5 Science-Backed Barbecue Tips | Summary and Q&A

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July 21, 2019
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5 Science-Backed Barbecue Tips

TL;DR

Learn the science behind cutting meat for tenderness, the barbecue stall phenomenon, the effectiveness of different marinades, the importance of slow cooking, and the benefits of resting meat after grilling.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How does cutting meat at a 90-degree angle to the grain make it more tender?

Cutting across the grain separates muscle fibers and breaks down connective tissue, resulting in a more tender bite by letting the knife do the work of breaking down the muscle.

Q: What causes the barbecue stall phenomenon during slow cooking?

The leveling out of the internal temperature during the barbecue stall is likely due to evaporative cooling, where water inside the meat evaporates and carries heat away, causing the temperature to plateau.

Q: What are the different effects of salty and acidic marinades on meat?

Salty marinades tenderize meat by breaking down myofibrillar proteins, while acidic marinades break down connective tissue and add flavor but do not increase the meat's ability to hold onto water.

Q: Why is slow cooking at a precise temperature important for tender and juicy meat?

Slow cooking at a temperature range of 50-70 degrees Celsius allows for the denaturation of proteins, including collagen, and the breakdown of connective tissue, resulting in tender meat with minimal moisture loss.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Cutting meat at a 90-degree angle to the grain results in a more tender bite by separating muscle fibers and breaking down connective tissue.

  • The barbecue stall phenomenon occurs when the internal temperature of meat levels out during slow cooking, and evaporative cooling is the likely cause.

  • Different marinades have varying effects on meat, with salty marinades tenderizing and acidic marinades breaking down connective tissue.

  • Slow cooking at a precise temperature range of 50-70 degrees Celsius allows for the denaturation of proteins and the breakdown of collagen.

  • Resting meat after grilling helps it retain moisture by allowing some water to be reabsorbed.

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