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Random Food Questions Thread - Page 223

post #3331 of 7218
Good uses for taro root?
post #3332 of 7218
Curries.
post #3333 of 7218
Is MSG sensitivity predictive of developing fibromyalgia? I think so.
post #3334 of 7218
What do you guys usually do with pork loin? I'm making dinner for friends tonight with a 2.5 lb loin roast and I was going to do my standby recipe - roasted with mustard, thyme, and garlic and then served with a mustard and cream sauce. Its good, but a little boring. Fresh ideas, anyone?
post #3335 of 7218
How's lamb bacon?
post #3336 of 7218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas View Post

is that even true?
here is my understanding of how the oven works: it has a thermostat. when the temp falls below the preset level, the oven "lights the fire," so to speak. I presume that most ovens are two-state; that is, they are either on (fire is heating the oven) or off (fire is not heating the oven, temp is theoretically held even, though of course you are losing heat to the food and also to the outside environment). There isn't a "halfway on" or "hold temp" state.
Larger things take longer because the heat has to "soak in" to the middle to fully cook the center, but multiples of equal size, while requiring more heat, will just mean that the oven is "on" for more of the same time period?
Anyways, not trying to start a nit-picky e-fight - just trying to learn more. Obviously you are the expert, not me... but I like to understand not only what happens but why it happens - so that I can expand beyond just having a point fact, rather understanding the concept more deeply.
Edit: as Fang66 points out, what's more important than the quantity is how much that quantity resembles a single larger mass rather than individual ones.

I think you are mostly correct about how the oven works (and fang is correct about crowding being more important which will be the big issue unless you have a huge oven).

I think there is some effect though. The cold items in the oven should have a heat sink effect so I would assume that the speed of the on/off cycle would change.
The oven will heat up to its upper limit but then the extra mass of meat will cause the oven to cool faster than it would normally which brings the oven back down to the bottom of the range and has to kick in the heating element again. My guess is that the "ideal" temp is closer to the top cutoff than the bottom cutoff since you probably don't want to get much above the set temp, but you figure the latent heat *should* hold for a while on the way down but for the extra meat.

It wouldn't make a huge difference but 5 minutes sounds plausible. The big issue really though is going to be the pieces of meat insulating each other. Even if they aren't touching, they will block any radiant heat and the tightly contained air will act as an insulator which will keep everything from cooking evenly.
post #3337 of 7218
Another issue with the amount of food in an oven is that the total moisture in the oven doesn't affect the dry bulb (thermostat) temperature, but it does affect the wet bulb temperature of the oven, and since food cooks at the wet bulb temperature, it can make a significant difference.
post #3338 of 7218
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post

Another issue with the amount of food in an oven is that the total moisture in the oven doesn't affect the dry bulb (thermostat) temperature, but it does affect the wet bulb temperature of the oven, and since food cooks at the wet bulb temperature, it can make a significant difference.

So let's say I'm using a recipe for a 6 pound pork shoulder for two five pound shoulders instead. Is there a prescribed increase in time that I should apply? Or do I just need to keep checking it with a thermometer? I'll be doing this tomorrow, so any answer tonight will be appreciated.
post #3339 of 7218
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordecai View Post

So let's say I'm using a recipe for a 6 pound pork shoulder for two five pound shoulders instead. Is there a prescribed increase in time that I should apply? Or do I just need to keep checking it with a thermometer? I'll be doing this tomorrow, so any answer tonight will be appreciated.

No, because every oven is different in size, ventilation etc. It's one of the reasons that recipes telling you to "roast for an hour" work for some people but not everybody. Just keep checking.
post #3340 of 7218
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post

No, because every oven is different in size, ventilation etc. It's one of the reasons that recipes telling you to "roast for an hour" work for some people but not everybody. Just keep checking.

+1 cook to the temperature or the appearance, not the time. ever.
post #3341 of 7218
Alright, so I loaded up a large cookie sheet with about 15 thighs (which basically took up every inch of space) and baked them at 350 for 35 minutes (as prescribed on the package). They had no color but were cooked through and I took them out about half way to turn them and drain off all the fat/liquid. So, my first query would be: if I increase the temperature will it improve the appearance of the cooked food, i.e. more browning? And if I do this, will I have to adjust the appropriate cooking time?

My second is another volume question - the large cookie sheet takes up one whole rack in the oven. If I placed in a second cookie sheet, again loaded to the brim and one rack lower/higher, would that completely fuck up the cooking time/temperature? About 30 thighs in a standard oven might be a bit much, no?
post #3342 of 7218
i think the "loaded to the brim" part is your problem.
post #3343 of 7218
To brown the meat it needs to be about 300 degrees on the outer layer. When it is moist, it can't get above 212. With that information you can solve your problem. Also, 30 thighs? Party?
post #3344 of 7218
Quote:
Originally Posted by gomestar View Post

i think the "loaded to the brim" part is your problem.

Well, clearly, but I'm attempting to experiment on how to cut down on the amount of loads I need to cook in the oven to make the amount of chicken that I need.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post

To brown the meat it needs to be about 300 degrees on the outer layer. When it is moist, it can't get above 212. With that information you can solve your problem. Also, 30 thighs? Party?

4 days of eating + freeze the rest. I eat about 1lb a day.

Actually, I don't think I follow. Remember, as you continually point out, I'm not that bright.
post #3345 of 7218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambo View Post

Well, clearly, but I'm attempting to experiment on how to cut down on the amount of loads I need to cook in the oven to make the amount of chicken that I need.
4 days of eating + freeze the rest. I eat about 1lb a day.
Actually, I don't think I follow. Remember, as you continually point out, I'm not that bright.

I think that is Pio, not me. Anyhoo, to get the chicken to brown you either need to evaporate the surface moisture more quickly (higher temp) or more fully (longer time) so that it can heat enough to brown. Adding more chicken is going to raise the moisture level in the oven, but not knowing your oven, I don't know how much. Chicken thighs don't really dry out and overcook much, so my suggestion to you would be to divide your fifteen things between two racks, pat them dry and put them in the oven at 425. After twenty or so minutes, turn it down to 350.
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