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Thor's Hammer

Piezoelectrically Tenderize Meat
  [vote for,

Recent advances in non-lethal munitions funded by a California "Venture Acceleration" group claim to deliver up to 175Joules of energy at 50kV. [link]

I propose to use this technology to harness some part of the mechanical energy in a standard butcher's tenderizing hammer, and deliver the accumulated shock to terminals on the working end of the hammer.

The butcher would continue to use the hammer in the standard way, but the electrical stimulus should serve to break down tough parts of the meat more thoroughly than can be accomplished by whacking the heck out of the meat with a hammer.

Thus, even inexpensive cuts of meat can become tenderized both mechanically and electrically.

csea, Apr 27 2005

Non-lethal electric bullets http://www.impactla...le=article&sid=3011
Whack 'em and Zap 'em simultaneously! [csea, Apr 27 2005]

Cool stuff, if a bit creepy. http://www.aps.uogu...~swatland/ch9_2.htm
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Apr 28 2005]


       How does the electricity help tenderize the meat? Would that mean that the inspiration non-lethal weapon tears apart muscle tissue?
half, Apr 27 2005

       I found this on a site;
"Ohmic heating sterilises food by passing an electric current through the food and then cooled and sealed in sterile containers. Foods such as pasta in sauce, desserts, pie fillings and soup are treated with this method."
amazingly, I could not find any info about someone trying to cook a steak with jumper cables. My suspicion is that this method would try to cook the meat.
Zimmy, Apr 27 2005

       That was my concern as well, having directly cooked hot dogs with a somewhat lower voltage and having had a pinhole burned in my finger with something in the neighborhood of 25-30kV. That really stungk.
half, Apr 27 2005

       Thor's hammer, screwdriver and wrench.
ato_de, Apr 27 2005

       [half], I think the inspiration device is like a wireless Tazer - even 175 Joules (= Watt-seconds) isn't nearly enough to cook a steak, let alone a person.   

       The core idea of using a part of the mechanical effort to generate electricity is that as the hammer hits (and displaces and pulls apart muscle,) a counteractive electrical pulse would be attempting to contract the muscle, resulting in micro-fiber damage - which is what tenderization is all about.   

       Connecting hot dogs to an outlet works because the impedance of the hotdog is correct for the voltage applied to create the right amount of heating. I doubt 12V from a car battery (though capable of delivering thousands of Joules to a low enough resistance) would even cause a steak to flinch.
csea, Apr 27 2005

       Yeah, car batteries are good for making big nasty sparks and lotsa heat, but the best you can get is a little tingle by touching a 12V battery with a sweaty arm.   

       So, you expect this steak to be flinching in response to the electrical jolt. Cool, in a primal sort of eating-live-stuff kind of way. I guess the bashing with a hammer might obscure the electrical flinch though.   

       I wonder how long muscle tissue remains responsive to electrical stimulus after death? Do you suppose you could taser a T-bone and let us know if it reacts? Inquiring minds and all that...
half, Apr 28 2005

       I did some web searching, and frog tissue seems to be electrically responsive for "about 4 hours."   

       However, there seems to be a whole technology out there for abusing beef: google meat "tenderization technology" and get over 1000 hits, first of which (cached) describes a researcher at VA Tech and a paper:   

       Claus, J.R., Schilling, J.K., Marriott, N.G., Duncan, S.E., Solomon, M.B., and H. Wang. 2001. Tenderization of chicken and turkey breasts with Electrically Produced Hydrodynamic Shockwaves. Meat Sci. 58:283-286.   

       So, the proper sort of piezo device could perhaps produce "hydrodynamic shockwaves." Maybe you'd have to do the hammering underwater?   

       Another reference says: "Electrical Stimulation Electrical stimulation of the hot carcass immediately after slaughter is an innovation being used in the meat industry to increase tenderness. Beef carcasses are subjected to approximately one minute of high voltage electrical current. The result is an improvement in tenderness of many cuts of the carcass. An improvement in tenderness of cuts from carcasses of older cows also has been observed when electrical stimulation has been applied. Electrical stimulation speeds up the post-mortem conversion of muscle to meat and thus reduces the incidence of "cold shortening" . The use of electrical stimulation in the beef industry is widespread."   

       So maybe this is sorta baked (roasted? broiled?)
csea, Apr 28 2005

       [csea], impressive. I wish I had your understanding of the subject (at least enough to test & satisfy my curiosity).
Zimmy, Apr 28 2005

       This was shown years ago on Tomorrows World on the BBC, as a means of shortening the hanging time for meat. They showed a large side of beef not merely twitching, but convulsing (read "damn near folding in two") with a single shock - it looked really violent. A kind of post mortem slendertone. And yes, they used what looked suspiciously like jumper cables, though I'm sure the voltage was much higher than a car battery's.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 28 2005

       I'm no longer likely to stick my tongue onto a 9v battery; the thrills suddenly don't look so cheap.
reensure, Apr 28 2005

       /amazingly, I could not find any info about someone trying to cook a steak with jumper cables./   

       Now you wrote it, [Zimmy]. That means you have to try it. Please post video.
bungston, Apr 29 2005

       This probably needs the disclaimer "do not try this at home!"   

       I want to clarify my note that 175 Joules wouldn't cook a person. This is true when introduced to a limited part of the body, but a lethal shock can be produced by < 50Joules if it is applied across the heart muscle.   

       Note that Joules are Watt-seconds, so Volts x Amperes x Seconds are all involved.   

       The taser uses high (50kV) voltage and fairly high current, but for very short time (milliseconds) to spark through clothing, etc, but can't "cook" due to the short discharge time and fairly low energy.   

       The hotdog is cooked by medium voltage (110) and current (~0.5A?), but may require many seconds (60?) to heat, in this case delivering many more Joules (energy) ~3300J.   

       You won't be able to cook a steak with a 12 V battery and jumper cables, because the relatively high resistance of the steak doesn't allow much power (Watts) to be generated, no matter the time applied.
csea, Apr 29 2005

       Tell me you're kidding [UnaBubba].
I taught both of my kids not to monkey around with electrical outlets and sockets by letting them stick 9-volt batteries on their tongues.

       Killed by 9V batteries? What, the special 600 amp ones?   

       Maybe, upon receiving the shock, they inadvertently swallowed and choked on the battery.   

       Another approach might be to marinate the steak in nitroglycerin and then beat it with the meat tenderizer for extra tenderizing power.
bristolz, Apr 29 2005

       Behold the humble side of beef,
Hung up to age. Its life was brief.
But in this creepy lab of gore,
The electronic abattoire,

       Ignite the spark, complete the switch,
Observe the meaty carcass twitch.
With life once more re-energized,
The carcass becomes tenderized.

       Thus, slab of beef zapped one more time
Turns merely choice cuts into prime.
Were I a child, I should have run,
Become a Vegetarian!
csea, Apr 29 2005

       Will that be a cut on the next FWI CD?
half, Apr 29 2005

       [csea] Would jumper cables to a 12V tenderize a steak that way? Until you mentioned it wouldn't cook it I was thinking of buying 2 concrete trowels, sandwiching the steak in the middle & wrapping tight with a clothes hanger or two before attaching the jumper cables to the trowel handles. My curiosity was about to get the better of me.
Zimmy, Apr 29 2005

       [half], not likely - I like to keep my versical doggerel separate from (semi-) artistic endeavors...   

       [zimmy], I don't know what the resistance of raw steak is, and although your trowel electrodes would reduce the effective resistance more effectively than battery jumper clips, (by putting more unit area in parallel), I still think you won't be able to do much tenderizing. If you happen to try this, be sure the coat hangers don't short out the current to the trowels!
csea, Apr 30 2005

       /Electrical stimulation speeds up the post-mortem conversion of muscle to meat and thus reduces the incidence of "cold shortening"/   

       mmmmm. "cold shortening"!
bungston, Jan 06 2006

       yay! let's beat up a piece of meat with an electrically charged hammer!   

       +'ed a while ago.
DesertFox, Jan 07 2006

       If anyone notices some mild smouldering coming from [zimmy]'s place, or a smell of singed flesh, then phone the fire brigade...and tell them to bring a fish slice.......
Minimal, Jan 09 2006


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