Chemistry (including Biochemistry)/Ice and heat reaction


Hi Jeffery,

I do not know if this is the right place where I should ask but I would be very happy if you can help me.

Every time we boil water to make the meat softer were always a debate between I my relatives and I.

They say that if you put ice to the boiling water, there will be a reaction HOT vs COLD which will make the meat tender faster.

Is there a scientific explanation to this? Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon.


So, the ice may help, but it is not a hot-cold reaction.  The truth is that slower cooking at temperatures below boiling will generally result in a lower extent of protein contraction - the process by which a meat becomes tough.

This means that by adding ice you are just regulating the meat to a lower temperature... you can get the same effect by just using lower temp water.  

As a side note, freezing then thawing meat over and over will make meat softer, but not in the good way - it will result in cells rupturing and much of the flavor being lost.

Take care! I hope this helps!

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Dr. Jeffery Raymond


Materials chemistry. Materials science. Spectroscopy. Polymer science. Physical Chemistry. General Physics. Technical writing. General Applied Mathematics. Nanomaterials. Optoelectronic Behavior. Science Policy.


Teaching: General Inorganic Chemistry I & II, Organic Chemistry I & II, Physical Chemistry I, Polymeric Materials, General Physics I, Calculus I & II
My prior experience includes the United States Army and three years as a development chemist in industry. Currently I am the Assistant Director of the Laboratory for Synthetic Biological Interactions. All told, 13 years of experience in research, development and science education.

Texas A&M University, American Chemical Society, POLY-ACS, SPIE

Journal of the American Chemical Society, Nanoletters, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, Ultramicroscopy Proceedings of SPIE, Proceedings of MRS, Polymer News, Chemical and Engineering News, Nano Letters, Small,, Angewandte

PhD Macromolecular Science and Engineering (Photophysics/Nanomaterials Concentration), MS Materials Science, BS Chemistry and Physics, Graduate Certificate in Science Policy, AAS Chemical Technology, AAS Engineering Technology

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