or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › how ground meat turns red
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

how ground meat turns red

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I bought some beef at the butcher today and had him grind it (i watched, he cut it and put it in the grinder, and then wrapped it up, nothing more).  I opened it and it was bright red outside and very dark red inside.  The dark red is what i expected, since it got exposed to air, but why is the OUTSIDE bright red?  I thought the supermarkets put something on meat to keep it red, but he clearly didn't. 

The meat was wonderful - it's a very good butcher - but i was just curious about the color.  I'd have expected the inside to be redder than the outside that's exposed to air.  (It was wrapped in waxed butcher paper)

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #2 of 4

Your suppositions are backwards. Fresh beef is dark red, heading towards purple. Beef that's been exposed to oxygen turns bright red on the surface.

 

The plastic wrap used at most butchers in the US is not air tight but allows the meat surface to bloom red from the various globins still in the meat. US consumers often mistake that to mean fresh when darker is fresher.

 

In the case of your ground beef, the interior meat is protected from the air more, keeping it the darker color. While the meat on the exterior had time and more air exposure to make it brighter.

 

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Ah, of course, Phatch.  Makes sense.  I hadn;t thought of the fact that oxygen is what turns our blood from blue to red.  I thought they colored the meat in supermarkets in the states so people would think it was fresh. 

thanks. 

This guy's meat tastes so incredibly good, i would have hated to find out he was doctoring it up somehow!  There are about 6 butchers in this market in Rome, and they all have one or two people waiting.  This one had the system with the numbers and there were 20 in front of me!

 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #4 of 4

And the reason overexposed meat turns brown is due to the the change of the myoglobin to metmyoglobin after extended periods of oxidation.  So typically meat turns from a dark red/purple to bright red to brown as exposure to oxygen increases.

"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › how ground meat turns red