Slow cooking has become increasingly popular over the last few years and it’s easy to see why. Not only is the meat more tender and flavorful, but it’s also a relatively simple cooking method that requires little labor.
But what is the slow-and-low method and how does it make the food taste so good? Below we take a look at all there is to know about this easy and effective BBQ cooking style that will have your guests begging for more!
What Does Cooking ‘Slow-and-Low’ Mean?
Cooking slow-and-low simply means the method of cooking food at a low temperature for a long period of time. This method is often used when barbecuing and smoking meat.
While this isn’t the fastest cooking style, the wait is always worth it. The flavor and tenderness of the meat are unbeatable!
Plus, because the meat cooks at a very low temperature over a longer period of time, you are free to get on with your day without having to constantly monitor your food.
The Benefits of Cooking ‘Slow-and-Low’
There are so many benefits to this cooking method. Not only does it make the meat far juicier and more tender but it also works with all kinds of meats.
No matter your preference, this cooking method works well with whole cuts of pork, beef, lamb, and even veal. So, the slow-and-low method is bound to produce amazing results for your favorite cut and type of meat.
Your meat will be juicier and more tender
The longer cooking time and the low heat complement each other perfectly. As a result, even though the meat is cooked for far longer, it doesn’t dry out because the temperature is low.
As a result, this is the best way to retain all the natural juices of the meat. It also makes the meat far more flavorful.
Moreover, the slow-and-low method ensures you get that fall-off-the-bone tender meat. The same results just aren’t achieved when cooking meat on high heat for a shorter period of time.
You’ll have more time to enjoy
While the process itself takes a while, you don’t have to be there to monitor it the whole time like you would with a regular BBQ. So, this gives you more time to enjoy your day and time with family and friends.
All you need to do is replenish the smoker supplies now and then and check on the fire every hour or so.
This means you get to actually socialize and enjoy entertaining and not just stand behind the barbecue.
The Slow-Cooking Method: What Happens To The Food
The most important part of the slow cooking method is to get the collagen in the meat to melt. When this happens (usually at around 160°F), the collagen turns into gelatin which gives the meat more flavor.
The science behind melting the collagen and how it cooks in the meat is exactly what makes slow-cooking unbeatable.
First, at around 105°F and 122°F, cathepsins and calpains start deactivating. These are the enzymes in the meat. When this step occurs, we say the meat is aging.
At 120°F, the meat will start to turn pinkish. This is due to the coagulated clumps in the meat and is what ultimately makes the meat so tender.
At around 140°F to 160°F, the meat is not in its best state. It’s chewy as most of its juices have drained and the collagen has started to shrink. But, the slow-and-low method is what helps to get the meat over this stage and to the perfect texture.
So, the best stage of the process occurs at 160°F. That’s the point where the collagen starts to melt and turns into gelatin. This makes the meat tender and juicy. Even though the meat is a little drier, one doesn’t notice it because it’s so tender.
Enjoy Juicier, More Flavorful Meat
If you’re thinking of hosting a barbecue with friends and family, consider the slow-and-low method. Not only will you be able to enjoy the day and socialize with everyone, but you will have them begging for the recipe! Plus, this unbeatable method is perfect for any type and cut of meat.
For juicier, more flavorful meat the slow-cooking method will always come out on top!