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Pressure Cooked Stock


schmoopie
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... with the pc, when I'm finished I can snap the chicken bones with one finger - there's nothing left holding it together...

That's interesting to know. I've read that it's the pressure-cooking purification stage of fish canning that makes the fish bones so soft, too.

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Saltedgreens - The Kuhn Rikon cookers nearly always do well in reviews, and friends of mine have also recommended them to me.

RLumis - Thanks for the heads up on the beef recipe. Filed for future reference.

KenT it's interesting that you say you are not looking for a richly flavoured stock. I can understand that if you want to use the stock more as a carrier for other flavours in sauces etc.

I am looking to make a rich dark stock. I'm thinking that this will be a matter of getting some maillard on the chicken bones or onions before I seal the pressure cooker. I wasn't sure if the Maillard reaction does occur in the pressure cooker itself - I guess it does because people like Shola over in StudioKitchen are making "Dulce De Leche" in the cooker from ingredients like Miso.

Regardless I pretty much have a feeling that this is the way to go as it seems to have a number of benefits. It's faster and cleaner yes but also I have to think you'd get a more flavourful stock because those delicious volatile flavour components that you can usually smell in the kitchen when cooking stock are trapped in the stock and the pressure cooker itself. And as we all now know if you can smell the aroma in the kitchen it won't be in the stock itself (hat-tip to Mr McGee)...

Edited by joesan (log)
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I am looking to make a rich dark stock. I'm thinking that this will be a matter of getting some maillard on the chicken bones or onions before I seal the pressure cooker. I wasn't sure if the Maillard reaction does occur in the pressure cooker itself - I guess it does because people like Shola over in StudioKitchen are making "Dulce De Leche" in the cooker from ingredients like Miso.

A Maillard reaction won't happen in either a pressure cooker or a more traditional stock pot without higher temperature heat applied in a process such as frying or roasting.

The best way to get the effect is to roast the chicken bones to brown them before you complete the cooking in the pressure cooker. With the onions, you can brown them in the pressure cooker (using it as a frypan) prior to adding the other ingedients or simply do them in a separate frypan and then add them to the other ingredients prior to cooking.

If you want heaps of flavour, try roasting the carrots as well.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Thanks Nick - I sometimes do roast the bones themselves to get the deepening effect. Hadn't thought of trying the carrots so I must give that a go.

I'm not sure if you are correct about no Maillard reaction without frying or roasting because Maillard reactions can occur in pressure cooking e.g. in the case of making dulce de leche as mentioned above. Also isn't it the case that pressure cookers heat the liquid beyond the normal boiling temperature?

Edited by joesan (log)
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There's a lot more sugar and less water in dulce de leche than in stock. I don't think you would see any maillard reaction in a pressure cooked stock. My grandmother made soups in the pressure cooker all the time, and I wouldn't characterize them as having any maillard reaction from the pressure cooker.

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Saltedgreens - The Kuhn Rikon cookers nearly always do well in reviews, and friends of mine have also recommended them to me.

RLumis - Thanks for the heads up on the beef recipe. Filed for future reference.

KenT it's interesting that you say you are not looking for a richly flavoured stock. I can understand that if you want to use the stock more as a carrier for other flavours in sauces etc.

I am looking to make a rich dark stock. I'm thinking that this will be a matter of getting some maillard on the chicken bones or onions before I seal the pressure cooker. I wasn't sure if the Maillard reaction does occur in the pressure cooker itself - I guess it does because people like Shola over in StudioKitchen are making "Dulce De Leche" in the cooker from ingredients like Miso.

Regardless I pretty much have a feeling that this is the way to go as it seems to have a number of benefits. It's faster and cleaner yes but also I have to think you'd get a more flavourful stock because those delicious volatile flavour components that you can usually smell in the kitchen when cooking stock are trapped in the stock and the pressure cooker itself. And as we all now know if you can smell the aroma in the kitchen it won't be in the stock itself (hat-tip to Mr McGee)...

I agree with Nickrey - it's impossible to get Maillard reactions while there is water around - it'll keep the temperature at 250F in the pressure cooker which is too low for Maillard...

When I do brown stocks like brown veal stock or beef stock, I roast the bones at like 400F for about an hour in a sheet pan in a touch of oil... once they are browned, I move them to the pressure cooker... then I roast the mirepoix in the sheet pan also (removing most of the fat that rendered from the bones first). Then I add some water to deglaze my sheet pan, and add the deglazing liquor to the stock pot.

If you'd like a richer, more flavorful stock, like a broth, add more meat... bones alone do not yield much flavor - but meat adds tons...

I make an upscale pho bo in a pressure cooker also... I like to use beef shin and neck bones - the neck bones for gelatin, and the shin for the meatyness... When I finish, it's clear like a consomme but has an intensely beefy flavor...

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Thanks Ken - some great ideas there.

Do you find that you can get away with not skimming all the 'scum' from the top of the liquid in the initial stages?

I've always been a bit skeptical about the need for all the skimming that people do with a stock at the start because I am not convinced that there is anything wrong with it or that it prejudices flavour in any way; after all it comes from the meat itself. I think it just looks off-putting because of the colour and texture etc. but wonder whether you can't just remove it at the end of the cooking session. This might be all the more so with pressure cooking as by all accounts one gets a clearer stock anyway.

Edited by joesan (log)
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KennethT, I've noticed that all of my scum accumulates and sticks to the bottom of my pan. None floating in the stock. I also strain thru a strainer lined with cheese cloth or paper towels.

That's interesting... I do find some impurities stuck to the bottom of the pot, but I get quite a bit floating to the surface during the heat-up phase. Do you heat it with the cover on or the cover off? I know the instruction manual for the pc said to add all ingredients, put the cover on and put on high heat until full pressure, but I'm always afraid of getting a cloudy stock, so my method is kind of a hybrid between traditional and pc stocks...

KennthT, I put everything in the pot cold and then cover and heat. No cloudy stock. I'm not looking for consomme clear since the stock is going to find it's way into sauces and soups that aren't clear anyway.

I wish I had the time to roast the bones but I collect all bones, and unused chicken parts when breaking down and boning chickens and also all the meat that is cleaned off BSCB. You know that flap of meat where the breast is connected to bone. This all goes into big bags in the freezer so when I pull out a bag of frozen chicken scraps to make stock it enough to get it thawed and into the pot. I have even tossed it in the pressure cooker frozen and cooked it a little longer which also worked okay. I think I get a lot of flavor because of the mixture of bones and meat.

When I can remember I try to save the carcass of a roasted chicken. I have bones from and scraps from smoked chickens that gets turned into smoked chicken stock. Great for things where a little smokey flavor is welcomed.

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Thanks Ken - some great ideas there.

Do you find that you can get away with not skimming all the 'scum' from the top of the liquid in the initial stages?

I've always been a bit skeptical about the need for all the skimming that people do with a stock at the start because I am not convinced that there is anything wrong with it or that it prejudices flavour in any way; after all it comes from the meat itself. I think it just looks off-putting because of the colour and texture etc. but wonder whether you can't just remove it at the end of the cooking session. This might be all the more so with pressure cooking as by all accounts one gets a clearer stock anyway.

I don't know if I could not skim and still be ok... I figure that the more impurities I remove in the beginning, the less chance of a problem in case it starts simmering too hard by accident mid-way through... as far as I knew, impurities came from coagulated blood and proteins - I don't think they'd add anything to the stock other than cloudiness...

Scubadoo97 - I do something similar - I take all the bones from whole chickens and stick them ina freezer bag and leave them until I'm ready... then I defrost in a cool waterbath, rinse and then begin... if i want to roast them, I'll skip the rinsing, but blot them off with paper towels first...

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Isn't the scum blood etc cooing out of the bones? When I made veal stock I had to skim a lot and that stuff looked nasty. Grey and slimy, not something I'd want to eat. But I'm truly intrigued now, I might just have to get a cooker.

Anybody know if I could use a pressure canning cooker for this? I want one of those, but they are expensive and I have no idea if they can be used for regular pressure cooking also. That would be neat and take me closer to the "finalize order" page.

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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. . . .

Anybody know if I could use a pressure canning cooker for this? I want one of those, but they are expensive and I have no idea if they can be used for regular pressure cooking also. That would be neat and take me closer to the "finalize order" page.

Yes. pressure canners aren't quite as user friendly as the smaller models, and because of their size they take longer to come up to pressure, but they work exactly the same way.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Found this from the maestro Mr Blumenthal and I thought I'd share it -

"At the Fat Duck we've just started using a brilliant gadget to make stocks. It's not exactly cutting-edge - it's the humble pressure cooker - but it makes stock better and quicker than any other method I know of.

Now, this may seem obvious, but when you smell those wonderful odours while you're cooking, it's a sign that you're losing flavours through those volatile elements that disappear in the air. A pressure cooker, however, keeps the aromas and flavour molecules sealed in the pot. Also, it cooks at a higher temperature than conventional methods - as high as 140°C, which is round about the point when those lovely meaty flavours in the stock really begin to develop. In a normal stockpot, by contrast, water evaporates at boiling point, taking flavour with it. A final advantage is that the pressure keeps the liquid inside the cooker much less turbulent, which helps to keep the stock that much clearer even before you clarify it (unlike the traditional method, which renders all sorts of impurities).

So, sweat some chopped onion and star anise (this really brings out the meaty flavours) in a little oil, add the stock bones or meat, along with water (or stock), clamp on the lid of your pressure cooker, and set over the heat. And, after 30 minutes' cooking and 10 minutes' cooling down time, you will have the best, truest tasting stock you've ever made."

Seems pretty conclusive that he likes the results and an interesting observation that the final liquid is less cloudy than in other methods which would bear out what others here have to say.

The more I think about it the more I'm convinced that there's probably no need to skim at the start of the process but I'll need to wait until I get a Pressure Cooker to prove it. Unless anyone else wants to try an A vs B comparison in the meantime?

Pressures on... :biggrin: (bad pun I know)

BTW I've tried the Star Anise trick in making stock and whilst there is an increase in flavour to me it tastes a bit too much of star anise.

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Caramelization and Maillard Browning are two different forms of browning.

Maillard browning requires the abscence of water and the presence of protein. The necessary presence of water in a pressure cooker makes maillard browning impossible.

Caramelization is about sugar and temperature. Succeful attempts at caramelizing white chocolate, Shola's miso "dulce de leche" etc... are all proof that caramelization is possible in a pressure cooker.

Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

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Caramelization and Maillard Browning are two different forms of browning.

Yes. But...

Maillard browning requires the abscence of water and the presence of protein.

At sea level and atmospheric pressure, yes. Is that true at the pressure and temperature of domestic pressure cooking ? (And there's the (65% ?) presence of water in meat in the first place).

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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The more I think about it the more I'm convinced that there's probably no need to skim at the start of the process but I'll need to wait until I get a Pressure Cooker to prove it. Unless anyone else wants to try an A vs B comparison in the meantime?

Pressures on... :biggrin: (bad pun I know)

I've been meaning to make chicken stock for a while now... as I wrote above, I usually skim first, then cover and cook... but for the sake of science, this time I won't bother with skimming and throw everything in at once.. I'll report on my findings.. but I don't know if I'll get to it until this weekend or possibly even next weekend...

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Caramelization and Maillard Browning are two different forms of browning.

Yes. But...

Maillard browning requires the abscence of water and the presence of protein.

At sea level and atmospheric pressure, yes. Is that true at the pressure and temperature of domestic pressure cooking ? (And there's the (65% ?) presence of water in meat in the first place).

After further research, it seems the issue is more complex than I first expected.

1. It turns out that complete abscense of water is not necessary, just lower levels of moisture. You would think this would be difficult to achieve in a pressure cooker considering the steam environment, however shola and aki&alex have done this using a mason jar within the cooker.

2. Some things that we may consider caramels may not be true caramels. "Caramels" that contain dairy for instance can possibly host both caramelization and maillard reactions (which wouldnt be unique in the world of cooking by the way). This is because if the right environment/temp is achieved the amino acids brought to the party from protein can brown.

3. Maillard is said to occur at 155 deg celcius, if anyone knows the temp inside a pressure cooker that would help. Otherwise if anyone knows the amount of pressure in the cooker they can use this calculator. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/kinetic/vappre.html . Though pressure levels likely differ based on the quantity of product in a pressure cooker assuming you use a standard cooker such as the cuisinart; which otherwise would require factoring in the variability of heat applied.

4. Shola, Aki&Alex, playing with fire and water, along with others have shown us "caramelized" chocolate, yogurt, miso ... and many other things. In the cases I listed here both protein and sugar are present ... and with the use of the mason jar the exterior moisture is shielded.

So the million dollar question is,

- if you caramelize a liquid that has protein, have you actually browned any of the amino acids as well, even though the mixture itself contains moisture?

I'm sure they have considered this and will post a comment on their blog to see if they are willing to comment.

Interesting stuff

Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

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Maillard browning requires the abscence of water and the presence of protein.
After further research, it seems the issue is more complex than I first expected.

1. It turns out that complete abscense of water is not necessary, just lower levels of moisture.

Is that your final answer? You want a lifeline? I could probably hook you up with Harold McGee's email, if that would help :biggrin:

Seriously, though- try simmering stock for 24 hours. Not pressure cooking, just a low boil. You'll see the color changes that take place as the maillard reactions occur. All in the presence of plenty of moisture.

Maillard is said to occur at 155 deg celcius,

'Is said?' By whom? :smile:

Maillard reactions aren't like flicking a switch. It's not like "153, no, nothing happening... 154, still nothing... 155 WOW!" Where protein and sugars are present, maillard is happening pretty much all the time. Certain conditions can be more conducive/less conducive to maillard, but, for the most part, it never completely ceases. Think faster/slower, not stopped/started/occurring/not occurring.

Oh, and scientifically speaking, dulce de leche isn't caramelization. Caramelization is the pyrolysis of sugar. The heat necessary to pyrolyze the sugar in condensed milk would burn the milk proteins. Any time you're browning anything other than pure sugar, it isn't caramelization because the other ingredients will usually burn before the sugar browns. Dulce de leche is produced by maillard browning of the proteins- at lower temps than caramelization.

Leave a can of condensed milk on the shelf for a few years, then open it- it will be a nice shade of tan. Maillard at room temp- in the presence of moisture.

Caramelization requires the absence of water.

And that's my final answer :)

Edited by scott123 (log)
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Fair enough ...

Thanks for clarifying, didn't mean to imply what I was saying was correct ... in fact quite the opposite.

Clearly I had contradicting thoughts working it out in my mind. That's is why I brought up the thoughts in this forum because I knew someone would be able to help clear things up.

Thanks for your final answer :wink:

Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

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So, in the interest of science, I conducted an experiment last night. As I wrote above, I typically put my rinsed chicken backs, necks, wingtips and feet (if I've got them) into the pot and add water until I"m about 1.5-2" from the top of the pc (much fuller than the manufacturer recommends, but it works for me)... I then bring up to a simmer over high heat, skimming as impurities rise to the surface. This usually takes about an hour of me standing over the pot, skimming skimming skimming... After most of the gunk has risen to the surface, I add the mirepoix and sachet ingredients (I don't actually bother making a sachet since I can't remove it in the middle anyway), cover and gently simmer under full pressure for an hour... then let naturally cool... the result is a perfectly clear stock that is very gelatinous....

Last night, I decided to forgoe the skimming step as an experiment to see if the stock would remain as clear as normal... so rinsed chicken, mirepoix, sachet went into the pot, then covered with cold water to the normal level. Put on the cover, and set over high heat - once full pressure was attained, I regulated the heat to keep at a low simmer at full pressure....

The results: Just as clear as with the skimming!!! And all the fat rendered out stayed right on top - no emulsification!!! After removing the liquid as gently as possible, the bones just fell apart when barely touched - great gelatin extraction...

So that's it - no more skimming for me... while it doesn't really save that much time (because the water has to come up to a simmer anyway), at least I don't have to be standing over it the whole time...

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The more I think about it the more I'm convinced that there's probably no need to skim at the start of the process but I'll need to wait until I get a Pressure Cooker to prove it. Unless anyone else wants to try an A vs B comparison in the meantime?

Vindicated! :biggrin:

KennethT - thanks so much for doing this experiment. I find all the skimming at the start of the process to be a real bind.

On the negative side I was reading Heston's Big Fat Duck cookbook and he does blanch the chicken pieces to "remove blood and impurities". Normally he's pretty thorough but maybe he missed this one...

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