Making the most of Meat

Meat may often be the most expensive ingredient on the centre of the plate. It is sensible therefore to cook it in a way that maximises the yield of each portion, and minimises cooking losses.

How much do you need?

An average cooked serving of meat weighs 140 - 160g. The amount of raw meat required for that serving depends on how much the meat shrinks during cooking as well as the particular cut, its size, fat and bone content and the degree of doneness. Generally, cooking losses range from 1/4 to 1/3 of the raw meat weight. Remember, cooking losses in small roasts and portion cuts tend to be greater than in larger cuts.

Cooking losses

There are two kinds of cooking losses. Yields may be reduced by cooking/shrinkage losses and by wastage in carving and serving. The cooking or shrinkage loss is the actual weight difference between the uncooked cut and the cooked meat before it is carved.
Slicing and serving losses are due to fat trim, poor carving, or smaller portions that are not suitable for serving. Shrinkage occurs when water evaporates from the surface of the meat and when fat, water and juices drip from the meat. Shrinkage is affected by cooking method, duration and temperatures, and degree of doneness. Shrinkage during cooking is inevitable and it occurs with every cooking method. It can be as low as 10%, or as high as 50%, but average shrinkage loss is between 15% and 30%.

Get the most out of beef and lamb when cooking by:

• Keep cooking temperatures low - Some cooking loss is unavoidable, but using low cooking temperatures keeps it to a minimum. There is less meat shrinkage at low temperatures. Tests show that even when two beef roasts are cooked to the same degree of doneness, roasting losses are usually less at a lower, constant temperature for a longer period of time, than at a higher temperature for shorter time.

• Simmer, don't boil - Gentle simmering cooks meat evenly. Simmered meats have less cooking loss than boiled meats.

• Grill, don't burn - Grilling requires high temperatures. If the temperature is too high it will burn the outside of the meat and dry, shrink and cook it unevenly.

• Don't cook meats longer than necessary - (But ensure internal temperature is high enough to kill bacteria). The longer a roast is in the oven, the more it shrinks so do not overcook. The larger the cut, the longer the cooking time needed, but keep in mind that a thin, flat roast might take half the cooking time of a thicker roast of the same weight. Always take into account the shape as well as the cut and weight of the meat when calculating cooking time.

• Note the cooking load - Remember that the cooking load affects cooking time. Three roasts placed together in the conventional oven will take longer to cook than one roast because heat is dissipated into the greater mass of meat.

• Carve it right to cut losses - Good carving techniques help to minimise meat losses during slicing. Carve meat across the grain for optimum tenderness.

• Trimmings - Put them to good use.

• Fat (dripping) render - Use for cooking.

• Bones and sinews - Use in stock making, for sauces, soups etc.

• Large trimmings - Dice or cut into strips for casseroles, kebabs and stir-fries.

• Small trimmings - Mince for use in pies, patties, meat loaves.


Information supplied by the New Zealand
Beef and Lamb Marketing Board.
Meat Connoisseurs
meat cuisine loyalty

meat cuisine facebook

meat cuisine recipes


auckland free delivery
within the Auckland Metro area covering Albany to Papakura & West to Henderson
"Just wanted to let you know that you folks have allowed my husband and I to send my Daughter and Son-in-Law the perfect gifts.  We live in the US and they live in Auckland!  It's very difficult, being so far away, to know what they might need and sending things they want can be as expensive to mail as to acquire!  But everyone looks forward to having such wonderful high quality meats your company provides!  Thank you so much for your terrific quality products and outstanding service!"

Brian and Kathy Ward

Hi team, just wanted to say a big thank you for your amazing service.  I needed to cater for a dinner party and fell upon your website after searching “Gourmet Meat”.  I live in Whangarei and thought I would purchase a few different items to try and test your service before placing a large order for our party.  I was so impressed at how efficient your service was.  I ordered my meat online one day, and it was couriered from Akld to Whg the next day.  The meat arrived all professionally packaged and in excellent condition with freeze packs included in the box to keep the meat cool.  The meat itself is to die for!!!!!  Everything is as described on your website.  The price is deserving of the meat provided and very affordable, your meat is extremely superior to that offered in other butchery’s and supermarkets and more importantly is very flavoursome!  We will be ordering all our meat online from hereon in. Thanks team.

"Just a quick note to say thank you! Our friend was most impressed with the package we had you send for his birthday.  Many thanks for the excellent service."
Eloise & Lance Barnes

"I am just writing to in say how much I and my family enjoyed the Rolled Boned Pork which we picked up for Christmas Dinner. There was a beautiful covering of fat which was fantastic for crackling. The meat was moist and soft. 

We all agreed that it was one of the best pieces of pork that we had in a long time."

Karen Staples

"I live in Sydney and thought I'd try your online shopping service.My family were both surprised and impressed by the quality of the meats and the speedy fast delivery service.I myself am very happy with the    fact that you offer this service online and that I could present my family with a great gift from the heart to nourish the soul and fill their bellies during the festive season.

Again, I thank you and will be recommending  your online shopping service to my friends and family here in Australia. Until my next purchase. Keep up the good work! Happy prosperous new year!"                         


Read more happy customers