KC Masterpiece® Tips

Cooking Tips

Recommended Cooking Times

  • Use a meat thermometer to help determine that you are cooking your meat adequately. Place the tip of the thermometer through the side and into the thickest part of a steak or roast. For poultry, place the thermometer into the thigh or breast. In either case, make certain the thermometer is not touching bone.
  • Proper cooking temperatures (as provided by the United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service):
    • Steaks and chops
      • Beef, veal, lamb, ostrich and bison
        • Medium-rare 145° F
        • Medium 160° F
        • Well-done 170° F
      • Pork and venison
        • Medium 160° F
        • Well-done 170° F
    • Burgers and ground meat
      • Beef, veal, lamb, ostrich, bison and venison — 160° F
      • Chicken and turkey — 165° F
    • Sausages and hot dogs
      • Precooked sausages and hot dogs — 165° F
      • Uncooked sausages (beef, pork) — 160° F
    • Poultry
      • Whole chicken or turkey — 180° F
      • Thighs, wings and drumsticks — 180° F
      • Breasts — 170° F
    • Fish & Seafood
      • Fish — cook until opaque and flakes easily with a fork
      • Scallops — should turn milky white or opaque and firm
      • Shrimp and lobster — shell should turn red and flesh should become pearly opaque

Cooking Tips and Ideas

  • Generally, we recommend waiting until the last few minutes of cooking to apply barbecue sauce. Putting the sauce on too early may cause it to burn.
  • After cooking or grilling large cuts of meat, cover with foil and allow meat to "rest" for approximately 10 minutes before cutting. Doing so will make carving much easier and give "cleaner" cuts.
  • To get steaks to hold their shape, before cooking tie a single piece of string around the outside circumference of the meat. This is particularly helpful with filet mignon and pork tenderloin medallions.
  • To prevent steaks from curling when hot off the grill or from the broiler, prior to cooking slash the outer layer of fat around the steak every 1-2 inches.
  • When making homemade hamburgers with lean meat, mix in a few pieces of chipped ice. This will help retain moisture whether grilling of broiling.
  • To slice raw meat uniformly or in thin slices, partially freeze the meat first.
  • If you don't have time to bake a large homemade meatloaf, purchase ready-made meatloaf mixtures from the butcher. Pack the meat in muffin tins and top with KC Masterpiece® Barbecue Sauce before baking. You can easily cut the cooking time in half.

Cooking Tools

  • To maximize the juiciness of meats, use tongs instead of a fork during cooking. Piercing meat with a fork will cause the juices to run out during cooking.
  • If you like to broil your meat, and want to help simplify cleanup, pour a small amount of water in the bottom of the broiler pan. The water will catch and dilute the drippings, preventing burn-ons.
  • If you don't like cleaning a basting brush, try using some long, firm, fresh herb sprigs tied together with string – you've fashioned a disposable brush that adds flavor. Rosemary and thyme make particularly good brushes.
  • When using bamboo skewers to make kabobs, soak the skewers in hot water for at least 30 min. This will keep the skewers from burning.
  • When using foil to cook, the dull (non-shiny) side should be in contact with the food.
  • If you hate the mess of mixing meatloaf or other foods, use a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag like Glad® Zipper Storage Bags for "massaging" the ingredients together.