One questions leads to another In On Food and Cooking it mentions that myoglobin and cytochromes can survive somewhat higher temperatures than other muscle proteins. It goes on to say that "When meat is heated quickly, its temperature rises quickly, and some of the muscle proteins are still unfolding and denaturing when the pigments begin to do the same. The other proteins are therefore able to react with the pigments and turn them brown..."Chuckwagon wrote:When you slap a steak in a skillet and cook it, your favorite ribeye turns brown because it loses one electron (+3 oxidation state). Anyway, if the meat has been treated with nitric oxide, it will remain pink because the iron atom is bound to nitric oxide (NO).
This is where it gets interesting "...But when meat is heated slowly, so that it takes an hour or two to reach the denaturing temperature for myoglobin and cytochromes, the other proteins finish denaturing first, and react with each other. By the time that the pigments become vulnerable, there are few other proteins left to react with them, so they stay intact and the meat stays red. The preliminary salting for making a confit greatly accentuates this effect in duck meat."
So this is some really cool information, but I was hoping CW could explain this in a little more detail. There are a few gaps in the information in science that I think need further explanation. If anyone can do it, I know it's him.