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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 08-02-2010, 10:04 PM   #1
smokehunter
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Default Why msg?

I'm not trying to step on any toes, but I finally picked up both flavors of some rub that just about everyone that post here seems to use, and when I read the ingredients both flavors had MSG. Hell, I've still been using them on different things and yes they are darn good on everything, but would they really taste that much different if the MSG was left out? I swear I'm not trying to start a health food, anti MSG thread. Just curious why makers find it necessary if it does not have much of a taste (and no I have never tasted straight MSG, so I say it doesn't have a taste but maybe it does.) Anyway, if it was not put in the particular rub I am talking about, would anyone ever know the difference?
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Unread 08-02-2010, 10:24 PM   #2
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Screw the MSG. You don't need it. Comp BBQ, sure, maybe it's nice to add a punch to the flavor since judges get about two bites total. But, at home, screw it.
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Unread 08-02-2010, 10:46 PM   #3
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As a judge I say leave it out please. Many are allergic to it. We have no way of knowing it's there. At least if its on a label there is a choice to use or not to use.
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Unread 08-02-2010, 10:59 PM   #4
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Taking out the MSG wouldnt change the flavor of the product. The ingredient is used to make products have a much more savory taste, like the proteins found in meat. it would be interesting to do a side by side comparison.
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Unread 08-02-2010, 11:24 PM   #5
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Actually, the numbers suggest that very few are allergic to it, even fewer are subject to major reaction. They use it because it has a chemical reaction with the taste receptors that can enhance the perception of taste on the palate.
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Unread 08-02-2010, 11:27 PM   #6
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I am always trying out new rubs, I did noticed one thing, MSG does make the product pop, I mean the ribs seem better, so does the brisket/pork/chicken ect. not so much without the MSG, sure it taste fine, just doesn't POP out to you.

I know I'm not allergic to it, and honestly if you are allergic to anything, last thing you should do is judge comps.
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Unread 08-02-2010, 11:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteadySmokin View Post
Taking out the MSG wouldnt change the flavor of the product. The ingredient is used to make products have a much more savory taste, like the proteins found in meat. it would be interesting to do a side by side comparison.
Your first two sentences seem to contradict each other.
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Unread 08-02-2010, 11:36 PM   #8
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yea your right i guess taste wasnt the right word, more of a different "mouth feel", but then again maybe i just dont know what im talkin about i blame the booze
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Unread 08-02-2010, 11:53 PM   #9
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Skip the MSG for any traditional BBQ. For any Asian recipe that calls for MSG try Dashi instead. It is a great ingredient to work with, and is nowhere near as overwhelming in taste as MSG. MSG has it's place as an ingredient, but it is kinda like killing a fly with a sledgehammer in most cases.
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Unread 08-03-2010, 12:08 AM   #10
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Anything with hydrolyzed protein, yeast extracts, hydrolyzed yeast, soy extracts, etc. can have glutamic acid in it, even if the label says NO MSG. "NO MSG" just means that they didn't add more of it, not that it's not in there in the first place naturally as part of other ingredients. It's a lot harder to avoid than people think in commercial food.

Anyway, it's not a flavor, which is why there is some confusion. MSG contains a glutamic acid (an amino acid) that makes your taste buds react more intensely to savory (meaty) proteins. It's easy to understand why it would be used in BBQ, especially competition BBQ. It's in almost every rub and sauce you can buy, either directly or hidden in the hydrolyzed stuff. By itself, it doesn't really have a flavor, but it changes how you perceive the flavors of meats and other proteins.

Chef Jim, just a trip through my pantry shows me that almost every sauce and rub has some form of glutimates. It's going to be unavoidable for judges. If people do have food allergies, perhaps tasting food in a blind judging contest may not be a good idea?
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Unread 08-03-2010, 12:09 AM   #11
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I'll use MSG anytime I want...
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Unread 08-03-2010, 12:32 AM   #12
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Here's my answer:

Why are Doritos the number one selling tortilla chip? Because they are loaded with MSG!

"Umami" isn't about flavor, it's about making your mouth water by stimulating your salivary glands, and giving the taster that "I want to eat more of this" experience.
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Unread 08-03-2010, 12:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attrill View Post
Skip the MSG for any traditional BBQ. For any Asian recipe that calls for MSG try Dashi instead. It is a great ingredient to work with, and is nowhere near as overwhelming in taste as MSG. MSG has it's place as an ingredient, but it is kinda like killing a fly with a sledgehammer in most cases.
You aren't avoiding glutimates by using dashi. Dashi has glutamic acid in it. In fact it was the analysis of dashi that led to the discovery of glutamic acid and the subsequent commercial production of MSG.
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Unread 08-03-2010, 12:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBQ View Post
You aren't avoiding glutimates by using dashi. Dashi has glutamic acid in it. In fact it was the analysis of dashi that led to the discovery of glutamic acid and the subsequent commercial production of MSG.
Exactly - I wasn't talking about avoiding glutimates. Dashi is certainly the source of MSG, but using Dashi instead of MSG (in Asian dishes only, as I said before) gives a much richer flavor than straight up MSG, and adds Umami in a much better way. If you are grilling Yakitori Dashi is essential, and it is a great ingredient to experiment with.
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Unread 08-03-2010, 01:18 AM   #15
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Well, technically, dashi refers to any soup base, dashi-no-moto has loads of MSG added to it. Most dashi is a mix of algae and fish extractions, most commonly kombu and katsuoboshi which serve to create a base of flavor. It is the food item that triggered the efforts in Japan to create a artificial and convenient version of a staple food item. I learned to make mushroom dashi and pork dashi as well, these do not necessarily have kombu or katsuoboshi.
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