Ahhh... the perfect burger. Outside, the meat is dark brown and a little crunchy. Inside, it’s juicy and tender. It looks so good you can almost smell the tantalizing aroma and taste the scrumptious flavor.
Amazing But True!
- Since the 1940s, the hamburger has been an American favorite. Now Americans eat an amazing 14 billion hamburgers a year!
- How does cooking raw, red ground meat produce such a tasty treat? Chemistry is the answer. Chemistry involves chemical compounds, such as food molecules, and chemical reactions, such as those that take place during cooking.
- To learn more about burger chemistry, watch this video: http://www.nbclearn.com/chemistrynow/cuecard/52174
Show What You Know
With the link below, explore in depth the chemistry of cooking meat. Then answer the following questions.
- What chemical molecules does hamburger meat contain?
- Which protein is a major component of hamburger meat? What is its structure?
- Why is raw hamburger meat red?
- How and why does hamburger meat change color when it is cooked?
- If you fry a hamburger in a hot pan or cook it on a grill, the outside of the burger gets dark brown. Explain why. Why doesn’t the burger also get dark brown on the inside?
- What gives a hamburger its tantalizing aroma and flavor?
- What factors influence how juicy and tender a hamburger is on the inside?
- Why is cooking a hamburger a good example of how to recognize chemical reactions?