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What to do with overcooked chicken, and other ways to save your dinner

Newlywed, new mom and first-time home buyer, Sarah is currently playing out her exciting life in Phoenix, Arizona. She recently gave up her job in finance to stay at home with her baby girl, who between bath time and feeding time, keeps ...

How to fix overcooked meat: Simple ways to keep your meal out of the trash can

Dry chicken, dry pork, dry beef. No meat is tasty if it's overcooked and dried out. If this happens to you, follow this guide to fixing your dinner instead of tossing it out.

Overcooked chicken

Chicken is very easy to overcook — whether on the grill, on the stovetop or in the oven. On the grill, you can usually remove the burnt edges and the inside will still be moist. The stovetop and oven are a little trickier, though, since typically the meat is dried out on the inside, too. Change up the meal by shredding the dry chicken and adding mayonnaise, salt, pepper and other spices of your choice for homemade chicken salad sandwiches. If you don't wish to change the meal completely, slice the chicken into thin strips and add a mixture of olive oil or butter and herbs. Drizzle on top and garnish with salt and pepper. You can also add barbecue sauce or your favorite vinaigrette.

Overcooked beef

Whether you overcooked your steaks or a roast, dried-out beef isn't a favorite of anyone. For steak, slice it up and soak it overnight in your favorite marinade. Use it in wraps, soups, shepherd's pie or pastas. For roasts, place it in the slow cooker with barbecue sauce and cook on low for a few hours. Shred the beef and make some tasty barbecue sandwiches. Another idea is to make beef stroganoff. Stroganoff is simply egg noodles, beef chunks and your favorite veggies. We love this quick chipotle beef stroganoff for nights when you're in a hurry.

Quick tip: Add a little beef broth to the dry beef and let simmer on the stove for a few minutes.

Overcooked pork

Dry pork is the worst of the meats, but just like chicken and beef, there are solutions. Chop it up into small chunks and make pork fried rice or a pork stir-fry. Shred it and place in the slow cooker with barbecue sauce for barbecue pulled-pork sandwiches. You can also put the pork in a food processor and mix with green onions, cabbage and garlic to use as a filler in pot stickers.

Overcooked meat doesn't have to be thrown out, and, as you can see, there are dozens of recipes that will disguise the dried-out taste.

Tips on preventing overcooked meat

  • Cook it longer over low heat. Unless you're grilling steak, which is best grilled over high heat for a short amount of time, meat is juicier when it cooks for a longer period of time over low heat.
  • Wait to trim the fat. It's tempting to want to cut off all that fat before cooking the meat but wait until after it's done cooking. Fat traps in moisture and gives your meat a juicy taste as opposed to a dry one.
  • Don't multitask. One of the main reasons for people overcooking their meat is they simply forget to set the timer or don't hear it go off. We get it — we're busy! When cooking dinner, avoid social media, television and other distractions. Try setting the kids up with an activity or letting them help. That way your main focus can be on dinner.

how to fix overcooked meat infographic
Image: SheKnows

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