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Perhaps, you have friends and family coming over for dinner, and you plan to cook something different. Very often, seafood is top on the list for special dinners. The fact that 63% of seafood consumption is at home proves it. However, it is one food category that needs the utmost care, from handling to preparation. The last thing you want is to cause a tummy upset for your guests. Here are some tips when cooking your delicious seafood.
1. Use the right amount of heat
Generally, seafood typically cooks thoroughly in medium to high heat. Usually, the degree of heat is 425 degrees F. As a matter of fact, that is the exact temperature needed when preparing a baked lobster tail. Furthermore, seafood requires a continuous heat source to allow the internal bits to cook fully. This is particularly important if it belongs to the crustacean or mollusk family. For example, oysters, crabs, lobsters, scallops, crayfish, etc., are classified under these two categories. It is recommended to cook them all at once rather than employ the interrupted cooking method.
The reason is that seafood can go bad pretty quickly. Again, the cooking method will largely depend on how much heat. Under carefully regulated heat, it is easier to cook some types of seafood without burning it. For instance, if you're frying fish, it is best to cook one side thoroughly before flipping it over. Others like mini shrimps require constant stirring under medium heat. In about five minutes, you will achieve a well-cooked golden-brown appearance.
2. Be mindful of containers used to marinate raw seafood
Metal and aluminum are reactive elements. Therefore, using them to marinate seafood poses a high risk of food contamination. Also, the marinade (the liquid) should not be kept in any metal or aluminum container. The reason is the same, so the best container to use when marinating seafood is glass or a plastic container. When cooking over a direct heat source, it's best to use an enamel-coated utensil.
Another precaution to note is never to store raw seafood marinade in the fridge or freezer. It's best to add it immediately to the sauce to cook thoroughly at one time. Due to the highly perishable nature of raw seafood, heating is a crucial element here. While you avoid metal containers, ensure that any unwashed containers or knives used for raw seafood do not come into contact with other foods.
3. Wash your hands thoroughly when handling seafood
Did you know that seafood is one of the most highly-contaminable things to eat if not well handled? Due to the presence of live surface bacteria when it's raw, the risk of food poisoning is extremely high. This is why it is crucial to wash your hands thoroughly when handling uncooked seafood. When handling them in the raw state, remember to wash your hands before touching any other ingredients that require little or no cooking time, like vegetables.
The more safety tips you employ, the healthier your dinner will be. Seafood is a delicious addition to the dinner table. Therefore, ensure that they turn out right for everyone.