Will meat overcook in a boiling water pot?

  • Will meat overcook in a boiling water pot? SirCobalt

    I recently ate at a restaurant that had you cook your own food. They had a heating plate in the middle of the table and they would set a small pot onto it and add in spices/vegetables to the water, after which you would receive a platter of raw meats (chicken, steak, shrimp, etc) to cook yourself.

    The waiter mentioned that when you cook the meat you should leave it in for 1.5 - 2 minutes depending on what it was (shrimp for less time than the chicken/steak). If you leave the meat in for an extended period (say 15 to 25 minutes) would the meat over-cook in the boiling water? The small cuts of steak would cook to a 'medium' or 'medium-well' consistency for 2 minutes depending on the size of the cut.

    This was the first time I have ever seen small cuts of meat (especially in that variety) cooked in a boiling water pot.


  • Yes.

    Water boils at about 212F (100C) and meat is cooked from 140F to 160F. If you left the meat in there for a very long time it would eventually approach 212F and start to get tough.

    The time that they give you is going to be the time it takes to ensure that the meat is safe to eat. Generally I like it to be closer to the rare side as it is more tender that way.

  • For tenderness you can either cook it quick or cook it longer. There is no in between unless it is grounded up. Even then, cooking ground up meat longer can make it tenderer. But by longer I mean 45 mins to an hour and sometimes more.

meat boiling
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