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Osmotic pressure in meat


Bernie
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Have had a few thoughts recently on how dry various meats become with various method/forms of cooking.

I have become intrigued by the difference in lean meats in SV. Now I know there are various chemical reactions with the fats & connective tissues, that is fine I sort of can muddle through that.

When I brine a chicken the results can be spectacular. I believe the same happens with other meats. I am talking in particular about lean meats.

 

I believe Brining works by a difference in the internal tissues of the meat and the brine. The brine needs to be salty enough for the liquid to work itself inside, but not so salty that the liquid inside becomes too salty.

Question:

If that is so should the cooking medium used (example in a slow braise or even stews and the like) and the sauces we are cooking the meat in be adjusted to actually take advantage of this chemical process, so the meat never dries out, in fact it should become juicier?

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@Bernie

Are you proposing to have the braising liquid be the same saltiness as the brine so that no water is drawn out of the meat?

 

Meat drying has a couple of mechanisms that I'm not sure how to factor-in.

 

There's the effect of  heat that denatures protein and squeezes water out when the protein contracts. Sous vide and braising minimize this

 

There's also the effect of evaporation that makes meat lose water.  Steam ovens and sous vide minimize this

 

I can't predict what happens to the water brought into the meat by brining.  Probably the same thing.

 

 

Edited by gfweb (log)
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i  have a different view of braising :

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braising

 

lets use this as a starting point :

 

N.B. : simmer .   that's lower than boiling , but not by much.

 

braised meats get tender , and result in a tasty sauce

 

but the tase-ness of the sauce comes out of the meat

 

the meat , although tender , will be dry in the mouth.  interstitial fat is

 

probably also squeezed out into the sauce.

 

left over night , braises are traditionally said to improve 

 

if so , probably because some of the fluid returns back into the meat over time.

 

re:   isotonic ' sauce ' for a braise to keep water in the meat ?

 

interesting idea ;  taste the brine .   Im betting its fairly salty

 

so using that as your stock might result in an overly salty final dish.

 

one of my ( many ) undone projects is to make a

 

SV + traditional braise dish ;

 

take any Rx for beef stew you like.

 

but pick a flavorful , thus tough cut of meat .

 

Shoulder ?  trim into pieces the size of which you might like in the final dish.

 

take the time to trim well :  all the ' sinew '  and silver skin and tendon.

 

SV  130.1 f   until very tender.   that's you meat component 

 

which you add to the Pot that has your vegetables , and a flavorful sauce.

 

you Maillard-ed some chopped meat to get meat flavor into the sauce 

 

then remove it.  you mialiard-ed the veg if you like that , and simmered them

 

in the sauce u til tender , thicken if needed , then add the SV meat

 

and keep the temp 130.1 so you do not get any further meat protein contraction.

 

bet it would be both tasty and the meat would be juicy and tender and full of flavor.

 

then bag it all up , and freeze

 

re-therm when needed at the temp you initially picked for the meat,

 

P.S.  :  a number of braises do not brown the meat first 

 

two of my favorites , and very similar but w different cuts of meat:

 

Veal :  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blanquette_de_veau

 

lamb :  https://www.thespruceeats.com/irish-lamb-stew-recipe-1809131

 

this Rx browns the Lamb  .  but other Rx['s do not , which i cu0ld not find on-line

 

w/o browning its more like BdV.

 

note this line in the lamb Rx :

 

""  In traditional fashion, make this stew the day before and refrigerate overnight, as it is even better reheated. The flavors have time to blend together more, which results in a more flavorful dish. ''

 

I think its possible the flavors blend together overnight , but I doubt it :

 

what exactly were those flavo(u)s doing for several hours in the pot initially ?

 

playing ' keep away ?'    the dish and most braises are better the next day as

 

moisture and flavor ( to some extent ) return to the  contracted , dry meat.

 

at least that'w what I think.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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@rotuts I agree braising is an imperfect way to cook tough meats.They still dry out to a degree. Same with BBQ, an imperfect method to tenderize that still requires a sauce to be palatable.

For me sous vide solves all the problems but a sauce for the meat.  I still love the braised veg on my short ribs.

 

Re tasting better on day 2. I think I've noticed it, but you are right it's probably do to juice distribution, I think.

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nothing wrong w traditional braise :

 

its easy to do and fool proof.

 

w the advent of SV , meat could now be cooked

 

in a more optimal fashion :  Tender , Rare , not dried out.

 

Too bad Prof. Maillard's reaction didn't start at 130 F

 

on one of Heston Blumenthals shows

 

he spent some time on a British attack submarine

 

space his tight    the pans are Huston made and square

 

all of them.  to use the full surface of the stove.

 

most everything is frozen , in a hold that's a large freezer

 

below.  the fresh stuff gets eaten up very quickly.

 

after learning the Submarine Ropes  ( he slept on top of a cruise missile I think )

 

he went to the Royal Navy's Cuilinary School 

 

( yes there is one ...  trains Navy Chefs [ sic ]

 

he did a SV stew vs the RN version prepared there

 

and the two judges were :  the Captains ( Commander , or course ! ) wife

 

and the Chief of the Boats wife.  Identical ingredients 

 

Heston SV'd the meat   dame cut 

 

two thumbs up for the SV stew.

 

the Commader was impressed  as much of the food could

 

be cooked SV  ( not just the stew ) on shore , Fz , and stored inthe

 

massive submarines freezer .  less work to ' heat and serve '

 

less trimmings to dis[pose of

 

in the final few seconds of the who , Heston and te Navy are seen hauling

 

decent sized bags of SV food.  I noted the ingredients for the stew :

 

meat , carrots , potato , ' stock '  were all bagged seperately

 

but there was no mention on the show of he is technique.

 

seeds of SV Better-than-Braise Braise were planted at that time

 

so some if not all credit goes to HB

 

too bad I can't find a reference to this show.

 

its very interesting 

 

Square Pans,  Square Pots ?

 

very cool

 

Edited by rotuts (log)
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you are in for a treat right here :

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZnqxW_kcJ4

 

 

HBHP.thumb.jpg.e2ff7629ce83628410d167506dcc5b1a.jpg

 

the ingredients lined up

 

[ed.:  its a lamb hot-pot , not a beef stew ]

 

same ingredients , but cooked SV on shore ;

 

1550205926_sHBsss.thumb.jpg.9721472a748a0e2aaaff38c49d535df1.jpg

 

massive space saver , and time saver.

 

and he used lamb neck !

 

lucky sailors indeed.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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On 2/16/2021 at 11:00 PM, gfweb said:

@Bernie

Are you proposing to have the braising liquid be the same saltiness as the brine so that no water is drawn out of the meat?

 

Meat drying has a couple of mechanisms that I'm not sure how to factor-in.

 

There's the effect of  heat that denatures protein and squeezes water out when the protein contracts. Sous vide and braising minimize this

 

There's also the effect of evaporation that makes meat lose water.  Steam ovens and sous vide minimize this

 

I can't predict what happens to the water brought into the meat by brining.  Probably the same thing.

 

 

It was more a question for the chemist out there. It need not necessarily be salt/brine. I assume there are other salts and chemical combinations that do the same thing (MSG?). By adjusting some of the ingredients or sauces (like soy sauce fish sauce etc) would it be possible to get the same effect as brine?

 

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1 hour ago, Bernie said:

It was more a question for the chemist out there. It need not necessarily be salt/brine. I assume there are other salts and chemical combinations that do the same thing (MSG?). By adjusting some of the ingredients or sauces (like soy sauce fish sauce etc) would it be possible to get the same effect as brine?

 

Brining pulls water into meat.

 

Soy, MSG, and fish sauce add umami but don't change meat texture or juiciness

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The saline is just a salt. There are lots of other salts, at least calcium, potassium in various configurations. I guess it depends on whether they are present in the various  sauces/ingredients and insufficient quantities to effect the transfer of water, thats why I think a chemist might be able to give us some answers. They obviously do other things as well to change the flavor profile but do they make the meat juicier? Osmotic pressure is also a function of temperature so even very week solutions may have some effect at higher temperature.

Garlic is an interesting one. You can "infuse" roast beef by adding garlic just in slits in the meat prior to cooking and the garlic flavor will permeate through the whole meat. This suggests that the garlic compound is using some method to move through the meat. Perhaps its just evaporation and cooking at lower temperatures (SV?)doesn't do the job much better than just resting the meat with the garlic inserted for a few hours before cooking. Perhaps it is that the garlic compounds are soluble in fats or oils and the elevated temperature allows them to dissolve more.

Is garlic salty? My impression is that for roasted garlic it is, but it is subtle.

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NaCl influences the water binding and water holding capacity of meat. It can also change the texture. A dry “brine” can make protein juicier when cooked, even if no extra water is added. Liquids high in NaCl like soy sauce or fish sauce (or just a saltwater brine) can affect similar changes while also drawing exogenous moisture into the meat.

 

Phosphates are also useful for increasing water holding capacity in protein.

 

For both NaCl and phosphates, it is dubious whether osmotic pressure is responsible for these changes.

 

In stews and conventional braises, the protein is going to be so cooked to death that these facts matter very little. It’s not like oversalted braises are dramatically juicier than underseasoned ones.

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17 hours ago, btbyrd said:

NaCl influences the water binding and water holding capacity of meat. It can also change the texture. A dry “brine” can make protein juicier when cooked, even if no extra water is added. Liquids high in NaCl like soy sauce or fish sauce (or just a saltwater brine) can affect similar changes while also drawing exogenous moisture into the meat.

 

You'd have to use a shitload of soy or fish sauce to add enough salt to effectively brine something bigger than a shrimp or two.

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Well, speaking of chemistry, what does baking soda do for meat moisture/tenderness?  I've had some really good results adding a tiny bit to a pork marinade destined to become sweet and sour pork.  I've also seen it recommended in cooking ground beef.

Edited by IndyRob (log)
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