Cooking does not only require using quality ingredients and mixing them to perfection. It is also necessary to follow a specific technique, depending on the recipe to be prepared and the type of meat cut to be used. One of the secrets of cooking the iberico presa and other parts of the Iberian pig is the temperature.
Want more info on presa? Check out our Ultimate Guide: How to Cook Presa Ibérica.
Why is the cooking temperature of Iberian pork meat important?
Iberian pork is exquisite by nature. It is juicy, tender, soft... and, of course, its flavor is incomparable. But in order to obtain all these benefits from Iberian pork, it is very important to know how to prepare the meat. This includes not only following a specific recipe and using quality ingredients, but also cooking the meat at a specific temperature.
When cooking Iberico meat, the temperature, the cooking point and even the amount of oil play an important role. To determine the degree of cooking, it is enough to observe the meat while it is being prepared (in the oven, on the grill, griddle, frying pan or even in a saucepan). The color of the meat gradually changes as it cooks. And the temperature? It also depends on the cooking method used. When the meat is prepared on the grill, frying pan or griddle, if the temperature is constant, then the pink color of the meat, so typical of Iberico meat, is lost. Here the meat becomes brown in color.
Also, when the meat is cooked for a long time, the cooking juices are lost, so it is also important to control the time. The higher the temperature, the shorter the cooking time and vice versa. Keep in mind that when meat is overcooked, it tends to dry out. And of course, never use a fork to handle the meat while it is cooking; pricking the meat causes the juices to evaporate as well.
And finally, no matter what cut you are going to prepare: secreto, pluma, presa, lagarto ibérico... All types of Iberian meat should be at room temperature at the time of cooking. For the meat to be at room temperature it is necessary to remove it from the refrigerator a couple of hours before preparing it. This ensures that the cut is not cold on the inside.
What are the cooking points for iberico presa?
The temperature and cooking time vary according to the point at which you like the meat. To achieve the perfect point not only the temperature and time are considered, but also the utensil used for cooking, the size of the meat, in this case the iberico presa. The iberico presa is a type of meat that can be cooked whole or in fillets. From each Iberian pig, two presa of approximately 500-600 grams each are extracted.
The iberico presa can be prepared whole in the oven, which is the most advisable technique when you want to cook the presa without cutting it. For a faster preparation, then the griddle or frying pan are ideal. But to grill the iberico presa, it is necessary to cut it into more or less thin fillets before cooking. If it is grilled, then the fillets should be a little thicker.
The cooking points for iberico presa are:
- Very rare. The top of this type of meat is caramelized, while the inside is raw. The temperature for an undercooked iberico presa should be below 45ºC. Iberico presa is a type of cut that can be eaten totally raw, in tartar or carpaccio, but always following the sanitary recommendations for this type of dish.
- Undercooked. Iberico presa should be cooked at a temperature of between 45 and 50ºC. The meat is juicy.
- Medium rare. The color of the meat inside is pink, but it is not as juicy as rare meat. To get the iberico presa to this point, the cooking temperature should be between 50 and 60ºC.
- Well done. To obtain very well-done meat, it should be prepared at 60ºC. The meat is fully cooked, but loses its juices and the bite is dry.
How to prepare the iberico presa at low temperature?
You can cook iberico presa on the grill or on the oven rack. The secret is to cook it at low temperature, but for a long time.
- Iberico presa.
- Coarse salt.
- Once the iberico presa y is clean and at room temperature, add salt and place it on the grill. It should be left on the heat for approximately three hours. It is very important to turn it every so often, but always with the help of kitchen tongs.
- If you are going to prepare the iberico presa in the oven, then you should put it in the oven at 120-140ºC and leave it there for three and a half hours. Always make sure that the meat is not cooked too quickly; otherwise, control the temperature.