Everything You’re Doing Wrong When Cooking Beef And Broccoli

Cook a perfect stir-fried dish every time with these tips in mind.

IMAGE Majoy Siason

Cooking a stir fry isn't a newbie skill. In fact, stir-frying is an advanced cooking skill because of the prep and cooking skill needed to do it right. You don't have have to be a pro, however, to be able to do a simple stir-fried recipe with any degree of success. 

You can stir fry many dishes but if you have ever eaten a dish that was tough, rubbery, or didn't have enough flavor or sauce, you might have committed a few stir-frying mistakes.  

Here are mistakes you're probably doing that you need to fix so you can cook your favorite beef broccoli stir fry recipe perfectly: 

Photo by David Hanson
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1 You're using the wrong cut of beef. 

For stir fry recipes, the kind of beef you use makes a big difference. Many use the camto or flank steak as their beef of choice. Some skip straight to the tenderloin to guarantee that no matter what, their beef will be tender to the bite. Either of these cuts would be great for your dish. You can also use the sirloin as well as the meaty short ribs. Any of these cuts can be used for stir-fries.  

However, the other thing that you might not have noticed is that the beef is cut wrong, too. The best beef cuts for stir-frying are those beef cuts that are not only going to be tender when cooked right, it should also be sliced correctly. 

When we say "correctly" cut is against the grain. When the meat is cut against the grain, this shortens the strands, automatically making each bite tender. When its cooked right, the meat can't help but be tender. 

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So remember that not only should you choose a tender cut of beef, have it sliced right, too.  

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2 You are not prepared. 

If you read a stir fry recipe, you will notice that no matter how many ingredients it may have, part of the steps is always going to be having all your ingredients beside the stove when you start cooking. Stir-frying is all about the speed of cooking and the high heat. When you're not prepared to add those ingredients into your wok or frying pan at the moment that it needs to be in the heat, you might end up with a dish that has either burned or overcooked before you reach the end of the recipe. 

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Prepare all your ingredients, including the sauces! Place all of these flavorful liquids in small prep bowls beside the bigger bowls of chopped vegetables because when the heat is on and the pan is full of ingredients already, you won't and should not have time to let go of the pan in search of an ingredient or two. 

So, if needed, get yourself as many bowls and plates as you think you will need and use them. Place these, filled, within reach and your stir-fried dishes will be the better for it.    

A kitchen timer can tell you to take the pot off the heat.
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3 You cook in minutes. 

One of the best reasons to cook a stir-fried dish is the speed with which it is cooked. It should only take you minutes to cook. It's the preparation of the ingredients, the chopping, slicing, and dicing of all those vegetables and meats, that take time. The cooking, not so much. 

That's why if you're cooking by counting the minutes, you are probably stir-frying wrong. Stir-frying any one ingredient should take seconds, not minutes. This is because the heat is jacked up so high, that as soon as the ingredient touches the pan, it becomes seared, charred even.     

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4 You are afraid to cook over high heat. 

Stir-frying is always, or should always, be done over high heat. All the other mistakes you are making when stir-frying is heightened because you are cooking over high heat. When you are afraid to cook over high heat, you miss out on a few things: the charred flavor that only high heat can give your food and the speed with which it can be cooked.   

However, this fear can be lessened with experience and the only way you can get that experience is by cooking more stir-fries. To make sure you develop your confidence and get more experience stir-frying, here are recipes you can try, including an easy beef with broccoli recipe: 

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