Originally Posted by landarc
The experiment as written is flawed fundamentally. In comparing a sponge to fat, and then to meat, the test essentially denies the effect of the collagen and how it encompasses the fibers of meat. If the collagen is not rendered, the moisture retained within the meat does not escape, as it is encapsulated within the collagen and cellular structure of the meat.
Further, a sponge in not similar to meat on several levels. While a great deal of moisture obviously is evaporated from the meat, and evaporative cooling is no doubt a part of the process resulting in the stall, it does not deny the roll that rendering the collagen is a part of the stall. I think the article, while interesting, does nothing to change the fact that it is best to start cooking early. And have a few pounds of vac-packed pulled pork in the fridge, ready to roll, just in case.
I think you missed the point...
The sponge was meant to simulate the meat but rather to show how evaporative cooling and moisture prolong temp stall (or even temp reduction).
And the author and Blonder both agree that the breaking down of collagen play a roll in the stall but simply reject the idea that they are the driving force. This is based on the premise that there is simply not enough fat and collagen to create such a deep stall.
I actually buy into Blonder's hypothesis and believe he is accurate. It makes sense with my own experiences and will effect how I cook in the future.