What-If 0028: "Steak Drop"

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby kqr » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:20 pm UTC

On an unrelated note, Cooking for Geeks looks like just the thing I need.

A good friend of mine is teaching me to cook (20 years and single, my parents never could cook and I have lots of time on my hands now) which is great, but I always interrupt her with what she thinks is the most odd questions, like, "What does it mean to whisk an egg? How long should I whisk it for?" or "Why do you put in the ingredients in that order? Why do you pause between those two? What does that ingredient do to the meal?" or "Do I put this in the frying pan when it is already hot or should I put it in and then wait for it to get hot?" or "How much am I supposed to use when it tells me to be generous with the amount? Generous according to what culture?"

She does actually have answers to most of my questions, but it feels like what I'm missing is lots and lots of understanding of the process of cooking. Based on the Amazon preview, it feels like Cooking for Geeks is written specifically for me. I have already ordered a copy and I so look forward to read it.

Thanks, Munroe!

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby sardia » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:49 am UTC

kqr wrote:On an unrelated note, Cooking for Geeks looks like just the thing I need.

A good friend of mine is teaching me to cook (20 years and single, my parents never could cook and I have lots of time on my hands now) which is great, but I always interrupt her with what she thinks is the most odd questions, like, "What does it mean to whisk an egg? How long should I whisk it for?" or "Why do you put in the ingredients in that order? Why do you pause between those two? What does that ingredient do to the meal?" or "Do I put this in the frying pan when it is already hot or should I put it in and then wait for it to get hot?" or "How much am I supposed to use when it tells me to be generous with the amount? Generous according to what culture?"

She does actually have answers to most of my questions, but it feels like what I'm missing is lots and lots of understanding of the process of cooking. Based on the Amazon preview, it feels like Cooking for Geeks is written specifically for me. I have already ordered a copy and I so look forward to read it.

Thanks, Munroe!

I would recommend a copy of Modernist Cuisine as well, but they're pretty pricy, $500 each. Having multiple sources is good, I should check on it too.

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby edwardrf » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:30 am UTC

I would like to post a follow up whatif.

What if the steak is attached to a piece of metal, let's say, pressed against a wok, and dropped from the space, would the increase in density increase the terminal velocity and the fact the meat is in contact with a good heat conductor so it gets cooked more evenly?

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby maztec » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:40 am UTC

sardia wrote:I would recommend a copy of Modernist Cuisine as well, but they're pretty pricy, $500 each. Having multiple sources is good, I should check on it too.


Or Modernist Cuisine at Home (MC@H), which is $150 (a LOT cheaper) and is a good way to wet your appetite for the whole MC series if you are not sure you want to dip your toes in that deep.

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby ijuin » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:21 am UTC

sardia wrote:Also, I'm very disappointed in some of you with regard to how some of you cook a steak. VERY DISAPPOINTED. Exhibit A: Not knowing the difference between browned (Maillard reactions) and Charred black. (pyrolysis aka burning the meat)


Maillard what now? I can count the number of steaks I've had in my life on one hand, in part because chewing anything tougher than a hamburger is out of the question for me.

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby Davidy » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:30 am UTC

I live in Pittsburgh and have done so for 71 of my 73 years. I have never heard the term "Pittsburgh Steak" or "Pittsburgh Rare" or any other variants of the term. Maybe they cooked their chipped ham that way and called it steak.
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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby peewee_RotA » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:37 am UTC

Davidy wrote:I live in Pittsburgh and have done so for 71 of my 73 years. I have never heard the term "Pittsburgh Steak" or "Pittsburgh Rare" or any other variants of the term. Maybe they cooked their chipped ham that way and called it steak.


I was going to say something like this, but I'm young yet. What do I know?


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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby mathmannix » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:25 pm UTC

Meat should be cooked so that there is no pink left. Beef, chicken, fish, or pork.

steaks.jpg
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby hamjudo » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:48 pm UTC

Let's try inverting the problem: Could there exist a planet where dropping raw steaks was an effective way of cooking them?

The answer is obviously yes. Look for planets with a low enough gravity to atmosphere thickness ratio, so the drop time would be long enough for effective cooking. From that list, look for planets where the temperature profile is suitable, we want it close enough to the star to cook the steak through, without beings so close is chars it. The final requirement is that the atmosphere not chemically mess up the steak.

Venus is out because the temperature is too hot, and the sulfuric acid in the atmosphere will mess up the steak. Earth is wrong because the atmosphere is too cold.

Future announcements from NASA of extra solar planet discoveries should list the likelihood that the planet's atmosphere will be suitable for cooking steaks.

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby Klear » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:51 pm UTC

What about Mercury? I believe its atmosphere is pretty thin, and the temperature might be enough to cook to steak even without a fall...

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:50 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:Meat should be cooked so that there is no pink left. Beef, chicken, fish, or pork.

Image

I don't eat steak and I approve of this message.
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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby mcdigman » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:04 am UTC

mathmannix wrote:Meat should be cooked so that there is no pink left. Beef, chicken, fish, or pork.

steaks.jpg


Image

No pink left, happy?

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:07 am UTC

mathmannix wrote:Meat should be cooked so that there is no pink left. Beef, chicken, fish, or pork.

steaks.jpg
You, sir, disgust me.
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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby Fire Brns » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:13 am UTC

mathmannix wrote:Meat should be cooked so that there is no pink left. Beef, chicken, fish, or pork.

steaks.jpg

Chicken; well cooked.
fish; well cooked, not fishy.
Pork; fried, caramelized meat, Baconesque is the best.
Beef; If I'm eating brown cow it better be hamburger. And if I'm eating hamburger it better be brown. Otherwise I want to taste it's delicious salty blood.
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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby Davidy » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:48 am UTC

The heating is a result of the compression of the air caused by the falling meat. However, does air friction on the sides of the meat contribute any appreciable amount to the heating?
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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby zombie_monkey » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:50 am UTC

Vroomfundel wrote:there is also à l'anglais in French, which means 'like the English'
I only recently learned to appreciate rare steaks - in my national cuisine (Bulgarian) anything other than well done is considered weird and is referred to as alangle, a misspell of the French term.

There are several things wrong with that statement. Also, usually by "steak" people mean beef. При това обикновено се има предвид телешко, не говеждо, забележи -- в България просто няма традиция да се яде телешко, или дори да се отглеждат телета за месо; но това се променя напоследък. People who don't speak Bulgarian sorry, but at least the first part is just about semantic distinctions in Bulgarian.

I don't think you understand the precise meaning of "misspelling". That's something that happens in the context of an individual language. In this case, it's not only a borrowing of a phrase, currently (but I think, historically, not consistently, but I'll have check*) spelled as a single word; but in the case of à l'anglaise -> алангле it's also a completely different writing system. There are also languages that use the Latin alphabet that are more strictly phonetic and change the way a word is written from the source language, and you can't use the term "misspelling" there -- a misspelling is something that happens in the context of a given orthography.
*I think I vaguely recollect that the individual components of French phrases borrowed into Bulgarian used to be hyphenated, I'll ask a few people who know more about the history of Bulgarian orthography -- but some linguists consider modern French to be polysynthetic anyway, so...

I have two hypotheses -- either calling rare steak алангле is a local application of a borrowed phrase in a more general sense; or the French developed their taste for rare steak more recently; certainly the few steaks I've had in France were pretty rare.

On a side note, it's weird that today's What-If quickly switched from science to cooking. What's even more depressing is that I have more to say on the culinary side :-( But hey, I got some scientific cooking tips, so I'm still happy. I'll even get one of the books Randall referenced.

That's right -- in this thread, we moved from physics, through cooking to Bulgarian orthography.

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:15 am UTC

mcdigman wrote:
mathmannix wrote:Meat should be cooked so that there is no pink left. Beef, chicken, fish, or pork.

Image


Image

No pink left, happy?

That's the opposite problem cave men had. If you're having to choose between "charcoal" and "bloody red", you have not yet mastered fire. If you're still getting meat that's pink or tastes like burning, you have not quite mastered fire yet either. When you can rid your meat of pink without burning it, then you have mastered fire and are allowed to move on to the bronze age.
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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby peewee_RotA » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:20 am UTC

zombie_monkey wrote:That's right -- in this thread, we moved from physics, through cooking to Bulgarian orthography.


*shakes head*
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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby mcdigman » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:44 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
mcdigman wrote:
mathmannix wrote:Meat should be cooked so that there is no pink left. Beef, chicken, fish, or pork.

Image


Image

No pink left, happy?

That's the opposite problem cave men had. If you're having to choose between "charcoal" and "bloody red", you have not yet mastered fire. If you're still getting meat that's pink or tastes like burning, you have not quite mastered fire yet either. When you can rid your meat of pink without burning it, then you have mastered fire and are allowed to move on to the bronze age.


Thats not burned at all. Its a caveman's sous vide, finally done. Its a nice mammoth steak placed in a warm pressure cooker and left to cook for a couple ten thousand years and voila! Garnish with some fresh blue-green algae and enjoy.

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby omgryebread » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:06 am UTC

mathmannix wrote:Meat should be cooked so that there is no pink left. Beef, chicken, fish, or pork.

steaks.jpg
You could just chew on my couch. That would provide roughly the same taste and texture. (Please don't chew on my couch. It's not even mine.) I mean, if you hate the taste of beef I can see why you would want to totally obliterate its flavor.

Chicken should be cooked through, of course. Pork depends. If you're cooking a tenderloin, there should be no pink, but just barely. Pork chops should be cooked through.

Beef. No. Seriously. Steaks should be medium rare. Anything else is a crime. A good steak has low amounts of collagen and should be cooked hot and fast (or sous vide if you're into it, though I still think its unnecessary). Overcooking the beef, as you advocate, will actually make it tougher, and will drain out the flavorful and juicy fat. So you're left with a tougher, drier, less flavorful steak. On the other hand, undercooking the steak has a bad texture, and fails to get the delicious Maillard reaction. So a good steak is medium rare, which provides the perfect balance of flavor, juicyness, and tenderness.

This of course doesn't apply to the tougher cuts. Shanks are so tough that you really only use them for stew. A brisket is much too tough to cook like a steak: smoking it will make it nice and tender. A good brisket should be evenly cooked throughout, and smoked for at least 8 hours.

Fish should be cooked evenly - for most fish. Swordfish should be seared, and a little bit rare on the inside. Tuna? If you're actually cooking tuna evenly you should just buy some Chicken of the Sea and call it a day. Take a good sushi-grade (if you like not dying) tuna steak, sear it for a minute at most on both sides and then serve. It should be raw and pretty much room temperature on the inside.
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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby Klear » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:51 am UTC

omgryebread wrote:Overcooking the beef, as you advocate, will actually make it tougher, and will drain out the flavorful and juicy fat. So you're left with a tougher, drier, less flavorful steak.


But then you can make such a wonderful sauce. The juices don't just disappear, you know.

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby sardia » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:04 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
omgryebread wrote:Overcooking the beef, as you advocate, will actually make it tougher, and will drain out the flavorful and juicy fat. So you're left with a tougher, drier, less flavorful steak.


But then you can make such a wonderful sauce. The juices don't just disappear, you know.

The fact that you needed to make a sauce in the first place is a reminder of your failure to cook the steak.
You should be able to make a sauce out of the browned bit stuck on the bottom of the pan (maillard reactions). Having juices leak out excessively interferes with that. The goal of browning a steak is to cook the steak faster than water can leak out. This is because water can't boil higher than 212 degrees, which means less browning.

As for tougher cuts of steak, either marinade or cook longer at a low temp (130-140 degrees F) and then sear for a brown crust.

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby bmonk » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:18 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Klear wrote:
omgryebread wrote:Overcooking the beef, as you advocate, will actually make it tougher, and will drain out the flavorful and juicy fat. So you're left with a tougher, drier, less flavorful steak.


But then you can make such a wonderful sauce. The juices don't just disappear, you know.

The fact that you needed to make a sauce in the first place is a reminder of your failure to cook the steak.
You should be able to make a sauce out of the browned bit stuck on the bottom of the pan (maillard reactions). Having juices leak out excessively interferes with that. The goal of browning a steak is to cook the steak faster than water can leak out. This is because water can't boil higher than 212 degrees, which means less browning.

As for tougher cuts of steak, either marinade or cook longer at a low temp (130-140 degrees F) and then sear for a brown crust.

If you don't like the taste of real steak, get a pot roast, or a meat loaf.
If you want to make fine sauces and gravies, cook sausage.
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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby jimhsu » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:09 am UTC

maztec wrote:
sardia wrote:I would recommend a copy of Modernist Cuisine as well, but they're pretty pricy, $500 each. Having multiple sources is good, I should check on it too.


Or Modernist Cuisine at Home (MC@H), which is $150 (a LOT cheaper) and is a good way to wet your appetite for the whole MC series if you are not sure you want to dip your toes in that deep.


Or On Food and Cooking, which was what started the whole "modernist cuisine" thing in the first place and is a lot cheaper than both.

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby ctdonath » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:45 pm UTC

Remember the notion of "cooking" is a historically recent development.

Our base culinary preferences originate from a [short] life grovelling around eating whatever you could get your hands on, and preferring to get your hands on high-calorie high-protein easy-digesting stuff.
In the case of meat (letting some other beast find, digest & concentrate the stuff you're after), we got used to consuming still-warm meat. The fact that it was still warm (hotter the fresher) indicated less encroachment of surface bacteria etc. and maximum retention of juices (whatever nutritional value therein).
Hence, the modern steak: seared on the outside to kill off any nasties and to retain juices, warm enough on the inside to approximate fresh-killed content.

Cooked thru is for meat old enough that you're not sure whether E-coli & friends have thoroughly invaded, ensuring you've killed it all off via crude means of heat. The "no pink" notion is the result of training from ensuring this, given a culture used to old meat.
Seasoning is for meat so old you know it's going bad, covering up nasty flavors so you can eat it, having few other food options.
Given modern sanitation and effective storage, neither of these are necessary.

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby JudeMorrigan » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:41 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
mathmannix wrote:Meat should be cooked so that there is no pink left. Beef, chicken, fish, or pork.

Image

I don't eat steak and I approve of this message.

But you repeat yourself.

Seriously though, I used to be at least somewhat similar. I preferred my steak medium-well, but I could totally take it or leave it. Then one night I went to a snooty French restaurant and one of the courses was tenderloin. I went ahead and ordered it medium-rare, because that's What You Do at a place like that. One bite of it and it was totally a case of, "Oh. Ok. Now I get steak."

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby speising » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:45 pm UTC

I don't get why it's called "well" done anyway. Shouldn't it be "badly done"?

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:51 pm UTC

ctdonath wrote:Seasoning is for meat so old you know it's going bad, covering up nasty flavors so you can eat it, having few other food options.

Seasoning also preserves food and keeps it from going bad in the first place. Bacteria have a hard time growing in any environment that would taste really strongly: too much salt, too much sugar (sweet), too much acid (sour), too much base (bitter), I don't think they have a big problem with glutamates (savory) or else they wouldn't be growing in meat to begin with, but many strong spices like peppers are, as someone in another thread said recently, "trying their best to be poisonous and failing deliciously" and so make good edible biocides. So cover or immerse your meats in salt, honey, vinegar, (I'm not aware of any strong bitters used to preserve meats), chili powder, etc, and it will keep longer. The same is true of vegetables, hence pickling, salt-and-vinegar dressings, curries, etc.

Now I'm wondering if coffee or cocoa make good preservatives, being so strongly basic and bitter.
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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby Fire Brns » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:07 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Now I'm wondering if coffee or cocoa make good preservatives, being so strongly basic and bitter.

Both contain natural pesticides; They inhibit neural activity and appetite causing insects to starve to death. Spider webs look worse on caffeine than amphetamines.

Coffee I know is not a preservative, homemade chocolate tends to last on it's own so it is not implausible that there are natural preservatives in it.
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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby sardia » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:15 am UTC

bmonk wrote:If you don't like the taste of real steak, get a pot roast, or a meat loaf.
If you want to make fine sauces and gravies, cook sausage.

I would recommend making your pot roast at 135-140 degrees F for the duration of its cooking time. Don't knock a sous vide + seared steak until you tried it. Instead of having the usual chewy gray ring around a bloody rare oval, the steaks are pink from top to bottom.

Also, another reason we cook our food is that cooked meat gives more calories then uncooked meat, similar to why celery is a negative calorie food.

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby Klear » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:33 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
ctdonath wrote:Seasoning is for meat so old you know it's going bad, covering up nasty flavors so you can eat it, having few other food options.

Seasoning also preserves food and keeps it from going bad in the first place. Bacteria have a hard time growing in any environment that would taste really strongly: too much salt, too much sugar (sweet), too much acid (sour), too much base (bitter), I don't think they have a big problem with glutamates (savory) or else they wouldn't be growing in meat to begin with, but many strong spices like peppers are, as someone in another thread said recently, "trying their best to be poisonous and failing deliciously" and so make good edible biocides. So cover or immerse your meats in salt, honey, vinegar, (I'm not aware of any strong bitters used to preserve meats), chili powder, etc, and it will keep longer. The same is true of vegetables, hence pickling, salt-and-vinegar dressings, curries, etc.

Now I'm wondering if coffee or cocoa make good preservatives, being so strongly basic and bitter.


This is also why cultures in hot climates tend to favour very spicy food.

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby pizzazz » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:37 am UTC

If you're cooking steak so that the middle is not pink or red, you are wasting good steak and should just buy pot roast (as it will taste the same, but pot roast is cheaper). Steak that is grey in the middle has the taste and texture of shoe leather.
edit: for more detail, just read this.
omgryebread wrote:
mathmannix wrote:Meat should be cooked so that there is no pink left. Beef, chicken, fish, or pork.

steaks.jpg
You could just chew on my couch. That would provide roughly the same taste and texture. (Please don't chew on my couch. It's not even mine.) I mean, if you hate the taste of beef I can see why you would want to totally obliterate its flavor.

Chicken should be cooked through, of course. Pork depends. If you're cooking a tenderloin, there should be no pink, but just barely. Pork chops should be cooked through.

Beef. No. Seriously. Steaks should be medium rare. Anything else is a crime. A good steak has low amounts of collagen and should be cooked hot and fast (or sous vide if you're into it, though I still think its unnecessary). Overcooking the beef, as you advocate, will actually make it tougher, and will drain out the flavorful and juicy fat. So you're left with a tougher, drier, less flavorful steak. On the other hand, undercooking the steak has a bad texture, and fails to get the delicious Maillard reaction. So a good steak is medium rare, which provides the perfect balance of flavor, juicyness, and tenderness.

This of course doesn't apply to the tougher cuts. Shanks are so tough that you really only use them for stew. A brisket is much too tough to cook like a steak: smoking it will make it nice and tender. A good brisket should be evenly cooked throughout, and smoked for at least 8 hours.

Fish should be cooked evenly - for most fish. Swordfish should be seared, and a little bit rare on the inside. Tuna? If you're actually cooking tuna evenly you should just buy some Chicken of the Sea and call it a day. Take a good sushi-grade (if you like not dying) tuna steak, sear it for a minute at most on both sides and then serve. It should be raw and pretty much room temperature on the inside.


It is true that not all beef should be medium rare. Ground beef can easily be medium well (in fact, it probably should be, for safety); pot roast or other stew meats are generally also cooked grey (the dryness is compensated for with gravy). Roasts, however, should, similarly to steak, be red in the middle (these are actually sometimes the same cut, such as with tenderloin/filet mignon).

Fun fact, you can "cook" (some) fish without heat.

And, now I'm quite hungry.

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby shokoshu » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:13 pm UTC

peewee_RotA wrote:
zombie_monkey wrote:That's right -- in this thread, we moved from physics, through cooking to Bulgarian orthography.


*shakes head*


Right! You completely forgot the homophobic slurs! :twisted:
...
...
Whaddayamean, this isn't 4chan? :shock:

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby Bez » Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:08 pm UTC

Add me to the pink meat group. I used to like well done when I was a kid, but now I can't believe I'd pass up a nice, tender, juicy rare steak for a chewy, dry one with less flavour.

So, yeah. This 'Pittsburgh Rare' sounds like how I do steak.

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Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Postby Bez » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:02 am UTC

sardia wrote:Well, carpaccio isn't bloody at all, nor should any steak ever be. Blood is drained out of the cow when it is slaughtered.


Yeah, technically the juices aren't blood. IIRC, they're mostly water and myoglobin.

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Re: What-If 0028: "Steak Drop"

Postby Kaiman » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:20 am UTC

As far as I know, this steak question originally came up in a lengthy 4chan thread, which quickly disintegrated into poorly-informed physics tirades intermixed with homophobic slurs. There was no clear conclusion.


"poorly-informed tirades mixed with homophobic slurs" - isn't that every 4chan thread?

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Re: What-If 0028: "Steak Drop"

Postby PaganGod » Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:12 am UTC

I think we can cheat in a way that wasn't covered. The question was:

"From what height would you need to drop a steak for it to be cooked when it hit the ground?"

To me, that means there are only two requirements that have to be met for success:

1- The steak needs to be cooked in such a way that it's not completely raw, and also not burnt to a cinder
2- It needs to survive to hit the ground

Yes, the question assumes that it's cooked by heating due to air compression, but why not use something slightly more practical?

We take the steak WAY out into space, and give it a tap towards Earth. Maybe a great big tap.

It's now close enough to the sun that it's slowly cooked as it falls towards the Earth. Assuming we drop it off at just the right point, before the steak is inedible, it's moved far enough away from the sun that it stops cooking, and instead starts to freeze solid. We should be able to find that point, either by getting the distance right, or waiting for a planet to block direct sunlight after the steak has reached our desired degree of "done"

The question now becomes if the 8oz fillet can be aimed at our atmosphere and eventually the surfacein such a way that it does actually survive to hit the ground (or more likely a body of water, although if we're able to aim the thing that well, we could probably point it at a Tempurpedic warehouse)?

Yeah, we probably need to thaw the thing out and reheat it, but that wasn't in the list of success conditions.

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Re: What-If 0028: "Steak Drop"

Postby Znirk » Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:56 am UTC

I'd guess that any part of the steak volatile enough to boil off at near-zero pressure will do just that. Irradiating a freeze-dried lump of meat isn't really the same as cooking a steak.

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Re: What-If 0028: "Steak Drop"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:01 am UTC

Also, the sun puts out about 1400W/m^2 at this distance, or about 14W for a steak. Figure a 10cm square 2cm thick for a surface area of 280 cm^2 or 0.028m^2. If we approximate the steak as a blackbody, then the power it radiates (14W at equilibrium) is 0.028*(boltzmann constant)*T^4, so T^4 is 8.8e9, for an equilibrium temperature of a bit over 300K. Also known as not anywhere near hot enough to cook a steak.
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Re: What-If 0028: "Steak Drop"

Postby PaganGod » Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:25 am UTC

I'm saying we move the steak close enough to the sun so that it COULD be cooked, then give it a kick in the pants.

The steak exploding in vacuum is something I hadn't considered, though. Not sure how bad it would get, given that there's no internal air pockets.


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