How To Braise Beef or Chicken

Braising is a cooking method that cooks food, typically meat, in a liquid over low heat for an extended time. The beef or chicken is first seared or browned in fat, then simmered in a liquid, such as broth, wine, or tomato sauce, which helps to tenderize and flavor the meat.

For more tips on making amazing stews check out the best potatoes for stews, and the best type of meat for stew recipes and tips on using spices and seasoning for your homemade stew recipe.

Meat braising in stockpot.

Braising is often used for tough cuts of meat that require a long cooking time to become tender. You can braise meat or poultry on the stovetop in a covered pan or pot or in the oven in a covered casserole dish. The result is usually a flavorful and tender meal.

Differences Between Braises and Stews

Braised meats are a type of dish that is similar to a stew, but there are some key differences between the two. Both braised types of meat and stews involve cooking meat and vegetables in liquid over low heat for an extended time, but the main difference is in the cut of meat that is used.

  • Braised meats are typically made with larger cuts of meat that are first browned in a pan and then cooked in liquid in a covered pot or slow cooker.
  • In comparison, stews are usually made with smaller pieces of meat, such as beef chunks, that are cut into bite-sized pieces before being cooked.
  • Another difference between braised meats and stews is the consistency of the final dish. Braised meats are often cooked until the meat is very tender and falls apart easily, while stews tend to have a thicker, soup-like consistency with solid and liquid ingredients.

Cookware for Braising Meat

When braising meat on the stovetop, using a pan with a heavy bottom and tight-fitting lid is best. This will help to distribute heat and retain moisture as the meat cooks evenly. Good options for braising pans include a Dutch oven, a heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, or a braiser pan with a lid. These types of pans are typically made of materials such as cast iron, stainless steel, or enameled cast iron, which can withstand high heat and are good at evenly conducting heat. They also have a large surface area, which is helpful when braising larger cuts of meat.

It is important to choose a large pan to hold the meat and any vegetables or other ingredients you are using, as well as enough liquid to cover the ingredients. This will help to ensure that the meat cooks evenly and remains moist as it braises. When selecting a pan, you should also consider the heat source you will use, as certain materials are more suitable for certain stovetops.

General Braising Ingredients and Instructions


  • 2-3 lbs of beef or chicken
  • 2 tablespoons of oil or butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of broth or water
  • 1 cup of red or white wine (optional)
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh herbs (such as thyme or rosemary)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C).
  2. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the oil or butter and allow it to melt.
  3. Season the beef or poultry with salt and pepper. When the pot is hot, add the meat and sear it on all sides until it is browned. Remove the meat from the pot and set it aside.
  4. Add the onion and garlic to the pot and sauté until the onion is translucent about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add the broth or water, red wine or beer (if using), and herbs to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  6. Return the meat to the pot and cover the pot with a lid or foil. Meat should not be completely submerged in broth or liquid. Transfer the pot to the preheated oven.
  7. Braise the meat in the oven for 2-3 hours, or until it is tender and easily falls apart with a fork.
  8. Remove the pot from the oven and carefully transfer the meat to a serving dish. Strain the braising liquid and discard the solids. Serve the braised meat with the braising liquid and your choice of vegetables or sides.

That’s it! Braising is a simple and delicious way to prepare beef or poultry, and the slow cooking process results in tender, flavorful meat. Enjoy!

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