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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 09-30-2011, 01:56 PM   #46
landarc
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If I was going to cook for a crowd, which I do often, I take the cook time and stall out of the equation, I cook the meat the day before. When I am cooking for either a vend, catering or family dinner where timing is important, I tend to shy away from brisket, which does not store all that well, and go with pulled pork, which I can cook ahead of time, crash cool in turkey bags, store in fridge and then reheat on the cooker for a hour of so before pulling and serving. I can get very good product, no scheduling hassles and still have the magic of the aroma of smoke and pulling from the cooker.

I will need to consider the idea that there is no stall in foil, I don't generally foil, and I am willing to accept the facts as presented by Doctor Blonder, since there seems to be more to his presentation than initially presented. It does challenge what I have been taught by quite a few very good chefs and cooks, who were, given, not scientists. I am no scientist myself, my interest lies purely in preparing and serving good food. To that end, these discussions serve to pique my interest, more than change my cooking.

I am sure Doctor Blonder and I could enjoy some of my pulled pork, regardless of the science.
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Unread 09-30-2011, 08:14 PM   #47
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My question is, do you want to avoid the stall? I believe Dr. Blonder when he says the meat gets up to temperature faster with foil, but is this a good thing? When cooking sous vide you have these incredibly long cooking times which supposedly tenderize the meat without drying it out. So maybe keeping the meat at this temperature for several hours improves it, regardless of what the mechanism is.

Meathead, have you tried it both ways, and if so, have you noticed a difference?
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Unread 09-30-2011, 09:02 PM   #48
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Bover, I think that makes sense AND you need another beer, I know I do!

Anyway, Dr. Blonder's experiments provide a scientific explanation for something competition cooks have known for a long time from practical experience. Foil helps push you quickly through the stall so you can more accurately time your cook. Now we know why.

To the haters I say: If timing is not so important to you; if you like a crustier bark, or if you believe that braising isn't BBQ, then by all means don't foil! Nobody is trying to convert you!

Sometimes I foil and sometimes I don't, as the situation or my mood dictates. Variety is the spice of life after all!

I also would like to see an experiment that attempts to establish an optimum temperature (or temperature range) for tenderness when cooking a pork butt, or ribs, or a brisket.

BBQ, like all cooking, is a combination of art and science. I think the best cooks are well versed in both.
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Unread 09-30-2011, 09:08 PM   #49
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I noticed this at my last comp... my brisket stalled at 170... it would not come up for hrs!!! it dropped 2-3 degrees in this time come back up then drop again... then it took off ... very good artical ty for the post! I will wrap in foil sooner now that I can see whats going on...
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Unread 09-30-2011, 09:09 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denniscloutier View Post
My question is, do you want to avoid the stall? I believe Dr. Blonder when he says the meat gets up to temperature faster with foil, but is this a good thing? When cooking sous vide you have these incredibly long cooking times which supposedly tenderize the meat without drying it out. So maybe keeping the meat at this temperature for several hours improves it, regardless of what the mechanism is.

Meathead, have you tried it both ways, and if so, have you noticed a difference?
I think you have hit on the vital question! Is the meat better with the stall and no foil, or without and with the stall. This is not an issue that can be measured scientifically so Blonder is of no more value than any of us. Our assignments? Test this!
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Unread 09-30-2011, 09:14 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Bob View Post
Bover, I think that makes sense AND you need another beer, I know I do!

Anyway, Dr. Blonder's experiments provide a scientific explanation for something competition cooks have known for a long time from practical experience. Foil helps push you quickly through the stall so you can more accurately time your cook. Now we know why.

To the haters I say: If timing is not so important to you; if you like a crustier bark, or if you believe that braising isn't BBQ, then by all means don't foil! Nobody is trying to convert you!

Sometimes I foil and sometimes I don't, as the situation or my mood dictates. Variety is the spice of life after all!

I also would like to see an experiment that attempts to establish an optimum temperature (or temperature range) for tenderness when cooking a pork butt, or ribs, or a brisket.

BBQ, like all cooking, is a combination of art and science. I think the best cooks are well versed in both.
You have distilled it all down beautifully. Bottom line? Which do you like better? The French say it beautifully: Taste is a matter of taste.

Now how do we quantify that?
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Unread 09-30-2011, 09:19 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TEAM PIG IRON View Post
I noticed this at my last comp... my brisket stalled at 170... it would not come up for hrs!!! it dropped 2-3 degrees in this time come back up then drop again... then it took off ... very good artical ty for the post! I will wrap in foil sooner now that I can see whats going on...
Although not shown in Blonder's limited and controlled experiments, the onset of stall may vary depending on the particular piece of meat (age, gender, diet of the hog), handling (freshness, injection, rub), and cooker (gas, charcoal, logs, pellets, water pan, airflow). Not to mention the accuracy of your thermometer. Blonder and I are a BIG believers in thermocouples. I think it is possible that under certain circumstances stall may be (ahem) forestalled to 170.

meathead
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Unread 10-01-2011, 06:32 AM   #53
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Guamaque: How does the thermal mass theory account for the fact that two pieces of pork cut from the same shoulder, identical weight, cooked side by side IN THE SAME SMOKER heated at VASTLY different rates when one was wrapped in foil? How does it explain that the internal temp dropped immediately and drastically when the foil was removed? The thermal mass of the smoker and the meat were identical for each piece. The data is in the last chart on this page http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_tech...the_stall.html
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Unread 10-01-2011, 07:48 AM   #54
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I enjoyed the article. It clearly answers the question of what causes the stall. The next questions: what temperature does the connective tissue break down? If it is at the stall temp, then a long stall may be important to tender meat. If it is above the stall, than a long stall is not necessary.
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Unread 10-01-2011, 07:54 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ribmeister View Post
But Blonder has proven that thermal mass is not the reason for the stall. The data it seems pretty conclusive.
Not that I saw that on the site where the original results were posted. As a point of fact, if he had hypothesized that thermal mass was the cause of the "stall" then he would have disproved it.

Interesting little "down and dirty" experiment, it certainly appears that evaporative cooling may be the cause of the "stall".
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Unread 10-01-2011, 08:14 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strike BBQ View Post
I enjoyed the article. It clearly answers the question of what causes the stall. The next questions: what temperature does the connective tissue break down? If it is at the stall temp, then a long stall may be important to tender meat. If it is above the stall, than a long stall is not necessary.
As I understand it from the textbooks, there are two types of connective tissue collagen and elastin. Elastin is the stuff in tendon and bones, and doesn't do a lot of breaking down. Somewhere between 160-180 collagen combines with water and forms gelatin. The process is discussed in this article on meat science

http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_tech...t_science.html

It also contains a lot of other important temperatures such as fat rendering, myoglobin denaturation, etc.

Is it important to quality to have a stall? I don't know. This will require some side by side taste tests. Anecdotal evidence from competitions is that very good meat is produced in foil.
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Unread 10-01-2011, 02:42 PM   #57
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I have shared the article with a friend of mine who is on the BOD for the Culinary Institute of America....



He replied as follows

Check out www.modernistcuisine.com

Not only is it plausible, it's absolutely true. Nathan Mhyrvold, a physicist who had completed a PhD in theoretical and mathematical physics by age 23, studied under Stephen Hawkings and was the first Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft--and is also a deeply commited foodie and well-trained French Chef who wrote a $650 (retail price) 5 volume cookbook called Modernist Cuisine--has not only stated it is true but has also proved it was true with detailed experiments in a $5 Million kitchen he built outside of Seattle.




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Unread 10-01-2011, 03:27 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilitantSquatter View Post
I have shared the article with a friend of mine who is on the BOD for the Culinary Institute of America....



He replied as follows

Check out www.modernistcuisine.com

Not only is it plausible, it's absolutely true. Nathan Mhyrvold, a physicist who had completed a PhD in theoretical and mathematical physics by age 23, studied under Stephen Hawkings and was the first Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft--and is also a deeply commited foodie and well-trained French Chef who wrote a $650 (retail price) 5 volume cookbook called Modernist Cuisine--has not only stated it is true but has also proved it was true with detailed experiments in a $5 Million kitchen he built outside of Seattle.




And here's an article on the guy from Feb. and in it he notes evaporation as the reason for the stall. Seven months before this new article.

http://eater.com/archives/2011/02/17...d-barbecue.php
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Unread 10-01-2011, 05:02 PM   #59
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I'm not arguing the theory that seems to have been proven given the data...my statement about the steel mass in my cooker was more to support the idea that the more mass inside a cooker will help it maintain a solid cook temp and out side elements won't affect it's cook temps as severely.

Can we just agree that cooking BBQ is fun and that's why we do it???!!!
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Unread 10-01-2011, 05:29 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilitantSquatter View Post
And here's an article on the guy from Feb. and in it he notes evaporation as the reason for the stall. Seven months before this new article.
I have heard of Myrvold's statement that it is evaporative cooling. But I have never seen his data or his experiments. I have his $625 book set (fantastic stuff) and there is nothing about the stall in there (that I have found yet). But in most good research, it needs to be repeated to be considered valid. Glad we have two physicists on the same page.
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