blacken, and the outer parts of the meat rapidly dry out as the coagulated protein network quickly
tightens and squeezes out water, before the inner parts of the meat are cooked.
The impermeable crust:
Many people think that when a piece of meat is grilled, the crust that is immediately formed on the
surface of the meat due to the water evaporating and the proteins coagulating acts as an
“impermeable crust” that keeps all the meat juices trapped inside the meat and prevents them from
getting squeezed out by syneresis. However, if this crust really does function to prevent the juices from
leaving the meat, once a grilled piece of meat is placed on a plate after cooking, the juices would not
be expected to leave the meat source – but they do. The juices that are squeezed out during cooking
are not visible in the pan because they rapidly evaporate in the heat. This means sauces to be served
with grilled meat should be made slightly thicker than is desired – the juices that leave the grilled meat
after cooking may dilute the sauce
Additionally, examination of the meat surface structure with a microscope shows that in the outer
surface of a piece of grilled meat are gaps that have formed between shrivelled up muscle cells. The
outer surface is more similar to a sieve. So since the juices can indeed leave the meat during cooking,
attention should be made that the protein network does not coagulate sufficiently strongly to squeeze
water out of its structure.
Therefore grilling is usually used for thin and tender cuts like chops and steaks, because the inner
temperatures will increase more quickly, so the inner parts of the meat will be cooked before the
protein network in the outer surface start to undergo synergesis that squeezes out internal water.
One of the most effective ways to avoid drying out of the centre is to cook the meat at these high
temperatures as briefly as possible on each side, to initiate the Maillard reactions and kill any harmful
bacteria, and then reduce the pan temperature by reducing the heat, or even totally removing the meat
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