Your Steak Isn’t Bleeding, Here’s What That Liquid Is (Video)

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By Cooking Panda

Ever cut into a steak to be simultaneously enthralled by and scared of the red liquid leaking from its sides? Well, consider your fears calmed, because that stuff isn’t actually blood, science confirms.

The red juice — charmingly called “weep” or “purge” — around steaks and other red meat is a result of their freezing and packaging, according to a video by Tech Insider (below). The liquid is simply a mix of water and myoglobin, a protein found in muscle. 

Most meat contains about 75 percent water, which freezes and forms sharp crystals when the meat is packaged for transport. The crystals’ sharp edges rupture the muscle cells in the meat and cause them to release myoglobin when the meat thaws. The myoglobin combines with water to form that eerie juice.

That’s all fine and good, but it begs one question: Why is the liquid red? That, ladies and gentlemen, is because myoglobin contains iron, which gives red meat its signature hue and turns the liquid a blood-like red. 

If you’re still not convinced, think about it this way. First of all, nearly all blood is removed from meat during slaughter, which is why steak doesn’t taste like blood.

Secondly, if red meat actually “bled,” white meat would, too. The reason we don’t see the same red liquid on cuts of chicken or turkey is because those animals have much lower levels of myoglobin in their muscles — hence, the basis of the distinction between red meat and white meat, Today I Found Out explains.

If myoglobin gives raw red meat its color, it is also responsible for the darkening of the meat as it cooks. The longer a steak spends on the grill, the darker the myoglobin becomes, and the more well done the steak will be.

So whether you formerly avoided your steak’s red juice (or enjoyed it more?) because you thought it was blood, you can now find comfort in the knowledge that it is a far less dramatic substance: red protein water. Have fun impressing your friends with your newfound scientific knowledge of steak. 

Source: Tech Insider/YouTube, Today I Found Out / Photo credit: stu_spivack/Flickr

Tags: blood, red meat, science, steak
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Important News! Red Meat Might Actually Be Good For Us

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By Cooking Panda

Turn on your meat smoker and listen up!

Everyone is used to hearing about how bad red meat is for you — it takes years off your life, it gives you cancer and diabetes and it curses you to a lifetime of despair. Or something. At least, that’s what the National Institutes of Health say, minus the last one.

But guess what? A new study has concluded that your favorite barbecued beef brisket could actually be really healthy for you, since it has a lot of the same type of good fat you find in olive or canola oil.

“Brisket has higher oleic acid than the flank or plate, which are the trims typically used to produce ground beef,” Texas A&M AgriLife Research’s Dr. Stephen Smith told AgriLife Today. “The fat in brisket also has a low melting point, that’s why the brisket is so juicy. That’s also why we like it so much here in Texas, and it’s by far the most popular choice for Texas barbecue.”

Granted, you can probably get the same health benefits from a spoonful of olive oil as you can from a serving of brisket, we’ll be happy to munch away at our Texas barbecue knowing that it might not kill us as quickly as we previously thought.

“[Oleic acid is] the most abundant fatty acid in beef,” added Smith. “It’s also most abundant in canola oil and olive oil. When cattle are fed high-concentrated diets for a long period, the meat becomes high in oleic acid and other monounsaturated fats.”

Monounsaturated fats are the healthy ones, in case you forgot.

While Smith has found that those healthy fats and oleic acids are primarily found in marbled brisket, you’ll also get a ton of it in American Wagyu Beef. You know, the expensive stuff that you most likely don’t get to eat every day. Go figure.

But there’s another unexpected place you might be able to find the nutrients — ground beef. According to Smith, most ground beef has a ton of brisket in it, so that stuff you mold into hamburger patties and meatballs every week might actually be doing you some favors. You’re welcome.

We’ll go ahead and run with this one. Don’t tell us if you hear again next week that brisket actually causes widespread sadness, or something.

Sources: National Institutes of Health, AgriLife Today / Photo credit: We All Rub Our Meat/Instagram

Tags: brisket, brisket good for you, health benefits meat, red meat, red meat bad for you
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