Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

What causes the sous vide meat to become "mealy"? An enzyme?


Recommended Posts

I sous vide this pork shoulder for 72 hours at 140F with no salt or marinade.  As you can see from the picture, the texture is mealy.  It kind of has this grainy, dusty texture.

 

I know from experience if I want less "mealy" meat, I should only sous vide for 24 hours, or maybe 48 hours max.  At higher temps it seems to be less mealy as well.

 

What causes this mealy texture? Is it the enzyme that Douglas Baldwin wrote about?     "Moreover, the sarcoplasmic protein enzyme collagenase remains active below 140°F (60°C) and can significantly tenderize the meat if held for more than 6 hours (Tornberg, 2005)."

 

 

Does this mean the enzyme is only active at temps below 140F?  So if I sous vide the pork shoulder at 145F instead of 140F, for 72 hours, it won't be mealy?

IMG_5739-2.JPG

Edited by torolover (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you salt the meat before bagging?   If so that would cause is to have some breakdown in texture.  But mainly, 72 hours is a loooong time for a shoulder. You may be better off bumping it up to 62/63c for 24 hours.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

Link to post
Share on other sites

The other issue with pork is that an awful lot of it is preseasoned (translation BRINED) in which case......

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to post
Share on other sites

Plus, pork shoulder is a collection of muscles. Some of the muscles have lots of connective tissue and fat, and some are quite lean and tender. I believe Rotuts has extolled the virtues of taking apart a shoulder and treated different parts differently in another thread. Lean/tender meat would be very mealy at 140/72h.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The pork shoulder I used was fresh.  When I Sous Vide, I don't use salt or marinade.  Like I mentioned before I understand if I use higher temps and lower times, the meat won't be mealy.

 

What I'm curious is the science behind it.  Is the mealy texture caused by that enzyme?  If that enzyme doesn't exist at temps over 140F, then theoretically if I sous vide at 145F for 72 hours, meat won't be mealy.  

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

what were you trying to achieve here? For tender sliced pork shoulder i use 145F for 24-26 hours max. For pulled pork i use 155F for 30-33 hours max. I am very pleased with the results and ive probably Sous vide 20 pork shoulders using those times/temps. I also brine the shoulders for 24 hours in a 4% kosher salt solution. The pork shoulders are fresh.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The pork shoulder I used was fresh.  When I Sous Vide, I don't use salt or marinade.  Like I mentioned before I understand if I use higher temps and lower times, the meat won't be mealy.

 

What I'm curious is the science behind it.  Is the mealy texture caused by that enzyme?  If that enzyme doesn't exist at temps over 140F, then theoretically if I sous vide at 145F for 72 hours, meat won't be mealy.  

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks! 

I think that is correct - it may completely and totally fall apart - but if the enzyme is responsible for mealy - it won't be mealy.  Of course an experiment may be in order to prove it.

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The pork shoulder I used was fresh.  When I Sous Vide, I don't use salt or marinade.  Like I mentioned before I understand if I use higher temps and lower times, the meat won't be mealy.

 

What I'm curious is the science behind it.  Is the mealy texture caused by that enzyme?  If that enzyme doesn't exist at temps over 140F, then theoretically if I sous vide at 145F for 72 hours, meat won't be mealy.  

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many other enzymes, including calpain and cathespin. These have both been shown to tenderize meat. Their peak activity levels are around 40C and 50C, respectively. They're both deactivated by 60C, but in any large chunk of meat cooked in a 60C water bath, the interior is going to spend a long time in the activity range of these (and other) enzymes.

 

Cathespin is possibly a problematic enzyme. It's been implicated as a producer of off-flavors. I don't know if it's also capable of producing bad textures. In general, I try to minimize time meat will spend in the 45C–55C range. It's one reason that SV can be tricky for anything big.

Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Similar Content

    • By Doodad
      Has anybody tried making a dark roux in a pressure cooker? Can this be done without scortching do you think? I have made roux in the oven before and started wondering about this topic.
    • By kostbill
      I really want to improve the flavor of my chicken breast so I want to try to inject brine with fat and flavors.
       
      I would like to try brining with some hydrocolloids. The one example I found is this: https://torontofoodlab.com/2013/08/20/meat-tenderizing-with-a-carrageenan-brine/.
       
      However I cannot apply that to my chicken breast because I am cooking it sous vide, so the chicken will not reach the temperature needed for the carrageenan to gel.
       
      I am thinking of using Methyl cellulose, first disperse in hot water, then leave it for 24 hours in the fridge, then add salt, fat and flavors and inject it.
      I am afraid that until it reaches the 50C or 60C that the Methyl cellulose needs in order to gel, the liquid will escape.
      Any ideas?
      Thanks.
    • By Anonymous Modernist 760
      Thanks for putting up this forum 🙂
      I would like to bake using a combination of sous vide and a conventional oven. Would it be possible to put the dough in a vacuum bag cook it sous vide at 37C for the dough to raise optimal and then put it in a conventional oven?
      Thanks
    • By PedroG
      Brisket „Stroganoff“ Sous Vide With Mixed Mushrooms

      Ingredients for 2 servings
      about 400g well marbled Brisket
      3 tablespoons rice bran oil or other high smoke point oil (grapeseed oil)
      3 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
      3 tablespoons Cognac (brandy)
      2 small onions, finely diced
      ½ yellow or red bell peppers cut into strips
      90 g mixed mushrooms
      100 ml of gravy from last Brisket (or concentrated stock)
      1 teaspoon mustard, Dijon type
      1 teaspoon paprika mild (not spicy!)
      1 medium pickled cucumber cut into thin strips
      2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
      approx. 120g sour cream with herbs
      Sous Vide - cooking
      Marinate brisket with Mexican style (medium hot) marinade in the vacuum bag for at least 3 days at 1 ° C, cook sous vide 48 hours at 55.0 ° C.
      Preparing the sauce
      At a moderate heat sauté onions in olive oil, add peppers (preblanched in the microwave oven for 2-3 minutes) and mushroom mixture, stir-fry, remove from heat and add the gravy. Add pickled cucumber, pepper, mustard and cognac. Put on very low heat, add sour cream and keep warm, but do not boil as the cream will separate. Remove the brisket from the bag, cut into strips (about 8x10x35mm), sear very quickly in smoking-hot rice bran oil, add the meat and the parsley to the sauce.
      Serving
      Serve on warmed plates. Typically served with spätzle (south German) or chnöpfli (Swiss).
      And don't forget a glass of good red wine!
      Enjoy your meal!
      Pedro

    • By PedroG
      Olla podrida sous vide
      Origin
      Not rotten pot, but mighty or rich pot! Originated in 16th century Spain, olla poderida became olla podrida and was falsely translated into French as pot-pourri.
      Ingredients
      For two servings
      * 100g Brisket well marbled, cooked SV 48h/55°C, large dice †
      * 100g Pork meat well marbled, cooked SV 24h/55°C, large dice †
      * 100g Lamb chops without bone, cooked SV 4h/55°C, large dice †
      * 100g Chicken breast, cooked SV 2h/58°C, large dice †
      * 100g Chorizo, sliced approximately 4mm †
      * 125g Chickpeas (garbanzos), soaked overnight in water †
      * 1 Onion chopped medium-fine †
      * ½ Savoy cabbage approx. 200g cut into pieces, thick leaf veins removed
      * ½ Celeriac approx. 200g quartered, sliced about 2mm
      * 2 Carrots sliced approximately 120g about 3mm
      * 1 Leek approximately 20cm / 100g sliced about 5mm
      * Extra virgin olive oil
      * Rice bran oil
      * Dried parsley qs, aromatic, black pepper
      † Beef, pork, lamb and chicken (or at least two kinds of meat) as well as chorizo, chickpeas and onions are mandatory ingredients, other vegetables vary according to desire and availability.
      Cooking
      Boil chickpeas in water for 30-60 min.
      Sauté onions in olive oil, add chorizo, continue sautéing, add chickpeas including its cooking water, add remaining vegetables, cover and cook to the desired softness, stir from time to time. If additional liquid is needed, you may add Sherry instead of water.
      Reduce heat. Season to taste. Add parsley.
      In a heavy skillet, sear the meat dice in just smoking hot rice bran oil (very high smoking point allows very quick sear, not overdoing the center of the meat).
      Sear one kind of meat at a time and transfer to the pan with the vegetables.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...