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The mystery of the cloudy stock


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The mystery of the cloudy stock

Grunde | Jan 14, 2013 04:02 AM

Hi everybody.
I'm new in here, but I have read some advice in this forum that strike me as novel to say the least.

In several discussions about making stock from poultry it is claimed that one should never hard boil stock because it will get cloudy.
Well so far so good.

The interesting part is that many seem to believe that this cloudiness is caused by the fat emulsifying into the stock. Even some people who claim to be trained professional cooks writes things like

"You dont boil stock because that emulisifies the fat, making for a greasy product. Its not about the protein.".

I cant see any scientific argument for how this could be true.
To me its pretty obvious that the cloudiness is purely caused small fragments of proteins, meat and other impurities stirred up by the boiling.
a) If the cloudiness was caused by emulsified fat it would eventually rise towards the top when left alone (like in a home made vinaigrette). This does NOT happen.
b) When leaving cloudy stock alone in room temperature, the cloudy stuff tends to collect at the bottom - indicating that the cloudiness is indeed caused by heavier solids, not fats.
c) There is no known theory that indicates that fat would magically start emulsifying into the stock when the temperature changes from 99 to 100 degrees Celsius. (If so, wouldn't pressure cooked stock emulsify entirely?).

I can only conclude that the emulsion theory is an old wive's tale.
Cloudy stock is in most cases caused by

Any thoughts on this?

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