Hot answers tagged

37

Warm your plate. The moisture in your toast is coming off the toast and then is getting condensed into the cold plate just like a glass of ice water attracts the moisture from the warm air around it. If you heat the plate, the moisture will not condense on top the plate.


18

The Wikipedia article on Capsicum reads, citing a FAQ on a page of the ollege of Agriculture and Home Economics of the New Mexico State University: Capsaicin is present in large quantities in the placental tissue (which holds the seeds), the internal membranes and, to a lesser extent, the other fleshy parts of the fruits of plants in the genus Capsicum. ...


16

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 ...


16

An old classic option is the "Toast Rack": By maintaining air gaps between the slices, the toast rack allows water vapor to escape from hot toast instead of condensing into adjacent slices and making them soggy. However, this increased air flow can also mean that the toast becomes cold more quickly. My personal preference is to simply not heat up the ...


14

The most obvious thing is nothing to do with heat/temperature. The rapid boil agitates the food a lot, to the point that if the food is soft, it can pretty much tear it apart. You probably don't really want disintegrated food, but smaller pieces do cook faster, so I suppose you can look at this as a rapid boil cooking faster from a certain perspective. It ...


12

It is impossible to convert Microwaves into Celsius or Fahrenheit. Temperature(Celsius): Temperature is a measure of the average translational kinetic energy of the molecules of a system. Heat is commonly expressed in either of two units: the calorie, an older metric unit, and the British thermal unit (Btu), an English unit commonly used in the United ...


11

Popcorn kernels pop because moisture is trapped inside of a relatively gas-tight shell. As the kernels are heated, the water inside the kernel turns to steam. The shell of the kernel keeps the steam from expanding, so pressure builds up inside of the kernel until the whole things blows open. If the kernel doesn't have enough moisture inside of it or if the ...


11

Yes, it's bad for basically everything. Oils, of any variety, will go rancid much faster there. It'll be most obvious for the least stable ones, but they'll all go eventually. And if you've ever accidentally cooked something with rancid oil, you'll know, it's not a pleasant surprise. Anything aromatic will degrade a lot faster too. Even before your olive ...


10

The reason your toast is getting moist is that the cold plate is causing the water in the air trapped in the bread to condense into a liquid, you need to keep the toast off the plate and let the air circulate. The method I use is to lean 2 pieces of toast against each other in a T shape before buttering. After buttering I put the toast on the edge of a ...


10

Your microwave isn't exactly cooking your food from the inside out. Instead, what is happening is that some parts of your food that happen to be on the interior are being heated faster than those parts of the exterior that you observe. This sort of uneven heating is intrinsic with how microwaves work. Microwave ovens cook unevenly because a pattern of ...


10

I have never tried it but when I googled wok burners (thinking to find a standalone high-output gas hob), I found this article about a wok ring called the "WokMon" on Serious Eats and had to post it here: A couple months ago I was approached by Glen Lee, an inventor who claimed to have an ingenious new device for cooking in a wok at home. Seemed to me ...


9

Infrared thermometers work very well when measuring the temperature of hot oil. For deep frying it's not a big deal, as standard probe thermometers work fine. But for shallow frying or sauteeing, the IR thermometer does an excellent job at providing the temperature of the oil. (Note that IR thermometers are not accurate when measuring the temperature of a ...


9

Another option you could try is to "pinwheel" the toast... but this only works if you're planning to cut it anyway. I've seen a lot of restaurants do this and I think it helps with the moisture/sogginess by limiting the amount of toast touching the plate. It might take some practice to get them interleaved correctly but it may help. This has the added ...


9

It's an issue of thermodynamics. When you're cooking food, the food cools itself off through evaporative cooling and the energy being used to cause chemical changes in the food (eg, caramelizing sugars). If you have too much food in the pan, the balance is overwhelmed by evaporative cooling, and thus you can only get to the boiling point of water. To ...


8

In my experience, the most likely impact of a gentle boil vs. a furious rolling boil is going to be on texture of starchy foods, such as potatoes or other root vegetables, rather than flavor. I've found that a gentle simmer of potatoes will result in a mostly intact shape and consistent texture, whereas an aggressive boil without perfect timing can result ...


8

This is a very common problem with challah (and any braided bread). As mentioned in comments, it seems likely that the splitting happened in the oven because the bread continued to expand too much after the crust had set. But the braids also complicate the reasons why this may have happened. Here are a few common things to try: Be sure not to braid too ...


7

Charcoal can get to 700 degrees F but in normal use you're more likely to be in the 500F range. In order to get to the higher end of charcoal's abilities there are a couple things you can do: Use natural lump charcoal, not briquettes. Lower the grill grate to within 1" of the hot coals If 1&2 don't get you enough heat, consider using the Alton Brown ...


7

At a normal atmospheric pressure, even the steam created by boiling will only be 100°C. However, you will have to worry about the food touching the bottom part of the pan, as that can, and will, get hotter than the water. So if what you're boiling is suspended or floating then no, it won't be any different. I figure it's also worth mentioning that if what ...


7

You should completely cover the metal ring, otherwise you risk burning the element out. You should only boil as much water as you need above this minimum though, to save electricity. Check inside your kettle, they often have minimum and maximum levels marked somehow.


7

Are you using non-stick cookware? Beware because there is a well-documented medical effect caused by the fumes released when various non-stick components are heated starting at about 300 °F (149 °C) and beyond. Polymer fume fever You should always have something in a non-stick pan when it is over a flame.


7

Ah, the worsening pancake debacle. I know it well. We have all been there, even after training for countless hours to make the perfect soufflé at the Culinary Institute. The pan is getting too hot. You should cool the pan with a quick rinse. This will also have the effect of resetting the surface, to get rid of any built-up grime or grease. Good luck and ...


6

So with gravy, you are talking about a scorched taste. Once you smell it, it is probably too late to salvage it. If you want to try, the best course of action is to remove it from the heat (obviously) and carefully ladle off as much of the top of the pan as you can, leaving the scorched part on the bottom. Then taste what you ladled off and see if it is ...


6

You should first set fire to your coals. When they are really hot (red/white), but the flam is out, put the meat on top on the grill. Really, you should avoid flames in a barbecue to prepare the meat. The amount of coals isn't that important. Just make sure the ground is well covered. The more coals, the longer you'll have heat. Since you only want to grill ...


6

Yes, they work. The reason they work for keeping liquid warm is because the air pocket slows down the transfer of heat from the liquid to the glass to your hand. Air has a lower thermal conductivity than glass does, which means that it slows down the loss of heat from your drink. (The thermal conductivity of air is 0.024 W/m/°C, while the thermal ...


6

The exact number of cutting boards isn't critical, the important piece is minimizing cross contamination. You can use one cutting board safely as long as you're using it in a food-safe order (cut vegetables, then proteins), and follow good sanitation practices (wash & sanitize the board between ingredients). A quick scrub with soap and water and a spritz ...


6

While an oven preheats, the heating element or gas burner will be running at full output. For an electric oven in particular, this will generate a great deal of radiant heat. Radiant heat increases the temperature of the objects it shines on, without directly changing the air temperature. So, if you place a pyrex dish in a cold oven and then turn it on, ...


5

I have had the same issue when cooking lots of quesadillas, and have found the following combination of techniques to work quite well. The obvious answer has been hit upon already, lower the heat. But I think that's missing an important aspect of the issue. What's happening is most likely that you are turning on the heat and then cooking your first omelet ...


5

Add some coals over the hot ones and/or reduce airflow some other way (many grills have slits or vents to control airflow, play with those, close them partially). Both should reduce heat output (adding coals of course will mean the grill will burn for longer and will eventually heat up again). I'd not throw water or other liquids on it. Only makes a mess :)...


5

One thing I've found surprisingly useful is how accurate it is measuring the temperature of microwaved liquids. This can be handy when bringing milk or water to 100 degrees when making yeast breads. The convection of the liquid when heated by microwave means the surface temperature is within a degree or two of the center of the liquid, at least in my ...


5

Cheese have enzymes. Enzymes break quickly and easily at 150F/65 C. 50 Celsius for a short period of time should suffice to melt you cheese without breaking the protein structures. I have committed the same mistake many times. Actually the fist day my in laws where over i tried to impress them with homemade pasta and cheese sauce. My Cheese sauce clumped. ...



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