 to 60C, bacteria grows exponentially. Make sure fridge is below that temperature and your product and health will be better off.


    When sealing food whether for prolonged storage or in bags for use such as sous vide, first make sure the receptacles your food are going into are clean. After that, make sure the food going into the receptacles have been cooled properly before sealing. If either of these steps are compromised, you run the risk of contaminated food.

    For a cooking tip for seafood and to build on what zombie has said, If you are looking for a beautiful golden brown crust from pan searing, make sure your product has been patted down for excess moisture. As well, use a hot pan for searing. If you presenting the fish with the notable crust or of a fish with skin more notably trout or salmon, make sure to season the fish on the flesh side only but sear the side you will have showing first.
     
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