Have you ever wondered why many people wrap their meats in foil or let them rest prior to cutting in? There are actually a couple of good reasons why this is important to do.
Just like with any cut of meat it is no different when making jerk that you must let your meats rest before your tear in. This is so difficult because when our cook is done we typically want to tear right in and eat after we are done cooking. When making jerk I always wrap my meat in tinfoil and let it rest for about 10-20 minutes before cutting into the meats.
We are going to go back to science 101 in a minute here but by letting your meats rest for 10-20 minutes the moisture is re-absorbed making your meat more tender and juicy.
Meat is composed of lots of tightly woven strands of protein. When cold these fiber strands become strong so they are not going to move or break. Once they are cooked they loose their in structural integrity. After the meat is cooked and begins to cool back down again, the collagen starts firming up and the strands start regaining some of their strength back. If you cut into the meat to soon you will break the loosened strands and the liquids will pour out of the meats. By letting it rest the strands will regain back some strength so when its time to cut the meats it will be able to withstand some of the damage therefore retaining more of it’s juices.
Also keep in mind that when you wrap your meats in tinfoil they will continue to slowly cook. Some recipes will actually call for you to do this. There are several advantages to letting your meats rest after cooking. Again you only will need maybe 10-20 minutes of rest time but the benefits of this wait time is one that always pays off in the end. I always use this small time frame to prepare the table, clean any last minute dirty dishes and even finish preparing other sides that I plan to have with my meal. In the end it is always worth the wait.