6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Braising

Reported to have evolved from a combination of roasting and stewing, braising is a cooking method that is beneficial to learn as it is a part of almost any type of cuisine. The food is first cooked in its own fat or by browning. When it is browned, it will be slow cooked in a liquid through stewing in a covered pot or casserole in an oven or on a hob.

There are two common types of this cooking method. Brown braising is when you use joints and portion cuts of meat that are marinated, browned, placed on a bed of vegetables in a braising pan or pot, then covered with a lid and slow cooked with liquid in an oven or on a stove. White braising is when you blanche vegetables and sweetbreads, refresh the veggies, then slow cook everything with white stock in a covered container in an oven or on a hob. American pot roast is one of the most famous dishes that uses the braising cooking method.

List of Advantages of Braising

1. It is economical.
Some of the main ingredients of braising are older, tougher, and cheaper joint and portion cuts of poultry and meat, such as ox cheeks, beef rib trims, kidneys, livers, and onglet pieces. This means that nothing goes to waste and you can make more delicious and healthy dishes without having to spend a lot.

2. It creates more flavorful dishes.
Meat and vegetables will have a richer taste because all the juices and flavors combine and seep in during the slow cooking process. Plus, the meat becomes so tender that you get to enjoy a melt-in-your-mouth, buttery dish.

3. It provides a variety of meal preparations and presentations.
Since you can use almost any type of meat and poultry (and even fish, although the cooking time should be quicker) and an assortment of vegetables and spices for braising, you will have more freedom to experiment and create different recipes.

List of Disadvantages of Braising

1. It takes a long cooking time.
Except for fish and vegetables, most braised dishes will take several hours to cook. This means they aren’t ideal for those who don’t have a lot of time to spare to prepare meals.

2. Food may have a lack of texture.
Because slow cooking will make the meat and vegetables soft, there really won’t be much crispiness or crunchiness in your dishes. But what it lacks in texture it can make up for with flavor.

3. It reduces the nutrient content of food.
Prolonged cooking can minimize the nutritional value of food because vitamins and other nutrients are degraded by heat. Also, when vegetables and meat are cooked in water or other fluids, some of the nutrients end up leaching out into the cooking liquid. But since the broth and stock of braised meat are left in the pot or casserole, this might not be much of a problem.

There are a lot of tasty and healthy recipes that you can make using the braising cooking method. So whip up one of those dishes and decide for yourself how beneficial it is to make braised dishes.

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.