I asked Dr. Blonder to respond to the comments and he sent me this (I am a long-time lurker on this board):
I've already written a draft discussing oven thermal mass on
cooking- which has very little effect because air is such a good insulator.
Thermal mass barely reduces temperature fluctuations, and has no effect on
the stall which is a local process of evaporation. Probably should wait til
that article is posted.
If you felt like adding a reply to the thread- though it rarely shifts
hardened opinions- you might point out three things. And then
suggest they stay-tuned as you bring more science- backed up by experiments,
1) The oven's thermal mass compared to the mass of the meat is irrelevant. A
half ounce sponge stalls in an oven weighing 50 pounds at the same rate as
in a toaster oven. I tested a cup filled with sand and oil and that did not
stall, but according to the thermal mass misconception, it should have
stalled just like a piece of meat of the same mass. Refer them to:
2) There is no steaming inside a foil package- and it takes hours for the
temperature to rise to 212F because air simply doesn't carry much heat. Air
is 1000 times less dense than water, and just can't transfer enough energy
in a short time to cause water to boil. Send them to this link for actual
3) Collagen makes up about 25% of the protein in a cow or pig, but almost
all that collagen is in the bones and skins. The collagen content in most
consumed cuts of meats is typically around 2%, to as much as 5%. Usually
much lower than the fat content. Otherwise, pulled pork would become Jello
with meat threads. Not the source of the stall.