The cooking losses vary with the factors mentioned, time, stage of cookery, cooking temperature, surface area, and composition. Usually, the longer a piece of meat is cooked, the greater the cooking losses; but this is not always true in practise, for owing to differences in surface area and composition of different meats, it is not possible always to standardize all conditions.

Meats show wide variations in cooking losses. The cooking losses in meat may vary from 5 per cent to 50 per cent. This is a wide variation. Obviously, meat that has lost 50 per cent of the uncooked weight is either very dry or has lost an immense amount of surface fat. Swiss steak was cooked to determine the effect of different percentages of loss on texture and palatability of the meat. The ones with 50 per cent loss were very dry and unappetizing, even for a person who prefers meat very well done. Here there was little surface fat, because of the cut and type of meat used. A roast with a great deal of surface fat may suffer a rather high loss and be far more palatable than a lean piece of meat. But, in general, a 40 to 50 per cent loss leaves the meat much too dry.

Well-done meat usually shows greater cooking losses. In general, meats cooked rare sustain less loss; the losses may vary from 5 to 20 per cent. Under some conditions they may be higher. Well-done meats usually have a higher cooking loss, from 20 to 45 per cent. However, meats cooked until well done at very low cooking temperatures may have less than 15 per cent cooking losses, so that it is impossible to give definite figures for any definite stage of cookery.

In Table 30 some cooking losses are given, and since cooking losses without cooking temperatures and stage of cookery mean little, these are included. The composition of the meat and relative surface area are not indicated.

Cooking losses in steaks and chops. The losses in steaks may vary to a great extent, but usually seem to come within 10 to 40 per cent, when ordinary cooking methods and cooking times are used. High cooking temperatures cause a greater fat loss from around the edge of the steak and also brown it better, giving a more attractive appearance, unless the temperature is so high that the fat is charred. A steak may be cooked at a high temperature, and have a greater loss, due to high temperature, yet be rare in the center, because of a shorter cooking time, than a steak cooked at a low temperature. Steaks and chops that are cooked rare or medium well done may lose from 10 to 25 per cent of the uncooked weight. Steaks and chops cooked well done usually have higher losses, from 20 to 40 per cent. The above figures are taken from losses obtained in cooking steaks and chops in class work. They are approximate and do not apply to all conditions. Steaks and chops put in a cold pan and cooked at a low temperature for the entire cooking period show low cooking losses. They are juicy but do not brown as well as ones seared at a high temperature, and the fat does not brown well.

Table 30 Cooking Losses of Roasts

Investigator

Kind of meat and cut

No. roasts

Aver-age weight of roasts, pounds

Sear-ing temper-ature

°C.

Cook-ing temper-ature °C.

Aver-age time per pound, min-utes

Interior tempera-ture when removed from oven °C.

Total cooking losses

Aver-age, per cent

Mini-mum, per cent

Maxi-mum, per cent

Dowler Pork, rolled loin

6

3.97

250

150

34.5

77

27.4

20.0

31.0

Hunt Beef, standing, 3-ribs

6

6.26

275

125

18.3

57

16.6

10.6

21.3

Kite Beef, standing, 3-ribs

5

6.98

250

250

16.7

70

41.2

35.4

47.3

Lowe Beef, standing, 3-ribs. Feeders

43

4.65

275

125

22.4

57

10.8

7.2

17.4

Beef, standing, 3-ribs. Fattened

65

8.95

275

125

19.8

57

13.0

6.6

18.4

Beef, ribs rolled

5

14.09

260

125

17.8

57

10.3

7.9

14.4

Pork, loin

5

1.44

275

150

69.0

80

27.4

20.0

31.0

Ham, baked

3

12.2

150

125

22.9

70

15.4

14.4

17.7

Ham, baked

5

19.5

150

125

17.8

70

22.6

15.8

26.6

Ham, boiled

3

18.6

85

85

18.6

70

16.3

12.4

31.5

Lamb, leg

3

5.00

275

125

36.9

75

13.3

7.1

16.8

Snyder Beef, rump

2

7.38

275

125

21.4

57

12.7

12.1

13.4

Shoulder round boned and rolled.

2

5.29

275

125

22.9

57

7.9

6.9

8.9

Chuck ribs

2

4.88

275

125

24.7

57

9.9

9.9

9.9

Losses in meats cooked in water. The losses of meat cooked in water kept at a boiling temperature are usually higher than those cooked in water held at a temperature of 85°C. or lower. Often the loss is twice as great in the boiling water. The extent of surface area, composition, and time of cooking affect the loss. Commercially boiled hams are often cooked at a temperature of about 75°C, for this results in a lower cooking loss, about 15 per cent, which gives a texture that cuts and slices well. One very lean ham cooked in the laboratory in water at 82° with a total cooking loss of 12.4 per cent sliced well and had an excellent flavor. A cooking loss of 20 to 25 per cent seems to give a flavor to the ham that is preferred by most persons.