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ground meat and high sugar content = burns too fast

post #1 of 2
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I was searing some ground chicken with diced onions and ground carrots (patties) for my daughter last night, and found that these critters burn waay too fast, much faster than just regular ground chicken.  So I'm guessing it's the high sugar content of onions and carrots?  I couldn't really figure out why they were darkening so fast, so I just went easy on the heat and got through the batch, but wasn't able to get a good sear.

 

Is there such a thing as too much sugar in the meat?  It seems to burn too fast with regular searing temperatures, and if I flip them earlier, it won't cook through.  Sort of a small problem..  like I guess I can sear quickly and then roast the rest..  but I still think there's got to be a good way to control the heat to get a good sear and have it cook through.  I mean, I feel sort of disappointed that I had trouble just searing meat patties.  I do it all the time with beef and they're just fine, except they don't have onion and carrots in them.

post #2 of 2

My guess would be that you are correct about the added sugar. Sugars begin to cook at a lower temperature than the temperature required for the maillard reaction, which is responsible for the browning of meat. The interesting thing is that sugar doesn't actually burn until about 350 degrees, but in my experience it usually still leads to quicker browning and burning. One method you may wish to try is to cook them through first at a low temperature, controlled by either being in a low temp oven or sous-viding the patties, then searing them. If you do them in the oven first, you will also dry out the outside of the patty, making it easier to brown quickly.
 

If you really want to find out about the sugar thing, maybe make a little test patty with sugar in it instead of vegetables and see if it burns like the patties with the veggies do.

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