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

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3
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1answer
322 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
221 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 ...
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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
238 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
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
574 views

Why should you scrub/clean cast iron cookware with salt?

I've seen this a number of times (for example here, or here at cooking.SE), and I do it at home, but I'd like to know for what reason salt is good for cleaning (cast) iron cookware. I know it's a ...
3
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3answers
4k views

Why does broccoli turn brown when steaming?

I steam my broccoli until it's 'al dente' and some buds turn brown. I've done a small search, but haven't found anything. I'm thinking maybe the steam is too hot or I'm steaming too long. What do ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

Room temperature “rest” for fresh mayo?

On the mayonnaise episode of Good Eats, Alton Brown recommends letting homemade mayo sit at room temperature for 4-8 hours before refrigerating. The idea is to let the acid in the mayo kill any ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

Why do egg dye recipes include vinegar?

I have seen recipes for easter egg dyes that call for 1/4 cup vinegar per cup of water and others that call for 2 teaspoons per cup of water. That's a pretty wide range--what practical effect does the ...
3
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4answers
4k views

Why do Duck eggs have longer expiry than Chicken Eggs?

Duck eggs seem to get about a 6-week extension on their expiry date over Chicken eggs. (the latest pack I bought yesterday expire May 25th, where as the Chicken Eggs at best were Mid-April). Why is ...
8
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2answers
753 views

If salt dehydrates the meat, then why would brining make it more juicy as a whole?

As the title says, why does brining work? If salting, by osmosis, pulls the water out of the meat, then why is meat considered more juicy after it's cooked?
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2answers
2k views

Why does tomato sauce spatter more than other sauces?

Of all the (thick) sauces and creams I prepare in a hot pot, tomato sauce is the most jumpy. When it's hot, it's impossible to cook properly without having it jump everywhere and repaint the walls, ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

How do I cook with bay leaves?

I am an amateur hobbyist cook. So a lot of the time I will toss in a dash of something, taste the dish, and add a bit more. Experimenting sometimes with disastrous results... but I learn :) One spice ...
15
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1answer
863 views

What's the science behind making German potato dumplings (Knödel) fluffy but not fall apart?

First off, I'm German, so you would think I know, but it seems traditional cuisine has not been passed down my family tree. This question really consists of two parts: What makes potatos dough (or ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Pork shoulder low slow cook time

I am planning to cook a 10lb (4.5kg) bone-in pork shoulder at 250°F (121°C) for about 8 hours. Is there any danger in overcooking if I cook for a few hours longer? I know it needs the time ...
4
votes
4answers
616 views

Why would pumpkin pie form a clear custard layer?

My PA Dutch grandma's pumpkin pie always had a thin layer of custard on the bottom. We have her recipe but none of us has been able to get the filling to separate... Anyone have any idea what might ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

roasted garlic vs. raw

Without giving it much thought, I've always roasted garlic for use in cooked preparations (hummus, spaghetti sauce, garlic bread, etc.), and used it raw for uncooked preparations (salad dressings, ...
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1answer
555 views

Alcohol evaporation

It's fairly well known that alcohol in liquids used for cooking evaporates pretty well, at a lower temperature than the water it's in, so the end result doesn't contain much alcohol. It doesn't all ...
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3answers
2k views

How can two pies made and baked identically have differing flavor qualities?

Two pies were baked at the same time, in the same oven, on the same cookie sheet. They seemed to be equally close to the center of the oven. There was a third pie on the rack beneath them. That pie ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Differences between gel and gelatine

Are they physically different? If so, what is the difference, between a gel and gelatine, or it's proccesses gelation and gelling (gelatinization. gelatinisation)?
3
votes
2answers
204 views

Where to buy food chemicals

So I want to experiment with making a food product, and I'm wondering where I acquire the chemical ingredients? Things like vitamin chemicals and caffeine. Thanks.
3
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2answers
4k views

Minimum temperature for slow roasting almonds

I've read that almonds roasted slowly at lower temperatures are healthier, which seems to make sense to me. I found a couple of recipes suggesting 8hrs at 75 deg C or 4hrs at 95 deg C. With that ...
5
votes
4answers
788 views

how do I get the salt out of my chinese take out

I bought some overly salted Chinese food ( I did not know it at time) and took most of it home. Now I would like to get the salt out so i can it eat. Do you have any suggestions?
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6answers
3k views

Can food be boiled “extra fast/hard” in water?

Once water is boiling you can either leave the heat on quite high, or turn it down a bit so that it just keeps boiling. Apart from extra water vaporating, does this have any effect on the taste of ...
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vote
1answer
679 views

How is it that (temperature) heat makes some seasonings and foods (spicy) hotter, but mellows others?

Toasting many spices,and heating some peppers increases and brings out the spice and heat. Other foods, such as onions, shallots and garlic (yes, I know they're from the same family; just can't think ...
7
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2answers
865 views

Does using flaked salt make a difference when using it in cooking?

I have a few recipes that call for flaked salt, I can only seem to buy it in bulk 1kg bags here. I want to know that if you use "salt" in a recipe does it really matter to the final taste what kind of ...
13
votes
3answers
11k views

Why is it that white fish do not have as strong of a “fishy” taste as other fish?

As a rule my wife does not like the taste of fish, or pretty much anything that once made its home in the water. However, she's decided to give fish another shot. Not wanting to hit her over the head ...
2
votes
1answer
148 views

Separating Chlorophyll didn't work

I tried to extract chlorophyll from spinach by blending up some spinach and water and straining out the green juice, then heating the juice. I've done it before, but this time, it wouldn't separate. ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it incorrect when someones says you can lower acidity with sweetness?

It is commonly known that if your food is too acidic, you lower the acidity of the food by adding something sweet. Is this correct? Acidity can me measured by pH. Does the sweet actually raise the ...
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votes
4answers
4k views

Does placing a metal spoon in an open bottle of sparkling wine (etc.. .) help keep its fizz?

Does placing a metal spoon in an open bottles of bubbles, sparkling wine & Champagne help keep its fizz ? If so why is this ?
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1answer
1k views

Does liquid glucose contain as much fructose as high fructose corn syrup?

Does liquid glucose contain fructose in the same ratio as high fructose corn syrup?
5
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2answers
6k views

Heated up oil for frying, stirred it, tiny bubbles appeared and rose slowly but with very loud popping sound - why?

Last night I tried deep frying stuff for the first time. As the oil heated in the pot, I thought it would be a good idea to stir the oil (I was really scared of it catching on fire). It was probably ...
0
votes
1answer
165 views

About Farm Chicken

For two years, I've been eating chicken grown up in farms. They don't taste like village chicken (chickens raised in villages here eating natural food). Why not? Are there any differences besides ...
-1
votes
1answer
314 views

Breading/Crumbing Chicken in their own eggs

I have heard of a new trend for recipes involving breaded chicken meat. Instead of using random eggs, the eggs laid by the very chicken you're preparing should be used for breading. This way a ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I fortify homemade soy milk?

Commercial soy milk is fortified with lots of different vitamins. Is it possible to add these vitamins to homemade soy milk? If so how would you do it? I'm not sure if we absorb the vitamins or if ...
10
votes
2answers
7k views

Why is there cornstarch in powdered sugar?

I was looking up how to make my own powdered/confectioner/icing sugar. Some 'recipes' say that you should add a bit of cornstarch while others just leave this out. So what is the role of cornstarch? ...
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vote
2answers
795 views

Why is my pumpkin pie filling separating from my cake mix?

I decided to mix pumpkin pie filling into a mixture of spice cake mix. I mixed the filling in well and in every try, the filling stays in the middle, with the cake moving to the outside. I am ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What effect does orange juice have when used in dough?

I was following a recipe to make some Middle Eastern inspired Olive bread, and the recipe called for a cup of orange juice in the dough. I was intrigued by this as I had not seen it before. What ...
4
votes
1answer
37k views

What causes curdling and how can you prevent it?

Some sauces are more at risk to curdle than others. What exactly (ingredients, techniques, temperature...) causes this curdling? What can you do to have the curdling risk at minimum? I'm not asking ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Why does rice expand by more than the liquid volume it's cooked in?

Does air get trapped or sucked into the rice during cooking?
3
votes
1answer
208 views

Does oxidation inhibit caramelization?

Getting ready to make some fried plantains, but I wanted to get a jump on prep before caramelizing in place (approximately 2 hours from prep). If I cut them now, and they oxidize, will this inhibit ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What limitations are there to sauteeing with water?

I was recently helping with some recipes and was instructed to use water for "sauteeing" onions, celery, garlic, etc in place of oil (scare quotes on "saute" since it involves frying in oil or other ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

What are the optimal conditions in making wild yeast starter?

I recently learned that I don't need to buy packets of yeast to make bread. I can create a sour dough starter by utilizing the wild yeast floating around in the air. Take a look at this article for ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do chocolate chips stay softer after being baked?

I could be wrong, but I have the feeling that after baking chocolate chip cookies, the chocolate chips are still melted; or at least a lot softer than before you bake the cookies. It's logical that ...
0
votes
2answers
392 views

What common household drink will remove burning from mouth? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Cure for burns from hot peppers / capsicum oil? Ya, just ate something spicy and my mouth is on fire. I tried drinking water and that didn't help. I also tried orange ...
2
votes
1answer
670 views

Why does boiling cream have such a drastic effect on my salted caramel?

We have a recipe for a salted caramel spread that is basically a big pan of sugar, glucose, milk and butter, cooked until it becomes a thick paste, then mixed with double cream to achieve a smooth ...
6
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2answers
4k views

What determines how well cheese melts

I have had my fair share of eating cheese and experimenting with them. Sometimes they come out heavenly while other times, it turn out to be a huge flop. Usually when it flops, it's because I am ...
7
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1answer
755 views

What happens to cheese as it ages?

An answer* on another one of my questions sparked this: What is actually happening to the cheese on a molecular and chemical level as it ages? What processes are going on and why is there an upper ...