We all do it. You get busy with work or family and you are pressed for time to make dinner for kids and spouses who have had their fill of chips and candy. You get out the frying pan, turn on the stove to get things going and drop some cold hamburger into the hot pan. The result? Not the meal you were hoping for. Cooking meat can be a tricky act at any time, but can be especially so when you are pressed for time. Still, cooking experts warn that you should not put cold meat in a hot pan. Why?
You should never place cold meat in a hot frying pan because adding cold meat cools the pan, causing your meat to release juices. Not to mention, moving meat straight from refrigerator to stove top can lead to an overcooked or undercooked meal. Instead, the recommendation is to bring your meat to room temperature before cooking it (via Cooking Light). In fact, Bobby Flay told Food Network that the rule of thumb is to take a steak out about 20 minutes before you're going to grill or cook it (via Business Insider).
Cooking tips for cold meat
You also don't want to add cold meat to a cold pan either. This will cause the meat to become dry and lose all those juicy flavors that make it enjoyable to eat as the pan and meat heat up simultaneously. If you notice your meat swimming in liquid shortly after you've started cooking it, that's what's happening.
If you are cooking steak or lamb, your goal is to sear the meat in an effort to caramelize it and build the incredible flavor that carnivores crave. A good sear on your meat requires a really hot pan, and if the pan is cold, the meat will most likely stick to it. The Kitchn recommends adding a thin layer of oil to your frying pan of choice, heating the oil until it's hot enough where you see ripples (but not so hot that it's smoking), and then add your meat. This technique will ensure your meat is cooked evenly. Moreover, cook the meat over medium-high for best results. Additionally, it is recommended that if you are cooking more than one pound of meat, cook it in batches and reheat the pan in between batches.