Hot answers tagged

110

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 zero evidence or citations to back itself up. Which is important, because the accepted answer is wrong. The popular myth is "Cold oil in hot pan and food won'...


69

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 oven, you will need to add about 10 minutes to the cooking time (depending on how fast your oven heats up). The rule of thumb I use for this is to add 1/2 of ...


45

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 very welcome. I try to avoid using my oven in summer, choosing other things to eat instead. Note that modern ovens are designed to be well sealed and well ...


39

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.


32

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 likely to overcook while the inside is still raw. It's more important in the case of boiling potatoes than in the oven which is a gentler cooking method. I'...


31

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, ...


31

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 well at the 2.4GHz frequency used in microwaves, while foods do. A lot of this is down to the very efficient absorption by water, and almost all foodstuffs ...


31

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 most cases. Garlic, for example, becomes bitter and horrible when over-browned.) Cooking food starting with a hot pan is important in other situations for two ...


22

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 floating in the water that is in the larger pan. Because of the water, the temperature never gets higher than 100°C unless you boil all the water off. Milk at 100°C ...


21

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 cook for those of us interested in low-temperature cooking using an immersion circulator (sous vide). However, predating the immersion circulator, the Japanese ...


17

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 oven into an upside-down broiler. While the overall oven temperature is still rising, radiant heat from the full-power element on the bottom will be blasting the ...


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 ...


16

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 general problem of thermal expansion of a solid with a hole https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/12599/will-a-hole-cut-into-a-metal-disk-expand-or-shrink-when-...


16

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 40C, and there is no growth at 47C. Salmonella is a pathogen, and we store food at low temperature to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. 'No growth' is not ...


16

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. The aromatics (ginger, garlic) go in after the hard spices (ie: cumin seed, mustard seed, cinnamon stick, star anise, bay leaf, dry chilli, etc), which only take ...


15

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 ...


15

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 ...


13

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 enough frequencies the induced fields occur throughout the metal. As the frequency is increased the heating zone occupies an area increasingly near the exterior of ...


13

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 olive oil will heat within a few seconds, where you can saute or whatever for a specified duration.


13

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. By this point the cost saving of gas over electricity becomes significant (in the UK, electricity is about 3x more per kWh). In addition many premises wouldn't ...


12

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 at all (the edge where the milk surface touches does get some milk protein cooked onto it, though). You do not have to do anything with it while it's baking. It ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


10

First, I don't think the question you are asking about is written well (your question about this question is better). We don't have the benefit of the course's context, but alone this question seems poor. The phrase "you are less likely to overcook food" is problematic because the techniques for cooking with oil and water are quite different, as would be ...


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

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.


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