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" Why does the meat I cook in liquid taste dry? "

Help! I’m trying to find out why my roasts cooked in the Crock-Pot are tender but have a dry taste to them. I cook them in plenty of liquid, usually beef broth, consommé, or water, and add onion soup mix and veggies. What could my problem be?

Fort Wayne, Indiana


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Hello Alice,

It sounds odd, but meat can become dry even when it’s cooked in moisture. The most likely cause of this is overcooking. As meat cooks, its muscle fibers shorten in both length and width and eventually squeeze out the juices they normally hold. As you can imagine, this leaves meat dry, and often stringy in texture.

To avoid this problem, choose less-tender cuts of meat. Roasts such as cross rib, shoulder, brisket, blade, or short rib are good choices: These cuts benefit from cooking in moist heat. Be careful not to cook the roast too long. Test for doneness using a meat thermometer near the end of the cooking time. At 160ºF (71ºC), a roast will be cooked to medium. At this temperature, some of the tougher connective tissue breaks down to gelatin, which helps “lubricate” the meat.
The timing will take some trial and error on your part, but eventually you’ll get tasty (and moist) results. Another tip is to make sure the liquid doesn’t boil. Cook at a very gentle simmer so that the liquid breaks lazily on the surface. The temperature of the surrounding liquid should be about 180ºF (82ºC). Meat that cooks at too high a temperature, even if it’s in liquid, can still become tough and dry.

Many thanks for your good question.
Anne & Sue




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