Meet Your Meat
Our busiest times of the year tend to fall over the holidays — and for good reason! Holiday celebrations mean food, and what's more fun than cooking a delicious meal for the whole family? The thought of improperly cooking the meat for your special dinner can be enough for anyone to opt for a pre-made dish, but we've put together a handful of our favorite preparations for some of our best-selling holiday meats.
Since our smoked boneless ham is sold fully cooked, any preparation you do will be more about warming it through all the way, rather than making sure it's cooked. Our bone-in hams are not considered fully cooked, so be sure you cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°. Low and slow is always our recommendation when it comes to our hams, and if you use a slow cooker, you'll also save some precious oven space! We recommend creating a tasty sauce for your ham to slow cook in, like the ones below:
- Pineapple juice
- Brown sugar
- Ground mustard
- Orange marmalade
- Dijon mustard
- Brown sugar
- Orange juice and zest
- Maple syrup
- Dijon mustard
- Orange zest
- Black pepper
Keep in mind: if you're only preparing half of a ham, we recommend cooking the ham with the cut side down, so that it soaks in the glaze (and prevents drying out).
Some of our best-selling Thanksgiving items are our smoked whole turkeys, along with fresh turkeys from Bowman & Landes farm. Fresh turkeys can be a challenging meat to prepare for even the most seasoned home cook, so we always rely on these tried-and-true tips.
Smoked Turkey Tip
When preparing one of our smoked turkeys, we always recommend a low and slow cook. Whether you heat your bird in a slow cooker or in a roasting pan in your oven, it's always a good idea to add a little liquid to the bottom of your pan to ensure maximum moisture, and always keep it covered with a lid to keep moisture in.
Fresh Turkey Tips
- Check the temp. There are endless ways to season your turkey, but the most important thing to remember is that your turkey should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Always take your temperature reading from the breast meat, as that is the thickest cut, and will take the longest to reach the proper temperature.
- Roast breast side down. A traditionally popular method for cooking a whole turkey is by roasting it in the oven. If you choose to take this route, we recommend that you roast your bird with the breast side down. (Our favorite method involves roasting the turkey atop a bed of aromatic vegetables for extra flavor and moisture!) This allows the breast to absorb more moisture as the turkey cooks, and the result should be a succulent turkey breast.
- Butter up. For a beautiful brown skin, pat your bird dry, then massage it with butter. As the butter melts, it will create a lovely crisp, golden skin on the outside.
- Give it a rest. Finally, don't forget to let your turkey rest before carving. Resting your meat allows the juices to redistribute inside the bird instead of running out all over your cutting board.
Standing Rib Roast
Especially popular during winter holidays, standing rib roasts are one of the loveliest cuts of beef around. We recommend that you sear the outside of your roast over a high heat, then reduce the temperature to cook slowly until your desired doneness is reached (we like to finish ours in a low-temperature oven). Remember to use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of your roast before serving.
Very similar to the standing rib roast, prime rib is best when prepared with care. We recommend that you season the exterior of your prime rib very well with your preferred blend. Our butchers like to create a seasoning "crust" on the outside of their prime rib, then let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight for the flavors to penetrate. Then, sear the outside to create a nice crust, and finish it over a low temperature until you've reached your desired doneness.