I understand that blasting meat at high temperatures causes denatured proteins and/or unwanted oxidation. My question is, does the same or something similar occur when cooking meat low and slow?
I've got some beef ribs in my slow cooker at home right now and the question just popped into my head.
asked byNeidermyer (25)
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on October 02, 2014
at 06:25 PM
First of all, it seems like you are getting your information from a very bad source, so lets begin with what it means to "denature proteins". All protein eaten by humans must be denatured in order to be absorbed by the human body. Denaturing proteins simply means breaking down their structure with either heat or chemicals. Scary, huh? Actually no, not at all. Whenever you eat something with protein, your stomach releases acid because this acid denatures protein which then allows enzymes (proteases like pepsin for example) to break these proteins down into individual amino acids, which can then be absorbed by your intestines.
Let me make that clear, denaturation is 100% necessary for you to break down and absorb the protein you eat.
Cooking makes it easier to digest because it initializes the denaturation process by breaking the proteins up using heat, applying acid on foods (like lemon or vinegar) will also initiate the denaturation process. This extra step can make it easier for your stomach to digest the food since less energy will be required by your stomach to break down these proteins since you gave it a head start by cooking your food (or marinating it in acid).
Cook your food, don't be afraid and stop listening to people who have no idea how the human body works ;)