52 votes
Accepted

Food temperature "danger zone" - is it really binary?

You are absolutely right, it's not binary at all. Bacterial growth doesn't magically accelerate at 40°F, the difference in growth rate between 39.9°F and 40.1°F is extremely small. I'm going to switch ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 76.4k
21 votes
Accepted

Does my electric oven need to be calibrated?

The advantage is not having to make adjustments in baking to compensate for how your oven is different than the one in the recipe (allowing for the generous assumption that the writer of the recipe ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 17.7k
19 votes

What temperature would a "quiet oven" be in old fashioned temperature vocabulary?

A “quiet” oven is likely around 325° to 375°. The two main resources I’ve used are the Internet Archive and Michigan State University’s Sliker Culinary Collection. The term “quiet oven” does not ...
Jerry Stratton's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

Difference between letting yeast dough rise cold and slowly or warm and quickly

Retarding fermentation allows, as you wrote, different and additional metabolic pathways to have a greater influence on the flavour. In addition, extended enzymatic activity of the flour has a ...
wumpus D'00m's user avatar
  • 4,051
15 votes
Accepted

Oven temperature reduction in middle of baking

Unless stated otherwise, reducing the temperature does not mean taking the food out of the oven, but simply adjusting the temperature setting. If you need to reduce the temperature quickly (usually ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 59.8k
15 votes

After putting something in my oven, the temperature drops and is super slow to increase back up despite keeping the door shut

This is all very normal, nothing special about it. Some of your assumptions happen to be untrue, and others don't apply to modern ovens. First, temperature fluctuation is the normal way an oven ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 139k
11 votes

Food temperature "danger zone" - is it really binary?

Neither is it binary, nor is there a formula. is there a more scientific guideline out there that somehow measures safety objectively No, there isn't, and there isn't anything that could be ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 139k
9 votes
Accepted

Do tealight holding dishes keep food at a safe temperature?

In the context of serving things domestically, those candle-heated food warmers can be good. But they might not keep the temperature uniformly high enough for long enough. It depends on too many ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 44.3k
7 votes

After putting something in my oven, the temperature drops and is super slow to increase back up despite keeping the door shut

Assuming you are measuring accurately, this is surprising. Do ensure you are measuring the oven temperature using an accurate thermometer in a suitable central location, rather than for example ...
dbmag9's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

Pressure cooked chicken didn't reach 165 but just 160, is that okay?

Yes, it is. You want to consider that food safety is a function of temperature and time, in other words, how long does it take to kill all1 bacteria at a certain temperature. If you see only one ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 59.8k
4 votes

What would cause a temperature limit of 220 °C for a frying pan in the oven?

Ovens aren’t as accurate as most people might assume. They will overshoot the temperature, then cool off until a bit below the goal temperature, then heat back up again. As such, even a well-...
Joe's user avatar
  • 80.7k
4 votes

Steam table - preventing spagetti sauce from burning?

250 Fahrenheit is 121 Celsius. This is well above the boiling point of water, thus you have extensive evaporation from the sauce and the sauce reduces to the point at which it can burn - this will be ...
bob1's user avatar
  • 15k
4 votes

Temperature control when adding new things into the pan when shallow frying

This is about regulating the heat of your pan. You could use an infrared thermometer to help, then you can develop a feel for what is happening when you add food to your pan. Adding food to a hot pan ...
moscafj's user avatar
  • 75k
4 votes

Food temperature "danger zone" - is it really binary?

My assumption is that the guidelines are set based on outcomes, as opposed to growth vs temperature for any given bacteria, fungus, or other agent. e.g., "When we set the guideline at X, how many ...
Scott Seidman's user avatar
4 votes

Safe Water Boiled Lentils

Such guidelines do not exist. The FDA (and other agencies with a similar scope of tasks, in the USA and internationally) only create standards and regulations where they see a need for it. Apparently, ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 139k
4 votes

Improving my approach for plain water boiled brown lentils

For lentils, there are a few rules of thumb, but not necessarily a hard and fast set of values (like cooking time), because of the natural variability and changes during storage. But with some minor ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 59.8k
4 votes

Improving my approach for plain water boiled brown lentils

Stephie has given you a great answer and you should follow every word of it. (You should also click the grey check mark next to it to indicate that it’s answered your question.) Here’s a more general ...
Sneftel's user avatar
  • 29.2k
3 votes
Accepted

Why is it safe to defrost meat in a sous-vide bath?

Mitigating the risk of bacteria is about both temperature and time. Pathogens die instantly when the temperature is high enough...but, also when a lower temperature is maintained for a longer period ...
moscafj's user avatar
  • 75k
3 votes
Accepted

Chocolate won't melt

Chocolate is a peculiar substance. It consists of cocoa butter (a fat), cocoa solids, sugar and possibly some other components like what you listed. To get its smooth texture it goes through quite a ...
G_H's user avatar
  • 352
3 votes

Inconsistent temperature recommendations on different roasting thermometers

"Safe" is not a property of the natural world waiting to be discovered. It's a matter of standardization. A regulatory body determines criteria to be applied such that a food item can be ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 139k
3 votes

How much thermostat "range" in oven temperature is too much?

It's been a while since this post was active but I wanted to share my experience. I am from Spain but I currently live in Dominican Republic. Here most people use gas ovens. I used to rent a furnished ...
Ricardo's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes

Do tealight holding dishes keep food at a safe temperature?

The professional chafing dishes don’t directly deal with the localized burning issue. They typically heat a pan of water, and then have the food suspended above the water, so the food is only heated ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 80.7k
2 votes

What would cause a temperature limit of 220 °C for a frying pan in the oven?

Almost universally the temperature tolerance (and any other environmental tolerances) vendors will print on packaging, labels and in manuals should be considered the guarantees for their product. They ...
HBruijn's user avatar
  • 123
2 votes

Oven temperature reduction in middle of baking

The answer comes from the nature of the temperature control in an oven and basic thermodynamics. Ovens work by having a heating element that adds heat to the cooking volume. Once the desired ...
Flydog57's user avatar
  • 151
2 votes

Do pizza / baking stones really keep the oven temperature more consistent? Does it make baking any better?

I've heard this quite frequently but I've never seen someone test it until I poked around after seeing your question - I found this blog from 2011 where someone tested their oven temperature stability ...
Catija's user avatar
  • 16.5k
2 votes

Difference between letting yeast dough rise cold and slowly or warm and quickly

Yes, there are certainly differences in what you get dependent on the speed at which you let your dough rise. I am talking about first rise here; the second rise is generally the same length for mid- ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 139k
2 votes

Does my electric oven need to be calibrated?

Electric ovens cycle on and off. On average, your oven is colder than its target temperature. The element cycles off once the capillary registers the target temperature. The oven is also colder away ...
AdamO's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

Does simmering, boiling or roiling boiling water while cooking makes a difference?

My thinking is that once you hit 100C, adding more heat just makes you boild off water faster That's mostly correct. Water can't be heated past the boiling point (at least not for long). Simmering vs ...
Hilmar's user avatar
  • 176
2 votes
Accepted

Can I post-redden blood oranges?

Maybe....there are several scientific papers on blood oranges. Here is one example that speaks to conditioning the fruit: This study shows that the qualitative and quantitative composition of the ...
moscafj's user avatar
  • 75k

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