The Extra Step That Will Make Cutting Meat For Hot Pot Easier

While you may think enjoying hot pot is something to be exclusively enjoyed during restaurant outings, it is possible –- dare we say even easy –- to throw together a great hot pot dinner at home. All you need is to buy the right cooking devices and plan out your tasty menu.

If you don't already have the needed equipment, Bon Appétit recommends investing in an electric burner, a divided pot to sit on top of it, and a wire skimmer. Once you've sourced these items, the fun part can begin: Choosing your spread.

You'll need a tasty broth to cook your food in. Anything from chicken to beef to vegetable is acceptable, as per The Spruce Eats. Then, as far as ingredients go, you can choose nearly anything you'd like. Bon Appétit says choosing one of each from the following categories will give you an ideal eating experience: Protein, seafood, leafy veg, hardy veg, mushrooms, accessories (something like fish balls or tofu), and starch.

While we enjoy everything in each of these categories, there's no denying that the meat, be it chicken, beef, or lamb, is always a showstopper. However, when it comes to slicing up dozens of pieces of the thin hot pot meat, it can be quite a struggle. So, when attempting to cut hot pot meat for the first time, listen to this easy tip first before you give up on at-home hot pots forever.

Cut your meat while partially frozen

Anyone who has enjoyed hot pot before knows that the thinner the meat, the better the experience. Thin meat will cook much quicker than thicker pieces and will have you savoring each bite that much faster. The Spruce Eats warns the meat should be no thicker than 1/4-inch to ensure it cooks in an adequate amount of time. Even for the most knife savvy, there's no denying that cutting meat that thin can be a difficult task. 

However, according to Recipe Tips, placing your raw meat into the freezer for about 30 minutes to an hour before you're ready to cut it will make your life much easier. Being in there for such a short amount of time won't completely freeze the meat, but it will partially freeze it. The meat will become firm enough to cut thin strips in a smooth motion, and you'll be done cutting in no time with this method.

The Spruce Eats also recommends partially freezing your meat. However, they also note you can simply ask a butcher to cut it for you. This is convenient if you're looking to save time at home, or it can just save you the headache of cutting perfect pieces of meat each time.