Why Cooking Charts Often Miss
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Time-Weight Ratio Charts for cooking are helpful, useful and productive. What they aren’t, however, are detailed and accurate measures of actual cooking times to achieve real world Levels of Doneness.

The charts may look like instructions, and they are often published by very reputable culinary names. Home cooks should be forgiven for thinking that they are instructions, when they are really only estimates or approximations. And most don’t warn you of their limitations.

The charts are designed to get you most of the way there so that you, the chef, can determine the ultimate Level of Doneness by using The Palm Test, and/or a Meat Thermometer to determine the Internal Temperature of your cooking product.  You are responsible for knowing what your finished results should look and feel like and what Final Cooking Temperature and Pull Temperature™ to use.

The charts could never be 100% correct because they are averages and don’t account for real world variability and a multitude of factors like the Meat’s initial temperature, the amount of Marbling and Fat Cover, Boneless or Bone-In Meat, Skin-On or Skinless, the exact size of your product, type and contents of the oven, how often the over door is opened, shape of the cut, your oven’s efficiency vs. the average, etc.

If this doesn’t make sense, we can try and explain a few of the items here, but the better explanation would come from Joining Smart Kitchen and learning to think and cook like a chef.

Marbling & Fat: fat acts as an insulator and protects flesh from penetrating cooking heat.

Bones: bones resist heat penetration more than flesh, so a boneless roast will cook more quickly than a bone-in roast of the same size.

Shape of the cut: a flat, thin cut of meat will cook more quickly per pound than a thicker cut of meat. It is the thickness of the cut, not its weight that determines actual cook time and how long it will take heat to penetrate and cook the center of the item.

Good Roasting requires experience and judgment. You can make an accurate cooking chart yourself for your conditions if you regularly cook the same items with the same equipment and make a record of your results. Chefs working in a commercial kitchen environment may develop charts using their equipment and their most-used cuts at given temperatures and times and put that information on their recipe cards. Such charts can frequently be used as indicators of doneness since a personal chart or recipe card is working from specific, repeatable information and not averages. It is accounting for many of the variables mentioned above.