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Does adding liquid speed up a cook?

So this weekend I did a whole pork loin and thought just for the hell of it I would add a few cans of beer to my drip pan.  I was cooking at about 265 and had previously done the exact same cook and it took about 4 hours.  I checked it after 2 hours this time and I was already at 165 internal...way faster than the last cook.  Would the liquid in the drip pan have sped things along that much by creating the steam?

XL BGE; CyberQ Wifi; Adjustable Rig, Woo2 Green Bay, Wisconsin

Comments

  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 8,927
    That is an interesting question.  My initial thought is that liquid would slow down the cook because the liquid will stay at about 212.  However, I think steam has a higher rate of heat transfer than dry air.  Also if the egg was sealed up pretty tight on the top it could act somewhat like a pressure cooker.  As the steam builds up the pressure in the egg increases, and at higher pressure the steam can get hotter than 212.  


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,361
    If there was steam, that would speed things up. But raising the humidity slows things down. Humid air doesn't transmit heat as well as dry air. If I recall correctly, added water vapor lowers the modulus of conductivity to about 50% of dry air.

    What I find surprising is how slow the first cook was. I usually expect the food temp to increase about 1 degree F per 90 seconds till it hits its plateau period. Then it can stay there for hours. A more humid environment will make the plateau/stall even longer.

    Concievabley the earlier cook had meat w. more fluid in it.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,452
    gdenby said:
    If there was steam, that would speed things up. But raising the humidity slows things down. Humid air doesn't transmit heat as well as dry air. If I recall correctly, added water vapor lowers the modulus of conductivity to about 50% of dry air.

    What I find surprising is how slow the first cook was. I usually expect the food temp to increase about 1 degree F per 90 seconds till it hits its plateau period. Then it can stay there for hours. A more humid environment will make the plateau/stall even longer.

    Concievabley the earlier cook had meat w. more fluid in it.
    He's got a pork loin. I don't know if he was trying to get that hot. I agree though, moist cooking techniques are longer.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • I'm not a scientist (never even played one on TV) but there is something about the law of heat exchange that basically means steam produces more energy than boiling water. That's why getting burned by steam can be far worse than being burned by boiling water. Not sure if that means that the steam promoted a faster cook or not.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,452
    If I do a braise on the egg I have to go to at least 325* or so to get a simmer. I doubt you would get a lot of steam at 265*

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    One other comment, the temperature of the steam will be close to the air temp inside the cooker.  It will not be 212.  The liquid in the drip pan will be 212, but when the liquid is converted to steam, the steam's temperature can rise as hot as you make it in the cooker. 
    The Naked Whiz
  • KruegsKruegs Posts: 128
    Thanks for comments.  I don't think it added any moisture or flavor to the pork anyway.  I'll let everyone know if I go back to no liquid and get similar results.  I'm a newbie, so it could have been something else completely unrelated.
    XL BGE; CyberQ Wifi; Adjustable Rig, Woo2 Green Bay, Wisconsin
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