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

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5
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1answer
42k 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
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1answer
216 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 ...
4
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 "sauteing" onions, celery, garlic, etc. in place of oil (scare quotes on "saute" since it involves frying in oil or other ...
9
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
13
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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
399 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
703 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
5k 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
788 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
545 views

What is the rule of thumb for mixing doughs?

Without delving too deeply into specialty doughs, but addressing more than just cakes and bread, what concerns can I evaluate when calculating the technique for approaching a dough? For instance, ...
8
votes
2answers
859 views

Why does Béarnaise separate as opposed to crème brûlée or lemon curd?

When making creme brulees in the oven, they are heated to something like 100° C, or over. When making bernaise, heating it like that is a sure way of making it separate. As far as I've understood, it ...
4
votes
1answer
916 views

Does adding oil to pasta water reduce the tendency to boil over?

I know that adding oil to pasta water doesn't keep the noodles from sticking--much better to do that after cooking. I also know that there's no need to cook pasta at a rolling boil. My question is ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What makes a souffle rise?

A successful souffle is usually one that rises high above its own vessel. What active ingredients / parts of a souffle (regardless of the type of souffle) typically makes it lift or rise?
3
votes
2answers
894 views

Does the alcohol in wine affect cooking process?

When cooking with wine or other booze does the alcohol have an affect on the cooking process? Example: deglazing a pan or making a wine-based sauce. My understanding is that the alcohol evaporates ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What happens when cheese is melted in a frying pan?

A guilty pleasure of mine is to put a small block of cheddar into a dry frying pan and cook it. The cheese melts and an oil comes out of the cheese. In this state, the oil drains off very easily and ...
4
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2answers
1k views

What can I add to boiled lollies to stop them from melting in humid weather?

I've made a gingerbread house this year and popped in stained glass windows. The windows are made of crushed up boiled lollies. I baked the gingerbread, then added the windows, then baked the bread ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Coffee foam vs. Tea foam

One sign of really good fresh well-roasted coffee beans is foam. When you pour hot water into the French press, it foams, often forming a head up to 2" high. And when you use an espresso machine, ...
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1answer
269 views

Do you guys know that there is no such thing as an amateur chef? [closed]

They are called cooks. It's like saying there are amateur heartsurgeons.
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7answers
21k views

What happens if I brine my turkey for 2 days?

I have a logistical problem that leaves me with no fridge room for 2 days before Thanksgiving... I always brine my turkey, so I don't have any questions about that, but typically it's only an 8 - 10 ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there any advantage to adding salt to onion while frying itself?

Is there any advantage to adding salt to onion while frying itself rather than adding it the last. My friends say it removes moisture from onion. Is it true ? Why is removing moisture from onion ...
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vote
2answers
2k views

What are ways to reduce cellulose in vegetables and fruits?

I (and some family members) have a medical condition that affects the ability to digest cellulose, so we have to avoid most fresh fruits and vegetables. We have found that cooking vegetables helps a ...
1
vote
1answer
848 views

Red beans and rice with salt pork

Does salt pork have to be fully cooked before you put it in your dish? I am cooking red beans and rice, and the dish calls for a ham hock. I don't have one of those, so I opted to use salt pork ...
6
votes
1answer
240 views

What property makes a liquid soapy/bubbly?

Is there a scientific or food industry term for what makes a water solution behave like a detergent, and perhaps an associated unit of measure? For example, the pH of a solution measures its acidity; ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Why does white vinegar taste better when at restaurants?

Just got back from dinner, where I had some decent fish and chips with white vinegar, and a thought came to me: At restaurants, I've found the white vinegar there helps to accentuate the flavour of ...
6
votes
1answer
792 views

Creating differing temperature fluid gels that stay separate

At the Fat Duck they serve a mug of hot and iced tea. The drink is served in a single cup yet the two different temperature drinks stay separate side by side with no barrier between them. I believe ...
9
votes
4answers
29k views

How to make puffed/popped rice?

Is it possible to make puffed rice at home like the rice used in breakfast cereals? I have a hot air popcorn maker and have experimented with that with little success. I imagine the problem is to do ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

How much alcohol remains in strawberries soaked in alcohol?

I know that the alcohol content of food that is prepared with alcohol is a tricky study, as evidenced by the fact that food left out overnight stored overnight loses, by one study, 30% of its alcohol ...
5
votes
4answers
622 views

How do I diagnose and adjust my bread recipe?

Our family has maintained a sourdough start for several decades. It has great flavor, but we use it mostly for pancakes. I've tried making bread with it several times, but never get good results. ...
3
votes
1answer
529 views

What makes alcohol-free beer sweet?

Yesterday, I had a can of alcohol free beer which tasted almost like normal beer, just without the alcohol bite. Practically any other alcohol free beer I've had has a different taste. They all are ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

How does meat nutritional profile change in freezing?

My teacher said that you cannot stop fats going bad with freezing. So fatty meat is not good idea to freeze over a long time. Are there other factors to consider in freezing meat?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What can I do to dry out my marshmallows?

The recipe that I used did not call for cornstarch or corn syrup. The result is that they are slightly wet. Can I do anything to dry them up, such as dusting them with corn flour? I did dredge them ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

Why do my egg whites separate after whipping?

Every time I try to whip egg whites, I seem to end up with the same problem. After a good bit of strenuous beating with the whisk, the egg whites finally reach the "firm peak" stage. I then go grab ...
2
votes
2answers
585 views

looking for edible paper

At some point I came across some edible paper. I don't know which company makes it or where to find it? I think I recall that it was possible to write on it. I encountered it back in the '80's. ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Why do marshmallows poof up so huge when put in the microwave?

As anyone who's put marshmallows in the microwave knows, they expand a ton! Sometimes they puff up to literally more than twice their original size (YouTube video for those who haven't seen it). So, ...
13
votes
1answer
5k views

Why don't dry bread crumbs spoil, when bread does?

Why don't store-bought bread crumbs spoil? Can you make your own bread crumbs and save them for later use? Will homemade breadcrumbs mold?
5
votes
2answers
813 views

What does a fridge do apart from storing and cooling?

There are quite a lot of recipes ending with 'Put it in the fridge for a couple of hours'. I've had this with tiramisu, chocolate mousse, panna cotta to name a few. All of these have ingredients like ...
4
votes
1answer
238 views

How Can I Make Flour More White When Under Process In Flour Mill

My father is a flour miller. He wants to know how he can make wheat, or flour more specifically, whiter during the milling process. Is there anything that can be done before in preparation or after ...
32
votes
3answers
1k views

Theoretical: why there's no gradient of doneness in bread?

I was always wondering, why there's no gradient of doneness visible on the cuts of bigger breads. For example: This one was made in the baking form, it has a thin visible crust, but after that the ...
3
votes
2answers
885 views

Freezing temp of carbonated beverages

I sometimes put bottles of soda in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to get them near frozen (taste SO much better that way). If I time it just right I'll pull the bottle out and the liquid will appear ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Why did my vinaigrette emulsify so quickly?

When I make salad dressing, I usually don't expect my vinaigrette to emulsify particularly well. I don't do any of the steps described in this question about vinaigrette emulsification, such as ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Is there an authoritative source on whether salt affects pasta stickiness?

The Seasoned Advice answer to Why add salt to the water when cooking pasta? is that it makes the pasta less sticky by inhibiting starch gelation. This seems to be a controversial question, with lots ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Tricks to ensure Mailliard/Browning reaction?

Seems like a question that would've been asked before, but I couldn't find a pre-existing question. Sorry if this is a duplicate. Anyway, I do a lot of stir-fry, usually with chicken. My usual ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do the ingredients in baking powder work?

Baking powder is baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), corn starch and creme of tartar mixed together. Can anyone tell me what the effect of these different ingredients have (and have on each other) and ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does bread taste raw if you stop baking it and continue after it has cooled?

Unlike, for example, almost anything that is made on the stove and even cakes (of course, as long as your cake doesn't fall as you take it out of the oven), if you stop baking a loaf of bread for some ...
2
votes
4answers
19k views

What are the functions of vinegar in cooking?

I have used vinegar for flavor as a substitute for salt and noticed that it is used in salads, not sure why perhaps as preserver/flavour. But I have never realized that it could be used in much more ...
7
votes
1answer
681 views

What is the purpose of a pressure cooker in a rice cooker?

Some of the more expensive rice cookers advertise that they use pressure in combination with induction to cook rice. On one Japanese website that sells rice cookers, they showed some diagrams that I ...
6
votes
1answer
271 views

Does accidental vinegar have a culture that I can pass along?

Background: A couple of years ago we left a half drunk bottle of Sirah on the counter and it went to vinegar. A really nice vinegar with a pleasant, mild flavor, and we've been using splash here and a ...
6
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1answer
3k views

How could I keep one-ingredient “ice cream” soft?

According to this question, guar gum and xanthan gum can be used to keep ice cream soft by preventing ice crystals and keeping the air that's been mixed in from leaving the ice cream. We have tried ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Will potatoes turn brown / gray in oil?

When I was a fry cook we made fresh fries and kept them in a bucket of water to keep them from turning brown (not sure if that's oxidation or what), will oil inhibit the same chemical reaction? I ...