You pulled your pork shoulder out of the oven as soon as it hit your desired temperature. However, only 15 minutes later, you tried to serve it and discovered the inside was as dry as the Sahara. That is most likely a result of carryover cooking.
Carryover cooking occurs when you remove ingredients from a heat source, but the cooking doesn’t stop. Instead, the exterior temperature of the item releases its heat in two directions. One of those directions is internal, so the meat’s interior gets warmer even as the outside grows cooler.
Maybe this sounds like a pain to you, but it’s useful in certain situations. Once you adjust your grilling and smoking technique to account for carryover cooking, you can better predict the outcome of just about any recipe. Additionally, you’ll become a wizard at making sure all your dishes are done at about the same time.
The tricky part of incorporating carryover cooking into your mealtime calculations is that it’s not an exact science. Unlike baking, which is a bit more precise, carryover cooking on the grill gives you far more wiggle room.
However, you can count on a few consistencies when it comes to planning for carryover cooking:
Is carryover cooking a problem? Not really. You just have to keep the right techniques in the back of your mind. That way, your meats and other ingredients will always cook to perfection and not dry out before they reach everyone’s watering mouths.
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