Cooking Tips

Pork Doneness

Pork cooked with foods such as bacon, spinach, or tomatoes sometimes remains pink even when well done. The same is true of grilled and smoked pork. In those cases, rely on a meat thermometer to determine doneness.

Lobster Tails

For the most tender lobster meat, be sure to thaw frozen lobster tails for 6-8 hours in the refrigerator, or by placing them in the microwave for a few minutes on the defrost setting. An easy way to prevent lobster tails from curling up while cooking? Place a skewer down the middle of the tail, OR "butterfly" them using a very sharp knife or kitchen shears to carefully make a slit down the middle of the tail's underside.

  • Boiling/Steamed: Fill up a large kettle with water and add a few teaspoons of salt and bring to boil. Add the lobster tails one at a time, careful not to overcrowd. When water returns to the boil, lower heat and cook for one minute per ounce (or six minutes for 6 oz. tails).

  • Baking: Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Brush lobster tails with butter or olive oil, and/or stuff with your favorite mixture of spiced bread crumbs. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with lemon juice and lots of melted butter.

  • Broiling: Although this cooking method may be considered the most flavorful and eye-appealing, it must be done carefully and evenly as broiling time is always dependent on the tails' thickness. For a quick and easy cooking "cheat", boil the tails for a few minutes, then brush with butter and place them under the broiler for a few minutes more.

Hams: To Cook or Not to Cook

  • Fully cooked ham: This is the most popular kind of ham. It’s ready to eat when you buy it. To serve the ham hot, heat it to an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.

  • “Cook before eating” ham: Hams labeled like this are not completely cooked during processing and should be cooked to 160 degrees F. If you are unsure whether the ham you’ve purchased is fully cooked, heat it to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

  • Country or country-style ham: These hams are distinctively flavored and specially processed. They are cured, may or may not be smoked, and usually are aged. Country hams generally are saltier than other hams and often are named for the city where they are processed. Follow package directions for these hams.

Meat Buying Guidelines

  • Boneless roasts: Plan on 4 or 5 servings per pound. A rolled and tied roast is an example.

  • Bone-in meat cuts: Plan on 2 to 3 servings per pound. Examples include a leg of lamb, rib roast with bone, and bone-in ham.

  • Bony cuts: Plan on about 1 serving per pound. Cuts include beef shanks and pork ribs.

Temperatures for Food Safety

Always use a food thermometer to ensure that food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy harmful bacteria. Here are the internal temperatures recommended by the USDA.

Beef, lamb, and veal steaks, chops and roasts

  • Medium Rare: 145 degrees F.

  • Medium: 160 degrees F.

Hamburger, meat loaf, ground pork, veal, and lamb

160 degrees F.

Pork chops, ribs, and roasts

160 degrees F.

Egg dishes

160 degrees F.

Ground turkey and chicken

165 degrees F.

Stuffing and casseroles

165 degrees F.


165 degrees F.

Chicken and turkey breasts

170 degrees F.

Chicken and turkey whole bird, legs, thighs, and wings

180 degrees F.

Duck and goose

180 degrees F.

Roasting a Turkey

When preparing to roast your turkey, it is important that you take a few simple steps to preserve its tender juicy texture and old-fashion flavor.

  • Remove the neck and giblets from the neck and chest cavities.
    Rinse the bird with cold water.
    Pat cavities lightly with a paper towel

  • If you plan to stuff your turkey, do so just before cooking. NEVER stuff the bird with warm stuffing, as these practices can encourage bacteria growth.

  • Place the turkey breast side up in an open pan. Add about 4 cups of water (or broth) to the bottom of the pan. (The liquid will help preserve the birds natural juiciness.) Insert a meat thermometer into one of the thighs, making sure the tip is not in contact with the bone.

  • Ten the turkey with foil, but do not tightly seal the foil around the pan. This technique will create a self-basting process where the juices hit the foil and fall back on the turkey, basting the turkey on all sides.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

  • Add about 4 cups of water to the bottom of the pan
    (The liquid will help preserve the birds natural juiciness)

  • For the best results use a meat thermometer. Your turkey will be done when the thermometer reaches between 170 – 175 degrees.

  • Begin checking for doneness one hour before the end of the recommended roasting time. When turkey turns golden brown, place a tent of aluminum foil loose over turkey. Do not seal the foil around the pan.

  • Let the turkey rest about 15 minutes before caving to allow juices to well up in the meat. This helps preserve the meat juiciness.

  • Even the most experienced cooks get nervous when it comes time to prepare a holiday turkey.

Old Fashion Drake Prime Rib Cooking Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees

  • Your Drake Prime Rib should be at room temperature for 2 hours. Place the rib into a shallow pan. Make a foil tent over your roast but do not seal around the pan. This will minimize the grease from splattering over oven.

  • Cook as follows at 500 degrees

    RARE – 8 minutes per pound
    MEDIUM – 9 minutes per pound
    WELL – 10 minutes per pound
    (The weight of your rib will be on your invoice)

  • When the time is up, turn your oven off. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR! Let roast sit in the oven for 1 hour.

  • Remove from oven after the 1 hour time period has passed and your Old Fashion Drake rib is ready to serve!

Easy Prime Rib (boneless) Cooking Instructions

  • Ingredients
    1 (5 pound) standing beef rib roast
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Directions

    Allow roast to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Combine the salt, pepper and garlic powder in a small cup.

    Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan so that the fatty side is up and the rib side is on the bottom. Rub the seasoning onto the roast.

    Roast for 1 hour in the preheated oven. Turn the oven off and leave the roast inside. Do not open the door. Leave it in there for 3 hours. 30 to 40 minutes before serving, turn the oven back on at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) to reheat the roast.

    The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees F (62 degrees C). Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving into servings.

  • Ingredients
    1 (10 pound) prime rib roast
    6 cloves garlic, sliced
    salt and ground black pepper to taste
    1/2 cup Dijon mustard

  • Directions

    Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).
    Make slits all over the roast by pricking with a small knife. Insert slivers of sliced garlic. Season the roast with salt and pepper, then spread generously with mustard. Place on a rack in a roasting pan, and cover.

    Roast for 60 minutes in the preheated oven. Turn off oven. Leave oven closed, and do not peek for 90 minutes. The internal temperature of the meat should be at least 140 degrees F (60 degrees C) for medium-rare, or 155 degrees F (68 degrees C) for medium.

  • Ingredients
    1 (4 pound) boneless beef rib roast
    1 1/2 teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning
    1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
    3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
    1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    In a small dish, mix together the lemon-pepper seasoning, paprika, garlic salt, rosemary and cayenne pepper. Rub over the entire roast.

    Place the roast with the fat side up on a roasting rack set inside a shallow roasting pan.
    Bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the roast reaches your desired degree of doneness, or at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C) for medium-rare. Medium is recommended: 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Let the roast rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving into thin slices.

Spiral Sliced Hams

Spiral Sliced Hams are fully cooked and are delicious served cold. If you would like to serve the ham warm and/or glazed, follow the directions below.

Warming the Ham

  1. Heat oven to 275oF.
  2. Remove all packaging materials including the clear “button” on bone of ham.
  3. Place ham in shallow roasting pan. Quarter and half hams should be cooked FLAT/FACE SIDE DOWN.
    Whole ham should be cooked FAT SIDE UP. Cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake at 275oF for approximately 15 minutes per pound until heated through (see chart below). DO NOT OVERCOOK! If desired, glaze ham now following instructions below.
  5. Remove ham from oven; let stand, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes before serving
Ham Size Weight Aprox. Bake Time Servings
Quarter 3 to 4½ lbs. 1 hour 6 to 8
Half 7 to 9 lbs. 2 hours 12 to 16
Whole 14 to 18 lbs. 3½ hours 24 to 32

Glazing the Ham

  1. Remove ham from oven and increase temperature to 425oF.
  2. Brush or spoon prepared glaze over ham and between slices.
  3. Bake, uncovered, at 425oF for 8 to 10 minutes.

Boneless Hams: Traditional, Classic Cure or Pit

Our boneless hams are fully cooked and ready to eat, or you may heat them using the following directions.

Heating the Ham

  1. Heat oven to 325oF.
  2. Place ham in baking dish with 1/2 cup water. Cover with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake at 325oF for approximately 20 to 30 minutes per pound until heated through.
  4. Serve ham now or glaze as directed below.

Glazing the Ham

  1. Remove foil from ham.
  2. Brush or spoon desired glaze over ham.
  3. Bake, uncovered, at 325oF for 10 minutes.

Glaze Recipes

Ham Glaze Mix
Substitute orange juice, cranberry juice or apple cider for water when preparing glaze.

Sweet Curry-Orange Glaze
Combine 2/3 cup light corn syrup, 1 tablespoon curry powder and 1 tablespoon grated orange peel; mix until smooth.

Apricot Glaze
Combine 1 cup apricot preserves, ¼ cup orange marmalade, 2 tablespoons orange juice, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg; mix until smooth.

Bone-in Hams: Skinless, Shank-less or Whole

Our bone-in hams are fully cooked and ready to eat, or you may heat them using the following directions.
Heating the Ham

  1. Heat oven to 325oF.
  2. Place ham on rack in shallow roasting pan. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake at 325oF for approximately 15 to 20 minutes per pound until heated through.


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