Within the past few years, the use and availability of plant-based meat products have skyrocketed. Instead of the hurdle being finding great-tasting alternative meats, the hurdle is now deciding which one to buy, what to use it for, and how to cook it properly!
If you’ve been wondering how to cook plant-based meat, you’re in luck! We have a few great tips that you can use to ensure that every plant-based meat dish to come out of your kitchen tastes great.
Tips for Cooking Plant-Based Meat
Get creative with flavor.
When it comes to cooking the perfect Beyond Meat burger (or any plant-based meat dish), it’s important to remember that the meat isn’t meat and as such, it won’t have the fatty flavor we are used to in our ground beef.
That’s where the flavor comes in. Feel free to add spices, herbs, dressings, hot sauces, fresh vegetables, and anything else that appeals to your tastebuds.
One particularly unique flavor that really spices up these burgers is the combination of hoisin sauce, mayo, and sugar with shredded purple cabbage tossed in it like a coleslaw – delicious on a burger!
Don’t be afraid of fat.
Typically, plant-based meat products have less fat than real meat products and, while this is good for anyone looking to cut back on their fat intake, it can be a hindrance to certain recipes. The lack of fat in this kind of meat makes the meat more susceptible to falling apart.
It can also affect the taste since the meat won’t be able to cook in its own natural, fat-containing juices. Due to this, we always say that it’s best not to be afraid of fat. Don’t worry if your sauce has a high-fat content or if you use a little too much olive oil to heat your pan — the fat will only make your meat taste better.
Whether you’re cooking a beef, chicken, or pork substitute, it’s crucial to remember that plant-based meat should not be simmered for longer than necessary. When you’re cooking your meat in a sauce, make sure that the meat is fully cooked before adding it in; this will cut down on the time that it sits in the sauce and simmers.
Why is this important? It’s important because the longer the meat simmers, the more the flavor of it changes.
Pay attention to best before dates
On some products, the best before date printed on the package is merely a guide — when the date has long since passed, nothing about the product seems to be any different and it can be eaten without much of a worry.
With plant-based meat products, however, the best before date should be honored. Yes, the product is made with non-meat ingredients and is less likely to spoil, but it does still go bad. In addition, the best before dates on these types of products is indicative of how the product tastes, as plant-based products tend to diminish in quality quickly.
For the best results, freeze your meat if you won’t be using it right away and if you’re only using some of the meat in one sitting, be sure to finish the remaining meat within three days after the package is opened.
Making the transition to alternative meat sources doesn’t have to be a difficult one. It can be as simple as using plant-based meat for one meal per week or simply making beef taco night into plant-based beef taco night.
Just remember to be mindful of best before dates, revel in the fat content of your meat, use a ton of fun spices, and avoid simmering if you can.