Sear-iously Delicious Steaks

Raw Steaks

The passing of labor day may mean the end of grilling season for some, but that doesn’t have to mean an end to delicious steaks. Cooking an excellent steak comes down to three simple things: 1) a high quality piece of meat, 2) getting the correct internal temperature, 3) getting a good sear on the outside. We find that a good rib-eye steak passes the quality test, and sous vide solves the correct internal temperature problem. But what is the best way to get a perfect sear?
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On the Washing of Tea

The Gastropod podcast “looks at food through the lens of science and history”, so it’s only natural that they’ll cover stuff relevant to our interests here at Doing Science to Stuff. The May episode The Cocktail Hour provides a fascinating look at not only the history and craft of cocktail making, but also some modern techniques for enhancing the cocktail experience.

Initial observation:

Toward the end of the episode, they discuss a technique called boozewashing. The fundamental idea, expanded upon in Dave Arnold’s Liquid Intelligence, is to use chemistry to pull undesirable flavors out of a drink. In this case, using proteins in milk to pull polyphenols like tannins out of tea-infused vodka.

Question:

How big an impact does boozewashing have on the flavor of tea-infused vodka? Does it impact mouth-feel at all? What about the overall appearance of the vodka?

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Thanksgiving Cow

Uncooked Roast

Here at the primary testing facility, it’s no secret that we like red meat.  So, when we found standing rib-roasts on sale shortly before Thanksgiving, we couldn’t resist doing a science to one of them (getting two for control, seemed a bit excessive).

Initial observation:
Roast recipes have always seemed to be a bit of a dark art, with mysterious temperature changes in the middle, cooking times based on mass rather than linear dimensions.  These peculiar practices seem to produce delicious results, and presumably have something to do with how heat flows into the meat during cooking.  In this post we hope to shed some light on how heat flows through a roast.

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