MSG and Umami, how are they related?
Meat Hacks: MSG and Umami, how are they related?
Learn about MSG and it's use in meat seasonings, plus what benefits it provides to meat products with Walton's and Meatgistics. Read the guide and then post your questions or comments below.
MSG or Monosodium Glutamate is a naturally occurring amino acid that first entered into the Mainstream consciousness back in the 80’s and 90’s when there were health debates over its use in the food industry. I am not going to try to convince you one way or the other on the health issues associated with MSG, you can easily google it and there are plenty of articles out there both for and against the use of MSG. I encourage you to do your own research if you want to know more about it. The one thing I will say is that there is strong evidence that a small percentage of people do have a bad reaction to MSG again there are differing opinions on what percentage of people it affects and you can find all sorts of statistics on both sides. Like I said, I am not going to go into the health issues, the FDA says it is okay for use in food products and that is good enough for me at this point.
MSG works as a flavor enhancer and is commonly added to canned or packaged foods to make them taste more fresh or to increase an already present flavor. MSG is an inexpensive ingredient so it is often used in conjunction with more expensive ingredients to cut back on production costs. It is able to be used this way because to some degree MSG takes on the flavor of whatever you add it too. So say you had a recipe that called for a lot of nutmeg, well nutmeg is currently very expensive so what some companies will do is cut back on the nutmeg and add MSG. As you have probably seen we sell a few seasonings that have both an MSG Free and a normal version. If the seasoning you have been getting from us does not say MSG Free don’t worry, that does not mean it has MSG in it, it just means that if it does there is not an MSG Free version of it. Mono-sodium Glutamate has to be listed plainly as an ingredient in any seasoning that uses it so you can easily check on Waltonsinc.com by selecting the seasoning and then at the bottom clicking the additional information tab.
You have probably heard the word Umami pop up in the past couple of years. For those of you who do not know Umami is defined as a strong meaty taste and it is now considered one of the basic flavors along with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. If you think of it in those terms then it makes sense that there HAS to be a designation for something like Umami out there right? Would you call a steak sweet, sour, bitter, or salty? If you would then you have been cooking your steaks all wrong and you should check out our post on reverse searing a steak to see how you should be doing it! You should probably check out that post anyway as reverse searing a steak gives you a beautifully cooked steak every time. Some foods commonly said to have an umami flavor are beef, pork, chicken, some cheeses, tomatoes and mushrooms. That’s a pretty good list other than mushrooms which in my opinion should never be eaten!
So how are MSG and Umami connected? Well you taste something with an Umami flavor through the same taste buds or receptors that you taste glutamates in. So, since MSG is a glutamate we can assume that since they are experienced through the same receptors that they will probably taste similar or at least go together right? Well we could…but by now you should know that we are NEVER going to pass up the opportunity to fire up our grill … you know … for science!
I went out and purchased a managers special bottom round steak from the grocery store. We are going cut it in half, marinade both in the same authentic steak sauce but we are going to add MSG to one of the marinades and see which one ends up with a better taste!
I put them both on the grill and cooked them medium rare, about 135 degrees. There is no question the one with the MSG had a better taste to it. The non MSG one was still tastier than I would have expected from a $5 steak but the one that we added MSG to was loaded with flavor.
So, should you cook with MSG? From a flavor standpoint it is a no brainer, it makes whatever you are cooking taste better and since it is inexpensive it saves you on the final cost. From a health standpoint that is up to what you believe.
Subscribe to WaltonsTV
Make sure you subscribe to WaltonsTV and remember to tap the bell next to the subscribed button to get notified about all new videos, plus like and comment on this video, and visit waltonsinc.com and meatgistics.com to find Everything But The Meat!
Subscribe to Meatgistics
Easily subscribe to any category or topic on the Meatgistics community site by clicking the green “Subscribe” button to get an email each time a new post is made!
As I. push the carriage forward the slices get bigger and bigger even if I push only the carriage.
Weekly Blog Post - Octopus and Squid, Vacuum Packing
Find out what's going on at Walton's and Meatgistics this week. We will have a loose schedule for soon to be released videos, what we are working on long-term and maybe a few quick tips and tricks that are on our mind!What Videos are being released soon?
Depending on what you see as soon we will have the almost complete first round of Meatgistics University Classes released. We have broken everything down into these categories; Meat Processing Equipment, Seasoning and Additives, Fresh Sausage, Cured Sausage, Jerky, Sausage Casings, Deli Meats, Smoked Meats, Cured Whole Muscle Meats, and Specialty Sausages. Each of these topics will have multiple entry-level classes covering topics like the type of casing to use, equipment needed and a basic processing class where appropriate.What Projects are we looking ahead at?
We are going to be doing two new Will it BBQ’s, hopefully, this week where we try BBQ’ing Squid and Octopus! The squid was a suggestion by Bob Zambutto through Walton’s Inc Facebook account! I had been wanting to do both of these for a while and when I went to our local Asian Grocery Store (Tai Binh for anyone local to Wichita, KS) and they had lots of options for both, they have almost anything and I got a few more weird ideas while I was there! Anyway, I picked up some baby octopus and a full size one, some small squid and two large ones as well. I am excited and nervous to see how this goes if nothing else it should be fun to watch!What’s on our Mind?
Did you know that you shouldn’t vacuum pack Mushrooms or Garlic? I was reading a Vacmaster VP120 instruction manual the other day and I saw an interesting note that said not to vacuum pack Garlic or Mushrooms! I had no idea that you shouldn’t do this so I thought I would share that with meatgistics readers to let you know not to do it as well. Apparently, they both are prone to bacteria that will continue to grow in oxygen-free environments. I was hoping it was something more impressive than that but it is good information to have.New Products
22" X 24" Collagen Sheets This are typically used for larger whole muscle cuts of meat, like when you are making prosciutto, capocollo, or other dried hams. This is an item that we have had lots of requests for over the years so we were happy to finally find a reliable and reputable source for it.
Thanks for the response!
I think a video on processed celery would be incredible. The only place I have been able to find celery powder as a cure was from “The Sausage Maker”, they have a Facebook page. It was expensive, designed only for sausages, and wasn’t packaged well.
As for the tackiness, good idea with the cornstarch! There are a bunch of big brands with zero additives that were able to achieve the soft texture with no tackiness, so I’m thinking it has to be in the processing. I read an article where someone at KRAVE mentioned a couple details about how they process their jerky. He said they first inject the meat, then cook the whole pieces, then slice, then marinate, then dry. I have messed around with the idea behind this process a lot. Injecting with brine, sous-viding at a variety of temperatures and times, slicing, marinating, and drying. Decent results, but to be honest the high sugar method you introduced to me has seemed to have better results.
Anyway, I will keep trying to figure this out and will definitely keep you guys posted if I make any headway. In the meantime, if there is anything else you think might be worth testing, please let me know! It would be great to try and perfect this process together.
@bob-s-meatgistics I moved one of my first pork butts into the oven and my whole house smelled like smoke. My wife did not stop complaining for a week until the smell was gone from both the house and the oven. I finish all my cooks outside. If you wrap it to speed up the cook you may want to unwrap it for the last hour to put the bark back on it.
@jonathon I am definitely going to purchase and follow the steps you’ve post, thank you sir! Additionally, if anyone has recipes, please share. I’ll try them all and post what my family thought of each. Thank you all, this is a very cool and educational blog, glad I found it wish it was years ago! Thanks again.