Imagine you’re food. You’ve been chopped, marinated and placed in a 350-degree oven for an hour. Some kind cook decides you’ve had enough and takes you out of the oven, yet despite the cooler clime you continue to heat up. The principal at work: carryover cooking.
Even after it’s been removed from a heat source, food continues to cook. Its internal temperature can rise anywhere from 5 to 20 degrees. The larger the food, the more carryover or residual cooking you’ll have.
It’s important to keep carryover cooking in mind for two reasons. First, you’ll want to remove food, especially meat, from the oven before it reaches the ideal temperature to keep from over-cooking it. Second, if you cut food while the carryover cooking’s going on, you’ll lose a lot of the juices, which bubble to the surface during cooking and will end up on your cutting board. (Check out resting here.)