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?

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.