Some spices ???

Discussion in 'Chefs Corner' started by eman, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    One of our newer members says that there are some spices that are not water soluble but need oil to break them down.

     Since water is known to eventually break down anything ,how can his statement be true?
  2. big twig

    big twig Smoking Fanatic

    From what I understand, Capsaicin (active ingredient in Chili's) is not water soluble but I am not sure which spices you are referring to. I also don't know the scientific explanation of why but I am sure some of the smarter people on here can give a better explanation. Now I am starting to think, why did I post, I don't know the answer. [​IMG]
  3. oldthymer

    oldthymer Newbie

    Many spices require fat to bring out the necessary essential oils.  This is simply because many spices' "good stuff" is contained in oils.  To easily incorporate these oils you need a source of fat or alcohol.  I don't know the scientific background nor do I have a list of water vs fat vs alcohol soluble spices/herbs.  A good rule of thumb is that herbs are not water soluble.  When I say not water soluble I simply mean that water doesn't work as well as fat.  If you look at herb pastes you will see that some are made with water and some with a fat source.  If you look at many extracts you will notice that alcohol is used. 
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hey guys....While it is true that Water will eventually break down anything...The answer is Yes and No...Herbs, Spices, Vegetables pretty much everything we eat...Contains many Flavor components, Essential Oils, Chemicals within and around the cell structure...Some are best brought out by being dissolved in Water...Others are as our new member stated are Oil Soluble...Some are Alcohol Soluble...Some require Heat to release their flavor and Others require time and the chemical Reaction than can take place when Cell walls are Broken and they are allowed to combine....ALL of these reactions can take place in ANY ONE or EVERY Herb, Spice, ETC.... There is just No way to make a list that says.... These spices only give it up in Oil!....Big Welcome to the New Member...JJ

    OldThymer...I was still typing when your post came up...Some Valid Points...JJ
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  5. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    When making a Mole , Chile Powder , Chili con Carne / queso ,etc. I Grind all I can (those that are seeds or Crystalized), I then take them for a little time in the Grill Pan to release the "volitile oils" they all retain until heated , this gives you a jump on the flavor , lowering the time of cooking to break down any flavors.

    You are right and wrong , some are Hydrophilic and some lipid soluble , but heat pulls the oils out of all spices.
  6. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Thanks for the clarification. I never have worried about any of that but now that i think of it. Everything i make / cook has some type of fat and water .

    maybe not alcohol, Don't like sharing.

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