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.
Collagen is water soluble. In fact it is hydrophilic. When it combines with water under heat it undergoes a phase change and becomes gelatin. Collagen provides no barrier to water escaping. Furthermore, the collagen is about 4% of the meat while water is 60% or more. It cannot account for that much energy absorption. And if collagen's phase change was the cause of the stall, then there would be a stall when it is wrapped in foil, and there is no stall in foil (is that a rhyme?).