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RealSimple:How to Fix 17 Basic Cooking Mistakes

16 of 18

Slicing Meat Immediately After It’s Cooked

Why it’s bad: When meat is hot, the muscle fibers contract and disperse juice. If you cut into it right away, the juices wind up on the cutting board instead of inside the roast.

Do this instead: Let the meat rest after cooking so the muscles can relax and the juices redistribute (tent it with foil to prevent it from losing too much heat). For large roasts and whole chickens, wait at least 15 minutes before carving (a turkey needs closer to 30). Smaller cuts, like steak, need 5 to 10 minutes. Chops benefit from just a few minutes’ rest—about the amount of time it takes to get them from stove to table. And remember: When slicing steaks and roasts, make sure to cut against the grain. This will break up the ropy fibers, giving you a more tender piece of meat.

(Arthur Mount)

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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