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Old 02-14-2012, 03:13 PM   #31
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Or to carry Andy's point further, try sous videing a steak---to assure no caramelization---and compare it to a pan-seared one.
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:17 PM   #32
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Or to carry Andy's point further, try sous videing a steak---to assure no caramelization---and compare it to a pan-seared one.
Exactly!

On a related topic, I was discussing with an Italian friend the pros and cons of browning meatballs before putting them into a tomato sauce to cook. His mother did and his wife doesn't. I always brown meats before adding them to sauce.

I asked him if he liked steak. He said yes, of course he did. I asked him if he preferred it boiled or grilled... That got him to understand the need for browning to add flavor.
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:47 PM   #33
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I've always coveted an infrared grill like the Tec Cherokee. I've never cooked on one but I hear they're fantastic. I wonder if anybody who has owned/used an infrared grill can offer their opinion as far as it relates to taste, browning, etc.
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:26 PM   #34
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Your test shows that a steak cooked on a grill with fat and smoke tastes different from a pan fried steak. That's not the issue.

Pan fry a steak with a nice dark brown crust then pan fry a steak over low heat so no dark brown crust forms and compare those. That was the discussion point.
Andy; You are correct in stating that browning meat does alter the flavor, and in a good way. Another part of that equation is the salt flavor that interacts with that browned crust. Without it, the meat is still somewhat bland. But the interaction of flavors, with the salt adding to the browned meat cells produces a rich flavor.

I have often wondered if it wasn't the sugars found inside the meat at the cellular level that caused the maillard effect. The crust that creates the fond is very sticky, like cooked sugar. I just don't know.

I believe I was off the mark with my original comments, in that, I have heard many people the confuse the source of "grilled over heat" (burnt fat smoke) flavor. Some have said that it was because of intence heat, while others purport it to be caused by the grill marks.

But in afterthought, a piece of meat that is properly browned in a pan does have a richer flavor than does poached, or steamed meat. This is especially evident in pan-fried pork, but is a characteristic of all meats.

Also, as I think about it, the fond from beef is very similar in flavor to that of chicken, pork, and even fish. So again, I wonder, does it come from the meat, or from the salt, or a combination of meat juices and salt combining and sticking to the meat surface?

Of course there are other flavor compounds at work that give each kind of meat its own, unique flavors as well.

This is an interesting topic.

And thanks for making me think about what I post. I still consider you one of the best guys around to have such a discussion with. You hellp me think a little more straight, which is needed sometimes.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:07 PM   #35
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This is interesting watching all you super cooks banter back and forth about it.
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:26 PM   #36
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Say that next month when this topic is 20 pages long!
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:28 PM   #37
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This is an interesting topic watching you all you super cooks banter back and forth about it.
Not sure I'm a super cook. But I do enjoy learning about food from an engineering, or scientific perspective, as much as I enjoy the artistic aspect of food. And of course, I like accuracy because it allows me to be accurate when giving recipes or advice, or when receiving the same.

Oh, and you won't see Andy and I on opposite sides of the fence very often. We tend to agree far more than disagree.

To me, food has so many aspects, how it tastes, how it feels, how it looks, the techniques used to produce it, how I can adjust preperation and cooking tchniques to achieve a sought after result, how to blend flavors to get the flavor I'm looking for, etc.

But then, constructing flyable, to scale airplane replicas out of common printer paper is also the same for me. by knowing the nuances of how the real aircraft works, I can construct a small scale model that really flies, and exhibits the same flight characteristics of the original, albiet as a glider.

I'm just a strange kind of guy, a little bit science, and little bit engineer, a little bit artist, and most of all, a Husband and Dad, titles that I take most seriously.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:51 PM   #38
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To this topic I add that I can get a decent looking cut of steak for around $5. That's my cutoff point. These steaks look good and all, but there's not much fat riddled thru it.

I'm gonna do me a mess with a fork on one of them steaks soon, soak it with liquid tenderizer, and see if I can get fat tenderness.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:18 PM   #39
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It's been a long time, but I remember Caveman steak from Boy Scouts. We didn't care about the different cuts back then. We chose our beef by the amount for the dollar. To us a huge 7 bone, thick cut chuck roast was a giant steak. Caveman technique was simply to throw the meat right in the coals. We just scraped the ash off and started chewing and chewing and chewing. Very unique flavor, since most of the wood we used was pine.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:10 PM   #40
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Cut the horns off and wipe it's arse....
The old Texas cattlemen said the best beef is always wearing someone else's brand. If a stray joined the herd as they passed, guess which steer was selected as guest of honor that night.
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