Pattern Recognition - Seizing
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If you cook a lot you should know about seizing. Seizing is what happens when food contacts hot metal--it sticks. I know, you already knew that. What's happening is that the surface of food--particularly meat--is a suspension of free proteins in water. A suspension of free proteins in water is traditionally known as 'glue'. Contact with hot metal literally glues the food to the surface.
What you may not know is the correct way of handling this phenomenon: don't do anything.
The thing about seizing is it's temporary. If you just leave that burger alone for a minute, the proteins will break down. Coincidentally, the point at which the delicious brown crust is perfect is also the point at which it stops sticking, for pretty much the same reason--the protein structure that was chaining food to metal a minute ago has been torn up. So you can cook a delicious steak, chicken breast or burger in a bare stainless steel pan with no oil if you just have patience.
Now you know.
This is a perfect troll to me get me to burn my steak
Edited at 2013-01-04 06:36 am (UTC)
|Date:||January 4th, 2013 06:57 am (UTC)|| |
I am a white-hat troll. I do not troll to cause people harm or distress.
Is there a different word for this? I'd be less skeptical if I could find an instructional youtube video.
|Date:||January 4th, 2013 07:12 am (UTC)|| |
You know, I might have the word wrong. The only citations I can find for 'seizing' refer to chocolate. However see e.g. the final paragraph of http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/03/how-to-saute-food-meat-vegetables.html
All I can say is, I actually cook like this and it works fine. Hamburger, steak, chicken. The point is, the food releases when the protein glue gets broken down enough, which is precisely when it gets browned--when it's mostly free aminos and the Maillard reaction kicks in. There are some caveats--depending on the thickness of the meat, it may get more cooked than you like by the time it releases. Also, for heaven's sake don't try this with eggs.Edited at 2013-01-04 07:14 am (UTC)
|Date:||January 4th, 2013 09:11 am (UTC)|| |
*laughs* I like the egg addendum. :)
Does this explain potatoes as well? Carbohydrate rich foods like potatoes and rice and noodles also form crusts and then release, which is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL to understand when frying these things. Not that YOU care.
|Date:||January 4th, 2013 06:37 pm (UTC)|| |
They form crusts, yes; they aren't devoid of protein though. A dilute solution of plain white flour in water, wheatpaste, is a traditional glue for sticking bills and posters.
Wow! I am so excited to try this -- thanks for the tip.
My favorite pan for cooking things (except eggs) in is a stainless steel copper-bottomed pan. Never have to worry about scratching it...
|Date:||January 15th, 2013 05:21 pm (UTC)|| |
I've also found that I can tolerate more browning than I thought I could (and in a number of situations, not just pan-frying meats), and I shouldn't freak out. Unfortunately, this let me to try to sear everything at as high a heat as possible, and some re-establishment of my char-aversion.