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Re: [hreg] Infrared vs microwave - fast cooking

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  • Garth & Kim Travis
    Greetings, I came across the references years ago now, when learning about solar cooking. The research has to do with denaturing proteins by high heat. Right
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 17, 2009
      Greetings,
      I came across the references years ago now, when learning about solar
      cooking. The research has to do with denaturing proteins by high heat.
      Right now, and for the rest of the summer I am way too busy to track
      down the research for you, Market Farming is like that. Personally, I
      have never eaten anything out of a pressure cooker that I would consider
      good. I had a SIL that loved hers, I couldn't stand her cooking.
      Turned me off completely on pressure cookers, other than for canning.
      Bright Blessings,
      Kim

      Neldon Costin wrote:
      >
      >
      > I haven't seen any facts about fast cooking specifically being bad.
      > For example pressure cooking is fast cooking & it is not bad. I have
      > seen a lot of research that there is an increased risk of cancer when
      > food is cooked crisp [slow or not] , like potato chips, toast, and
      > barbecue-which is slow cooked. Slow cooking does make some food more
      > tender, esp. lesser cuts of meat.
      >
      > I use to agree that moderation is good, and it is better than most
      > people do. However, moderation of bad stuff and not enough good stuff
      > [esp. greens-coniferous], is bad.
      >
      >
      > -
      >
      > ,_._,___
    • Robert Johnston
      Proteins denature at low temperatures too, when you stretch the protein molecules. Just whipping an egg white to make meringue is denaturation. Boiling an egg
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 17, 2009

        Proteins denature at low temperatures too, when you stretch the protein molecules.  Just whipping an egg white to make meringue is denaturation. 

        Boiling an egg in water is only at 212°F yet denatures the protein.  For thermal denaturation, most proteins denature at around 40°C, or 104°F (wonder why a higher fever is so bad for you?!).

         

        Cooking chemistry is complex.  A nice introduction can be found in “The Science of Cooking” by Peter Barham (Springer, Berlin, 2001).  He has a chapter specifically on cooking meat, explaining the tradeoffs involved:  (a) cooking muscle tissue at greater than 40°C toughens the meat because of muscle protein denaturation; (b) cooking connective tissue at greater than 60°C for a long time is necessary to gelatinize connective tissue or it will make the meat tough; (c) cooking at greater than 140°C is necessary to initiate Maillard reactions which give meat its meaty flavor.  He explains how, for different types of meat, one can cook in such a way as to optimize the tenderness and flavor of the meat.  There is no single best cooking method; it depends on the meat, how it is cut/prepared, and the desired result.  One reason for using high heat on a grill to cook meat is that the outer layer can be heated to 140C to get the flavor, yet the inside doesn’t get so hot as to become tough.  The flavorant molecules produced in the outer layer can diffuse into the rest of the meat to flavor it.

         

        From a health perspective, denaturation itself isn’t bad; as noted above, it can occur even at room temperature or at relatively low temperatures (40°C).  Perhaps your concern is not denaturation but excessive oxidation.  Oxidation can produce a variety of carcinogenic products.  I don’t see why a microwave would be any worse than a regular oven in this regard unless you simply overcook. 

         

        As a rule of thumb, chemical reaction rates double with each 10°C temperature rise.  So, “low and slow” might be a good idea so long as the time didn’t double with each 10°C reduction in temperature.  Also, if oxidation is the concern, then oxygen diffusion into the food can sometimes be the rate limiting step.  In this case, low and slow might be worse than high and fast, since the longer the process the more time for oxygen to diffuse in.

         

        Microwave ovens involve radiation, but so does cooking on a stove or oven or even solar oven.  The radiation wavelength is different, but all use radiation.  The spatial distribution of radiation in a microwave is not uniform, hence the use of rotating platforms.  Penetration depth is about 1 cm; the rest of a large food item is heated by heat transfer from the 1 cm deep microwave absorbing region.  Microwave frequency is tuned to the absorption spectrum for water, so most of the energy is absorbed by water.  Again, I suggest reading Barham’s book for a nice introduction, or other similar books on the science of cooking.


        Regards,

         

        Robert Johnston

         

         

        From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Garth & Kim Travis
        Sent: Friday, July 17, 2009 5:36 AM
        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [hreg] Infrared vs microwave - fast cooking

         

         

        Greetings,
        I came across the references years ago now, when learning about solar
        cooking. The research has to do with denaturing proteins by high heat.
        Right now, and for the rest of the summer I am way too busy to track
        down the research for you, Market Farming is like that. Personally, I
        have never eaten anything out of a pressure cooker that I would consider
        good. I had a SIL that loved hers, I couldn't stand her cooking.
        Turned me off completely on pressure cookers, other than for canning.
        Bright Blessings,
        Kim

        Neldon Costin wrote:

        >
        >
        > I haven't seen any facts about fast cooking specifically being bad.
        > For example pressure cooking is fast cooking & it is not bad. I have
        > seen a lot of research that there is an increased risk of cancer when
        > food is cooked crisp [slow or not] , like potato chips, toast, and
        > barbecue-which is slow cooked. Slow cooking does make some food more
        > tender, esp. lesser cuts of meat.
        >
        > I use to agree that moderation is good, and it is better than most
        > people do. However, moderation of bad stuff and not enough good stuff
        > [esp. greens-coniferous], is bad.
        >
        >
        > -
        >
        > ,_._,___

      • evelyn sardina
        I got my answer... RAW FOOD DIET! LOL ... From: Robert Johnston Subject: RE: [hreg] Infrared vs microwave - fast cooking To:
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 17, 2009
          I got my answer... RAW FOOD DIET! LOL

          --- On Fri, 7/17/09, Robert Johnston <junk1@...> wrote:

          From: Robert Johnston <junk1@...>
          Subject: RE: [hreg] Infrared vs microwave - fast cooking
          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Friday, July 17, 2009, 9:59 AM

           

          Proteins denature at low temperatures too, when you stretch the protein molecules.  Just whipping an egg white to make meringue is denaturation. 

          Boiling an egg in water is only at 212°F yet denatures the protein.  For thermal denaturation, most proteins denature at around 40°C, or 104°F (wonder why a higher fever is so bad for you?!).

           

          Cooking chemistry is complex.  A nice introduction can be found in “The Science of Cooking” by Peter Barham (Springer, Berlin, 2001).  He has a chapter specifically on cooking meat, explaining the tradeoffs involved:  (a) cooking muscle tissue at greater than 40°C toughens the meat because of muscle protein denaturation; (b) cooking connective tissue at greater than 60°C for a long time is necessary to gelatinize connective tissue or it will make the meat tough; (c) cooking at greater than 140°C is necessary to initiate Maillard reactions which give meat its meaty flavor.  He explains how, for different types of meat, one can cook in such a way as to optimize the tenderness and flavor of the meat.  There is no single best cooking method; it depends on the meat, how it is cut/prepared, and the desired result.  One reason for using high heat on a grill to cook meat is that the outer layer can be heated to 140C to get the flavor, yet the inside doesn’t get so hot as to become tough.  The flavorant molecules produced in the outer layer can diffuse into the rest of the meat to flavor it.

           

          From a health perspective, denaturation itself isn’t bad; as noted above, it can occur even at room temperature or at relatively low temperatures (40°C).  Perhaps your concern is not denaturation but excessive oxidation.  Oxidation can produce a variety of carcinogenic products.  I don’t see why a microwave would be any worse than a regular oven in this regard unless you simply overcook. 

           

          As a rule of thumb, chemical reaction rates double with each 10°C temperature rise.  So, “low and slow” might be a good idea so long as the time didn’t double with each 10°C reduction in temperature.  Also, if oxidation is the concern, then oxygen diffusion into the food can sometimes be the rate limiting step.  In this case, low and slow might be worse than high and fast, since the longer the process the more time for oxygen to diffuse in.

           

          Microwave ovens involve radiation, but so does cooking on a stove or oven or even solar oven.  The radiation wavelength is different, but all use radiation.  The spatial distribution of radiation in a microwave is not uniform, hence the use of rotating platforms.  Penetration depth is about 1 cm; the rest of a large food item is heated by heat transfer from the 1 cm deep microwave absorbing region.  Microwave frequency is tuned to the absorption spectrum for water, so most of the energy is absorbed by water.  Again, I suggest reading Barham’s book for a nice introduction, or other similar books on the science of cooking.


          Regards,

           

          Robert Johnston

           

           

          From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Garth & Kim Travis
          Sent: Friday, July 17, 2009 5:36 AM
          To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
          Subject: Re: [hreg] Infrared vs microwave - fast cooking

           

           

          Greetings,
          I came across the references years ago now, when learning about solar
          cooking. The research has to do with denaturing proteins by high heat.
          Right now, and for the rest of the summer I am way too busy to track
          down the research for you, Market Farming is like that. Personally, I
          have never eaten anything out of a pressure cooker that I would consider
          good. I had a SIL that loved hers, I couldn't stand her cooking.
          Turned me off completely on pressure cookers, other than for canning.
          Bright Blessings,
          Kim

          Neldon Costin wrote:
          >
          >
          > I haven't seen any facts about fast cooking specifically being bad.
          > For example pressure cooking is fast cooking & it is not bad. I have
          > seen a lot of research that there is an increased risk of cancer when
          > food is cooked crisp [slow or not] , like potato chips, toast, and
          > barbecue-which is slow cooked. Slow cooking does make some food more
          > tender, esp. lesser cuts of meat.
          >
          > I use to agree that moderation is good, and it is better than most
          > people do. However, moderation of bad stuff and not enough good stuff
          > [esp. greens-coniferous] , is bad.
          >
          >
          > -
          >
          > ,_._,___


        • Neldon Costin
          WoW, Good tech.  What other group would take a seemingly simple question & work it. Makes me proud to be a member. Thanks for posting this. ... From: Robert
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 17, 2009
            WoW, Good tech. 
            What other group would take a seemingly simple question & work it.
            Makes me proud to be a member.

            Thanks for posting this.


            --- On Fri, 7/17/09, Robert Johnston <junk1@...> wrote:

            From: Robert Johnston <junk1@...>
            Subject: RE: [hreg] Infrared vs microwave - fast cooking
            To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Friday, July 17, 2009, 9:59 AM

             

            Proteins denature at low temperatures too, when you stretch the protein molecules.  Just whipping an egg white to make meringue is denaturation. ... Microwave ovens involve radiation, but so does cooking on a stove or oven or even solar oven.  The radiation wavelength is different, but all use radiation.  The spatial distribution of radiation in a microwave is not uniform, hence the use of rotating platforms.  Penetration depth is about 1 cm; the rest of a large food item is heated by heat transfer from the 1 cm deep microwave absorbing region.  Microwave frequency is tuned to the absorption spectrum for water, so most of the energy is absorbed by water.  Again, I suggest reading Barham’s book for a nice introduction, or other similar books on the science of cooking.


            Regards,

            Robert Johnston

             

             

            From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Garth & Kim Travis
            Sent: Friday, July 17, 2009 5:36 AM
            To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
            Subject: Re: [hreg] Infrared vs microwave - fast cooking

             

             

            Greetings,
            I came across the references years ago now, when learning about solar
            cooking. The research has to do with denaturing proteins by high heat.
            Right now, and for the rest of the summer I am way too busy to track
            down the research for you, Market Farming is like that. Personally, I
            have never eaten anything out of a pressure cooker that I would consider
            good. I had a SIL that loved hers, I couldn't stand her cooking.
            Turned me off completely on pressure cookers, other than for canning.
            Bright Blessings,
            Kim

            Neldon Costin wrote:
            >
            >
            > I haven't seen any facts about fast cooking specifically being bad.
            > For example pressure cooking is fast cooking & it is not bad. I have
            > seen a lot of research that there is an increased risk of cancer when
            > food is cooked crisp [slow or not] , like potato chips, toast, and
            > barbecue-which is slow cooked. Slow cooking does make some food more
            > tender, esp. lesser cuts of meat.
            >
            > I use to agree that moderation is good, and it is better than most
            > people do. However, moderation of bad stuff and not enough good stuff
            > [esp. greens-coniferous] , is bad.
            >
            >
            > -
            >
            > ,_._,___


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