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stovetop vs oven braising


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Home Cooking Braising

stovetop vs oven braising

Tom Meg | | Jan 6, 2005 12:54 PM

Another braising mystery:

Why do many recipes tell you to cook your braise on the stovetop at the BAREST simmer, OR put in the oven at 300F (sometimes higher)?

Putting braises in the oven at 300F always causes the liquid to boil quite vigorously.

Is this a contradiction or is boiling meat in an oven somehow gentler than boiling meat on a stovetop?

Some observations which may or may not be relevant:

---if I braise chunks of meat on the stovetop in my Creuset Dutch oven, some pieces of meat will become tender sooner than others (I'm guessing it's because some spend more time closer to the burner, and so maybe I should stir more often).

---if I braise in the oven at 225-250, the meat becomes incredibly succulent and tender, but this usually takes over 2x as long as the recipe states.

---if I braise in the oven at 300, the liquid boils like crazy. Meat turns out OK. Not amazing, but still good.

--braising on a stovetop has worked well for me when the recipe calls for a lot of liquid, and a single hunk of meat--eg. brisket, tafelspitz, boiled beef, etc. and I use a tall narrow pot and several flame tamers to keep the liquid well below the boiling point, and I set aside most of the day to let the meat cook until it's tender. I guess that would be more like 'extended poaching' rather than classic braising.

Link: http://meglioranza.com

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