Week 4 Lab Data: Group B


Group B worked at Firepit #1 with Group F to burn a bovine femur wrapped twice in omentum, a bovine tail, a lamb femur wrapped twice in omentum, and two sets of splanchna from a lamb on an open fire pit. Each set of splanchna contained 1 heart, 1 liver, and 2 kidneys. Femurs and tail were burned by being placed on a wood fire (see “Set up” below) perpendicular to the top layer of logs. Splanchna were cooked on skewers held over the flame, frequently being rotated. Splanchna 1 was cooked on a L shaped skewer and splanchna 2 was cooked on a flat skewer.

These each were burned outdoors between 2:35 and 3:35 PM Central Time on 22 April, 2021. There was a significant wind ranging from 10-15 mph on a mostly sunny day at 60 degrees fahrenheit. Tests were conducted at Mai Fete Island on Carleton College’s campus in Northfield, Minnesota.

Set up:

All the tests were to be conducted over the same fire pit in the same location; fire was stacked in alternation rows of three logs each, with an original total of 4 rows. After 30 minutes of operation, a new row of two logs was added for additional fuel and stability, maintaining the alternating row pattern.

Summary data:

Bovine Femur:


Weight = 2,760g; length = 44cm; width1 (narrowest point) = 15.5cm; width2 (bigger joint) = 45.5cm; width3 (smaller joint) = 40cm.

Wrapped in omentum:

Weight = 3,584g; length = 45cm; width1 (narrowest point) = 24.5cm; width2 (bigger joint) = 48cm; width3 (smaller joint) = 46cm.

Burn time = 30 min 26 seconds

Flame reached height at 3:25 and lasted 57 seconds, ending at 4:22

Bovine Tail:

Weight = 1380g; length = 49 cm

Burn time = 15:02

Movement began 11:14 and lasted 3 min 20 seconds, ending at 14:34

Lamb Femur:

Weight = 177g; length = 18 cm

Burn time = 9 min

Flame reached height at 6:03 and lasted 19 seconds, ending at 6:22

Lamb Splanchna 1 (square skewer):

Weight = 347g (excluding skewer)

Burn time = 10 min 49 seconds

Lamb Splanchna 2 (flat skewer):

Weight = 434g (excluding skewer)

Burn time = 10 min 49 seconds


Bovine Femur:

0:02 – fat begins dripping

0:32 – loud sizzling and popping sounds; fire begins to grow; large bursts of steam

1:00 – fat begins browning

1:02 – outer layer of fat curls away from femur but no bone is revealed

1:47 – sound of sizzling slows and quiets

2:08 – fire jumps up over 2 feet

2:37 – heat gun reads 454.8℃

2:45 – fire over 3 feet, wraps around bone, fills cauldron; although fire surrounds femur, vision of the femur is not obstructed by the flames

3:25 – fire still growing; over 3.5 feet; popping and sizzling very loud; strong smell of cooking meat; femur deeper brown and areas of fat blackening

4:22 – fire shrinking

4:49 – fire about 1 foot

5:10 – fire jumps back up half a foot

5:46 – fire back to about 1 foot; sounds quieter; bubbles of fat dripping into fire

7:09 – fire under 1 foot

7:40 – short burst of flame over 1 foot

7:52 – burst of flame ends, small fire

9:03 – most of femur is black, faint sizzling sound

10:49 – fire much smaller

13:00 – tail added to fire (see below)

14:35 – fire still going but much smaller, contained to cauldron

15:29 – femur continues to blacken

17:03 – little change except occasional large globs of fat dripping off into fire

18:21 – no changes observed from now until end other than continued blackening

30:26 – femur doused and removed from fire; fracture upon removal

Post removal: whole femur is black except for spots of white or blue, about 2-4 cm in radius at the knuckles and center; long thin sections fracture off (about 8 cm long); extensive carbonization at center of bone; marrow pours out of bone at point of fracture; large cloud of smoke reaches high above the fire when wine poured on, smelling of wine and cooked meat.

Tail (placed fat side down 13 minutes after femur placed on fire):

0:47 – small burst of flame

1:30 – tail begins to curl downward

2:31 – tail curls further downward, browning and darkening on surface

3:31 – group emotional disappointment and worry noted

4:40 – group emotional panic and despair noted

5:19 – tail fallen deep into fire pit

6:34 – tail curling sideways slightly but not upward

11:14 – a small movement, no more than an inch or two

12:01 – back to original flat position

12:30 – tail angle greater than 0 degrees

13:09 – tail curls substantially

13:44 – approximately 110 degree curl

14:34 – tail sticking up at 90 degree angle

15:02 – no more movement, left in fire pit

16:24 – no movement after 15:02; tail continues to darken and skin cracks and peels back revealing pink flesh beneath which subsequently darkens

Lamb Femur (two pieces of wood placed on top of old wood for new, flat cooking surface):

0:13 – fat dripping and peeling off

0:32 – faint sounds of popping and sizzling

0:48 – sounds louder; fat begins browning

1:38 – fat brown and dripping; layers of fat peeling off

2:09 – flames begin to pick up

2:31 – large globs of fat dripping off

3:09 – layers of fat peeling; small amount of bone revealed

4:32 – fluctuating flames up to 3 feet

5:05 – fire grows above lip of cauldron; sounds louder; faint smell but less than bovine femur

5:38 – bubbling of fat all around femur

5:44 – fire quieter and smaller

6:03 – tall flames over 2.5 feet

6:22 – flames swell up then begin to fade

7:10 – juices pouring off of bone, sizzling and burning on logs

7:58 – fire about 1 foot pillar

9:00 – fire dying down; femur doused and removed from fire

Post removal: the lamb femur is black all around, but still slightly squishy with fat and not completely charred all around; little evidence of carbonization except on tips of big pieces of fat or meat; large burst of smoke and strong smell of wine when wine poured over femur; it seems that there was a greater omentum:bone ratio than the bovine femur, in part helping to explain the amount of fat dripping or peeling back and overall moisture of the femur.

Splanchna 1 and 2:

1:27 – splanchna shriveling and browning; lots of juices dripping off skewer into fire

1:46 – heart begins dripping large volume of fat

3:04 – strong smell of cooking meat, fat continues dripping

Noted as skewer 1 rotates, the kidneys do not stick to skewer but same side remains down throughout; kidneys rotate with skewer 2.

4:23 – hearts and livers darker brown and cook faster than kidneys; kidneys still wet and uncooked and less brown, especially on skewer 1

5:27 – lots of blood dripping off skewers

5:55 – skewer 1 heart internal t = 120 F

skewer 1 liver internal t = 165 F

skewer 1 kidneys uncooked

skewer 2 follows same temperatures.

10:49 – removed from fire, cut and consumed with salt. 

Post removal:

Tough skin, chewy inside; heart described as tasting “like steak,” kidneys bitter and unpleasant with a lingering poor taste; liver chewy but fairly flavorless.

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