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Old 10-30-2007, 10:05 PM   #1
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Want to make a half recipe Yankee Pot Roast - do I halve the cooking time?

Hello,
I want to make a Yankee Pot Roast in my dutch oven, with Beef stock and vegetables.

Recipe calls for a 4 LB Beef Bottom cooked for 3 hours.

If I'm using a 2 LB piece do I cook it for 1.5 hours?

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Old 10-30-2007, 10:09 PM   #2
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Guess I could always use the thermometer to wait till it's around 150°.
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:16 PM   #3
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JotaDe, welcome to DC.

A half sized roast will take approximately half the time. If you do use a thermometer, cook it to an internal temperature of 190-200 F. You need the higher temperature to tenderize this type of roast.

The simple test is to stick a fork in it. If it goes in easily, it's done.
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:28 PM   #4
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Awesome.

Thanks Andy.

I'll do the temp and fork test you suggest.
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:34 PM   #5
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A pot roast is made by braising not roasting so the internal temp has to be over 300 in order for the collagen in the meat to melt. Cook the 2 lb. roast in liquid half way up the side of the meat, covered to at least 2 hrs at 350. If you're using a cast iron Dutch Oven you can lower the temp to 325 after searing the meat stovetop. Carmelizing the meat first gives the meat and the gravy a much better, richer flavor.
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Old 10-31-2007, 02:21 PM   #6
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Actually - a pot roast is brasied at a simmer just below a boil - usually somewhere between 190º-200ºF ... and the meat only has to reach an internal temp of 190ºF since collagen melts around 170º-180ºF. That's why you can cook one to perfection on either the stove top or in the oven.
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW View Post
Actually - a pot roast is brasied at a simmer just below a boil - usually somewhere between 190º-200ºF ... and the meat only has to reach an internal temp of 190ºF since collagen melts around 170º-180ºF. That's why you can cook one to perfection on either the stove top or in the oven.
Michael, seems you may be right but oddly enough, everthing I ever read said that collagen melts at 300 degrees. I googled "beef collagen melting point" and came up with this really interesting piece of information. I printed out a hard copy so I can keep it handy.

Temperature Scale

For the explanatory post about the list, click here.
All temperatures are Fahrenheit.
30-40F - Ideal Storage Temperature for berries, apples, pears, onions, lettuce, broccoli
32 - Water Freezes
36-40 - Refrigerator’s usual temperature
42-55 - White Wine’s Ideal Serving Temp
50 - Ideal Storage Temperature for bananas, tomatoes, lemons, sweet potatoes
58-68 - Butter has ideal consistency for making pastry
60-68 - Red Wine’s Ideal Serving Temp
65-70 - Chocolate’s Ideal Storage Temp
76-80 - Average Desired Dough Temperature for bread doughs at the end of mixing
85 - Butter begins to melt
86 - Gelatin Soluble
87-91 - Average working temperature for tempered Dark Chocolate
90-95 - Yeasts in bread most active (proof boxes are often set to 90F and 80% humidity)
93.2 - Beta crystals in chocolate melt
94 - Butter’s final melting point
105 - Agar sets
105-115 - Gelatin completely dissolves
115-120 - All fat crystals in Dark Chocolate are melted
120 - Dense-fleshed fish are succulent
120-130 - Collagen in most fish dissolves into gelatin
120-125 - Beef, rare
120-140 - Starches generally begin to gelate
125-140 - Beef, medium rare
130-140 - Most fish are firm but still moist
138 - Yeast’s thermal death point
140 - Chilis & Black Pepper become volatile b/c of active ingredients
140 - Animal proteins generally begin to coagulate
140 - Fructose’s apparent sweetness is cut nearly in half
145 - Egg whites begin to thicken
145-155 - Beef, Medium
149-152 - White Meat Chicken succulent
150 - Egg whites become a tender solid
150 - Gelatin denatures if heated above
155 - E. Coli killed
155 - Chicken breast begins to get dry and tough
158 - Egg yolks set
160 - Beef, well-done
160 - Collagen in meat begins to dissolve into gelatin
160 - Salmonella’s Instant Kill Temp
165 - Whole eggs set
165-175 - Dark Meat Chicken succulent
170 - Protein-eating enzymes in many tropical fruits (except coconuts, but including figs) are broken down
170-185
- Custards coagulate
180 - In cakes, egg proteins begin to coagulate, and starch granules begin to absorb water, swell and gelate; actual setting temp depends on ratio of sugar
185 - Water simmers
185 - Agar must be heated to this temp to remelt
185-195 - Enriched Dinner rolls, internal temp doneness
190 - The highest temp an egg can reach without coagulating, regardless of the presence of other ingredients
190-200 - Ideal brewing temperature for coffee
200-210 - Hard, Crusty Bread, internal temp doneness
212 - Water boils
212 - Steak cooked dry
212 - Sweetened condensed milk undergoes Maillard browning
215-235 - Sucrose’s thread stage
217-221 - Fruit Preserves cooked to this temp, indicating 65% sugar concentration
220 - Fructose begins to melt and caramelize
235-240 - Sucrose’s Soft Ball Stage
245-248 - Sucrose’s Firm Ball Stage
250 - Maillard Browning Reactions occur
250 - Butter browns
250 - Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s Smoke Point
250-265 - Sucrose’s Hard Ball Stage
270-290 - Sucrose’s Soft Crack Stage
300-310 - Sucrose’s Hard Crack Stage
300 - Peanuts heated to this internal temp to develop flavor before being blanched and ground for commercial peanut butter
300 - Glucose begins to melt and caramelize
320-350 - Sucrose Caramelizes
375 - Animal fats’ smoke point
400 - Bread crust, straight out of the oven
400 - Clarified Butter burns
410 - Corn, Olive, Peanut, Sesame, and Soybean Oil’s Smoke Point
437 - Canola Oil’s smoke point
446 - Grapeseed Oil’s smoke point
520 - Avocado Oil’s smoke point
1,600 - Solid salt crystals melt
3,000 - Solid salt crystals evaporate
The information on the scale comes from (the absolutely extraordinary book) On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee; Cookwise by Shirley Corriher; The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart; The Bread Builders by Daniel Wing and Alan Scott; Chez Panisse Desserts by Lindsey Remolif Shere, and my notes from CIA-Greystone.



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Old 10-31-2007, 05:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DramaQueen View Post
Carmelizing the meat first gives the meat and the gravy a much better, richer flavor.
You've got that right, DramaQueen. My grandma used to say the secret was to burn the meat. She didn't really mean to actually burn it, but she dredged her roast in flour before searing, and the crust on the meat should be near black and the oil (she used Crisco) smoking before you de-glaze the pan with water.

I think the difference in temps between you and Michael is that you're finishing the meat off in the oven, and he's doing it on the stove top. Am I right?
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:27 PM   #9
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Constance - what I was responding to was:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DramaQueen
...
the internal temp has to be over 300 in order for the collagen in the meat to melt.
The internal temp of the beef only has to be 180-190º to melt the collegan. Now - cooking a pot roast in a dutch oven in an oven at 300ºF for the oven temp isn't out of line - and it would cook in about the same amount of time as on a stove top .... it's a physics thing dealing with direct heat vs heating by air which is less dense and therefore not as efficient and ... oh, nevermind.

There is no question that getting a good sear on the meat as step #1 is mandatory for developing a depth of flavor.
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW View Post
Constance - what I was responding to was:



The internal temp of the beef only has to be 180-190º to melt the collegan. Now - cooking a pot roast in a dutch oven in an oven at 300ºF for the oven temp isn't out of line - and it would cook in about the same amount of time as on a stove top .... it's a physics thing dealing with direct heat vs heating by air which is less dense and therefore not as efficient and ... oh, nevermind.

There is no question that getting a good sear on the meat as step #1 is mandatory for developing a depth of flavor.
Hey, go ahead and talk about the sticking point that can happen with temp while smoking large cuts of meat once the collagen starts breaking down!

But, this isn't about smoking......but we are talking about collagen break down. Hmmmmm......another thread perhaps?
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