Hock lock in stock! Toxic?
November 26, 2021 9:34 AM   Subscribe

We brought home a turkey carcass to make stock and did so using a pressure cooker. However, after removing the carcass, we found the hock lock (the little plastic tie that holds the legs) still on the turkey! The web generally states that it's fine to cook the turkey with the hock lock in place, but would making stock with it in place cause plastic to leach into the stock?
posted by subocoyne to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I can only say that I would eat it, if it tastes normal, specially given that the plastic was designed to go into the oven. Like you, I would have removed it if I had noticed it beforehand, but at the end of the day, the plastic that might have leached into your stock is such a tiny amount, it wouldn't cause me worry. If you sometimes drink bottled water or soda, you probably get more already. (Don't get me started on plastic water bottles, just know to minimize your use of them. I still buy a bottle every now and then).
posted by mumimor at 10:29 AM on November 26, 2021 [4 favorites]

Best answer: They are typically made of nylon, which has a melt point of around 500F; a pressure cooker at 15PSI gets you to 250F? Granted, the very bottom of your pressure cooker near the heating element (electric or stovetop) will likely have reached higher temperatures, but if it hasn't visually melted or drastically warped, you're probably fine.

It might leach a little bit, but like, you live in 2021; you're surrounded my by micro-plastics and this is probably just background noise on top of that. The answer is probably, technically "yes some leaching has occurred" but in terms of your ambient exposure to plastic stuff, this isn't noteworthy.
posted by furnace.heart at 10:32 AM on November 26, 2021 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Your soup/ pot pie/ risotto will be delicious and safe.
posted by theora55 at 8:18 PM on November 26, 2021

Best answer: A quick bit of physics applied to a previous answer:

All the water, regardless of whether it's at the bottom of the cooker or the top, should be at the boiling point at whatever pressure that the cooker took it to. Given the increased pressure the boiling point is a bit more than the usual 212F you might expect. Even so, if gets to the boiling point, it boils, and the water turns into vapour. And inside a pressure cooker you're in equilibrium, where both water and steam should be at the same temperature; if it gets hotter, the pressure increases, and the release valve opens to bring the pressure (and therefore boiling point) back down till we're back to that same pressure and boiling temperature.

So it might have made 250F at a push, but it won't have gotten close to 500F - there would have been a spectacular turkey stock explosion before that point.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 11:46 PM on November 26, 2021

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