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The Science of a Great Steak

THE SCIENCE OF A GREAT STEAK AS WE HEAD INTO PRIME GRILLING SEASON, it's time to explore how to make the perfect steak. But this isn't the obligatory graphic about which cuts are best or how long to cook your steak. This is for the steak-loving nerds among us-let's explore the science of steak. IN THE BEGINNING... .. THERE WAS AGING. If you want a really flavorful steak, start at the start-or when the cow MOST MEAT IS PREPARED FOR BUT AGING (in one of two ways) allows the meat to naturally MARKET VERY QUICKLY, meaning that most of the flavor in the meat has already been developed. build the kind of flavor that no ceased to be a cow and amount of marinating will do. bęcame MEAT. DRY AGING WET AGING SIDE OF BEEF INDIVIDUAL CUTS SEALED IN PLASTIC RESTS IN A AND KEPT REFRIGERATED REFRIGERATOR (USUALLY HANGING FROM A HOOK) AS THE MEAT RESTS AT AN IDEAL TEMPERATURE (NOT SO COLD IT FREEZES): IS LONGER AGING BETTER? Enzymes ENZYMES BEGIN BREAKING Not necessarily. Meat DOWN THE PROTEINS, scientists have found that most of the tasty transformation occurs within a week to 10 days. FATS AND GLYCOGEN. 10 TRANSFORMING Enzymes DAYS THEM INTO AMINO ACIDS, SUGARS AND FATTY ACIDS. So that 75-day aged steak you're forking over $75 for may not be entirely worth it. THESE AMINO ACIDS ENHANCE THE NATURAL 75 FLAVOR OF THE MEAT. DAYS THE MEAT WILL LOSE UP TO 5 PERCENT OF 5% ITS WATER CONTENT, MEANING THE FLAVOR WILL BECOME MORE CONCENTRATED. FAT IS GOOD In this 5% is AT LEAST FOR FLAVOR most of the flavor that makes steak so delicious-fat. 20% protein MOST ANIMAL MUSCLE IS ABOUT... 75% water CUTS OF MEAT THAT WHEN FAT IS HEATED, it CONTAIN A NUMBER OF melts and lubricates the SMALL POCKETS OF FAT, in other words well-marbled cuts, muscle fibers in the meat, keeping it moist and saturating it with that signature beef flavor. are the most naturally flavorful (and among the most expensive). AND THE MORE FAT, the more flavor. CUTS FROM RARELY EXERCISED MUSCLES ON THE COW, such as the ribs and loins, have the most fat, meaning the most inherent flavor. NOW YOU'RE COOKING SO YOU'VE GOT AN AGED, WELL-MARBLED PIECE OF MEAT-NOW WHAT? No doubt cooking technique can often be the difference between a tender, juicy steak and something that's more akin to shoe leather. Before you fire up the grill, explore the scientific transformation that's about to happen. WHEN MEAT IS HEATED, INDIVIDUAL PROTEIN MOLECULES BEGIN TO BREAK THEIR BONDS AND UNWIND FROM THEIR WOUND-UP COIL SHAPE. PROTEIN AS THE HEAT SHRINKS THE MUSCLE FIBERS AND SQUEEZES OUT WATER, THE PROTEIN MOLECULES DENATURATION RECOMBINE, OR COAGULATE. THIS DENATURING PROCESS CHANGES THE NATURAL STRUCTURE OF THE PROTEIN. THE REAL STAR IS THE MAILLARD REACTION, WHICH OCCURS WHEN THE DENATURED PROTEINS ON SUGARS SUGARS THE SURFACE OF THE MEAT RECOMBINE WITH THE DENATURED PROTEIN SUGARS PRESENT IN THE MEAT. THIS PROCESS OF COMBINING AMINO ACIDS WITH SUGAR NOT ONLY CREATES THE MEATY FLAVOR, BUT IT ALSO CHANGES THE MEAT'S COLOR-IN OTHER WORDS, THE MAILLARD REACTION IS THE REASONA RED STEAK BECOMES BROWN. THE RICHLY PIGMENTED PROTEIN MYOGLOBIN Охудen STORES OXYGEN IN MUSCLE. THE MORE Oxygen MYOGLOBIN, THE REDDER THE MEAT. AS THE MEAT IS COOKED, THE MYOGLOBIN'S COLOR CHANGES DEPENDING ON THE MEATS INTERIOR TEMPERATURE. 140° F MYOGLOBIN A RARE STEAK IS COOKED to about 140° F and remains red in the center. RARE STEAK WHEN COOKED TO A Охудen Oxygen TEMPERATURE ABOVE 140° F, myoglobin loses its ability to bind oxygen, and the iron atom at its center loses +140° F an electron. MYOGLOBIN THIS PROCESS CREATES A compound called hemichrome, a tan-colored compound that gives medium-done meat its color. MEDIUM DONE MYOGLOBIN METMYOGLOBIN AS THE INTERIOR TEMPERATURE RISES TO 170° F, 170° F hemichrome rises and myoglobin becomes metmyoglobin. WHICH GIVES well-done meat its brown-gray shade. WELL DONE SOURCES: / / / BESTHEALTHSCIENCEDEGREE.COM

The Science of a Great Steak

shared by caradelany on May 28
Grilling season is upon us, and cooking the perfect steak is easier than you might think. Whether you are a grilling novice or an expert, check out this infographic and learn more about the best summe...


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