Barbecue Myths

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Searing Locks in Juices

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Rib Steaks on Portable Infrared Solaire Grill - Regarding BBQ Inc.
Rib Steaks on Portable Infrared Solaire Grill. Photo Credit: Regarding BBQ Inc.

What if I told you that searing that steak doesn't hold in the juices? Neither does setting aside the fork in favor of the spatula. Is mayonnaise a sea of bacteria waiting to ruin your cookout? Should you spray down that flare-up? There are a lot of myths out there in the barbecue and grilling world and some of them are preventing you from being the best cook you can be. Let's debunk those myths and get cooking.

Myth #1: It seems reasonable. Get that grill as hot as it will go and throw on a steak to sear in the juices. With the surface of the steak cooked hot and fast the juices will stay inside. Right? Wrong. The moisture in meats is inside the individual cells, not floating around like in some kind of balloon. Heat causes these cells to contract draining juices from the meat and causing it to get dry. The more you cook the dryer the meat will get. High-temperature searing won't affect the moisture of the meat. What it does do is brown the surface of the meat in processes known as caramelization and the Maillard reaction. These processes affect amino acids and sugars on the meat giving it that rich, sweet flavor. So sear for the flavor, not the juices.

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