Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chemistry behind BBQ

Date:
May 21, 2014
Source:
Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
Summary:
It’s that time of the year again when people are moving their kitchens outside in order to soak up the warm weather and smoky aromas of grilling. Researchers provide insight into the food science behind BBQ, and address how a marinade works to keep your meat tender, how smoking can infuses new flavors into meat, searing and more.

It's that time of the year again when people are moving their kitchens outside in order to soak up the warm weather and smoky aromas of grilling. IFT spokesperson Guy Crosby, PhD, CFS provides insight into the food science behind BBQ. Crosby addresses how a marinade works to keep your meat tender, how smoking can infuses new flavors into meat, searing and more.

1. How does using a marinade make meat tenderer?

There are some misconceptions around this topic, typically only salt or salty ingredients such as soy sauce make the biggest difference. It really depends on the type of meat and the muscle structure. The protein that forms when the salt breaks the muscle down helps to retain moisture, and makes the tissue a little looser.

Acid-based marinades such as lime, lemon juice or vinegar don't have a huge effect. They will help break down some connective tissue and flavor the meat, but it's really only on the surface.

2. Does searing a meat before cooking help keep the juices inside?

Searing does not trap or keep moisture inside a piece of meat; it's an old kitchen myth.

3. Why does a piece of meat need to rest before cutting it?

When you cook meat the muscle fibers and the proteins begin to shrink and squeeze out moisture. If you immediately slice a piece of meat, the moisture that has been squeezed out of the muscle fibers will run out. But if you let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the meat, the fibers start to soak back up some of that moisture.

4. What is the Maillard Reaction?

A French scientist in 1912 discovered certain proteins and amino acids react with certain kinds of sugars and cause browning. When meat is browned it forms hundreds of very potent flavor molecules that affect its aroma and taste.

5. Why cook low and slow?

The lower you cook the temperature, the less the fibers will shrink, the less tough the meat will be because it won't lose as much moisture. Typically tough cuts of meat are cooked this way to keep the meat moist. Cooking the meat slowly breaks down tough connective tissue to form gelatin, which binds moisture. The amount of fat also helps because it breaks up the protein, lubricates the meat and makes it tenderer.

6. When smoking a piece of meat, how does the wood flavor get infused into it?

The oxygen breaks down the lignin in wood and releases a smoky aroma that sticks to the moist surface of the meat, flavoring it.

7. What is an easy thickening agent to use at home to thicken a BBQ sauce?

The most common one would be cornstarch. The best way is to add cornstarch to room temperature water first, mix well, and then add the combination to the sauce and heat. Flour is another option.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). "Chemistry behind BBQ." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521162711.htm>.
Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). (2014, May 21). Chemistry behind BBQ. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521162711.htm
Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). "Chemistry behind BBQ." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521162711.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins