Why does white foam come out when cooking meats and how to avoid it?

Don’t be alarmed if you notice white bubbling in the meat you cook. This effervescence is not all bad. We teach you its meaning.

Last update: 15 March, 2022

The white foam when cooking meats makes the recipe look unappealing and the thickness makes it difficult to cook. But not everything that represents bubbling is bad, as long as you comply with food hygiene at all stages of cooking.

this effervescence is due to the breakdown of proteins, the expulsion of water and other substances contained in the pulp. The meat that gives off such components usually comes from tender cattle, which means that you will eat a fresh product.

However, leaving the foam layer on can reduce the flavor of the recipe and cause some discomfort. Learn how to avoid it in this article.

Origin of white foam when cooking meats

Meat is the muscular part of every edible animal. which provides human nutrition with proteins of high biological value, B vitamins, easily absorbed iron, saturated fats and other minerals, as detailed by the Argentine Council on Food Safety and Nutrition.

The meat industry works with cattle in the growth phase. To this end, the Mexican Meat Council reports that beef requires a combination of protein, energy, fiber, and minerals that make it a healthy and delicious delicacy.

The final consumer expects a product of good quality, tender and cooked correctly. But as the white or grayish foam rises, doubts arise as to the nature and condition of the prey.

Fortunately, most of the time it is the effect of cooking. As they receive heat, the muscle cells float, forming the foam.

Other peculiarities that favor white foam when cooking meat are the following:

  • Pieces with greater retained water.
  • Inadequate maturation of meat in the refrigerator.
  • Fat disproportion.
  • A bad cut by the butcher, breaking fibers when extracting fillets and causing water loss.
  • Consequences of improper cooking.
Red meat foams when cooked for various reasons. Several of them respond to the chemistry of their composition.

How to avoid white foam when cooking meat?

It is practically impossible for the buyer to control the handling of the meat he purchases before it reaches his hands. What you can do is take precautions to prevent foam once the piece is in your kitchen.

Regulate the burner temperature

When you cook meat for a long time and at low temperatures it loses too much water. Little by little the fillet dries and in the process there will be foam.

The way to prevent this is to adjust the burner to the correct degrees. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indicates in a guide the temperature scale for cooking different types of meats.


If you throw frozen or still cold meat on the stove, the heat of the pan disappears. Defrost the meat for several minutes and dry with absorbent paper. before going into the fire.

Respect the cooking time

Extinguish the candle before time or turn the piece over in a hurry trigger the formation of bubbles. The thickness of the steak has a lot to do with the precise moment to turn it. Adhere to the period required by the recipe.

Use a good frying pan

The pan you use has to be thick and wide so that the food does not stick. Keep in mind that as the meat heats up, it contracts and releases water.

A proper pan keeps the temperature high enough to evaporate the liquid immediately. So it doesn’t accumulate..

Cook in portions

Don’t overcrowd the pan. It is preferable to go for steaks. Large amounts lower the temperature and give way to bubbles. If you want to save time, activate a second burner.

Boil before stewing

Depending on the menu you have in mind, sometimes it is better to boil meat or chicken first in a pot to get rid of excess fat and protein.

Once precooked, it is less likely that foam will form. If it happens, it will not be in large proportion. Just remove it as soon as it appears.

Strain or clean with a ladle

Perhaps these are the most common methods. Once the preparation is ready, turn off the heat and remove the foam with a ladle.

As well you can strain in a sieve soaked in cold water, so that the shock of temperatures causes the foam to adhere to the blanket.

When buying meat that is vacuum packed it is difficult to ascertain the quality first hand.

How to know if the meat is spoiled?

One of the main concerns when looking at the white coating on the stew is that the meat is damaged. You already know that the chances are high that the shell will build up from the breakdown of fat and protein. However, pay attention to the telltale signs of spoiled meat:

  • Due date: this applies when buying by package.
  • Notice the color: if the red meat is brown, greenish, or very shiny, it is not safe. As for poultry, it should not be grayish or yellow, but pinkish.
  • Smell to rule out stench: don’t bring your nose close. Cup the piece in your hand, then bring it close to you to smell it. If washing with baking soda doesn’t get rid of the stench, throw it out.
  • Feel the texture: very sticky means it’s bad. Check for mold.
  • Cut, grind and freeze: this is a recommendation for those who do not cook it as soon as they buy it.

What happens if I don’t remove the white foam when cooking meats?

Carne y Salud explains that the culinary techniques to enhance the flavor are linked to the origin of the piece, its maturation and also its cooking. Experts on this platform emphasize that the right temperature seals the exit of juices and concentrates the taste of the food.

If you fail to cook and do not remove the whitish foam that usually accumulates in the middle of the pot, the flavor of the meat is definitely altered. It is likely to become bitter and spoil faster.

Prevent this type of situation by reviewing the product you buy, removing the white foam and respecting the rules proposed by the World Health Organization for the hygienic preparation of food.

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