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

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3
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1answer
91 views

Why my meatballs sweated all of their fat?

I have made simple meatballs with red onions, some eggs, drizzle of olive oil and chopped scallions. Put them into the oven at 220c (440f) and this is what came out: They sweated all of their fat ...
4
votes
3answers
877 views

When making fried rice, how does the amount of heat affect the taste of the food?

This answer talks about the amount of heat required for cooking fried rice which tastes similar to restaurants. I want to understand the science behind it. Please explain.
5
votes
0answers
95 views

Making pork pernil, and had a slight “lasagna battery” issue - is it safe to eat?

I am in the process of making the cook's illustrated recipe for pork pernil. For the first hour, you heat marinated pork at 450, covered tightly in a roasting pan with aluminum foil. Lo, pulling it ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Cure #1 in Brine for Brisket

I'm trying for the first time to cure a second cut brisket (1.8 lbs.) to make pastrami (after curing the meat I will smoke it and then steam it). I followed a recipe from the Stanley Marianski book ...
3
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2answers
507 views

How do I thicken Advocaat without evaporating any alcohol?

To resurrect an 1-2 year old English Christmas dark fruitcake, I removed the icing and marzipan, infused it liberally with whiskey liqueur - then cut it into cubes. I then served it with cocktail ...
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0answers
44 views

Adjusting protien pH before cooking

Cooks Illustrated has a recipe for Sichuan pork where pork tenderloin is marinated for 15 mins in a baking soda solution (1t NaHCO3/ 8T H2O) and then rinsed before cooking. The goal being to raise ...
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2answers
95 views

What made my pancakes taste fizzy?

I made pancakes a couple times recently, and they had a strange reaction to some frozen raspberries we had. When we put the raspberries onto the pancakes, they had a strange fizzy and sour taste. We ...
10
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2answers
366 views

Why do we dimple a focaccia?

When I was making a focaccia earlier today, I realised that I've never been told why we dimple them before baking. A quick Googling didn't reveal anything, so I'm asking here: why do we make dimples ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

How do you make the wishbone break easier?

Real simple. Kids love breaking the wishbone from a turkey or chicken. What do I need to do so that the wishbone has a nice crack (more brittle) when they are pulling it.
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Why are Parathas smeared with fat/oil within layers?

The difference between plain roti and plain parathas is that parathas have oil in between their layers, and roti's don't. Even after we put oil in the layers we still smear the front and back sides ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

Why does fish stick to a pan which is not very hot?

As we have seen there are several threads about preventing the fish from sticking to the pan by making the pan very hot. I want to understand why does the fish stick to a pan which is not very hot. ...
5
votes
2answers
161 views

Effect of carbonated water on the rising of the dough?

Some recipes suggest to add carbonated water instead of milk or water. Does this practice accelerate the rising of the dough and why?
2
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1answer
105 views

Optimal stirring technique: I read that stirring liquids in a straight line is better than in a circle, but I can't find any references

I remember reading that some scientific researchers in Japan (I think) discovered that when it came to stirring liquids, moving a spoon back and forth was more efficient at mixing the liquids than if ...
11
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2answers
361 views

Why do dumplings float when they are ready?

Most dumpling recipes—including those discussed on this site—claim that the dumplings will be ready when they float to the surface. I have two interrelated questions: Does this rule ever fail? For ...
6
votes
2answers
165 views

Should I rest pancake batter?

I read somewhere that pancake batter should rest. This confuses me. On the one hand, mixing the wet ingredients with flour creates gluten. Resting lets the gluten relax, so that I don't get chewy ...
5
votes
1answer
91 views

What is the purpose of baking a cooked pot pie filling?

I will be making chicken pot pie for about 350 people at a conference, but I'm making the filling separate from the biscuit topping. The plan is to serve the pot pie in a disposable container, ...
3
votes
1answer
183 views

Does soaking dry beans before cooking prevent flatulence?

There are all kinds of opinions on whether or not soaking beans helps decrease flatulence. Some say adding things like baking soda, lemon juice, salt, or other things to the bath helps the effect. ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

How much citric acid should I use to preserve mayonnaise on a cups/ml ratio?

I was thinking of making mayo for sandwiches to get me through the winter and was wondering if I could make fairly large batches that would keep for a long period of time with the aid food grade ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

What physically/chemically happens to a vegetable when it is cooked?

I've discovered that if I eat raw vegetables, I can't digest them well if at all. If I steam, boil, nuke, bake, grill, or otherwise cook the vegetables, I feel fine. What are the physical/chemical ...
5
votes
0answers
256 views

Does cooking nopales with a copper coin actually neutralize the mucilage, and if so, why?

While looking around at different ways of cooking nopales and okra that dealt with the mucilage, I found a few references to cooking nopales with a copper coin. Some people seem uncertain whether it's ...
4
votes
2answers
442 views

What is the history of souvlaki and is there any benefit in cooking meat on a skewer?

I'm wondering about the origin of souvlaki. Was it only something of a convenience (easy to cook lots of pieces together)? Or does this way of grilling lead to better results, as opposed to just ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Sprouts and “better-to-cut-out-parts” in vegetables

A while ago I read that "all the green parts in tomatoes" actually contain a not so healthy "active ingredient" which would be better not to eat. What I knew was that we couldn't digest those parts ...
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0answers
48 views

What is the effect of the fat content of milk when making cheese?

How does the fat content of milk affect the cheese it's used to make? For a science fair I am finding out how different fat content milks affect mozzerella cheese. But first I need to know how the fat ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

How to flambe my roast meat platter

I want to have flames coming off my roast meat platter when I serve it to guests. What liquid would I use to light up?
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Is this soup, stew, or something else?

I ate some East Asian dish recently and it looked something like this: [image source: http://www.thetabletopcook.com/images/tabletop-cooking-homemade-taiwanese-hot-pot.jpg] I had never eaten ...
1
vote
1answer
151 views

Can basil flowers be substituted for basil leaves to make tea?

Can you use the basil flowers just like the leaves to make tea?
1
vote
1answer
125 views

What can I add to Splenda solution to prevent spoilage?

Trying to save some money on buying Splenda packets by buying sucralose powder and mixing with water. This works great and is waaaay cheaper - 10x cheaper than buying the packets! However, after two ...
2
votes
2answers
661 views

Aiding the Maillard reaction: Baking Powder or Baking Soda?

I will attempt to cook a Thai Green Chicken Curry. I'll be using cubed boneless chicken thigh which I would like to brown really well. I remember reading somewhere that Baking Powder or Baking Soda ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Flavour enhancers [closed]

I've read that vanilla is usually used to highlight/enhance the flavour of chocolate, lemon juice the flavour of strawberries, and MSGs the flavour of meat. What other flavour enhancers are out there? ...
3
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2answers
424 views

Effects of elevated storage temperature on bread quality

It's pretty well-known and scientifically established that rather cool temperatures are bad for bread: putting your bread in the refrigerator will tend to dry it out and accelerate chemical reactions ...
1
vote
1answer
128 views

Why does Black Gram Batter turn fluffy only when stone ground?

Idly and Vada two major recipes of South India. For those dishes Black Gram Batter is the key ingredient. This soaked balck gram when ground in a mixer or food processor makes idly and vada hard and ...
0
votes
3answers
372 views

How to cook the food such that no acrylamide is formed?

How to cook the food such that Maillard reaction doesn't form acrylamide? http://sciencefare.org/2011/06/01/maillard-reaction/ When food is cooked quickly at a high temperature, the Maillard ...
3
votes
1answer
369 views

Lime substitute for nixtamalizing corn

I want to have a go at nixtamalizing some corn. Upon doing some research I figured I could find the lime (calcium hydroxide) that's traditionally used for the process at the local international food ...
23
votes
8answers
31k views

Will spoiled food always make you sick?

Kind of a strange question, but say something has spoiled, i.e. smells bad, tastes bad, etc. Will it actually always make you sick? Like for instance spoiled dressing, let's say it tastes sour, ...
1
vote
0answers
112 views

What causes egg-covered puffed rice cakes to become soft when pan fried (and how to control it)?

While recently making fried bread slices dipped in egg (both white and yolk), I've run out of bread. Since I've already had everything else prepared, I've decided to go ahead and replace the bread ...
2
votes
0answers
636 views

Liquid glucose in marshmallows

What does liquid glucose do for a marshmallow? Has anyone replaced liquid glucose with golden syrup or any other syrup for that matter? What are the effects of using alternatives for marshmallows? I ...
5
votes
2answers
172 views

term for the fact that's easier to mix 2 things if the amount are different

I am asking this for a friend because we cannot find the answer in google (but did learn a lot about cocaine, dj mixers, bread, concrete and ligers). Seems like there must be a ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

Spicy foods and weight loss [closed]

It is well known that consuming spicy foods increases your metabolism and contributes to fat burning, mainly due to the presence of capsaicin. Since this effect is very small, how many spicy foods ...
1
vote
2answers
302 views

Can the duration of the whistle determine if food inside a pressure cooker is cooked

Building upon this question, I was wondering if the duration of the whistle can be used to determine if the food inside a pressure cooker is cooked. As suggested by a couple of answers in the ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Why don't most non-East Asian varieties of rice stick together?

Having tried a number of different kinds of rice, I've noticed that the only ones that seem to have grains that "stick" together are white varieties often used in East Asian cooking (jasmine (to some ...
37
votes
6answers
4k views

What does “natural” actually mean?

More and more I see "natural" or "all natural" labels on the slightly-cheaper alternatives next to "organic" products, and I find it somewhat confusing. I know that (for example) tofu does not occur ...
5
votes
1answer
633 views

In ingredient lists, does “lime” mean the fruit or the chemical?

Ingredient lists on packaged foods sometimes list "lime". Does this refer to the citrus fruit, or to the chemical calcium hydroxide? As an example, Mission Organics White Corn Tortilla Chips list ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Which foods are certain to never cause food poisoning?

After a nasty bout of food poisoning lasting nearly 5 days (rare I know) my trust levels and appetite for certain foods have dropped considerably however my inquisitiveness kicked in... ...from a ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Why does microwave popcorn burn?

I've been experimenting some with do it yourself microwave popcorn, and some trouble getting the 'burn time' right has led me to a question that I can't find a good, definitive answer to. What is the ...
0
votes
2answers
567 views

Does whole milk or soy milk spoil faster? Why?

I'm doing a science fair project and I need some help. My question is does whole milk or soy milk spoil faster? Does anyone know which one spoils faster or if they spoil at the same rate? Please ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Should I boil canned food in water?

Do I have to boil canned food, specially tuna can, in water for twenty minutes? I think it's necessary to prevent food poisoning by botulism. However, currently that I am in Europe, I have not seen a ...
5
votes
2answers
495 views

Baking soda accident in pretzel dough - Can it be salvaged?

I made a mistake and put the baking soda in the pretzel dough! Instead of using it for its intended purpose ( Boiling the pretzel dough in it before baking.) It was a box mix: Pretzel Creations ...
14
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3answers
761 views

Do pan “pores” exist, what are they, and what are their effects?

There are a number of common cooking lore techniques which revolve around the idea of "pores" in the surface of a pan. Two of the ones I've heard most often: (1) When heating a pan where sticking is ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Science of fast (high heat) vs. slow (low heat) scrambled eggs and omelets

There seems to be a lot of disagreement about cooking "light" (as in texture) scrambled eggs, which would seem to be one of the simplest of foods. (To be clear, I'm specifically asking about the ...
3
votes
1answer
170 views

my black garlic cooking in a rice cooker went brown and hard before black any ideas?

I have my garlic in the skins in a rice cooker on the warming setting after 7 days the garlic was brown dried out and hard, is it over cooked and not slowly caramelized? what is the purpose of ...