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"How many times do you have to slap a Chicken..." Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2019 8:58 p.m. PST


"COULD YOU COOK a chicken by slapping it? This recent meme may not sound like a good physics question at first glance, but it is, in fact, a great question. In fact, I thought I'd already answered it. Back in 2010, I looked into the possibility of cooking a turkey by dropping it.

But this chicken slap question is still a great physics problem, so let's get to it…"
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Cerdic21 Jul 2019 1:39 a.m. PST

Great. Now I have a horrific mental image of Tango slapping his chicken…

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2019 7:32 a.m. PST

Someone thinks they're Randall Munroe.

But they aren't.

This one isn't just math. The chicken meat is not just protein you need to raise to a particular temperature. There are cells. Slapping is going to burst cells. Long before you reach the desired temperature you're going to slap the chicken to inedible mush.

Another thing that's happening when you cook meat is drying. The meat is slowly drying even at room temperature, and the hotter it gets the faster you are losing water. You do need to get rid of some of the water, but not too much. You want the proteins to be fully denatured at the same moment you reach the desired level of dryness. Cook too slowly, as in this case, and the meat may be cooked, but it will be dry, leathery, inedible

Another thing that happens during cooking is the Maillard reaction that produces browness. This is very important to enjoying meat. Yes, some people like pale, poached chicken and in certain flavor contexts this makes sense. But 99% of the time you want the outer layer of meat to reach 300+. This is also causes caramelization and all kinds of other delicious reactions. Anyone who has done some sous-vide knows that just getting the chicken to 165 doesn't produce delicious dinner.

So someone got excited about some energy formulas and did the first half of an interesting article, but they quit long before it was worthwhile.

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