Is Food Science Spoiling Backyard Barbecue? | Grilling with Rich Is Food Science Spoiling Backyard Barbecue?
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A Grilling with Rich Oped: Is Food Science Spoiling Backyard Barbecue?

Posted By: Richard Wachtel
Published: December 23, 2015


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There are websites that focus just on food science and how food science can improve the results of the food that comes out of your smoker. While I think that food science in general is fun and an interesting way for people to learn about the how chemical reactions with the ingredients of the food and the way that the food is being prepared, I believe that food science is spoiling backyard barbecue.

Before I get into my reasoning of why I believe this, I want to provide some background on what is the standard definition of food science. According to the Institute for Food Science, food science is defined by:

Food science is the study of the physical, biological, and chemical makeup of food; and the concepts underlying food processing. Food technology is the application of food science to the selection, preservation, processing, packaging, distribution, and use of safe food.

Before I get into the core of my thoughts about whether or not food science is destroying backyard barbecue fun, I think that figuring out how things and food really works is in fact interesting, and something that should be studied and also tried, however I really believe that food science and the application of it and the writing about it is taking away the fun and the experimentation of backyard barbecuing and grilling.

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There is this belief that by studying and cracking the “code” of how meats when exposed to heat and heat sources will make the ultimate brisket, pastrami, chicken, turkey and other types of proteins. I just believe that there is more to barbecuing then figuring out exactly what needs to be done at the exact point. food-science

I believe that part of the process of learning and becoming the best pitmaster or even just an individual who is passionate about barbecuing  is about failing and then figuring out what went wrong and then trying to fix it and then repeating the whole process over and over again.

There is this old english Proverb: “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” an I think that it fits perfectly on why I think experimenting for your self and teaching your self what is the best way to barbecue is far more valuable than just reading exactly what to do and why things happen.

To me, food science takes the “fun” out of barbecuing and learning how to do it. I rather not know exactly how and why a piece of meat interacts with a heat source and therefore know everything there is about barbecue, I rather be left out of the classroom and experience the ups and downs of barbecue and grilling to myself and then sharing with you my experiences.

So what do you think? Head over to the Grilling with Rich Facebook Page and let me know your thoughts on the subject:


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