Why does speed of boiling effect fat rentention in soup?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by chlorinated, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. chlorinated

    chlorinated

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    I have been trying to create a high fat soup and had some questions.

    1. When we make a beef or chicken soup why do we bring water to a boil then add the meat, why do we not just add the meat to the cold water then bring to a boil? What is the point of the technique?

    2.I have been trying to cook some meat and create a high amount of saturated fat so i can have a gelatanious soup, this is just for experimenting. I add the meat, bring it to a boil, then simmer.  Sometime it comes out very gelatanious other times only half other times most of the gelatine disapears.  I have noticed that the difference in fat is due to speed at which the water is broight to a boil.  If you boil it on very high, after the boil you will see there is hardly any fat, if you boil it slowly then simmer it turns out ok.  Anyone know why this is?

    Also sometimes when i bring to a boil then try to simmer i notice i have to increase the heat to get it bubbling again, i use trial and error to gradually reduce.  other times i try to simmer but is always boils perhaps because i have boiled it to hot in the first place.  Is trial and error normal or anyone have tips on how i can get a controlled simmer?

    3.Somebody previosuly told me they remove fat from the soup top after it has cooled.  Most of the taste is in the fat so if you remove it how does your soups taste any good?

    Thanks
     
  2. chefedb

    chefedb

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    The amount of fat, saturated as you put it has very little to do with the solidifying of gel in the soup. This is based on the amount of bones used and the time cooked..

    Fat left in a soup to me does two things, It keeps the soup hotter and makes it greasy.

         I dont believe when correctly executed a soup is enhanced by leaving fat in it. To make a stock most times everything starts from a cold state., To make a consomme everything MUST start from a cold start. To control simmer and boil and  a rolling boil is a matter of controling the heat and its source. Water alone boils at 212. Stock and soups sometime take  higher temps because they are concentrated solids at times and not simply water.

         Similar to if you pour 2 cups of coffee and put sugar in one and drop some from each cup on both legs. The leg with the cup with sugar added will develop a worse burn and if a thermometer is put in, will in fact be hotter. So goes science.
     
  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Boiling a soup breaks up the pools of fat. It essentially whisks the fat into the broth creating a cloudy emulsion. And for most people an unpleasant soup, but you've posted before that you like it. The same amount of fat is created by either method essentially, but by not boiling the stock, the fat remains visible and is easy to remove.

    As chefed noted, gelatinous quality comes from bone and cartilage normally when you make the stock.

    Chinese soups are usually thickened with a cornstarch slurry near the end.

    Meat is added later in the making of soup so it doesn't overcook and lose it's texture and taste.

    Managing heat to hit a simmer is an art and has a lot of variables. Generally it's easier for a cook to bring to a boil and back off to a simmer than to creep up on the simmer without overshooting. As the soup loses heat and comes down to a simmer, you can sometimes overshoot the other way too.  Induction, you can set a temp and hit it. I can set my induction burner to 180 for making a stock and it does a very good job.

    Fat can contribute to flavor, but is not necessarily flavorful itself nor pleasant to eat. In a situation such as soup where the fat doesn't mix with the water well, it's generally percieved as unpleasant. If you were to boil the stock and fat to emulsify it, the flavors are often murky and not clean, crisp and pleasant. Mouthfeel also suffers with the fat in the soup.

    Sometimes, fat may be added to a soup as a garnish such as using an extra virgin olive oil on a bowl  of minestrone.  This is a case where the fat is particularly flavorful and accents the soup, as well as being a healthy, beneficial fat.
     
  4. chlorinated

    chlorinated

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    Phatch, can you tell me if I have interpreted what you are saying correctly.  Please note I am trying to create a soup which retains as much animal fat as possible.

    1.Fistly when you boil soup, it breaks up fat and causes an emulsion/gets removed.  Does it get removed when you remove froth or does it kind of go away into the air?

    2.Is best for me not to boil the soup but keep it at a simmer at all times?

    If yes,

    how would i remove the froth without boiling?

    normally boiling makes the soup look clear, woudn't it now look unclear?

    will simmering be sufficient to kill all germs and bacteria?

    Are you saying the best way to get a high fat soup is to never go above a simmer?

    Thanks
     
  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    When boiling the fat gets mixed up directly into the broth.  It's not going away at all or being removed. Boiling makes it impossible to remove.

    Simmering makes a clearer stock than boiling. Scum/froth will still rise to the surface if you're truly at a simmer.

    Neither simmering nor boiling makes the soup high fat. Simmering just leaves the fat visible. When boiled, the fat is still there, just not easily visible to the naked eye.

    Simmering is high enough temp for food safety, 180-190 with some variation by your elevation.

    The general principles of cooking are to not make a high fat soup which is why simmering is considered the better technique as it leaves the fat on top for easy removal.
     
  6. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Phatch I notice you said you have an induction burner. I was thinking of getting one for the house. What brand is it. How long have you had it, and what do you think of it. Thanx EDB
     
  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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  8. thetincook

    thetincook

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    I think you want something like tonkotsu broth.
     
  9. chlorinated

    chlorinated

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    Patch, you say after using a high boil the fat is invisible but still there, please explain how because I have made the following observations:

    1.If you boil a load of meat on high you will notice excessive steam, if you look at the bottom of the lid of your pot , you will see the steam turns to water which turn to fat at room temp, so something must be carried upwards by the steam during cooking?

    2.If the fat is still there but invisible, why does it taste disgusting, since the fat is there you should still be able to taste it in the broth no?

    3.If the fat is there but invisible, why does it not later appear at room temperature? if it does its little amounts where is the rest?

    4.If the fat is there but invisible, why am i always hungry after eating it wheareas when i eat the visible version it fills me up, remember fat is the things which gives us the feeling of being filled up?

    Please explain, is it that the fat is there but the boiling changes its chemical composition and no longer works in the way it should?

    Would be grateful if you could answer these.  Many thanks
     
  10. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, some fat is carried up in steam. Not lots.
    You can taste it. It's why it tastes disgusting. Animal fat generally doesn't taste that good.
    It's been broken up small enough that there is insufficient surface tension for the pools of fat to reform, i.e. has formed an emulsion.
    Too many variables to give you a for sure answer. Fat contributes to satiety, but it takes very little for this effect to register on the body. I suspect it's more likely that the visual appeal and flavor of a simmered soup contributes to your perception of satiation. And you probably eat more of the soup you like compared to the soup you don't. You seem to be attributing effects to visible fat that aren't supported in the science.
    No. You've taken certain aphorisms and perceptions as fact that aren't the truth you think they are.  You should read Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking for a better understanding of the issues I think.
     
  11. chlorinated

    chlorinated

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    Hmmm, this is making me wonder. 

    When I simmer my meat, intiially i see a lot of small circles rise to the top, this continues and eventually i see a yellow/greenish gel like substance form at the top, are these circles/subsequent gel fat or something else?

    It seems to me this substance that comes about during simmering later soldifies into saturated fat at room temperature.  So is it fat or something else? You say fat is disgusting but when i leave the fat in there and heat it it tastes rich as opposed to eating invisible fat.

    If you are saying that it is something else, therefore if i later remove all the white fat then all the circles and gel should remain and thats where the taste and non bland look is coming from?

    Thanks
     
  12. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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  13. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Chlorinated,

    Your questions appear peculiar for a "recent culinary school graduate". Perhaps you should consider asking for a refund of your tuition.
     
  14. chlorinated

    chlorinated

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    Non refundable.

    Patch, I actually thought its fat but I was getting confused when you spoke of invisible fat.  Since I find fat tastes good and invisible fat tastes disgusting, does this mean that the invisible fat has become too small to be tasted unlike the visible fat? Is this the correct science.
     
  15. chefedb

    chefedb

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    What culinary institution did you attend or graduate from???
     
  16. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I think it can be tasted, but different people have different capacity to taste.
     
  17. chlorinated

    chlorinated

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    The refundable thing was a joke.  Must have misselected the experience level when i first signed up.  Have changed it now.  Thanks
     
  18. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Chlorinated. 

    Again what school are you in or did you graduate from???
     
  19. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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  20. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    Hey Chlorinated are you trying to make a broth based high fat soup? If I were going to try and make a high fat soup I would not do a broth based version I would do a cream based. Cream is fat and so you would achieve what your a looking for. Another option for what you (I think) are trying to accomplish is to try and introduce the fat to the broth based version in different ways. For example introduce fat by adding dumplings or quenelles.

    I am pretty much in agreement with what everyone said previously. To get the nice think gelatinous soup you start with lots of bones. You can add meat but it has to be well marbled and this is quite expensive. In fact it was actually what Escoffier did in his days which is amazing but of course back then they were also tourneing black truffles. Unless you have a big budget I would not add meat just for the sake of fat I would add more bones.

    In regards to what Phatch said about more animal fats are undesirable I find I am very fond of duck fat (great for sauteing vegetables in instead of butter) and of course our beloved pork fat.