Why is Low & Slow Cooking So Effective on Tough Meats ?

MEAT COMPOSITION

Meat – muscle tissues from animals used for food

What makes up meat?

Water – 75%

Protein – 18.5%

Fat – 3%

Carbohydrates – 1%

Mineral – 1%

 

 

 

Meat Structure: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Each layer is surrounded by a connective tissue sheath
  • Typically, epimysium can be removed prior to cooking, however the other two are always eaten
  • Each sheath is comprised of primarily collagen

COLLAGEN:

  • Collagen is a very tough connective tissue
  • Most abundant protein in the body
  • Compound most responsible for tenderness variation among muscles in the animal
  • Muscles high in connective tissue (collagen) are very tough and are subsequently less valuable

 COLLAGEN BREAKDOWN:

  • Collagen will turn into gelatin when cooked correctly
  • Collagen will, with moist heat, turn to gelatin at temperatures from 156oF to 185oF
  • However, this transition takes time, typically hours
  • Low temperatures are needed for cooking so that meats are not fully dried out during cooking
  • Thus, “low and slow” dry heat or moist heat cooking techniques are required for tenderization of tough meats

 

 

Chris Marks  CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces and Good-One Smoker/Grills

I want to Thank Travis Quinn PHD at Kansas State University for helping me understand the fine details of meat protiens.

 

 

 

 

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