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There are non evaporative stalls--MY "EXPERIMENT"

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

 

 

Objectives:                              
  Observe internal temperature changes not due to evaporative cooling in a brisket in "slow motion" with very low smoker temp  (190F)    
  and still, hopefully, produce an edible product                    
Method                              
  A 14 lb whole packer brisket was aged in it's vacuum pack (in fridge) for 45 days              
  At the end of aging the meat was washed and 2 small injection sites were sterilized with a 2400 degree pencil torch      
  4 fluid ounces of beef broth with added salt, pepper and a small amount of liquid smoke were injected. It was wrapped in clear wrap    
    and refridgerated overnight                      
  It was smoked at 240 for 3 hrs. with and end point internal temp tarket of 190              
  It was double foil wrapped and placed in a 190 F smoker and internal temp was recorded every 15 minutes.         
  The chart shows those temperature recordings and 7 clear non-evaporative mini-stalls of 30 minutes or more.        
  At 190F it was removed from the smoker-the foil was removed and it was allowed to cool 1 hr.          
  It was then placed back in the pit @ 240-250F for 30 min to crisp up the bark and encourage the Maillard reaction and caramalization.     
Results                              
  The chart shows 7 distinct non-evaporative mini-stalls of 30 minutes or more.              
  The pit temp was increased toward the end because I was frankly tired of fooling with it.            
    (It may have shown other mini-stalls at lower temperature)                
  It produced a nice looking, very tender, very jucy brisket that could be pulled-sliced (ignoring grain direction) or chopped with satsfactory results   
    and it had a nice tasty bark that was moist but mildly crunchy                 
  The brisket had a great "beefy" flavor but was somewhat too mushy in texture and needed more salt.           
Conclusion:                              
  There are non-evaporative stalls during the cooking of a brisket due to:                
  1 Fat rendering                        
  2 Protein denaturing                        
  3 Conversion of collagen to gellatin                    
  If you "blast through" the stall you could have pretty tough meat. By skipping thru the non evaporative cooling mini-stalls too fast.    
  A"mushy" texture is not necesseraily due to a high internal temperature.               
  There is such a thing as too low and slow.                    
  Looks very much like the "old fashion" 3-4 hr smoke, and Texas Crutch foil cooked at 225-240 is a great method.        
    not that I doubted it--I just wanted to see what very low and slow would do.            

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 14

Interesting test, Great results...JJ

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks Chef,

Do you have an opinion as to the cause of the some what mushy texture?

I wish it were possible to sample the meat periodically during the cook.

post #4 of 14

Based on your chart the meat spent 4-4.5 hours at or above 180*F plus a 1 hr rest. This entire time the collagen is breaking down. The result is very soft, fall apart meat. Testing is done with a Probe of a therm or a toothpick. It should penetrat easily. I like the therm probe, it's thicker and can measure the texturev as well as the IT...JJ

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks Chef,

You are right on. It was hard to pick the brisket up it was so soft and sme chunks fell off.

Thanks,

Of course I'm not advocating this method---but there may be some useful info in there.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Dr Blonder is repeating experiments on the non-evaporative stalls and tells me they are not due to the breakdown of collagen. More later.

post #7 of 14
The evaporative stall is a real thing that is certain but I sleep through mine so I don't experience it. :) No foil for me
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

I did not say there was no evaporative cooling--there certainly is. I am not advocating one way or another. This meat was foiled to eliminate evaporative cooling. It was done to show that not all stalls are due to evaporative cooling and Dr. Blonder tells me my conclusion as to the cause is wrong. The non evaporative stall is not due to collagen break down. This of course does not mean that collagen is not breaking down as Chef JimmyJ points out it just means that is not what is causing the mini-stalls in my "experiment" with the brisket foiled. 

I am going to repeat this at a more typical pit temp of 225-240 to see what happens. 

post #9 of 14

It would seem to me that there has to be a phase change from liquid to vapor in your foil, no?

 

I mean, if you were containing all the H2O at a 100% air saturation level the foil would have to puff up like the old Jiffypop popcorn.

 

To my mind, and maybe this is already discussed, one would have to cook in a 100% humidity environment to validate the evap/non-evap data.

 

my poorly crafted 2 cents.

 

--T

post #10 of 14
What I believe is that a stall is evaporative cooling not the breakdown of fat and collagen.

Foiling reduces the stall because it reduces the evaporative cooling process by not allowing the moisture to escape (my non scientific explanation)
I rarely have a significant stall on my stick burner when foiling.
As far as non evaporative stalls... I'm not sure.
I use to research all this stuff because it was intriguing... now I just engoy the cook!
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

I agree with the both of you. Dr Blonder says at this point the stalls are not due to collage breakdown or fat melting. I am anxiously awaiting his new study on the secondary stall. He did his thesis at MIT on phase change. 

post #12 of 14

LOL

 

I said it in another thread: "Know that stalls happen, pick your own theory that explains the stall and stick to it" This is akin to the particle/wave argument regaring light. It is sometimes best to just use a theory that works at the time. just ask my accountant :-)))

 

I also agree, in my stick burner we never really stall, I do see a slowdown in the rate of increase, but in either of my MES's I see a significant stall on any big hunk of meat. I can, if watching even see a stall on a split,bone in breast.

 

 

I am fascinated by these discussions, I would really like to know what actually goes on. It seems to me to be bass-ackwards to see a stall in a MES (I fill the pan w/ H2O) but not in my trailer pit.

If you forced me to a diagnosis, I would be confused by the stall in the hi-humid environment in the MES and a stall, where the stick burner is a far drier atmosphere and doesn't stall. Perhaps this is because the meat in the stick burner dries faster and at an earlier temp? On the other hand, the evap in the MES has got to be far less.....making me wonder if evap is really the cause.

I can say that I am far better instrumented on my MES than I am on the East Texas rig......meybe insufficient instrumentation is actually missing the stall in the 'real' pit????

 

 

Beats the hell outa me :-)

 

--T

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

LOL----Beats the hell out of me too.

I just have a feeling that Dr Blonder's upcoming tests will actually provide some information that will be useful and practical to us smoke hounds.

If you guys miss the publication he has promised to send it to me and I will post it here.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

LMBO on the:

 

"Accountant theory"

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