Some selected physical characteristics of turkey meat (weight loss, texture, colour, volume shrinkage and cook value) were evaluated after oven cooking at 100° and 110°C. For each cooking temperature, dry air (only air convection, RH = 5%) and three predetermined relative humidity values (RH = 24, 43 and 62%) were obtained inside the oven cavity by means of a steam generator. Significant cooking time decrement of about 70-90% (compared to air convection condition) was achieved by using steam, both at 100° and 110°C with the exception of the treatment at 100°C and RH= 24%. Moreover, the steam presence during cooking increased the cooking yield when steam treatments were shorter than the dry air convection treatment. About 10% cooking yield increase (as compared to air convection condition) was found at 100°C (at RH = 43 and 62%) and at 110°C (at RH = 62%). An additional cooking yield increase up to +15% was measured at RH = 24% and 43% at 110°C. Steam cooking led to a noticeable decreases of shrinkage, shear force and hardness of meat samples both at 100° and 110°C. The best cooking conditions, in terms of short cooking time, high cooking yield, high tenderness and low chewiness were obtained at 100°C with RH = 62% and 110°C with RH = 43%.
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