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113 votes
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Why do you need to heat the pan before heating the olive oil?

TL;DR: heating the pan before the oil has no useful effects in most cases. While this is a duplicate of another question, I'm going to answer it again because that question's accepted answer provides ...
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69 votes
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Why should one pre-heat an oven?

It is not a problem to put whole potatoes for roasting in the oven while it heats up. In fact, it's a good idea. However, if you are following instructions or cooking times written for a preheated ...
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61 votes
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How Can Cooked Meat Still Have Protein Value?

Structural proteins in foods, i.e. albumin in eggs, myosin in muscle meats, gluten in wheat, are formed by amino acids in complex structures. Proteins are folded and clumped chains of peptides, and ...
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45 votes
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Do household ovens ventilate heat to the outdoors?

I've never seen one that vents to outside, and I've used kitchens in several countries. In many places we need to heat our houses for quite a few months each year, and the waste heat from cooking is ...
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39 votes

Preventing my toast from becoming wet when I put it on the plate

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. ...
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34 votes

Why must the oven be preheated for a Pyrex glass pan?

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 ...
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32 votes

Why should one pre-heat an oven?

FuzzyChef gave a good answer. To add to this a bit, the reason it's good to cook potatoes in a cold oven or starting from a cold pot of water is so they cook more evenly. Otherwise the outside is more ...
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31 votes
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Why doesn't a microwave heat the air around food, in addition to the food itself?

With all electromagnetic radiation, including visible light and microwaves, absorption depends on the molecules doing the absorption. Air is mainly oxygen and nitrogen, and these don't absorb very ...
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31 votes
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Does preheating a pan before sautéing aromatics make a difference?

I prefer to cook aromatics starting from a cold pan/oil, whenever possible. Starting with a cold pan makes it easier to avoid singeing the ingredients. (You really don't want a "sear" in ...
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29 votes

How Can Cooked Meat Still Have Protein Value?

The denaturing of proteins refers to their physical structure, not their nutritional value. This might help. As is detailed in the link, heat, acid, salt, alcohol, and mechanical agitation can cause ...
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22 votes

How can you cook milk without it burning the pan?

Double boiler. You can buy a purpose built double boiler and if you are going to do this often you should. But for now you can fake it the way I do. Here is my setup. The little saucepan is ...
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22 votes
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Getting even heat on a gas stove

As these are rented places, I suspect part of the problem is cheap thin-based pans, especially very thin steel. I have similar gas rings at home and mostly don't have an issue - but I have a choice ...
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21 votes
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What, if at all, is the difference of cooking an egg on high or low heat?

The proteins in egg white and egg yolk behave differently at different temperatures. It is an ingredient that responds to very subtle temperature variations. That is why it is a favorite item to ...
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17 votes

Why should one pre-heat an oven?

The other major reason to heat the oven in advance is that the oven will run the heating elements at full duty cycle until the oven comes to temperature. This effectively turns the bottom of your ...
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17 votes

Lactic fermentation related question: Is there a relationship between pH, salinity, fermentation magic, and heat?

Your question is missing the word 'bacteria'. All bacteria have a growth curve. These will vary quite a lot by species. This is the growth curve for salmonella As you can see the growth peaks around ...
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16 votes
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Preventing my toast from becoming wet when I put it on the plate

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 ...
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16 votes

Why do you need to heat the pan before heating the olive oil?

Regarding the (mis)conception that heating the pan will close its microfissures so micropieces of food will not fall into the small holes sticking to them: wrong. Check the response to the more ...
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  • 261
16 votes

Does preheating a pan before sautéing aromatics make a difference?

It depends heavily on what you're cooking. For Indian or central Asian styles of cooking, for example, the spices get tempered in the hot oil first, and the oil absolutely needs to be heated first. ...
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  • 952
15 votes

What temperature is 'High' in a 950 watt microwave?

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 ...
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15 votes
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Why does food cooked in the microwave heat inside-out?

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 ...
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13 votes

How to explain why aluminum won't work on an induction stove?

Induction cooking works by inducing a field in the metal of the cooking container so that the resultant currents cause energy dissipation. For metal in the order of say 3 to 10 mm thick, at low ...
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13 votes

Why do you need to heat the pan before heating the olive oil?

Recipes often call for a warm up for a reason similar to preheating an oven. The recipe author has no idea how heavy you pan is. What the author does know is that for just about any hot pan, 2Tbs ...
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13 votes
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Are gas stoves preferred in a commercial kitchen due to having a constant heat source

Commercial burners generally have a high power output. A commercial kitchen doesn't have to be large to have 12 burners, all capable of 3kW, in a small space, plus ovens, and running near constantly. ...
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  • 39k
13 votes

Getting even heat on a gas stove

You could get one of these: It's called a heat diffuser, and they come in many different shapes, sizes, and price ranges. A cheap one will probably do the job well enough, though might break over ...
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12 votes

How can you cook milk without it burning the pan?

There are a number of ways to cook milk without burning it. My personal favorite is to bake it. When baked according to my instructions, it does not overflow, and the bottom of the pan does not burn ...
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11 votes
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How to get heat high enough for stir fry?

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 ...
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11 votes
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Is there a "standard" stove heat?

There’s no ‘standard’ heat level, as it really depends on what type of cooking you’re doing. There are some things that you can look for to try to figure out how much heat they’re using. But be ...
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10 votes

Preventing my toast from becoming wet when I put it on the plate

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 ...
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  • 68.2k
10 votes

Preventing my toast from becoming wet when I put it on the plate

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/...
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