Basting (cooking)
Basting is a cooking
Cooking is the process of preparing food by use of heat. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the world, reflecting unique environmental, economic, and cultural traditions. Cooks themselves also vary widely in skill and training...

 technique that involves cooking meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

 with either its own juices or some type of preparation such as a sauce
In cooking, a sauce is liquid, creaming or semi-solid food served on or used in preparing other foods. Sauces are not normally consumed by themselves; they add flavor, moisture, and visual appeal to another dish. Sauce is a French word taken from the Latin salsus, meaning salted...

 or marinade. The meat is left to cook, then periodically coated with the juice.

Prominently used in grilling
Grilling is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above or below.Grilling usually involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat quickly and meat that has already been cut into slices...

, rotisserie
Rotisserie is a style of roasting where meat is skewered on a spit - a long solid rod used to hold food while it is being cooked over a fire in a fireplace or over a campfire, or roasted in an oven. This method is generally used for cooking large joints of meat or entire animals, such as pigs,...

, roasting
Roasting is a cooking method that uses dry heat, whether an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting usually causes caramelization or Maillard browning of the surface of the food, which is considered by some as a flavor enhancement. Roasting uses more indirect, diffused heat , and is...

, and other meat preparations where the meat is over heat for extended periods of time, basting is used to keep meat moist during the cooking process and also to apply or enhance flavor. Improperly administered basting, however, may actually lead to the very problem it is designed to prevent: the undesired loss of moisture (drying out) of the meat.

If not compensated by countermeasures, the opening of the oven door and the resulting loss of temperature and moisture content of the air circulating inside can lead to increased evaporation from the meat surfaces. In the case of tough meats such as beef, bison, and deer, the result can be a hardened, shell-like, overcooked or burned outer crust, while inner layers of the meat may still be undercooked or raw; with soft meats such as poultry, the result can be a thorough drying from the surface to the bone, as in the case of the traditional American turkey.

To prevent this, the easiest solution is to place the meat in a closed oven bag
Oven bag
An oven bag is a plastic bag used for the roasting of meat or other food in an oven. An oven bag helps to keep the food being cooked moist, by trapping the moisture in the bag and preventing it from escaping into the oven; as such, it serves a similar purpose to basting...

, which traps evaporating moisture and does not let it disseminate into the oven space and then out to the kitchen. The meat is "auto basted" when the air trapped inside the bag reaches the point of its maximum possible moisture content, and the resulting precipitate forms into drops on the surfaces of the meat or the wall of the bag. The drops roll down to the lowest point of the closed space, where the meat sits and cooks in the resulting juices. This technique often requires very minimal or no added liquids other than what the meat already contains, for loss of moisture is virtually negligible from inside the bag.

However, oven bags lose their advantage if they are opened even one time during the cooking process, and seasoned cooks, who prefer adding flavoring, natural oils (herbs), or aromatics in different times and portions during the process, generally use alternate practices to avoid drying out the meat. For instance, they allow extended cooking time, administer increased amounts of juices, coat the meat with moisture rich fruits or fat-rich cuts, such as bacon, or actual fat, place moisture rich fruits and vegetables around the cooking meats, and if possible, use a convection oven
Convection oven
Although the word convection is usually used to describe the natural circulation of gas or liquid caused by temperature differences, the convection in "convection oven" has a more general definition: the transfer of heat via movement of gas or liquid...


This is a type of cooking usually recommended for dishes that generally taste mild, but are served with sauces that provide complimenting or overpowering flavor to them, for example Chicken chasseur
Chasseur (sauce)
Sauce Chasseur, sometimes called hunter's sauce, is a small or compound brown sauce used in French cuisine. It is typically made using demi-glace and espagnole as a base, and often consists of mushrooms, shallots, and white wine. It may also include tomatoes and a finishing of fines herbes...


Basting is a technique generally known to be used for turkey
Turkey (bird)
A turkey is a large bird in the genus Meleagris. One species, Meleagris gallopavo, commonly known as the Wild Turkey, is native to the forests of North America. The domestic turkey is a descendant of this species...

, pork, chicken, duck, and beef (including steak), but may be applied to virtually any type of meat.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.