All about the scientific theories behind food. Cooking myths debunked here.

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5
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1answer
114 views

How does “BHT added to packaging material” actually work?

This is not a question about the merits of BHA or BHT (butylated hydroxyanisole or butylated hydroxytoluene). It is a question about how BHA/BHT work when "added to packaging material". The BHA is ...
0
votes
2answers
89 views

cake baking problem (white lumps of flour)

I have a cake recipe called oil cake that has been in my family for a long time. It calls for flour and sugar and to make a well and add egg, buttermilk, cocoa, pinch of salt, cinnamon, and oil. Then ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Binder, thickener, emulsifier for parmesan?

I want to make a paste for coating out of parmesan. With softer cheeses that's not so hard, but how do I blend a hard cheese like parmesan into a paste or colloid-like form? Any suggestions most ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

Can we replace wheat flour totally with gluten and other grain flour like bhajra, oats etc?

Can we replace wheat flour totally with gluten and other grain flour like bhajra, oats etc? What is the amount of gluten added ?
4
votes
1answer
88 views

Why don't other grain proteins behave like gluten?

There are many excellent explanations here (and elsewhere) of what gluten "does." What I haven't seen anywhere is an explanation of what makes gluten so special. Where do its marvelous elastic ...
2
votes
1answer
162 views

What makes lye food grade?

I've been looking around for lye to make pretzels and found few solutions for food grade lye. I want to continue using lye in my baking and would like to make my own lye going forward. The process ...
2
votes
2answers
115 views

When do you hear the Ping sound of the lid sealing?

I am new to canning. I made applesauce this morning and I pulled them out of the water bath and put them on a towel on my counter to seal, but I never heard the "ping" sound of them sealing shut. When ...
4
votes
1answer
164 views

What is bearnaise sauce thickened by?

As from the title, what is Bearnaise sauce thickened by? There are a few different ingredients in bearnaise sauce that helps in thickening such as egg yolks, but how is it thickened and what other ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I stop my pans boiling over?

Yesterday the wife and I decided to boil some potatoes in a normal non-stick pan. We added salt, potatoes and boiling water. We put this on an electric hob, with no lid at maximum heat (marked at ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

How does irradiated beef spoil?

So I usually buy irradiated beef. From what I understand, the beef is packaged, sealed, and the absolutely blasted with radiation. I'm a nuclear engineer for a living, so I know that most things ...
21
votes
2answers
3k views

How does a Miracle Thaw work?

Miracle Thaws are utensils for rapidly thawing foods. Put an ice cube on one and it melts before your eyes, yet the whole thing stays cool to the touch. How do they work? (Inspired by this ...
2
votes
2answers
167 views

Why commercial gummies do not melt?

I've noticed that commercial gummies do not melt, even when they are left in the sun, while home made gummies melt even at room temperatures sometimes. What is the secret ingredient? Sugar?
6
votes
1answer
91 views

Does the freshness of the ingredient impact the longevity of the cooked dish?

Using ingredients that aren't fresh will generally negatively impact the flavor of the dish, but does it impact how long the cooked dish will last before it goes bad? For example, if I make two pots ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

steam oven vs conventional oven

I am in a debate as to whether diced, marinated pork shoulder cooked in a vacuum bag in a regular conventional oven gives the same result as the same pork, cooked in a steam oven. The bagged pork had ...
2
votes
1answer
160 views

Why is it that caramel sauce should not be stirred after it has boiled?

The internet says swirling is fine, but not stirring. Why is that so?
6
votes
2answers
169 views

Is sugar a thickening agent?

Is sugar a thickening agent? Palm sugar for instance? Let's say if sugar has a role in thickening liquid then how does it do it?
2
votes
2answers
378 views

Why doesn't my caramel sauce thicken?

The actual measurement of the caramel sauce is 50g sugar : 20g water. I divided it to 17g of sugar to 7g of water, but after following the necessary procedures the mixture doesn't boil, and nor does ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

What is the purpose of heating agar powder

Is agar powder heated so that it will form a gel when it is cooled? if not then what is the purpose of boiling it?
0
votes
1answer
101 views

Why should I use garlic making roasted potatoes?

A recipe of roasted potatoes calls for some garlic to be put in the oven with potatoes that are covered with salt and black/red pepper and rosemary. I don't understand what's the role of garlic here, ...
4
votes
1answer
99 views

Lemon dill sauce broke [duplicate]

When making a lemon dill sauce will limited ingredients due to Lenten restrictions, we found the sauce broke after simmering. The sauce was vegetable stock with lemon juice then thickened with a roux ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Is carob bean cooked when used as a thickener?

Many yoghurts contain carob bean gum as a thickener. Does anyone know if this is raw or cooked carob bean ?
1
vote
2answers
305 views

How do I make instant chocolate powder from a chocolate bar?

I like the flavour of a certain brand of chocolate, is there a method to turn a chocolate bar into instant chocolate powder so I can quickly create a hot chocolate from it? I am aware I can make a hot ...
2
votes
2answers
136 views

Why or why not beat an egg before adding?

When adding an entire raw egg at the same point in a recipe (not separating the yolk and white), what determines whether it should first be beaten, or dropped in whole? I've seen some recipes call for ...
5
votes
2answers
322 views

Is it okay to throw the food, collected in the mesh in the sink, down the drain, if it doesn't contain plastic? [closed]

We know all food is organic (made of carbon). So if we throw organic stuff down the drain, it should get decomposed by bacteria and shrink. So why should we be worried about blockages if all the food ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

Any cooking literature recommendation? [closed]

Salutation Seasoned Advice community. I'm just a college student learning how to cook. I wanted to check out some cooking books to expand my horizon in developing flavor and cooking techniques. I ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the science behind Magic Cake?

Magic Cake has a seemingly simple batter, that is mixed and baked as a single entity. (See link for the full recipe and method). When it is baked, it separates into three distinct layers: A dense ...
1
vote
3answers
455 views

Garlic Overflow — Why won't my olive oil stay in its jug?

I'm the kind of chef who chops up whatever the local bazaar has that week, adds a random amount of seasonings until the color suits my fancy and then cooks it. Somehow. Most days I don't go hungry. ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Bubbles on the Noodle surface

I observe lots of bubbles on the noodle surface after frying. What causes this and how can I control it?
10
votes
1answer
3k views

How does soaking liver in milk work?

Soaking liver in milk is said to be a common technique that supposedly helps to remove impurities, softens flavour, and tenderises the liver. I tried it, and the liver turned out alright, but it got ...
3
votes
2answers
195 views

All else held equal, does a pot of tea have more total caffeine than a mug?

Let's say you have one tea bag and can either brew it in a mug of boiling water, or a larger tea kettle of boiling water. The temperature, steeping time, type of tea bag, etc. are held constant. ...
0
votes
2answers
188 views

Convert chocolate chip cookie recipe to chocolate chocolate chip cookie

I have a really good chocolate chip cookie recipe. I'd like to convert this recipe to have a chocolate dough (ie make chocolate chocolate chip cookies). How can I convert it without losing the texture ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How do food producers determine expiration dates on products and ingredients?

It is well known that food expiration dates are somewhat arbitrary. For some foods, they are much more important than others -- for example, you can pretty easily tell on your own if milk has gone bad ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Why do my stored cashews smell like fish?

I have a 30 Oz plastic jar of Roasted, Unsalted Archer Farms Cashew Nuts. I've noticed that after having it 'open' for a week or two (i.e. the lid is tightly screwed onto the jar, but the initial ...
2
votes
1answer
182 views

Why is it easier to separate a cold egg?

A lot of recipes that call for separating an egg, suggest that the egg be separated when cold rather than at room temperature even if it has to be brought to room temperature afterwards. I was just ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Making tea - milk first or tea first

For those who take tea with milk, opinion seems very much divided about whether to add milk to the cup before the tea or vice versa. I have seen some suggestions relating to the milk protecting the ...
6
votes
1answer
148 views

Detergent Contamination of Processed Foods

Today I bought a Jack Links beef jerky from a vending machine, and when I bit into it I got a distinct taste of something acrid and soapy. As far as I could tell the packaging was not damaged and the ...
2
votes
1answer
490 views

What are some alternatives to xanthan gum for stabilizing mayonnaise?

Xanthan gum helps keep mayo emulsified through the jar being pasteurized, shipped, stored on the shelf for months, and kept in the refrigerator after opening. The diet of my customers does not allow ...
0
votes
4answers
264 views

Why are some foods preferentially eaten at certain times of day?

At least in North America, eggs are most often eaten (or at least stereotypically eaten) for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and a big hearty meal for dinner, accompanied with a sweet dessert. I ...
4
votes
2answers
710 views

Why isn't a Sourdough starter unsanitary?

Letting a bowl of flour and water go bad in a warm corner seems problematic at best. I'm willing to believe there is some process that goes on to limit pathogens, but reading around this doesn't seem ...
3
votes
1answer
292 views

Why does Mexican food taste dissonant with balsamic vinegar?

I assayed an attempt at hot sauce the other day by cooking 3 pounds of peppers (jalapeno and hungarian wax) in olive oil and balsamic vinegar for about three hours, then throwing them in a blender. ...
2
votes
5answers
3k views

Steel Cut Oats: cooking in milk vs. water

Most of the recipes I've seen (including Good Eats') recommend simmering the oats in 4 cups of liquid for 1 cup of oats. AB recommends 3 cups of water for ~25 mins and then (1/2 cup of milk + 1/2 cup ...
3
votes
2answers
372 views

Diagrammatic Notations for Recipes

Are there any interesting diagrammatic recipe notations out there? I have found Nassi-Shneiderman diagrams: used here at Cooking for Engineers. An activity diagram from here: Is there ...
4
votes
2answers
224 views

Can you tell how ripe a banana is by the actual fruit not the peel?

Hi I am doing a research project on banana ripeness and cannot find a way to tell the ripeness of a banana from the inside of it. I cannot use taste to measure the ripeness but I would really like to ...
3
votes
1answer
294 views

Does adding alcohol to dough prevent it from soaking oil when deep-frying?

Some culinary books and, for example, this Wikipedia article, state that adding alcohol (usually spirit) to dough, it will prevent the dough from soaking oil when you deep-fry it. Does it really work? ...
3
votes
1answer
203 views

What can “modified” mean when describing an ingredient?

I have been trying to reverse engineer a packaged glaze mix for fruit pies. It weighs 1oz/28g, and contains "modified tapioca starch, citric acid, salt, artificial flavors and coloring." The mix can't ...
1
vote
4answers
4k views

What alternative gelling agents can I use for jam and marmalade?

Rather than using natural pectin from the fruit being used or added pectin I am looking for an alternative setting/gelling agent that will enable me to get more jam from my two principle ingredients ...
2
votes
2answers
233 views

How can I make a mayo/ketchup-based sauce come out with a consistent color?

I'm trying to make a zesty sauce from a mayo base/ketchup base mixture. Sometimes color turns out dark orange, sometimes off white, even though I'm using the same recipe. I'm thinking that how I ...
5
votes
1answer
980 views

What is the “hot” and “cold” category that Chinese culture separate their food into?

I am unsure if this categorization of food exist only in Chinese culture or if it exists in other (Asian) cultures. In China, a lot of the food is separated into either "cold" or "hot". Some ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

How are commercial protein bars made so dense?

I am trying to make protein bars at home from protein powder and natural sweeteners. I have basically all the ingredients mentioned on the pack, but mine come out much softer, whether or not I cook ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

what makes red tomato sauce turn orange in colour?

I have noticed that tomato sauce (having started with deep red tomatoes) can turn orange. The colour change isn't from mixing in an ingredient of different colour such as cream. It seems to occur in ...