What is Cooking: Definition and 78 Discussions

Cooking, cookery, or culinary arts is the art, science, and craft of using heat to prepare food for consumption. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely, from grilling food over an open fire to using electric stoves, to baking in various types of ovens, reflecting local conditions.
Types of cooking also depend on the skill levels and training of the cooks. Cooking is done both by people in their own dwellings and by professional cooks and chefs in restaurants and other food establishments.
Preparing food with heat or fire is an activity unique to humans. It may have started around 2 million years ago, though archaeological evidence for it reaches no more than 1 million years ago.The expansion of agriculture, commerce, trade, and transportation between civilizations in different regions offered cooks many new ingredients. New inventions and technologies, such as the invention of pottery for holding and boiling water, expanded cooking techniques. Some modern cooks apply advanced scientific techniques to food preparation to further enhance the flavor of the dish served.

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  1. S

    Why does overcooking food usually harden it?

    That, and why does the overcooked / hardened food become bonded or firmly stuck to the cookware?
  2. S

    Is it Safe to Use Garlic Powder When Grilling Meat?

    When using garlic powder in recipes, is it important to avoid toasting it? Videos about cooking with fresh garlic caution about not burning the garlic. When no water is present in a pan, they generally show heating fresh garlic for only a few seconds after it is added. Then you must add a...
  3. George Jones

    Useful Cooking Unit Conversion

    A hollow rectangular tube with cross-sectional area of 1 barn and a length of 1 megaparsec will hold a quantity of material of approximately 2/3 of a teaspoon.
  4. abdulbadii

    What is the difference in cooking oil before and after frying heavily?

    What's actually details in difference of any cooking oil (vegetable, palm oil, etc) before and after exhaustive/heavy cooking ? As only heard not clear or reliable folks' says, the many unsaturated bonds turns to be saturated afterward.. The need arose as it's quite affirmed that the former is...
  5. S

    Misc. What unripe grains are used in cooking?

    According to the internet, unripe wheat (freekeh) is used in cooking. What other unripe grains can be used? What are the advantages of using ripe grains as opposed to unripe ones? - i.e. why is using unripe grains less common?
  6. S

    Misc. What is "kadrai" as a cooking ingredient?

    A Youtube video, which I can't translate, shows using "kadrai" as a component in puffing rice. What is "kadrai"? 4:13 in
  7. K

    Will steam generated inside an oven not break it?

    Disclaimer first: Though the question is around cooking, IMO it certainly is to with physics / engineering. Yet, if the admins find this post inappropriate, pl. delete it. I am planning to make some rice cakes which is prepared by steaming a mix of rice powder and water. Because I don't have...
  8. S

    Appliances Non-stick sprays harm non-stick cooking surfaces?

    Are there exceptions to the generality that non-stick cooking sprays (such as "Pam") harm the non-stick surfaces of cooking appliances such as electric skillets? Online, I find this stated as a generality (e.g...
  9. J

    The Physics of cooking breakfast (basic thermodynamics)

    I eat eggs, ham, peppers, and a pancake for breakfast. I cook the ham and peppers at the same time. For purposes of this question, I have the eggs and the pancake figured out. Given a gas stove, a small, nonstick aluminum frying pan (with lid) and corn oil; If my goals are (in order of...
  10. Wrichik Basu

    Can (water-soluble) vitamins/nutrients evaporate while cooking?

    Recently, I found a person saying that when I cook something with water, the vitamins/nutrients present in the ingredients leach out into the water and evaporate with it. Well, water-soluble vitamins can leach out from the vegetables into the water, that is fine. But can they evaporate with the...
  11. C

    Are Cooking Fumes Harmful to Your Health?

    Before today. I was thinking maybe cooking fumes didn't just get to your mouth but pass through your bloodstream, perhaps causing allergy. But when I googled it. I found many alarming articles about it. What is your comment...
  12. jim mcnamara

    V-words, f-words and the advent of softer foods (cooking)

    Due to softer foods (newly developed cooking), tooth wear was reduced and labio-dental sounds became easier to produce. Those sounds are the f sound and the v sound - as evidenced for English readers. Obviously other Indo-European languages could have different letters/glyphs for these sounds...
  13. W

    I Cooking Physics: 2 TV Dinners at 350 Degrees

    Hi All, Please forgive my ignorance: What are the variables to consider? I have two TV dinners to be cooked in the oven at 350 deg. First one requires 35 minutes , second one requires 50. For how long should I cook both if done simultaneously?
  14. S

    Recipe for cooking tumble mustard

    I'd like to find a recipe for cooking the edible weed sisymbrium altissimum (tumble mustard, london rocket). There are plenty of recipes online for eating it raw, but I'd feel safer trying it cooked since the harvest will be from my urban lawn.
  15. G

    Physics behind carryover cooking

    I'm looking for a simple mathematical model that describes how the internal temperature of a piece of meat continues to rise beyond the point at which the external heat source is removed. The model's accuracy needs to be no better than to demonstrate that carryover cooking is a real effect. The...
  16. M

    Cooking (Thermodynamics) Problems

    Homework Statement 1. You are cooking a meal in your kitchen and have just put a pot of frozen soup on the stove to defrost. You turn on the burner and, when you ignite the gaseous fuel (methane or propane), there is a dramatic increase in the gas's thermal energy. Where did that thermal...
  17. S

    Lower microwave absorption efficiency to increase penetration (cooking)

    A problem I encounter when microwaving food is that the centre is no penetrated by the microwaves so remains cool and I have to wait for the heat to be conducted through which takes a long time and undermines one of the advantages of microwaving which is the speed of the process. Would it make...
  18. jackwhirl

    Are you an egg peeling super-human?

    I've had this question for some time now, and I'd really like to find an answer. What is the best way to peel a hard-boiled egg? I don't consider myself -bad- at peeling eggs. It just seems to be a matter of luck. Sometimes the shell comes off cleanly and easily, and sometimes the eggshell...
  19. avito009

    Why does a cylinder of cooking gas feel heavier?

    We feel a gas cylinder of cooking gas to be heavier if we lift it. But when a kid of 14 kg is lifted it feels a lot easier to lift him than lifting a cylinder of cooking gas weighing 14 kg. Is it because the pressure is low because of larger surface area of the kid?
  20. Stephanus

    Biodiesel from Used Cooking Oil: Is the Pollution Lower?

    Dear PF Forum, I have searched biodiesel through internet. There are good answers there. And also in Physics Forum, and I come across these two links from PF Forum, which are a very good links. http://biodiesel.org/ http://nbb.org/ And I also consulted LIPI (Indonesian Science Establishment)...
  21. H

    Heat Transfer through a cooking pot

    Hello, I am working a designing a cooking pot with thermoelectrics integrated into the design. I am trying to find the heat flow through the pan to estimate how much electricity the design will produce. First off some constants - The design has a base area of .0491 m2, or a diameter of 25 cm...
  22. M

    Induction cooking & heat distribution

    I've been trying out induction cooking on a small one-burner unit, with a large cast iron pan. I'm getting the expected hot spot in the center of the pan, and a serious temperature falloff toward the sides. No surprise there - the induction element is about 7" (I dismantled the unit to check)...
  23. L

    Does an Induction Cooking Pan Need to be Completely Ferrous?

    I ask, "Does a ferrous pan for Induction Cooking need to be Completely Ferrous?" In other words, could just the bottom of the pan be a ferrous material for good inductive heat induction? Could I have a ferrous bottom, and ferrous sides that turn to a non-ferrous material after a couple...
  24. Faradae

    Hysteresis in Induction Cooking

    Hi all, I was researching into Induction Cooking (using induction plates) recently and chanced upon a few websites that mentioned about hysteresis in Induction Cooking. However I don't really get how does hysteresis have a part to play in Induction Cooking. :/
  25. Maxo

    Boiling Food: Is Less Boiling More Efficient?

    Look at this example. I understand the reasoning here, in order to save energy one only needs to boil water slightly. But doesn't it also take longer time to boil it the same amount? I'm pretty sure in a given number of minutes, the spagetti will be more ready (more cooked) if it has been...
  26. M

    Induction Cooking: Eddy Current vs Hysteresis Frequency

    In induction cooking which effect is more dominant.EDDY CURRENT OR HYSTERESIS and at which range of frequencies?
  27. S

    Pot cooking food and being cooled, how does the pressure change?

    Homework Statement A person cooks a meal in a 30-cm-diameter pot that is covered with a well-fitting lid and let's the food cool to the room temperature of 20°C. The total mass of the food and the pot is 8 kg. Now the person tries to open the pan by lifting the lid up. Assuming no air has...
  28. B

    Cooking Splatter: What Happens & Why?

    So when me and my girlfriend cook, a typical setup might look something like a pan on one heater and a pot with something on the other. Today I was cooking eggs and she was boiling water. Something was in her water (didn't look like eggs at all) and she said it was the eggs from my pan...
  29. DiracPool

    Does a Perfect Thermos Continue Cooking Food Like a Traditional Heat Source?

    I just got one of those new fancy stainless steel thermoses recently to keep my morning coffee piping hot for hours, and I started thinking... The reason many coffee stops put their coffee into thermoses is that keeping it on the burner burns out the taste after a while (like 7-11:frown:)...
  30. K

    Find the Perfect Pot for Quick & Hot Cooking

    Homework Statement If you want a pot that will got hot as quick as possible and have a cooking surface that stays as hot as possible when heated what should the pot look like? Homework Equations The Attempt at a Solution I said that the pot should have a black exterior because...
  31. mrspeedybob

    Kitchen Chemistry. Cooking pasta

    My wife insists that pasta is not to be cooked with the lid on the pot. I reason that the cooking temperature must be fairly constant at the boiling point of water, so the energy required to cook the pasta can be reduced by putting a lid on the pot and turning the burner down just enough that...
  32. F

    Can HCL Dissolve in Cooking Oil? | Chemistry Info

    I recently gave my hand tools a bath in " right from the bottle" strength HCL. I had previously known about the naughty flash rusting that occurs, so to combat the rust, I quickly plunged the tool in water, gave it a quick wipe and then plunged it into extremely hot cooking oil. The tools...
  33. S

    Heat capacity, expansion while heating and cooking

    When we deal with heat capacity or specific heat capacity Q=mc(delta temperature) why don't we take into consideration about the expansion of the thing? Since expansion (should) increase the potential energy of the item since potential energy is the bond strength which is related to the particle...
  34. Weissritter

    Turning cooking gas into butter

    O hai, Physics Forums. I've came up with an idea, an amazing experiments which turns an invisible gas into butter. It may not be cheap, but could be a great way to motivate students into chemistry. Putting some pieces together in Chemistry class the idea jumped in. My main language is not...
  35. P

    Calculating the time required for the cooking robot to flip an object

    Hi, i have calculated the time required for the cooking robot to flip an object as you can see from the attached file, however, the time result that i got was about 0.2 second which 's a bit small. So I'm wondering whether my calculating method is correct or not. Also, please note that i...
  36. P

    Cooking Tomato Juice: Investigating Vitamin C Concentration

    Hey, If you haven't guessed from the title this is kind of a weird question. I'm a science student at UBC and for a lab today we had to analyze vitamin C contents in a substance of our choice. Long story short, I decided to look at how temperature effects Vitamin C concentration in tomato...
  37. S

    Infrared wave cooking vs microwave radiation

    I have learned that penetration ability increases with frequency. But why can microwave cook faster than infrared wave? Infrared gas a greater frequency so it should penetrate more and thus cook faster. So I'm not so clear about this. Thanks for the help
  38. wolram

    Why Do Sausages Roll Over While Cooking? Scientific Explanation Needed!

    Why is it that when i cook sausages i can brown them on one side, but, when i turn them over to brown the other side they turn over on there own. I am sure there must be a scientific reason, maybe steam trapped under the skin, any way the only way i can cook them all round is by sticking...
  39. Y

    Induction Cooking, skin effect, hysteresis losses

    I've been looking into the induction heating a bit lately and have come up with a few questions. One is in regards to hysteresis losses. I know what hysteresis is and how it contributes to the heat generation, but how much of an effect does it actually have? Some articles I've read have...
  40. B

    Heat Equation: Cooking a Turkey

    Homework Statement It's that time of the year. I'm trying to determine how long it will take to cook a 15 pound turkey at 400 degrees to reach a center temperature of 180 degrees, given that it takes 90 minutes to cook a 5 pound turkey to the desired center temperature. The roast is initially...
  41. estro

    Why not collecting ALL of the used cooking oil and transform it into biodiesel?

    I know biodiesel could be made from used cooking oil. Also I know that we use a lot of cooking oil. [fast food industry for example] Why not collecting ALL of the used cooking oil and transform it into biodiesel? What are the shortcomings? Relevant Link...
  42. Pengwuino

    Khan academy but for cooking?

    Khan academy... but for cooking? You know what would be epic genius pants? Like, a khan aacademy type website, but for cooking. Where they take people through even the most simplest of task like boiling water and opening bottles. I wonder if such a place exists? DISCUSS! oh and a site...
  43. L

    Survey on your favorite foods and cooking shows

    Survey on your favorite foods and cooking shows :) 1. What's your favorite show on the cooking channel? 2. Also, who is your favorite chef on the channel? 3. What are your favorite kinds of things to eat? 4. Your favorite snack?
  44. Drakkith

    Why Do You Love or Hate Cooking? Share Your Story

    Cooking. I hate it. I can't stand it. It's boring in every way possible to me. I hate everything about it. The cooking, the cleaning, everything! I'd rather have something easy and simple that tastes worse than something that takes longer. Baking? Nope, done it maybe once. Frying? Done it once...
  45. V

    Induction cooking: barefoot, with a metal spoon

    Anyone know anything about induction cookers? Induction cooking? What if the lady sticks a metal spoon to stir the pan and is bare-foot? What prevents the eddy current from breaking out of the loop given the new path your body provides?
  46. D

    Unlock the Chemistry of Cooking - Advice for a Chemical Engineering Student

    Ive always had an interest in cooking and whenever i get a break from uni i like to get in the kitchen and experiment a bit; must be all those organic chemistry labs getting to me :tongue2: Anyway i also have a pretty strong interest in chemistry and would like to learn more about the chemistry...
  47. B

    How Do You Calculate Cooking Intensity from Cooling in an Oven Cycle?

    I have a block of food in an oven and I want to calculate the "cooking intensity" of the block during a controlled oven cycle. The cycle of the oven is that it heats at 5 degrees (C) per minute, holds the temperature at 300C for 1 hour, and then shuts off the oven to cool to room temperature. I...
  48. S

    Medical Did Eating Meat Help Our Brains Evolve?

    Hi everyone: Have you ever heard anything about the effects of the microwave on body? ..