5 Ways to Prepare Meat Dishes for Parties

Imagine this: it’s a week out before your big event, and you have a big group coming over. You know exactly what type of meat you want to prepare, but have no idea how to prepare it!

There are two main ways to prepare meat: wet techniques and dry techniques.

But even then, there’s so many different options: barbecue, roasted, baked, broiled, steamed... how can you know which one to pick?

Here are some common preparation methods that can help you narrow down your choices.
Smoking is a dry technique. Not all meats are made for being smoked. The best types of meat for smoking are fatty cuts or chicken (although chicken takes a bit more work to make sure it doesn’t dry out). Smoking the meat gives it an extra layer of flavor that comes from two things. First, the marinade it soaks in, and second, the wood that is used to smoke it with. Different woods give off different flavors. If this sounds good to you, but you’re not sure how to get started, do a quick online search on how to smoke meat.
Broiling or Grilling
Broiling or grilling involves the heat coming from above the meat. This is also a dry technique. This method of preparation is best for steak or fish, but can also be used on chicken. It can even be used with vegetables, if you’re considering making kebabs! This method will apply a lot of heat directly, and is good for fast preparation, if you’re in a time constraint.
Baking is a little different than broiling because of how the heat is applied. Baking uses the heat of the air inside the whole oven to heat the meat slowly and gently. This method can retain the moisture in the meat better, which is best for chicken and fish since they can easily dry out. This method also allows for the usage of sauces and other preparations, as the juices can really seep into the meat and add to the flavor.
This method is probably the easiest and takes the least amount of preparation. However, it may also take the longest based on how many guests you’re entertaining vs. how many pans you have! The only hindrance to this method is that you have to prepare the cuts one by one. The benefits of this method are that the meat can retain it’s original flavor, with the addition of a flavorful, seasoned surface. The heat of the pan will crust the salt, oil, butter, and seasonings onto the surface, while leaving the inside of the meat alone. This is a great method if you want that restaurant-level flavor, without the wait or the cost.
For less tender cuts of meat, you can try simmering. This involves cooking the meat in a liquid. This liquid can be a broth, water, wine-based, butter and oil based, or whatever you prefer. The idea behind this preparation method is to keep the meat as moist and tender as possible during the process so it doesn’t dry out. It’s also to add in the powerful flavor from the juices into the meat.
This is only a very short list of options you can use to guide you when you’re deciding how to prepare your dishes. Consider these questions: What kind of meat do you want to make? How many people are you cooking for? How much time will you have to cook, and what resources do you have at your disposal? If you only have an oven, your only options may be pan-frying, simmering, broiling, and baking. Use this options as a guide to help you make your decision!
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