Ah, July, season of the backyard barbecue. If you're a vegetarian, we'll throw some kind of veggie burger on the grill and quietly pity you, but for most of us in the summer, meat is where it's at. But how much do you actually know about the flesh of the dead animals that you're consuming? Jeopardy!'s Ken Jennings is here all month to chew the fat with us about some particularly stubborn meat misconceptions. Are you ready to work on your protein proficiency? Let's see what Ken's cooked up today.
The Debunker: Does Searing Meat "Seal In the Juices"?
The German chemist Justus von Liebig was the Alton Brown of his day. In 1847, he published his landmark Researches on the Chemistry of Food to great international acclaim, influencing chefs like Auguste Escoffier and cookbook pioneers like Britain's Eliza Acton. One of Baron Liebig's most successful innovations: the idea that meat should be quickly seared, so as to form "a crust, or shell, which no longer permits the external water to penetrate into the interior of the mass of flesh. . . . The flesh retains its juiciness, and is quite as agreeable to the taste as it can be made by roasting."