Guide: Storage, Heating & More
Glossary of Cooking Methods
Check out this handy glossary of cooking terms from the Dakin Farm kitchen referenced in the Quick Reference Heating & Storage Chart.
Storing All Dakin Farm smoked specialties are vacuum sealed in plastic wrap. Upon arrival, refrigerate or freeze all perishable items immediately. Please consult the Shelf Life chart above.
Freezing All smoked meats may be frozen for twelve weeks with complete confidence and without loss of flavor. If the vacuum wrap has been removed, rewrap the items in a wrap suitable for freezing.
Thawing For best results, thaw all meats in the refrigerator. Always leave the wrapper on the product while thawing. Larger items over 5 lbs. will require approximately 3 days to thaw in the refrigerator. Smaller cuts will thaw in 2 days in the refrigerator.
Roasting All of the specialty meat products listed to the left under "roasting" are "fully cooked". This means that they are quick and convenient to warm up and that there will be virtually no shrinkage. Be careful not to over cook these items as they will dry out and have a significant loss of flavor. Keep in mind that you are warming through fully cooked meat and not cooking it from scratch. Simply pre-heat your oven to 350° F and warm for approximately 10 minutes per pound. The weight and density of the meat determines the cooking time required. Therefore, a meat thermometer is the most accurate way to achieve the proper internal temperature. An internal temperature of 130° F is desirable. Please wrap spiral sliced hams in foil prior to roasting.
Broiling is an appropriate means of rapidly cooking tender cuts of meat under high heat. When broiling always pre-heat the oven. Turn oven control to "Broil" and leave the door ajar when using an electric oven. Meat items should be 2-3" away from the heat source and should be warmed for approximately 8 minutes on the first side and 6 minutes once turned. Adjust heating time for thickness of the cuts and desired warmth of food product.
There are many types of outdoor and even indoor grills. Generally, smoked meats are easy to warm on any grill and obtain a crispier texture and sometimes an even smokier flavor. When grilling, always pre-heat a gas grill or allow charcoal to acquire a thin gray coating and red glow. In general, a cover on a grill will increase the internal temperature of the meat, reduce cooking time and reduce flare ups. Due to the fact that the amount of heat on any given area of a grill may vary greatly, it's best to watch the meat carefully while cooking. Most of our cuts of meat that are recommended for grilling can be warmed through by heating the first side for approximately 8 minutes and the second side for 6 minutes.
For best results, start bacon, sausage links and sausage patties in an un-heated skillet and fry on Medium heat until crisp. To sauté Canadian Bacon, chops and ham steaks, melt one tablespoon of butter in skillet and warm for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. To pan boil these items use 4 tablespoons of water instead of butter and heat in the same fashion.
Our smoked meats may be thawed or warmed in a microwave oven. However, it is our least preferred method for most items due to uneven heating. It is our opinion that many products thawed or cooked in this fashion may lose some of the characteristic flavor and texture that other warming methods help to achieve.