Friday, July 29, 2011

Shopping For Beef & Pork and Cooking and Serving Meat and Poultry

If you remember, a week ago I shared the list with you on "Smart Tips for Navigating the Meat Case."  If you missed it, you can click HERE to see the post. 

One of my biggest challenges is shopping for beef and pork. Why? Because I don't eat either one. My husband and children, however, LOVE both so I make sure I prepare beef and pork several times throughout the week. It's really a challenge for me because I don't know what tastes the best simply because I don't eat it.

Serving Size:

The average serving size for beef and pork is 3 ounces of cooked meat so you need to start with 4 ounces of raw meat to yield 3 ounces of cooked meat. This is about the size of a deck of cards!

Shopping for Pork:

Modern-day production has reduced pork's fat content.  Despite popular believe, pork is a major contender in the lean meat category and many cuts of pork are as lean or leaner than chicken! (I did not know this!!!)

*For the leanest cuts of pork, look for the word "loin" on the label!

*When you don't have much time for cooking, select a smaller cut like pork chops that can cook quickly

*If you're entertaining, choose a roast that can be put in the oven and requires very little attention while cooking. Flavored and pre-marinated pork products take the mess out of the kitchen and are a convenient way to deliver a delicious meal.

Shopping for Beef:

 Calorie-for-calorie, beef is one of the most nutrient-rich foods to fuel an active and healthy lifestyle. A 3-ounce serving of lean beef contributes less than 10 percent of calories to a 2,000 calorie diet.

* Choose beef with a bright cherry-red color, without any gray or brown blotches. A dark purple-red color is typical for vacuum-packaged beef. Once exposed to oxygen, beef will turn from a dark red to bright red.

* Choose steaks and roasts that are firm to the touch, not soft.

*Always check the “sell by” date on the package label. If you can‟t read it or it‟s not there, dont purchase the package.

Preparing Different Cuts

 Lack of cut familiarity should not serve as an obstacle to preparing delicious meal. In fact, Hormel Foods offers an innovative mobile technology, EZCook, to help alleviate some of the confusion as to how to prepare different cuts. EZCook currently supports Hormel® Always Tender® products and is a great resource for trying new recipes. Many times delicious meals are created without following a recipe, so if you're trying your hand with a new recipe, keep these tips in mind when preparing any meal that includes meat:

How to Cook and Serve Meat and Poultry

Use a meat thermometer to check temperature of meat to ensure accuracy. Use the temperature chart to see more detail on cooking temperatures.

 Uncooked Minimum Temperature

Beef, Ground 160°F

Beef, Roast 145°F

Beef, Steak 145°

Pork, Chop and Roast 145°F

Pork, Ground 160°F

Meat Cooking Tips

* For better browning, pat dry beef steaks, pork chops, cubes, and roasts with a paper towel.

* When roasting or broiling, place beef or pork on the rack in the broiler or roasting pan to allow fat to drip off during cooking.

* Salt beef or pork after cooking or browning. Salt draws out moisture and inhibits browning.

* Turn steaks, roasts, or chops with tongs. Do not use a fork. This pierces the meat and allows juices to escape.

* Turn ground beef and pork with a spatula. Do not flatten patties when cooking. This allows juices to escape.

* Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, not resting in fat or touching bone.

* The secret to moist meatloaf and meatballs is to mix lightly. Over-mixing will result in a firm, compact texture.

* Roasts become firmer and easier to carve when they are allowed to stand 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

Do you "Like" Hormel Foods Recipes on Facebook? Check them out at and take a look at the summer grilling promotion where you can enter to win a brand new grill! 


Horme would like to offer a welcome pack to one lucky reader!

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment with your name and email address and tell me how you make mealtime easier when summer schedules get hectic!

The reader sampler pack includes:

 A reusable Hormel Foods grocery bag

 Hormel® chili with beans

 CHI-CHI‟s salsa

 Hormel® turkey pepperoni packs

Hormel® Always Tender coupon

Good luck and thanks for entering!
Giveaway will end on 8/7 at 11:59 p.m
Winner will be chosen at random via

*In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with Hormel Foods as part of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger Program. Throughout the year I’ll be receiving product, coupons, giveaways and promotions. However, no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own. “


  1. Hmmm, does it count that I make mealtime easier by letting my husband grill :) Actually, we're trying to cook double so we can eat leftovers the following day.
    Stephanie Klemm
    skklemm at gmail dot com

  2. I buy more sandwich items and I chop up fruits and veggies and put them in containers so we can just grab something quick and healthy to snack on.

  3. I do both those things too! Let the hubby grill & cook extra so we have stuff for lunch the next day.
    nineteen19 at blackfoot dot net

  4. Planning ahead helps make meal times easier when schedules are busy. I write what is for dinner on the calendar a week in advance and can easily see what I need to take out of the freezer the night before.
    JLJMommy - ktiegen at yahoo dot com

  5. I like to cook out on the grill. Seems the meals are easier to prepare...hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, steak.
    jackievillano at gmail dot com

  6. I pick one day of the week to make a lot of meals and freeze them so all I have to do is pop them in the oven(lasagna, quiche, etc.)
    deb c
    missdeb1 at earthlink dot net

  7. I make mealtime easier in the summer by eating as FRESH as possible, and grilling outside more to not heat up the house.

    mattles22 at yahoo dot com

  8. I try an grill as much as possible or use crockpot so we dont heat the house up with the oven

  9. I make meal time easier by eating out , that way someone else does the cooking and the cleaning.


  10. (Stephanie Phelps)
    I make mine easier by grilling a lot of our food but first when I go to the market I go ahead and cut all my fresh produce for the grilling! :)

  11. if I have the time I cook in advance and freeze portions. So I can just heat and serve when it gets hectic

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway

    pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. alissa
    alissa4illustration AT hotmail DOT COM

    I make double meals, that way we have left overs for lunch!

  14. I like to have easy things to cook that take little preparing like frozen lasagne, etc. I also like to make salads ahead to go with bought chicken or a bowl of soup etc. Rita Spratlen

  15. Hollie Jahnke
    I prepare alot of things ahead of time.

  16. Sandwiches, salads, beans, grill. Anything quick and easy is great for the summer.
    Maryann D.
    twinkle (at)

  17. We eat alot of fresh salads and things from the is readily there and it is so hot here it is difficult to cook!


I love comments!! Thanks for taking the time!