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90

The salt adds flavor, but it also helps reduce the gelation of the starch in the pasta. The starch in food is the form of microscopic grains. When these grains come into contact with water, they will trap some of it (think cornstarch in cold water), but when the water is hot they swell up like balloons and merge with each other, and you have starch ...


38

The primary reason is for accuracy and reliability in cooking times. Boiling water is guaranteed (not accounting for altitude) to be at 212 F (100 C). With a set temperature you can then say things like "boil X for 9 minutes" with a very high measure of confidence. You certainly can cook things in the water as you go, but it's going to be a lot more ...


36

Yes, it is true that we don't add oil to the boiling water. I'm not aware of any good reason to waste extra-virgin olive oil that way! Some oil is always added at the end, over the sauce, when the pasta is already in the plate! It has to be raw, so that it retains its fruit nuances and texture. If you are doing cold pasta salad and want to avoid sticky ...


26

There have been plumbing systems in which the hot water was likely to have dissolved more [toxic|unsightly|unpleasant-tasting] material from the pipe walls or joints than the cold. In particular any system that uses lead-based solder, can leach minute{*}, but detectable amounts of lead into the drinking water, and the hot water is more efficient at this. In ...


23

By definition, 1 is a simmer (once the bubbles form a steady stream), 2 is a boil, and 3 is a "roiling boil."


21

Some people say cold water boils faster than hot water, this is false, found here and here. One reason might be (from the first link): "Some water heaters may introduce additional sediment into the water, giving you another reason to consider starting with cold—at least, if time is not of the essence."


19

You are doing precisely the opposite of 'normal' procedure, which is to put the lid on the pan until the water starts boiling, then remove the lid (either partially or completely) to prevent boiling over. A reduction in the hob temperature will also probably be necessary, and is in any case desirable - mercilessly boiling any vegetable is rarely a good ...


19

Short answer - you are right on all counts and she's wrong. Tell her that, she'll love it. ;) The longer answer is that boiling a frozen piece of meat, especially one that is thick in the middle like chicken breast is exactly the opposite of what you want to do as you'll cook the outside but the inside will still be frozen, and boiling (as you rightly ...


18

Alton Brown covered this on an episode of Good Eats. There is a legitimate reason, and it has nothing to do with sticking; it's an anti-foaming agent, so you don't have to stir as much to keep down the foam you'll sometimes get. Any oil will work, it doesn't have to be the good stuff.


18

Really, this is just to even out cooking times for vegetables that don't have a surface area to volume ratio consistent with the other things you're stir-frying. If you were to shred those green beans, as is sometimes done, you could put them in at the same time as raw, julienned carrots, and they would finish at the same time. If you put them in whole, ...


18

I would strongly suggest not pouring cold or any other kind of water on pasta; it will rinse the delicious starches off its surface, which would otherwise help your sauce cling to it. To counteract the negative consequences of overcooking due to remaining heat (which, as belisarius suggests in his answer, is the reason other stuff is often rinsed with cold ...


17

Before you submerge the egg, prick the large end of the shell with a (clean!) thumb tack or safety pin. This will allow the trapped air bubbles - which are normally responsible for cracking - to escape during the boiling process. Also take care to avoid any impacts: Don't overcrowd the pot - the eggs should form a single sparse layer; Use a tongs or ...


17

Salmonella can't survive boiling water, it would get killed at that temperature. It should be fine to boil everything in the same pot.


16

If you boil them for more than a few seconds, you'll start cooking the tomato, which can make it harder to work with -- you effectively want to cook just the bit under the skin, which only takes a few seconds. I work with a paring knife and a set of spring loaded tongs (but you could use a spider or strainer). start a pot of water boiling cut an X in the ...


16

Actually adding salt to water makes it boil slower; it increases the boiling point so it takes a little longer to get there. It actually doesn't matter what you dissolve in water (or anything else). Adding a dissolved substance elevates the boiling point and lowers the freezing point.


16

You've stated that you're not washing the rice. That's the reason this is happening. Water boils over because of starch. Many types of rice (brown rice included) can be very starchy, and this could conceivably cause the water to boil over depending on the amount of rice/water and the size of the pan (or rice cooker). Washing the rice also helps to ...


16

If you are seeing this effect after the jars have been in storage for a long period, do not eat the contents! This is a sign of botulism due to improper canning; the bacteria often (but not always) produce gas as they grow spores. If this is happening immediately after the canning process, it is probably because you are not creating a proper vacuum seal. ...


16

I'll go ahead and take a stab at answering this, even though the question is a bit vague. I assume by "cook" you mean "cook with a non-microwave method", like boiling, steaming, baking, frying, sauteeing, or anything else. First of all, no, I can't think of any reason why microwaves would be worse than any other cooking method. If you fully cook something ...


15

It means that the pasta is seasoned as it is cooked. To see if this matters to you, cook up some pasta in plain water and then some in salted water and see if you can taste the difference.


15

Yes, it is different. Two things happen: the dissolved oxygen boils out, and whatever mineral solids are in there become concentrated as steam evaporates.


15

It isn't really "absorbed" by the boiling water; more precisely, it is leached into the water. As kiamlaluno said, Vitamin C is water soluble. An important thing to note is that the leaching of vitamin C into water, by itself, doesn't destroy the vitamin C. It's still there; it's just in the water rather than the vegetable. If you consume the liquid you ...


15

Yes, water does boiler measurably faster with the lid on. The reason is simple: in order to boil, water must be heated to the boiling point (okay, that was obvious). However, while heat is being introduced at the bottom of the pot, heat is also being lost at the top of the pot, through three means: evaporative cooling, and air convection of heat away ...


14

I used the method here before with good success: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_perfect_hard_boiled_eggs/ Basically you start with the eggs in the pan with cold water and bring the water to temperature, right when it reaches boiling you pull the heat back and let the eggs cook for 10 minutes. You don't need a full on boil to hard boil the ...


14

Adding a starchy substance such as rice or noodles to boiling water increases the surface tension of the water. When it's just plain water boiling the surface tension of the water can't hold back the force of the steam rising and the bubbles burst. Starches increase this surface tension making the bubbles more elastic/pliable (essentially creating a foam), ...


14

Maybe I'm wrong, but there is no safety risk at all when boiling old water. There is however something like taste. The reason the old water is discarded is because, after boiling, it lacks oxygen and will taste stale. This is also the reason why coffee is made with 95ºC hot water, or why Moroccan tea is poured from above (to oxygenate)... So, as long as you ...


14

It definitely sounds like you had some water on whatever you stirred the oil with. When water droplets get in the oil, they sink since oil is lighter than water. Then the water droplets turn to steam because the boiling point of water is much below the boiling point of oil. At this point, the steam rapidly rises out of the oil and escapes with a noise and a ...


14

Popcorn does not soften. There are five main types of corn: dent, sweet, flour, and popcorn. These types vary slightly in their composition but they share a similar basic structure: Dent corn is used almost exclusively as animal feed. Incidentally- it is the only type that I ever saw for sale in Germany which might explain why all the Germans I met ...


13

You should boil noodles. Simmering is not the same as boiling. Boiling water is 212 ℉ (100 ℃). Simmering water is in the range of 185 ℉ to 200 ℉ (85 ℃ to 93 ℃). Your engineer friend is under the mistaken assumption that simmering is somehow a weaker boil than a rolling boil, but still 212 ℉. It's not. You are correct in your assumption that the more ...



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