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

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0answers
13 views

Why commercial gummies do not melt?

Does anybody know Why 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???
11
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2answers
1k 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, ...
6
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1answer
74 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 ...
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vote
1answer
60 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
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2answers
61 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?
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3answers
3k 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 ...
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4answers
3k 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 ...
35
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12answers
11k views

Why should I soak beans before cooking?

Every recipe says I should soak beans in water overnight before cooking. Why? I did some experiments. I have tried soaked and unsoaked beans from the same batch. There was no difference in cooking ...
2
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1answer
106 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?
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2answers
40k views

Why can applesauce be used in place of oil?

In many recipes, mostly desserts, it is suggested that you can substitute oil with applesauce to reduce the fat content. But why applesauce? Is there something special about applesauce or are there ...
12
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2answers
8k views

What does beating eggs actually do (chemically speaking)?

When I look at a lot of recipes, any eggs usually have to be beaten before they're added. If it's all going to be mixed anyway (and well, in dough for example) is it really necessary?
21
votes
3answers
18k views

How does a splash of vinegar help when poaching eggs?

What does splashing in a shot of white vinegar to the simmering water do when poaching an egg? Is it for taste or is it supposed to react in some way with the albumen?
6
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2answers
118 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?
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2answers
79 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 ...
37
votes
8answers
51k views

Cooking away alcohol

When you cook with wine or spirits, when does the alcohol cook away? Obviously high temperatures will do it, but how low of temperatures will work? Also, does it vary by the type of alcohol?
2
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
89 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, ...
5
votes
2answers
256 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 ...
33
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5answers
28k views

Why does a brown paper bag speed ripening?

I often see this technique suggested as a way to speed ripening. Why does it? Also, is there any data available on how fast it ripens comparatively?
4
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1answer
98 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
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1answer
30 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 ?
18
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1answer
5k views

Garlic turning green?

When I try to make garlic bread or, in general, something where the garlic is not in a liquid, it sometimes turns green while cooking! It's worth noting that the taste doesn't seem to really be "off", ...
4
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
514 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. ...
2
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5answers
2k 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 ...
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3answers
975 views

How can I tell whether an egg has been hard-boiled, through the shell?

At my workplace, there's a mysterious carton of eggs in the common refrigerator. Nobody I've asked knows whether they're raw or cooked. Is there a way to tell, without cracking one of the eggs open?
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2answers
222 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
106 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 ...
4
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2answers
3k views

Does marinating break down proteins the way brining does?

Brining makes meat tender because the salt (and some sugar) breaks down proteins. Shouldn't a salty/sugary marinade do the same thing?
3
votes
4answers
5k views

What are best practices for using Yoghurt as a Marinade?

I'm cooking for 30, Lamb Chops are on the menu and I want to do them in a Yogurt Marinade. I've done Yogurt Marinades with mixed results and I wonder if there are some best practices? specifically: ...
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vote
0answers
40 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 ...
93
votes
9answers
40k views

Why add salt to the water when cooking pasta?

What is the effect of adding salt to the water when cooking pasta?
0
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3answers
331 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. ...
7
votes
3answers
4k 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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2answers
827 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
951 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
24k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
71 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?
4
votes
4answers
3k 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 ?
10
votes
1answer
1k 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
180 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. ...
11
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6answers
17k views

Why doesn't chocolate go bad?

After all it has oil and sugar in it. Why doesn't bacteria love it? Thanks!
0
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2answers
155 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k 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
137 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
29k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
363 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
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
10
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3answers
19k views

Is it scientifically verified that bananas will ripen faster when kept in a bowl with other fruit?

I've heard you shouldn't keep bananas in a bowl with other fruit. But they all look so happy together. What I'd like to see is hard science here. Or at least documented and repeatable observation. ...