Meat, Poultry and Fish

Meat, Poultry, and Fish

This module covers the essential knowledge required for meat, poultry, and fish. Different types of cuts, cooking methods, and storage procedures will be complemented with menus to practice the learning.


Meat refers to edible flesh of warm-blooded, four-legged animals especially that of a mammal, for example, Beef, Veal, sheep and pigs. Meat is rich in protein and contains amino acid which is a main bodybuilding element in the growing body.

Types of Meat

Meats are classified into various types which are as follows:

Beef: Beef is the flesh of a full-grown steer, bull, ox, or cow slaughtered between 20 to 22 months. It is the most popular edible meat in the western countries and the main source of protein in the western diet. The best beef meat is obtained from steers (castrated males) and heifers (female who do not have calves). Sex, age and sexual condition of the animal play a vital role in determining the quality of the meat.

Classification of Beef

Carcass – The beef carcass is classified into four different types, they are:

  • Steer: A bovine male animal castrated at a very young age.
  • Heifer: A female bovine animal that has not borne a calf.
  • Cow: A female bovine animal that has borne a calf.
  • Stag: A male bovine animal that is castrated after maturing.
  • Calf: A male or female bovine animal up to 12 months of age, generally from 3-8 months of age.

Quality check sign and storage of meat
  • The colour of meat should be bright red and marbled.
  • Fat should be firm brittle and creamy white.
  • The carcass is hung at a temperature of 1Degree Centre grate to increase the tenderness of the meat. Cut of meat should be kept on trays and kept moist, away from other meats. They should be well drained, not lying in blood.

Lamb and Mutton

The flesh of a young sheep used as meat is called lamb. The meat of sheep 6-10 weeks old is called baby lamb and spring lamb comes from sheep between 5-6 months old. Flesh of the matured sheep or goat at least one-year-old is called mutton. The meat of sheep 12-20 months old is called yearling mutton. Therefore, lamb should be under one year old. After one year, it is called mutton.

Different cuts and cooking methods of Lamb:
  • Shoulder – Roasting and Stewing
  • Leg – Boiling and Roasting
  • Breast – Stewing and Roasting
  • Middle Neck – Stewing
  • Scrag End – Broths (Soups)
  • Loin / Saddle – Roasting, Grilling, and Frying
  • Rib -Grilling and Frying 8 Fillet Grilling and Frying 
Quality check and storage:
  • The carcass of an animal should be compact, firm and evenly fleshed.
  • The colour of lamb meat should be bright red and mutton should be dark red.
  • The fat should be evenly distributed, brittle, flaky (blistering) and clear white in colour.
  • The bones should be pink and porous in young animals.
  • Skin should be smooth.
  • Hung in refrigerator at 1 to 2 degree centigrade.
  • Should be kept away from other food items.


The flesh of a pig is called pork. Most of the pork meat comes from the animal usually slaughtered between the ages of six months and one year. It generally has more fat than other meats. The world’s most popular meat, it is consumed fresh in various cuts or preparations, including chops and sausage, or cured or smoked for ham, bacon, dry sausage or other products. Because pigs can be easily infected by the microorganism, pork must be cooked well.

Different Cuts and Cooking methods:
  • Leg – Roasting and Boiling
  • Loin – Roasting, Frying, and Grilling
  • Spare Ribs – Roasting and Pies
  • Blade-bone – Roasting and Pies
  • Shoulder – Roasting, Sausages, and Pies
  • Belly – Frying, and Grilling
  • Hind leg – Smoking, Frying, and Grilling
Quality check and storage of pork:
  • Skin should be smooth.
  • The flesh of the pork should be pale pink and firm.
  • The fat should be white and not excessive.
  • Bones must be small and pinkish.


The term poultry refers to any domesticated birds such as chicken, duck, turkey etc. which are bred to be eaten or for various dishes.

Different cuts and cooking methods:
  • Breast – Stuffing, Frying, and Grilling
  • Winglet – Frying
  • Fillet – Boiling, Grilling, and Roasting
  • Thigh – Frying, and Grilling
  • Carcass – Boiling
  • Drum Stick – Frying

Quality check and storage of poultry:
  • The skin should be white and unbroken with a faint bluish tinge.
  • The breast of the chicken should be straight, well fleshed and broad.
  • The vent- end of the breast- bone of chicken must be pliable.
  • Bird should not have cuts, scales or blood patches.
  • Should not have too much fat especially in the abdominal cavity.
  • Feet and legs should be scaly with strong claws. Red at 1-degree centigrade in a refrigerator in a tray. Should not be hung.
  • Should not be stored together with other meat.


Fish, like meat, is composed of muscle, tissue, fat, and bone which have high protein and provides a wide variety of dishes. As compared to other meat items, fish takes short cooking time because of its soft tissue.

Fish can be obtained from lakes, rivers or sea. Freshwater fish are considered to be superior in flavor to saltwater fish. Fish contains less fat in comparison to other meats. The fat content helps to determine the method of preparation.

Fish that has fat will produce superior eating quality if cooked or boiled because of their natural fat which keeps them from drying during cooking. Lean fish are best poached, boiled or steamed. The flesh will be firm and will hold together during the cooking period. Both lean and fish with fat can be sautéed, fried, baked, poached etc.

Types of fish

There is not an exact classification of fish in the cooking world. Fish are generally classified on the basis of their shape and the type of water in which they are farmed or taken from. However, fishes can also be classified on the basis of their size and oil content. The most commonly used classification is on the basis of the water in which they are farmed:

  1. Fresh water fish: The fishes that are farmed in fresh water such as lakes, river and ponds. Example Trout, Eel, Carp, Salmon, Black bets etc.
  2. Saltwater fish: The fishes that are farmed in salty water such as sea, for example, Red Snapper, Sturgeon, Red Mullet, Tuna, Sole, and Skate etc.

Quality check and sign and storage of fish:
  • The eyes should be bright.
  • The gills should be red and no bacterial sign.
  • The tail should be stiff.
  • The scale should be firm and elastic.
  • If the scale in the fish comes out itself then it is stale.
  • There should be no unpleasant smell

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