food science, sous vide cooking 

2 words: "sous vide"

I believe it's french etymology, and the literal meaning is "under vacuum".

What it really means though: when folks talk about sous vide cooking, they're typically referring not to the vacuum-sealing itself, but rather, to the process of using an immersion heater / circulator to both pasteurize, as well as to modify the texture and composition of the food itself. AKA sous vide cooking.

I periodically like to find at least 4-5 articles to refresh my understanding of the food science I like to do in the kitchen. Some folks say cooking with love makes things better, but what if I love science?

Begin quote:

["Denatured myosin = yummy; denatured actin = yucky. Dry, overcooked meats aren’t tough because of lack of water inside the meat; they’re tough because on a microscopic level, the actin proteins have denatured and squeezed out liquid in the muscle fibers."]

Featured quote from linked article, originally sourced from:

Cooking for Geeks, Jeff Potter

food preservation, pasteurization, curing 

[bonus science]

If you're making a corned beef-inspired roast beef, you can get a few extra days wiggle room by doing 2 things:

[Safety factor #1]

pasteurization of the brine, followed by immediately adding the beef to the brine and pasteurizing the whole thing.

[Safety factor #2]

Inclusion of nitrite in the brine:

Because it's corned beef-inspired, the inclusion prague powder in the brine will do 2 things:

First, nitrite boosts the nice pinkish red color [and a slight change to the flavor & texture] which is traditionally expected with pastrami / corned beef / other nitrite-cured beef products [mind you, that color would be questionable if it was neither cured nor pasteurized]

[Attached: science screenshot]

And it boosts the preservative power of the pasteurization by further-inhibiting bacterial growth. Even at the minimum concentration needed to produce a distinctive "cured beef" coloration, the presence of even a few dozen parts per million nitrite will make the brine solution more forgiving if there are any handling mistakes [or if the meat handler made mistakes, or any other possible source of contamination]


pasteurize --> use a brine solution powerful enough to produce a pinkish "cured beef" color --> pasteurize a second time.

End curing write-up.

Show thread

more info about curing 

--- For folks who want a recipe:

["Curing meats such as bacon, ham, or pastrami is fun and the results are often better than store bought. But curing is very different from any other recipe because you are using a preservative, sodium nitrite. You must read and thoroughly understand my article on the Science Of Curing Meats before attempting to cure meat or before you ask any questions. That page also contains info on scaling the recipe up or down."]

Sourced from: Home Made Corned Beef Recipe, Meathead Goldwyn

@ URL:

--- Want to roll your own recipe?

["Before using this nitrite curing calculator, please read this article on nitrite curing safety"]

@ URL:

--- Here's a quote that one too:

["For centuries, humans relied on chemically reactive nitrItes to preserve meat in the absence of refrigeration. Nitrite kills the toxic, nasty and stubborn botulism bacteria that readily grows in smoked or canned foods. c. botulinum refuses to die in boiling water like its more compliant salmonella or norovirus brethren, so curing was a seminal invention in the history of mankind. It saves lives."]

@ URL:

This thread was getting long [fixed] Oh whoops, this is a repost: accidentally quoted & linked the wrong article earlier.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
The Vulpine Club

The Vulpine Club is a friendly and welcoming community of foxes and their associates, friends, and fans! =^^=