Cheflebrity Smörgåsbord: Do You Take Out Your Meat?


First up, a quick, semi-selfish cooking question:  Despite having watched a lot of food shows and read a lot of cookbooks, I haven’t found a definitive answer to the question that I encounter during quite a few meals.  Namely:  Should you take your meat out of the refrigerator before cooking to raise the temperature?

I’m not talking about a pork shoulder…I know you need to bring that up a bit or it will never cook evenly.  I’m thinking about cuts like pork chops, beef and even chicken, where you want to get the meat to reach the right internal temperature during cooking just as you achieve outer-browning Nirvana.

And so I turn to you, dear readers.  Is there a hard and fast rule that can be used here?  What will work without sending me to the emergency room in a cold sweat?

The smörg is always the right temperature.

–  We just can’t get enough Fabio!  Last year, he couldn’t find a taker for his proposal, so he self-published a cookbook. Now ALL the ladies (and publishers) love them some Fabio.

– This year’s Great American Dine Out will feature Food Network’s Aaron McCargo as a spokesman.  Cool: You eat out and money goes to Share Our Strength.  As if you needed another excuse to go out and stuff your face.

After the jump…a look at Virtual Susie Fogelson, a lawsuit that can’t possibly be frivolous and a fantastic new accomplishment for the Smörgåsbord.

– A preview of the new Wii Food Network cooking game reveals that, “A cartoon version of Food Network exec Susie Fogelson…makes a sour grimace if you serve up a particularly unappetizing dish.”  In other words, I can pay $49.99 for the privilege of having my video game do the exact same thing Mrs. TVFF will do for free.

– Wolfgang Puck is the subject of a slip-and-fall lawsuit for — I kid you not — “an overly slick finish on its wood floor.”  How about someone sues him for those terrible appearances on Home Shopping Network?

Eat Me Daily provides a clever collection of photos of the newly revealed New York Times food critic Frank Bruni’s doppelgängers.  Ladies and gentlemen, I can’t tell you how proud I am about today’s post.  We have DOUBLED our usual allotment of umlauts and we didn’t even have to resort to a Spinal Tap reference.

(Photo: Derek Dysart)

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  • Michael Cook August 6, 2009  

    No, never take your meat out of the refrigerator, not even pork shoulder. As long as it’s not frozen, it won’t make a bit of difference in cooking time or method. The temperature difference between refrigerated and room temperature is nothing compared with a hot pan or grill.

    With pork shoulder (or brisket) you are supposed to have it up to an internal temperature of 140 within 4 hours, so there is a safety issue there. Also, your “smoke” ring forms under that temperature so you can have your meat sitting on your counter growing bacteria or you be creating an awesome smoke ring. Don’t worry about uneven cooking, it’s low and slow baby!

  • Mrs. TVFF August 7, 2009  

    And when EXACTLY have I made the Susie Fogelson face in reaction to your cooking? Never! 🙂

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