View Full Version : Looking for artcle on why MEAT is RED fully cooked

01-20-2010, 10:44 PM
I am trying to educate my customers about the pork ribs being fullly cooked, even the meat is red/pink and the bone is clean of meat. This is especially a problem with the joints on chicken. Jerry and Linda Mullane sent me one about the young chicken and the bones being weak, but is there something out there about how the nitrates attack the meat?

Diva Q
01-20-2010, 10:53 PM
This is from www.Amazingribs.com \

It is important to understand that the reddish color in meat and its juices is not blood. That was pretty much all drained out in the slaughter house. The ruddiness comes from a pigment called myoglobin.
At about 120F, some of the fluids begin to get milky. As the meat gets approaches 140F, cell walls begin to break open and release liquids. This is what makes meat juicy. Raw meat isn't very juicy because the cell walls are all intact. After the fibers break down the juices release more easily as you chew. That's why a rare steak is juicier than raw steak.
At about 140F red meat begins to turn pink as the myoglobin begins to change. As the temperature rises and the myoglobin changes, the juices go from pink to clear, and the meat turns tan. Also at about 140F, the heat causes the sheaths around the muscle cells to shrink rapidly and squeeze out moisture much like wringing out a wet wash cloth. It can happen suddenly, and the meat will rapidly shrink, stiffen, and become chewier. Juices will bead and pool on the surface. That's why medium rare steak cooked to about 130F is much juicier than well-done steak cooked to 160F. This drying process even happens when meat is boiled. You would think that boiling meat would keep it moist, but boiled meat can get as dry as cardboard. Poaching or braising meat by submerging it in liquid below 212F, the boiling point, will not drive off the moisture as rapidly.
As the hot air circulates in an oven (and all covered grills, smokers and outdoor cookers are ovens), the moisture on the surface runs off and evaporates. The lower the oven temp, the less evaporation, and the juicier the ribs. Evaporation is not a problem with a big roast like a pork butt. If the exterior is a bit dry and crusty on a pork butt (http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/porknography/perfect_pulled_pork.html) or brisket (http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/beef/texas_brisket.html), no sweat. The interior is so far away that the moisture cannot escape. But when it comes to ribs, the secret to moist meat is to cook it low and slow. But low and slow has benefits for even thick cuts. It seems to allow more flavor to develop.
Further cooking transforms more of the compounds in the meat. Some of them begin to escape as enticing aromas. This is no great loss. We smell powerful scents even if some aromatic compounds are as low as a few parts per billion. These aromas can cause a problem however. It will attract the neighbors. Ladies, if you want to catch a man, forget the expensive implants and get a smoker!
The melting of collagen really starts to accelerate as the meat hits 160F and it continues rapidly on up to 180F. By now lean meat like steak or pork loin is well done and beginning to dry out. On collagen and fat laden cuts such as ribs, pork shoulder, or brisket, although the muscle fibers are drying and toughening, the collagen that held them together as bundles begins to turn to liquefy; the meat gets easier to chew and the gelatinous collagens makes the texture more pleasing.
Meanwhile the fat is softening, rendering, spreading through the meat to lubricate it, and dripping out. As it softens, fat absorbs the aromas and flavors from spices in the rub, marinade, or brine if you used them. Most important, the fat absorbs the smoke flavor if you are using a smoker. If the meat gets too hot, all the fat will render out and rob the meat of much of their flavor and texture.

Lake Dogs
01-21-2010, 11:48 AM
> about the pork ribs being fullly cooked, even the meat is red/pink
> and the bone is clean of meat.

I'm not certain if I'm off topic here or not. FYI: smoke turns meat red/pink,
on chicken, pork, beef. If you have fully cooked pork ribs that pull cleanly
from the bone and the meat is pink, it's because it's smoked.

I'll never forget last 4th of July one friend going on and on about the chicken
not being done because it's red/pink on the inside, then wondering why it's
pink out the outer part of the inside and *done* down in the center.... I never
did convince her it was smoke.

01-21-2010, 01:35 PM
We had a BBQ restaurant stop serving smoked chicken because people didn't realize the chicken meat would be red when smoked. Sometimes you can't convince people otherwise.

01-24-2010, 09:31 PM
We had a BBQ restaurant stop serving smoked chicken because people didn't realize the chicken meat would be red when smoked. Sometimes you can't convince people otherwise.
By using the Diva's and linda Mulanes article, we doubled the weekend sales of chicken..two weekends in a row, the pulled pork sales are down 30%, however the chicken sales are way up...Ribs are very steady...
Thanks folks especialy Diva , jerry and Linda Mulane.

01-24-2010, 10:24 PM
The best solution i EVER SAW TO THIS was a huge rude sign on the ceiling of a restaurant that said "if you complain about the pink smoke ring on our meat of chicken, go back to your own damn country! No Refunds to Yankees!"

01-31-2010, 08:38 AM
I am having my morning coffee and this made my day!!! Good one..

01-31-2010, 11:02 AM
This also from http://www.amazingribs.com

Pink is beautiful

Many smoked meats develop a smoke ring, a bright pink color just under the surface. Some people think the pink color means the meat is raw, but nothing could be further from the truth. There is a picture of a pork rib with a smoke ring (http://www.amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/meat_science.html#top) at the top of this page.
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is among the compounds formed in the high heat combustion of wood, charcoal, and even propane. As these compounds land on the surface of meat, especially cool moist meat from the fridge, some, including nitrogen dioxide, are moved deeper into the meat as cells lower in the smoke compounds pull them in with a diffusion and absorption process. The cells are simply seeking equilibrium. The process is the same as when someone lights a cigar in a room. All the smoke starts out near the cigar, but eventually it spreads throughout the room as it achieves equilibrium. After a while it penetrates clothes, furniture, and even food. Because it is water soluble, cigar smoke will get into wet things first, like your wife's eyes. Before long you and your cigar will be seeking equilibrium in the garage.
The smoke ring in meat is caused by four things:
1) low temperature cooking,
2) combustion of the wood at high temperatures to form nitrogen dioxide,
3) nitrogen dioxide, and
4) moisture on the surface of the meat to help move the water soluble nitrogen dioxide into the meat.
When these conditions are met, nitrogen dioxide in wood smoke reacts with the pigment myoglobin in meat to form nitrites and nitrates. These are the same compounds added to hot dogs and other cured meats to preserve them and they also give them their pink color.
When smoke roasting, the moist meat absorbs smoke. Less smoke is absorbed as the cooking continues because the surface of the meat begins to seal and becomes saturated with smoke. For this reason putting a pan of water in a smoker helps create a smoke ring. In fact some smokers, called water smokers, have water pans built in.
Most of the smoke flavoring occurs in the first hour or two of cooking so adding wood to the fire late in the cook doesn't create as much flavor. It also allows moisture to escape. It's better to just leave the door closed.

A faux smoke ring can also develop without smoke if you cook low 'n' slow. When meat is cooked fast, the proteins in the muscle and myoglobin denature at the same time and combine to turn brown. When cooked slowly, the muscle proteins finish denaturing before the naturally pink myoglobin denatures and so the meat remains pink. You can occasionally see this phenomenon in braised meat like a beef stew. It may have been cooked for hours in a liquid at low temps, yet the meat will still be slightly pink inside.
On the other hand, some meats cooked low and slow in a smoky environment in an electric smoker will not develop a smoke ring. That is partially because the wood smolders at a low temp in electrics. Experts at cooking in electric smokers will add a charcoal briquette as well as wood chunks to create the correct atmospheric conditions for a smoke ring.