“Barbeque”! Words derives from the word “barabicu”, which to the Taíno individuals in the Caribbean islands suggested “sacred fire pit”. We are absolutely on sacred ground today. If we can get in.
What is BBQ? I think BBQ is something that’s prepared over a real-time fire, to ensure that could incorporate cooking, slow balanced out food preparation, food preparation in the ground, cooking whole hogs over coals, any one of those kinds of things I call BARBEQUE, but also for me on a personal level, it’s a German/Czech style, counter cooking.” I experiment constantly, at the end of the day really feel trumps white and black number or formula you might possibly have.
If something’s not tender, it’s simply not tender, if something’s dry, it’s just as well dry. The science behind these things how wood burns, how airflow works, if you start thinking about fluid dynamics inside of a cooker, then science has a pretty huge part of it.
I believe great BBQ is an equilibrium between science as well as all-natural digestive tract impulse. Food preparation is really just thermodynamics and also chemistry, yet tastier.
Inside the cigarette smoker, air molecules are walking around actually rapidly thanks to that fire, they’re vibrating all insane, as well as when they smack into the brisket, they move that energy to the meat, either adding chemical reactions or raising the temperature. Meat browns when it chefs, whether it’s direct warmth like a steak or slow like BBQ. Heat breaks healthy proteins down right into amino acids, which after that react with sugars to create molecular deliciousness, which occurs to be brownish.
It’s not caramelization, it’s something called the Maillard response. It started out with entire animals, you would sell what you might and after that whatever was left, as a method of preservation, you would certainly BBQ things on Sundays For us to completely understand the science of BBQ, we need to know a little about the hunk of meat we’re cooking. Meat in general is muscle, which is primarily protein, fat, some vitamins and minerals, and whole lot of water.
Brisket comes from across chest area of cow, right here, and since cattle don’t have collarbones like us, this muscle has to support more than half their body weight.
That means it’s got a lot of three things: hard-working muscle, fat, and connective tissue. It’s basically the opposite of filet mignon. If we apply the right kind of science, those three things can come together like Voltron to make something very tasty.
At the end of the day you want it to be tender, juicy, good bark, with good fat render. Some of you might not want to hear this, but making good BBQ is like making Jell-O.
Ribs, brisket, pork shoulder, all cuts of meat that have tons of connective tissue, the molecular glue that supports all those muscle fibers. Collagen, one of the proteins in connective tissue, can make up a quarter of all the protein in a mammal’s body.
Cook ’em fast, and those proteins snap up tight like rubber bands, they have the texture of them too. They melt if you cook them slow. Its long protein chains break down and water works its way in when collagen is heated slowly and held there for hours (and hours).
That’s what makes good BBQ so tender inside. BBQ cuts also have a good amount of fat.
These have much higher melting points than unsaturated fats like, say, vegetable or olive oil you have in your kitchen, because those straight triglyceride tails are stable, packed nice and close.
As we heat these saturated fats up, slowly, we can disrupt those hydrogen bonds and turn to liquid, called rendering. Which is delicious. Together, melting collagen to gelatin and liquefying fat make the meat OH SO TENDER. You need no teeth to eat dis beef.
Did they have ovens back in the early days, coming up through Mexico? No you dug a hole in the ground, you buried a head, on coals, you cooked on a fire.
I’m not gon na use electricity, not gon na use gas no assisted heat source of any kind.We have light bulbs, and I don’t even like that so much. And it tastes good. That gets into a whole other thing too, how you’re using wood, green wood, dry wood, post oak, hickory, mesquite, pecan, any of these different kinds of woods they all taste different, they all cook different. The hardwoods used in BBQ smoke have lots of cellulose and lignin.
When burnt slowly, cellulose caramelizes into sugar molecules that flavor the meat.
And lignin is converted into all kinds of aromatic chemicals that flavor the meat, and can even act as chemical preservatives. You just can’t have brisket, or any BBQ, without that beautiful smoke ring. Now THIS is some cool chemistry! Or hot chemistry.
Meat starts out pink because it’s full of oxygen-carrying molecule called myoglobin. That iron-containing myoglobin starts out red, but as it heats up the iron in its heme group oxidizes and it turns this brown color. So why is the ring still red? Well, BBQ smoke contains gases like carbon monoxide and nitric oxide, made by burning wood.
That gas diffuse into the edges of the meat, bind to the myoglobin in place of oxygen.
It’s not just heat, it’s not just the temperature on a gauge, it’s how the smoke is coming out of the smokestack, it’s how a piece of wood if it flames up and dies out real quick, it’s about a heat curve, how long is it gon na last, are you forcing a piece of wood to do something it doesn’t want to do? You can’t really make a piece of meat do what you want it to do, you can only guide it to do what you think you want it to do.