Application of molecular biology to barbecue?

Chris Allingham

Staff member
I want to know if there is any crossover or connection between your day job in molecular biology and your barbecue activities? How does this knowledge benefit your competition barbecuing?


Donna Fong

That's a good question, Chris. Yes, it does. I switched over from molecular biology to technical writing recently but my background in biochemistry does help. The courses in physics, chemistry, protein chemistry, anatomy and physiology play a role in my ability to translate problems I face in cooking into actual solutions. Sometimes, Harry and I will "discuss" what's happening. Leave it to me to disagree with a guy who's garage is full of trophies that he uses them as door stops. I will say that I enjoy what I read in Meathead's website and it is the closest thing I have read that explains many of the processes that goes on in smoking. If I can't find an answer, I have friends who are "real" protein chemists who help me. I've gone as far as drawing my own blood, putting it in a eppendorf tube and boiling it to see what temperature the blood coagulates. I know my blood isn't the same a chicken blood, but at the time, I wondered if "juices running clear" did in fact correlate with cooked chicken. Basically, it did. At least for my blood.