Ask questions, get

Knowledge

Knowledge

Want to know more about meat nutrition? Food safety? Our tips for a well stocked kitchen? Check our our knowledge section for answers to frequently asked meat questions.

Health FAQ's

What is a lean cut of meat?

Lean meat is a term controlled by the USDA, and cuts that are termed a lean cut need to meet specific nutritional guidelines. These cuts are excellent ways to incorporate nutritious protein into your diet. Here are the guidelines for a cut to be considered lean:

  • Lean Meat – per 3 oz. cooked serving:
    • Less than 10 grams total fat
    • Less than 4.5 grams saturated fat
    • Less than 95 milligrams cholesterol
  • Extra Lean Meat – per 3 oz. cooked serving:
    • Less than 5 grams total fat
    • Less than 2 grams saturated fat
    • Less than 95 milligrams cholesterol
What cuts of beef are lean?

Many cuts of beef are lean, nutritious cuts of meat. Generally, cuts from the round or loin are the most lean cuts. Remember, lean meats can get tough if they’re overcooked. We recommend using low and slow methods of cooking and not cooking these cuts beyond medium (140ºF). Here’s a list of cuts of beef are considered either extra lean or lean.

  • Extra Lean
    • Eye of Round Roast / Steak
    • Rump Roast
  • Lean
    • Round Steaks / Cube Steaks
    • New York Strip Steaks
    • Flank Steaks
    • Whole Tenderloins / Tenderloin Filets
    • Brisket Flats
    • Tri Tip Steaks
    • T-Bone Steaks
    • Ground Sirloin
What cuts of chicken are lean?

Chicken is naturally a very lean protein, but if you don’t watch carefully, you can pick a cut that isn’t lean. The skin of chicken does contain fat, so you want to make sure you select boneless, skinless products if you’re trying to select lean cuts. As an alternative to chicken, turkey also produces flavorful and lean white meat. Here’s a list of lean cuts of poultry:

  • Extra Lean
    • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
    • Boneless Skinless Turkey Breasts
  • Lean
    • Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
    • Ground Chicken
    • Ground Turkey
What cuts of pork are lean?

It’s easy to eat lean with pork. While pulled pork from the pork shoulder, bacon, and hams may not be lean cuts, much of the middle, loin portion of the pig is considered lean. Feel free to grill, BBQ, and sauté away on these lean cuts of pork:

  • Extra Lean
    • Pork Tenderloin
  • Lean
    • Pork Loin Chops
    • Boneless Pork Loin Roasts

Kitchen FAQ's

What basic seasonings does LGCM recommend I keep in my kitchen?

We try to keep our recipes simple so that you don’t have to make a trip to a specialty spice store every time you want to make a recipe you see on our website. Some recipes call for exotic ingredients, but you’ll be able to make most of our recipes with these items:

BASIC STAPLES

  • Salt – we generally use kosher for most purposes.
  • Black Pepper – we like to use fresh ground pepper for extra flavor.
  • Olive oil and vegetable oil – vegetable oil works better for cooking many recipes, but olive oil has better flavor.
  • All-purpose flour.
  • White & brown sugar.

SEASONING BLENDS

  • LGCM Ultimate Steak & Roast Rub or other similar Montreal-style blend for beef.
  • BBQ seasoning blend – our Rump Rubs or Pork Barbecue Spice are excellent choices.
  • Italian seasoning blend.
  • Taco / Fajita / Southwest seasoning blend.

BASIC SPICES

  • Dried basil.
  • Cayenne pepper.
  • Chili powder.
  • Cumin.
  • Garlic powder.
  • Oregano.
  • Paprika.
  • Parsley flakes.
  • Seasoned salt like Lawry’s.

LIQUIDS & SAUCES

  • Broth concentrate like you can get at LGCM – we have beef, chicken and veggie available. They all have long shelf lives and great flavor!
  • Dijon mustard.
  • Hot sauce.
  • Soy sauce.
  • Tomato paste.
  • Vinegar.
  • Worcestershire sauce.
What tools do I need to have for my kitchen?

Just like we do with seasonings, we try to keep the tools needed for our recipes simple. Here are the top 10 tools we recommend you have for your kitchen at home:

  1. Meat thermometer – this tool can literally save your life. Make sure you cook your foods to proper temperatures.
  2. A good chef’s knife – much has been written about this, but you can do so much with just a good chef’s knife. We’re not going to tell you what knife to buy, but make sure you use a good knife. It makes everything easier and safer.
  3. A meat mallet / tenderizer – we often recommend pounding out meat to help tenderize it or to help it cook more evenly. You’ll save money and cook better food with one of these.
  4. Locking tongs – we are big believers in locking tongs. Every time we use a set that doesn’t lock, they go flying all over on us. So we recommend locking tongs 🙂
  5. Box grater – you can do so many things with a box grater. You can shred cheese, zest citrus, shred vegetables, slicing cabbage for coleslaw, and more.
  6. Dutch oven – Dutch ovens are super versatile. You can make stews with them, use them to sauté vegetables on the stovetop, boil vegetables and more. Plus, they’ll last forever.
  7. Cast Iron skillet – cast iron is amazing for frying steaks and more on the stovetop, plus you can then pop it into the oven. When you take care of cast iron properly, it’ll be non-stick without any chemicals.
  8. Slow cooker – do we really need to convince you of the value of a slow cooker? We do recommend that you get a programmable one that will switch to warming mode after it is done cooking. This help makes it easy to start dinner when you leave for work and come home to a perfect dinner at night.
  9. Sheet pans – this may seem silly, but buy some decent sheet pans that are meant for commercial kitchens. They don’t warm and conduct heat really well. Sheet pans are awesome for roasting vegetables and meat on them, plus they’re easy to clean.
  10. Kitchen shears – with our last pick, we’re going for kitchen shears. They’re really useful for all sorts of tasks like spatchcocking a whole chicken that are mush more difficult with a knife.

There are our 10 picks, there are plenty more things you need (we didn’t mention whisks or spatulas or mixing bowls or..) but those are 10 items that we just couldn’t do without!

Meat FAQ's

How long is meat good in the freezer for?

If you keep food frozen at 0ºF or below, it will stay safe to eat indefinitely. However, after time, the quality will degrade and you may start to develop freezer burn on the packages. Freezer burn is not a food safety problem, just a taste problem and can be trimmed away from the meat after defrosting. Here are our guidelines on how long frozen meat will stay tasty:

  • Beef Steaks & Roasts | 6 – 12 months
  • Ground Beef | 4 – 6 months

  • Pork Chops & Roasts | 6 – 9 months
  • Pork Sausage, Ham & Bacon | 3 – 6 months

  • Whole Chickens & Turkeys | 1 year
  • Chicken Breasts, Wings, Thighs | 6 – 9 months

These times are guidelines and may change based on how you have your meat stored and the quality of your freezer. Always make sure you cook your meat to proper temperatures to ensure it is safe to eat.

 

How long is meat good in the refrigerator for?

Unlike frozen meat, meat in the refrigerator will become unsafe to eat if you let it sit too long. Here are our general guidelines on how long food is good for in a 40ºF refrigerator:

  • Beef Steaks & Roasts | 2 – 4 days
  • Ground Beef | 1 – 2 days

  • Pork Chops & Roasts | 2 to 3 days
  • Fresh Sausages | 2 to 3 days
  • Cooked or Smoked Sausages | 4 to 6 weeks in a vacuum sealed package from LGCM, 3 – 7 days once opened.
  • Ham & Bacon | 4 to 6 weeks in a vacuum sealed package from LGCM, 3 – 7 days once opened.

  • Whole Chickens & Turkeys | 1 – 2 days
  • Chicken Breasts | 3 – 5 days in a vacuum sealed package from LGCM, eat immediately once open.

  • Sliced deli meats | 3 – 5 days

Refrigerated food can spoil faster or slower, based on your refrigerator. If food smells off, do not take a risk; throw the meat out. To make sure your properly stored food is safe to eat, always cook the food to recommended temperatures.

How long is the food in my refrigerator good for after the power goes out?

Generally, you want to discard any meat that is above 40ºF for more than 2 hours, because at that time and temperature combination, pathogens can start to grow on the meat. Most refrigerators stay cold enough that if the power comes back on in less than 4 hours, the food inside the refrigerator is safe to eat. Keep the door to the refrigerator closed while the power is out to help keep the refrigerator as cold as possible. As always, if the food smells off, throw it away, and be sure to cook your meat to proper temperature to ensure safety.

What temperature should I cook my beef to?

Here are our guidelines for cooking beef to ensure it is safe to eat:

  1. Use an instant read meat thermometer for the most accurate results, and test the center of the meat to get a temperature.
  2. Mechanically processed cuts of beef like ground beef, hamburger patties, and cube steaks need to be cooked to 165ºF for safety.
  3. Steaks, roasts and other “whole muscle” cuts of beef only need to have the outside surfaces seared at a temperature of over 165º to render the meat safe to eat. After that cooking becomes a matter of personal taste preference. Here is a temperature chart:
    1. Rare | 120 – 125 degrees F
    2. Medium Rare | 130 – 135 degrees F
    3. Medium | 140 to 145 degrees F
    4. Medium Well | 150 to 155 degrees F
    5. Well Done | 160+ degrees F
  4. Always remember to let food rest for 5 minutes after removing it from the heat source.
What temperature should I cook my chicken to?

Poultry should generally be cooked to an internal temperature of 165ºF. Use an instant read meat thermometer for the most accurate results, and test the center of the meat to get the temperature. Chicken can be cooked to a lower temperature if this guide of holding internal temperature for a length of time is followed:

  • 140ºF for 27.5 minutes
  • 145ºF for 9.2 minutes
  • 150ºF for 2.8 minutes
  • 155ºF for 47.7 seconds
  • 160ºF for 14.8 seconds

For simplicity and safety, we recommend cooking your poultry to 165º for safety.

What temperature should I cook my pork to?

Fresh, whole muscles cuts of pork like pork chops, pork roasts, and pork tenderloins should be cooked to at least 145ºF for safety. Previously, it was recommended that these cuts were cooked to 160ºF. However, with advances in the pork production process, 145º is now considered safe for whole muscle cuts. Processed cuts such as pork cutlets, pork sausages and ground pork should be cooked to a minimum temperature of 160ºF for safety.

Smoked hams and bacons are already cooked products that just need to be reheated, not cooked to full temperature. Also, some cuts, such as pork shoulders should be cooked to higher temperatures for flavor. Please see our recipe section for suggestions on how to prepare these cuts.


Question Not Answered? Ask Us!

Your personal information will not be published or shared.