More Cooking Science

You may have thought you left chemistry and physics behind in school, but everytime you set foot into the kitchen or out into the yard, you launch chemical and physical reactions. Understanding what happens when heat hits meat is what will allow you to become a better cook. If you are the type who asks "why" this section is for you.

"Every meal is a chemistry and physics experiment."

Meathead
beer cooler faux cambro
How do caterers hold cooked meats safely for so long? It's called a hotbox or Cambro and you can make a faux Cambro with a simple beer cooler. It's the secret to resting large cuts of BBQ like brisket, pork butts, and whole turkeys while keeping them warm and transporting them. Here's how to set up a faux Cambo. read more
brisket smoke ring
Smoked meats often have a pink layer below the surface called the smoke ring. But you don't need smoke to create it! It is created by myoglobin, a protein in meat, reacting with combustion gases. Read on to learn how removing the fat cap from meat, keeping the meat moist, and cooking low and slow create the smoke ring. read more
thanksgiving dinner table
So you're cooking for a crowd. How much food do you need? Here's how to plan for a party or special occasion, including some basic rules of thumb and tips on how to handle dietary restrictions, how to prep ahead, and how to calculate the right amount of food so no one goes hungry. read more
Here is how to dry age and wet age beef and save a lot of money in the process. read more
spatchcocked chicken
Spatchcocking, or butterflying, a whole turkey, chicken or any other bird is a great way to make moist, delicious birds that are browned all over and evenly cooked in less time. It's a simple matter of cutting out the bird's backbone, a deboning process that is easy and painless with good kitchen or poultry shears. read more
timer
Why are exact cooking times so hard to predict? Because the actual time it takes meats and other barbecued foods to reach a certain level of doneness depends on many variables such as the weather, the cooking method, the type of meat, meat thickness, humidity in the cooker, and the accuracy of your thermometer. read more
fat cap lamb
The fat on the outside of meat does not melt and penetrate the muscle fibers making the meat moister. That is a myth. Here's the science on different types of fat, what happens as fat heats and melts, and the best way to trim meats before cooking to create the most delicious browned bark or crust. read more
meat slices exposed to air
Is meat color an accurate indicator of doneness? A lot of cooks cut into meat and judge doneness by the meat color. But the color of meat changes when it is exposed to oxygen. The only reliable way to judge doneness is with a good digital thermometer. Here's everything you need to know about meat color and doneness. read more
Here is the award-winning AmazingRibs.com Comprehensive Food Temperature Guide. An 8.5" x 11" refrigerator magnet version sells for $9.95, and it is free if you join our Pitmaster Club. read more
secreto salt block
Cooking on a salt block amps up flavor and makes a great presentation. You can put the salt block right on your grill, heat it up, and then cook on the salt block like a griddle. You can also bring a hot salt block to the table and sear meats tableside! Here's everything you need to know about cooking on salt blocks. read more

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